Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't Forget the Bad News

In his book Gospel-Powered Parenting, William Farley writes, "[God's] wrath introduces us to [His] grace." (p. 88) Think about that. Paul concurs in Romans 2:4 where he writes, "Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forebearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" It's not surprising that Paul's words are sandwiched between two sections in the letter (chs. 1 & 3) majoring on our sinfulness and desperate guilt before God. Paul's logic is clear: only when we first encounter the convicting nature of our sin, which warrants God's just wrath, are we moved to repent, thereby reaping the gracious benefits of forgiveness and salvation in Christ. God's wrath, which our sins deserve, surely is the front door leading us into His house of grace.

This reminds us just how important it is to share the 'bad news' of our unbelieving friends' sin with them before we share the good news of the gospel. Most of us are very willing to tell our unsaved friends that God loves them and Jesus died for them. Few of us, though, are as quick to tell them how needy they are for Christ because their sins are so great. Yet, without a clear, bibilcal declaration of the bad news, the good news will fall on deaf ears, for it will only confirm what they already believe: Of course God loves them since they aren't so bad after all.

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