Thursday, November 02, 2006

Life from Death - The Way of the Cross

More gleanings today from John R.W. Stott, "The Cross of Christ." You know these things already - you are living them - and yet sometimes it is strangely comforting to hear someone else put them into words. May God bless you today.

"In theory we know very well the paradoxical principle that suffering is the path to glory, death the way to life, and weakness the secret of power. It was for Jesus, and it still is for his followers today. But we are reluctant to apply the principle to mission, as the Bible does....As Douglas Webster has written, '...We can understand mission only in terms of the cross.'"

"Paul dared to write to the Corinthians: 'so then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you' (2 Cor. 4:12). For the cross-cultural missionary it may mean costly individual and family sacrifices, the renunciation of economic security and professional promotion, solidarity with the poor and needy, repenting of the pride and prejudice of supposed cultural superiority, and the modesty (and sometimes frustration) of serving under national leadership. Each of these can be a kind of death, but it is a death which brings life to others."

On the cultural gap in evangelism: "Only an incarnation can span these divides, for an incarnation means entering other people's worlds, their thought-world, and the worlds of their alienation, loneliness, and pain. Moreover, the incarnation led to the cross. Jesus first took our flesh, then bore our sin. This was a depth of penetration into our world in order to reach us, in comparison with which our little attempts to reach people seem amateur and shallow. the cross calls us to a much more radical and costly kind of evangelism than most churches have begun to consider, let alone experience."

Finally, the bottom line, quoting Zinzendorf: They know there is a God, but they need to know the Savior. "Tell them about the Lamb of God till you can tell them no more."

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