Daily Keller

~ Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year

Daily Keller

Forgiveness

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Tim Keller

What is forgiveness, specifically? When someone has wronged you, it means they owe you, they have a debt with you. Forgiveness is to absorb the cost of the debt yourself. You pay the price yourself, and you refuse to exact the price out of the person in any way. Forgiveness is to a) free the person from penalty for a sin by b) paying the price yourself.
The ultimate example. We are told that our forgiveness must imitate God’s forgiveness in Christ. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph.4:32). a) How did God forgive? We are told that he does not ‘remember’ them. That cannot mean that God literally forgets what has happened–it means he ‘sends away’ the penalty for them. He does not bring the incidents to mind, and does not let them affect the way he deals with us. b) How did God forgive ‘in Christ’? We are told that Jesus pays the price for the sins. ‘It is finished’ means ‘It has been paid in full’ (John 19:30). The Father gave up his Son, and the Son gave up his life. God absorbed the cost in himself.

-Tim Keller

The Inclusive Exclusive Claim

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Tim Keller

At the heart of the Christian’s view of spiritual reality is a man who gave his life in sacrifice for people who did not believe in him, a man who died asking for forgiveness for the people who were killing him. Therefore, Christianity is an exclusive claim, but it is the most inclusive exclusive claim because it wants you to exclusively believe in this man who died for his enemies, and asks you to love and care for yours.

So, does the message that Jesus is the only way to God necessarily lead to intolerance? Christians can only become intolerant to the degree that they misunderstand the heart of the gospel — namely, the good news that Almighty God himself came to serve us and die for us, so we could be saved not because of our right beliefs and behavior, but by the gift of his unmerited grace. That message, rightly grasped, cannot lead to coercion or intolerance. The gospel has within it deep resources for humility and respect. It is up to Christians to prove this assertion with their lives.

-Tim Keller

The A to Z

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Tim Keller

The gospel is not the first ‘step’ in a ‘stairway’ of truths, rather, it is more like the ‘hub’ in a ‘wheel’ of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom.

– Tim Keller

August Break

I apologize for this update coming so late. You have probably noticed that I have not posted any new quotes for a couple weeks. The reason is that I am taking a break for the month of August to do some maintenance on the site and to rest a bit. Don’t worry. The quotes will be back in full force in September. Thank you for your patience.

– Tim Clark

The Love of Christ

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The Obedient Master, Tim Keller

I know people who have said: ‘I would follow Christ, but I do not think I can keep it up. I do not trust myself. I think he’d get tired of my failures.’ Please look at him in the garden. Look what his love for you has already enabled him to endure for you. If he had turned away from suffering and the cross, we would have been lost, but he didn’t do that. Hell came down on him, and he would not let go of us. His love for us has already taken everything that the universe could throw at it and it held fast— and you think that you are somehow going to upset him? Is Jesus going to look at you and say, ‘Well, that does it! Infinite existential torment was one thing, but I can only take so much!’? If this suffering did not make him give up on us, nothing will. So Paul can essentially say, ‘Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ’ (Romans 8: 38– 39). The Lord says, ‘I will never leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13: 5).

This is the love you have been looking for all of your life. This is the only love that can’t let you down. This is bombproof love. Not friend-love, not personal acclaim, not married love, and not even romantic love — it is this love that you are after, underneath all your pursuit of those others. And if this love of active obedience is an active reality in your life, you will be a person of integrity; you will be a person of prayer; you will be kind to people who mistreat you. If you have this love you will be a little more like him. Look at him dying in the dark for you. Let it melt you into his likeness.

– Tim Keller

Satisfied Thirst

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The Insider and the Outcast, Tim Keller

It is because Jesus Christ experienced cosmic thirst on the cross that you and I can have our spiritual thirst satisfied. It is because he died that we can be born again. And he did it gladly. Seeing what he did and why he did it will turn away our hearts from the things that enslave us and toward him in worship. That is the gospel, and it is the same for skeptics, believers, insiders, outcasts, and everyone in between.

– Tim Keller

Work Frustration

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Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller

Just because you cannot realize your highest aspirations in work does not mean you have chosen wrongly, or are not called to your profession, or that you should spend your life looking for the perfect career that is devoid of frustration. That would be a fruitless search for anyone. You should expect to be regularly frustrated in your work even though you may be in exactly the right vocation.

 

– Tim Keller

Redeeming Body and Soul

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The Reason for God, Tim Keller

When we look at the whole scope of this story line, we see clearly that Christianity is not only about getting one’s individual sins forgiven so we can go to heaven. That is an important means of God’s salvation, but not the final end or purpose of it. The purpose of Jesus’s coming is to put the whole world right, to renew and restore the creation, not to escape it. It is not just to bring personal forgiveness and peace, but also justice and shalom to the world. God created both the body and soul, and the resurrection of Jesus shows that he is going to redeem both body and soul. The work of the Spirit of God is not only to save souls but also to care and cultivate the face of the earth, the material world.

– Tim Keller

Grace and Justice

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Generous Justice, racism, Tim Keller

There are many great differences between the small southern town of Hopewell, Virginia, and the giant metropolis of New York. But there was one thing that was exactly the same. To my surprise, there is a direct relationship between a person’s grasp and experience of God’s grace, and his or her heart for justice and the poor. In both settings, as I preached the classic message that God does not give us justice but saves us by free grace, I discovered that those most affected by the message became the most sensitive to the social inequities around them. One man in my church in Hopewell, Easley Shelton, went through a profound transformation. He moved out of a sterile, moralistic understanding of life and began to understand that his salvation was based on the free, unmerited grace of Jesus. It gave him a new warmth, joy, and confidence that everyone could see. But it had another surprising effect. ‘You know,’ he said to me one day, ‘I’ve been a racist all my life.’ I was startled, because I had not yet preached to him or to the congregation on that subject. He had put it together for himself. When he lost his Phariseeism, his spiritual self-righteousness, he said, he lost his racism.

– Tim Keller

Loved to the Skies

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The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller

How do you get the power of grace? You can’t create this power; you can only reflect it to others if you have received it. If you see Jesus dying on the cross for others, forgiving the people who killed him, that can be a crushing example of forgiving love that you will never be able to live up to. But if instead you see Jesus dying on the cross for you, forgiving you, putting away your sin, that changes everything. He saw your heart to the bottom but loved you to the skies.

– Tim Keller