Getting the Story Right

Tags

If you get the story wrong, your response will be wrong. And if you get the story of the world wrong – if, for example you see life here as mainly about self-actualization and self-fulfillment rather than the love of God – you will get your life responses wrong, including the way you go about your work.

– Tim Keller

Salvation is God’s Doing

Tags

But the biblical gospel – Paul’s gospel – is clear that salvation, from first to last, is God’s doing. It is His calling; His plan; His action; His work. And so it is He who deserves all the glory, for all time. 

– Tim Keller


Love and Truth

Tags

Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.

– Tim Keller

Why Should I Seek God?

Tags

On one hand, you may feel that you ‘need’ him. Even though you may recognize that you have needs only God can meet, you must not try to use him to achieve your own ends. It is not possible to bargain with God. (‘I’ll do this if you will do that.’) That is not Christianity at all, but a form of magic or paganism in which you ‘appease’ the cranky deity in exchange for a favor. Are you getting into Christianity to serve God, or to get God to serve you? Those are two opposite motives and they result in two different religions. You must come to God because 1) you owe it to him to give him your life (because he is your creator) and 2) you are deeply grateful to him for sacrificing his son (because he is your redeemer.)

On the other hand, you may feel no need or interest to know God at all. This does not mean you should stay uncommitted. If you were created by God, then you owe him your life, whether you feel like it or not. You are obligated to seek him and ask him to soften your heart, open your eyes, and enlighten you. If you say, ‘I have no faith,’ that is no excuse either. You need only doubt your doubts. No one can doubt everything at once— you must believe in something to doubt something else. For example, do you believe you are competent to run your own life? Where is the evidence of that? Why doubt everything but your doubts about God and your faith in yourself? Is that fair? You owe it to God to seek him. Do so.

– Tim Keller

Live for God

Tags

To live for anything else but God leads to breakdown and decay. When a fish leaves the water, which he was built for, he is not free, but dead. Worshiping other things besides God leads to a loss of meaning. If we achieve these things, they cannot deliver satisfaction, because they were never meant to be ‘gods.’ They were never meant to replace God. Worshiping other things besides God also leads to self- image problems. We end up defining ourselves in terms of our achievement in these things. We must have them or all is lost; so they drive us to work too hard, or they fill us with terror if they are jeopardized. 

– Tim Keller

Sin Devoured by the Gospel

Tags

The gospel devours the very motivation you have for sin. It completely saps your very need and reason to live any way you want. Anyone who insists that the gospel encourages us to sin has simply not understood it yet, nor begun to feel its power.

– Tim Keller

Justice and Love

Tags

Most people love those who love them, yet God loves and seeks the good even of people who are his enemies. But because God is good and loving, he cannot tolerate evil. The opposite of love is not anger, but indifference. ‘The more you love your son, the more you hate in him the liar, the drunkard, the traitor,’ (E. Gifford). To imagine God’s situation, imagine a judge who also is a father, who sits at the trial of his guilty son. A judge knows he cannot let his son go, for without justice no society can survive. How much less can a loving God merely ignore or suspend justice for us – who are loved, yet guilty of rebellion against his loving authority? 

– Tim Keller

God’s Creation

Tags

God created us and built us for a relationship with him. We belong to him, and we owe him gratitude for every breath, every moment, everything. Because humans were built to live for him (to worship), we will always try to worship something – if not God, we will choose some other object of ultimate devotion to give our lives meaning. 

– Tim Keller