Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On "conversion"

"Obviously, what Jesus promises is highly desirable. Blessedness, freedom, healing of internal sin, access to eternal life-- who does not gladly hear of such things? Who would not want to celebrate with the King? What hinders us, since he calls to each of us and demands nothing in return?

"But this misconstrues the intent of the goodness whose goal is to lead us to conversion. It is not shown to us so that we might remain what we are. It rather appeals to us to transcend our base drives and free ourselves from coarse desire. For the king remains the king, even when in his grace he opens his banquet to all. All his banquet serves his glorification, even if it bestows great blessedness upon us. The fellowship of those who celebrate with him is not the place to put our contempt for God on display. Nor is it an occasion to assert our resistance against his command. Without our cooperation, God's grace comes to us and lodges with anyone who places trust in it. But to trust in it is to recognize its greatness and treasure its value. For it is to know that it is God's grace. One can no longer live as though grace no longer claimed him, as if it were some negligible trifle or extra ingredient of only secondary importance. Grace, once received, obligates."

Adolf Schlatter,
Do We Know Jesus? p.486.

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