Thursday, September 04, 2008

N T Wright

In Reflecting the Glory, NT Wright fleshes out 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. He starts out by saying that sometimes people feel like they can't please God. They know they are sinful and they think that is all God can see...their sinfulness. He uses the example of trying all your life to please a parent and never feeling like you are able to do it. He goes on to say the following (I just love this!)


Clearly Paul does not look at the matter like that at all. For Paul, God is pleased when he sees his image being reproduced in his human creatures by the Spirit. The slightest steps they take towards him, the slightest movements of faith and hope, and particularly of love, give God enormous delight. However difficult we may find this to believe, not least because of our own upbringing, it is a truth that Paul repeats quite often. Who we are in Christ, what we do in the Spirit, is pleasing to God; God delights in us, and, like a parent, he is thrilled when we, his children, take even the first small baby-steps towards the full Christian adulthood he has in store for us...

...If we have been well taught that we can never "make ourselves right" before God we might assume that there is nothing good about us, that when we finally stand before God we will have nothing to commend us to Him. That is not, however, the way Paul sees it. For Paul, if we are genuinely living in and by the Spirit of Jesus, then day by day, often without our even realizing it, we will have done many things that will give God pleasure-the smallest act of forgiveness, a great act of justice or mercy, a wonderful act of creativity enriching God's world. As a result of all these many things God will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." When he says that, of course, we will rightly say, "Our competence, our sufficiency comes from God." We never escape the wonderful circle of grace, gratitude, and glory. None the less, it really will be us whom God thanks, us whom he praises.

No comments: