I am a sinner saved by the sovereign grace of God accomplished on my behalf in His Son Jesus Christ and applied effectually by the Holy Spirit by giving me true faith. Living in the tension of the ‘already-not yet’ – already redeemed in Christ but living in this veil of tears where one day the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ will wipe every last tear away. Now what I know is that Jesus not only died for me and rose again, but he lived a live of obedience in my place, providing for me before His Father the righteous life that the law of God requires. As J. Gresham Machen once wrote to his colleague John Murray, “Thank God for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.”
I was raised in a church that did not proclaim Christ in the Gospel to sinners. I grew up existentially hopeless and the first ‘witness’ to me was from a church that denied the Trinity and the deity of Christ and held to soul-sleep. After a brief period in that movement, I entered into various streams of broad evangelicalism. I found it both theologically and intellectually vacuous. Over the years, the grace of what was accomplished for me in Jesus Christ has become more precious. So few churches seem to proclaim Christ to sinners that simply know their continuing need of grace that is still only found in Jesus Christ.
During my time in broad evangelicalism, I found the Gospel of Christ’s doing on behalf of sinners overshadowed by an emphasis on our doing, Sunday after Sunday. The Gospel as a proclamation of what Christ accomplished for believing sinners was lost. I need Good News delivered, front and center, every Lord’s Day.
Confessional, Reformed orthodoxy is where I have found Christ most clearly proclaimed for sinners struggling in their journey in the Christian life. I long for Reformation in Christ’s Church where Christ is regularly proclaimed in the Word of God rightly preached (distinguishing law and gospel) and the sacraments rightly administered.