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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Romans 1:16

"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe, first for the Jew and then for the Greek*)

Paul talks about a gospel which is the power for the salvation of all who believe. It is this gospel which sets us free from the consequences of sin which is death.  In it there is no longer any condemnation in Christ Jesus because he took it all with him to the cross.

Yet, we find an incessant need to do things because that’s what good Christians do. We go to church because Christians go to church. We read our Bibles because Christians should read their Bibles. We often feel guilty for not praying as often as we should. But should guilt really be the motivating factor in how we live out our faith? Is this gospel just a divine guilt trip (Jesus died for you so you owe him big time)? In the words of Paul, “Me genoito!" (May it never be!)

We were not set free from the law only to become slaves to another law.  Nobody who does a "spiritual" act of worship or kindness because of guilt will gain anything by it.  A person who gives out of guilt or ambition plants rocks instead of seed.  If love is not our weapon and God our prize, we will not harvest anything that lasts.

Do not give or act out of guilt.  It is a waste of time even if you are praying or going to church out of guilt.  Give because you want to give and act because you want to love.  Leave guilt nailed to the cross where it belongs.

*Many translations use gentile

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