"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose."
    -- John Piper

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  • James 2:14-17

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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Necessary Evidence

I am going through the Radical Series a second time.  This time, my Bible is handy and I pause the audio so I can spend time with the passages, and let them sink in.  As I process this stuff, I thought writing it down would be good.  Here are some quotes from David Platt as well as a few of my thoughts:

 Caring for the poor is not an optional extra in salvation.  Caring for the poor is necessary evidence of salvation.

 Dr. Platt refers to Luke 19:8-10…The story of Zacchaeus.  

 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

 Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house…’”

It’s not like Zacchaeus is a seasoned follower of Jesus.  We know that from the earlier part of the passage.  Zacchaeus is a tax collector who was despised by most people.  Yet, after a brief encounter with Jesus the immediate response to his salvation is to give half of his possessions to the poor. 

This is heavy stuff.  It’s scary stuff.  The implication is that if I don’t give to the poor there is clear evidence that Jesus is not in me.

Referring to the illustration of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 (31-46), we get a better understanding of how serious the matter is. 

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I know that my salvation is by God’s grace and mercy through faith in Jesus who took my sin on the cross.  Of this there is no doubt in my mind.  The Bible also says that the faith I have should be a faith that radically transforms my heart and radically transforms my desires.  That faith will drive me to an all consuming desire to reach the lost and take care of the poor.  If I don’t have that kind of desire, I have to ask myself if I have Jesus at all.   This isn’t about GUILT.  It’s about being motivated by the Gospel to care for the poor.  It’s about being motivated by Jesus’ all consuming love enough to live it and share it every minute of my life.  

Dr. Platt says this near the end of the message:

There is a clear disconnect between claiming to have Jesus in our hearts and indulging ourselves at the expense of the poor.  

If you haven’t started listening to the Radical series, I would really encourage you to take the time to work through it.  The truths you will find there are based in scripture…backed up by old and new testament passages.  These truths are not only relevant, they are necessary.

4 Responses

  1. Your comments are welcome here. If you have a dissenting opinion, I will gladly defend my faith in Jesus and boldly proclaim his truths here. I welcome the debate. However, comments that lack Biblical foundation or serve the interest of the commenter through the purchase of books or products that might in any way distract anyone from following Jesus and believing in the Bible as the holy inspired word of God—100% of it—will not be posted.

  2. Would you be interested in reviewing an advance reader copy of this book on your blog?

    • Drew, I would be most interested in reviewing an advance reader copy. I am currently working through the video series…making notes, etc….in preparation for taking a small group through the Radical Series.

  3. […] it seems that one of my posts was noticed last week, and I was asked if I had any interest in reading through an advance copy of […]

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