Do we make it impossible for others to get saved? Do we sufficiently demonstrate and proclaim the unconditional LOVE of God? In the following quote from a sermon on Grace, Tim Keller explains that we don’t have to DO anything to be saved, and shows the outrageous, almost reckless love of the Father who represents God:
— Adrian Warnock (@adrianwarnock) January 7, 2019
Christianity is the only religion in which you’re supposed to become like a child in order to receive the blessings of it. In other words, other religions say you need to summons up your power and become better than you ever were before in order to receive the blessings. Christianity is the only one that says, “No, you have to become as a little child. You have to see yourself and become helpless“. . .
Jesus says no person can make himself or herself a Christian . . .
You can’t be a follower of me unless the Father draws you, enables you, opens your mind, and gives you the power to come to me. . . There is nothing you can take credit for if you’re a Christian. You’ve only received it. Pride and superiority are utterly excluded. You have a life of complete security now, complete freedom from fears. . .Now you can imagine this young man might not have ever repented. You know, if you come on up to the porch and there’s your father with this huge “I told you so” look on his face, here’s your father saying, “If you repent, if you grovel, if you’re servile enough I might receive you back in,” do you realize how hard it is to repent under those circumstances? It’s almost impossible to repent. Parents continually make it impossible for their children to repent because of that attitude.
Instead, here’s the father, not waiting for repentance but pouncing on his son in love. You can imagine the encouragement. You can imagine how freeing that was. Now the son who probably under other circumstances would never have been able to swallow his pride, now he’s invigorated by this initiating welcome. He turns and says, “Father, I have sinned. I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight. I am not worthy to be called your son, and all I ask …”
What does the father do? He doesn’t wait for the confession to be over. He says, “Okay, enough, enough. Enough. Servants, bring a robe. Put it on my son. Put a ring on his finger. Kill the fatted calf. My son was dead and now he’s alive again.”
What do you see here? You see a God of grace. Here is a Father who doesn’t wait for repentance. Oh no. He doesn’t say, “You repent and then comes my Father’s arms.” He gives you the Father’s arms and enables the repentance. Don’t you see? The repentance doesn’t bring the Father’s arms; the Father’s arms bring the repentance.
This is a God of grace. “We love him not because we first loved him but because he first loved us.” God doesn’t just offer salvation; he goes and gets you. He pounces on you. He mugs you with his love. The Scripture says so.
Keller, T. J. (2013). The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive. New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church.