Why “Compelled”?

Compelled?  Why this title?  Well, I am glad you asked!

Following a few studies from a pastor by the name of Randy Pope, I have developed a fresh understanding of some very crucial and foundational theology of Christianity.  In a book Randy has written entitled “The Answer”, he discusses many core topics relating to Christianity and much of what you will see on this page is directly from that book.  The topic I am discussing did not originate with Randy…it, of course, finds its origin in scripture…but I do give credit to Randy for his interpretation and expression of such an important topic.   Seriously, this topic is the crux of the gospel and is a vital understanding believers must embrace.  So what is it? 

Well, spirituality is ultimately a scenario of how we relate to God.  Everyone who believes in God wants to rightly relate to Him and in other words…they want God to like them.  Therefore, there are two ways that one will relate to God.  The first is described by the word “performance”.  It is a “DO” type of religion.  The performance model is an attempt to earn the favor of God by what we do or don’t do for Him.  How many “good deeds” have I done?  How many “acts of kindness” have I completed?  It is a mentality that if I am a “good enough” person, I will acquire God’s affection and favor.

A second approach to relating to God is described by the word “grace”.  The first model was expressed as a “DO”, and representing the opposite, this approach is expressed as “DONE”.  The grace model is favor  awarded to us by what God has done for us.  The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is what makes this model…remember the last words from Christ as He hung on the cross…”it is finished”…He had completed His mission, to pay for the sins of the world…not because of what they could “DO” for Him, but instead of what He has “DONE” for them.

The difference between these two?  Self-righteousness vs. Christ’s righteousness.  A demonstrated righteousness vs. declared righteousness.  Yes, I know that believers want to be declared righteous, but we must not forget that righteousness acquired by anything other than faith in Christ is detrimental.  The apostle Paul discusses this throughout the New Testament. 

Let’s think about this…by giving credit to ourselves through a “DO” religion, what credit is there to be given to Christ?  None…a belief that we can earn favor or salvation completely cheapens grace from God.  Participating as a performer exhibits the thought that we can justify ourselves in the eyes of God…no chance…we must allow justification to come through the cross.  Therefore, as you can obviously see, a choice of accepting grace and a “DONE” approach to relating to God is the only true way to a right relationship with Him.  So once again the question arises, “Why compelled?”  I am getting there, just hold tight!

Upon reviewing these two models, self-evaluation questions are in order.  How do I relate to God?  Am I a “DO” or a “DONE” follower?  Am I a performer or a grateful recipient of grace?  What is my approach to relating to God?

Now many may be thinking, well, if I choose grace, then are my acts and works not necessary anymore?  If it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do in order to receive grace, then should I even be doing anything at all?  Well, a very quick response to that question is “YES”!  And this is where the ultimate question comes into play…”What is my motivation for doing good works or refraining from bad acts?”  Is my motivation to earn favor from God or as a response to the love of Christ?  There it is, that is the question each one of us must encounter head on.  I must admit that in today’s society, being a performer comes natural.  We must perform to get good grades…we must perform to be the star athlete…we must perform to earn the promotion at work…we must perform to achieve success…and the list could go on and on.  And on the other side, how many are out there are attaining these same levels by merely receiving free gifts?  Exactly.  None.  Think about the phrases you hear all the time…”You get what you deserve”…”It’s a tough world out there, it won’t give you anything”…etc.  This creates a habit and nature we must fight through intentionality, realizing that nothing we can do will make God love us any more or any less. 

So what is my motivation?  In complete honesty, I have found myself as a performer many times…almost calculating works with the thought that these are a measurement of how much God will love me. (Church attendence, saying the right things, etc.)  How off base is that thought?  So where do I go for reference?  Where do I go for refueling?  The Word, The Bible…God’s living words to us.  And a specific scripture that has inspired the title of this blog is where I must go as a source of renewal in how I relate to God…2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Please take note of the underlined word above…compels…this is the inspiration for the title of this blog.  May I not perform for favor from God.  May I not try to earn affection and salvation from God through what I do or don’t do.  May I not become self-righteous.  May I not try to justify myself before God.  May I fully accept grace.  May I have faith that God can fully justify me.  May I be COMPELLED by Christ’s love!

One Response to “Why “Compelled”?”

  1. Amen!

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