The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/19

Posted on | October 19, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/19

Scripture reading: Revelation 3:14–22

The Full Gospel

And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. (Deuteronomy 6:23)

Some verses of the Bible seem to be written in theological shorthand, meaning they contain vast amounts of doctrinal truth compressed into a few short words. Deuteronomy 6:23 is a case in point: brought us out . . . that he might bring us in . . .

Moses is explaining to the Hebrew people the purposes of God in redemption. He knew that many in his day saw redemption only in terms of what God had delivered them from (Egyptian bondage). He wanted to correct such a partial view of salvation so he reminded them that God had redeemed them from Egypt in order to bring them in to the abundant life of Canaan-living. Moses knew that a partial understanding of salvation would only lead to God’s people spending their entire lives doing laps in the wilderness. Only a belief in full salvation could propel God’s people out of the desert of spiritual mediocrity and into the abundant fruitfulness of Canaan. Redemption is so much more than “getting out” of bondage and sin. It is equally about “getting in” to victory and power. God’s great purpose in salvation is not just getting us out of Egypt; more importantly, it is about getting Egypt (worldliness) out of us!

In his book Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard speaks eloquently about what happens when God’s people believe a partial Gospel. He notes that the evangelical church has tended to aim at getting people into heaven rather than getting heaven into people, making the point of the Gospel simply readying people to die. Such an emphasis, according to Willard, is a fundamental mistake and creates people “who may be ready to die but clearly are not ready to live.” The end result is that the church becomes full of people who have found ways of being “Christian” with- out being like Christ (p. 238).

A simple outline can help us better understand the two-fold nature of “full salvation.”

Justification (He brought us out) Sanctification (He brought us in)

What Christ does for us. What the Spirit does in us. Removes the guilt of sin. Breaks the power of sin.
A judicial act in the mind of God. An inward change in the heart of man. Forgives our sins. Cleanses our sin.
Positionally holy. Actually holy.

Perhaps the greatest doctrinal tragedy of our day is that millions of Christians have accepted a “Gospel” that is defined only by the column on the left. They have enough faith to get out of Egypt but not enough to get into Canaan. Such a Gospel leaves people doing laps in the desert of spiritual mediocrity for their entire lives.

The greatest need in the world today is not for evangelism. From my perspective, the greatest need is for Christians like you and me to be spiritually cleansed so that the Spirit of God can work through us. —Dennis F. Kinlaw

point to ponder • What about you? Have you settled for a partial Gospel, or are you pressing forward for full salvation?

prayer focus • Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you and to break the power of any stronghold.

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