In looking at all of these questions, I realize that there is a gap between my behavior and my belief. I believe in God’s love, I know that I am forgiven, I know that God is in control and I know that I have received and am to give grace. Yet, I do not always live according to that knowledge.
Some have expressed surprise and dismay that Christian leaders have been found to have their names on the list. But I don’t think that we should be surprised. The church is not filled with people who have it all together. We know this because they let us in and we do not have it all together. Whether our failures are obvious to others or not, we all fail.
The result of legalism is that those who are in the system cannot become what God intends them to be. Rather than a deepening understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, legalists are satisfied with rule keeping.
The Church of Jesus Christ should be the most gracious place on the planet but often it is not. If we are not consistently preaching the Gospel, if we are not reinforcing our need for a savior, if we are not intentional about living under grace, then we will become what the world thinks we are.
Peace is the one thing that is lacking in many churches today. Perhaps it is because it is one thing that is lacking in many believers today. Or, perhaps, I am projecting this on others because of a lack of peace in my own life.
The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. Biblical literacy and theological expertise are not, therefore, the end of the Word but a God-ordained means to and end, and the end is a radically transformed life because the worship at the center of that life has been reclaimed.