Friday, March 28, 2008

A grateful sense of high privilege

"Hence, though a man of sorrow, [Christ] was even on earth anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows [Psalm 45:7]. . . . Shall we wonder that there was divine gladness in the heart of him who came into the world not by constraint but willingly, not with a burning sense of wrong but with a grateful sense of high privilege . . . ?"

A. B. Bruce, quoted in B. B. Warfield, "The Emotional Life of our Lord," in The Person and Work of Christ, page 126, footnote 84.

The ministry today can be motivated either by a burning sense of wrong or by a grateful sense of high privilege. It is possible to build a church with the energy of a burning sense of wrong. There are angry Christians who don't like the way things are going and will rally around someone who validates their anger. But is that the gospel at work?

The apostles did not fuss and wring their hands and moan, "What's the world coming to?" They gladly announced, "Look what's come to the world!" Like Christ, they had a grateful sense of high privilege. And the impact was an explosion of joy that has been setting people free for 2000 years -- and is showing no signs of fatigue.