The Gospel Has Consequences

We can all feel it. It is in the air. Most of us long for it. We need it! With the turn of the calendar to August, we all sense that we are moving back to more predictable rhythms and habits. As our kids return to school, most of us are forced to live with more intentionality. Is that freedom or death? Is “doing our own thing” freedom? Or is “doing the next right thing” freedom? Great ideas to wrestle with and this fall, wrestle we will! As we move into fall, we are moving from talking about what truth is (The Apostles’ Creed) to what truth does. The gospel has consequences.

This Sunday we are transitioning from talking about the truths we pledge our lives to, (Orthodoxy, “right belief”) to talking about the obedience that flows from those truths—Orthopraxy, “right practice.” Most of us recognize that there is a link between truth and obedience in most areas of life, and yet when it comes to Christianity the link is less obvious. For instance, if I pay someone to coach me and help me with my golf swing, I listen and try to put into practice what he is telling me. I want him to help me correct my bad habits. I want him to point out my flaws. I want him to give me better practices. In other words, I realize that “truth will set me free.” I realize there is a “way,” and the more I align myself with the “way,” the better my scores will be and the happier I will be.

The same is true in the gospel; make no mistake––it has consequences. It is “news” about who we are as humans, how we have tried to make up our lives (and messed up our lives), and how the gospel will set us free. The gospel is not merely words we give a hat tip to on Sunday and then really take our cues as to how we live in the mundane from the culture around us—no, we have to align ourselves with the truth of the gospel. We will labor this point all fall because there is a notion out there that, because we know truth, we are actually doing truth. That is really not true at all!

So this Sunday we will talk about it, and then this fall we will explore Orthopraxy (right practice) as we look at the practice of hospitality (next week) and the book of James.