As a Christian professor and pastor who now works in the US after many years in Austria, I sometimes find myself in conversations with Americans who are interested to know about the health of the Christian church in Europe.
It is inevitable that our lives send a message about the veracity of the gospel. It is also clear that society is hearing a message from evangelicals. Is it a message of justice, mercy, hope, peace, healing, and salvation?
This rebirth, then, is wholly a work of grace. Of God’s action. We are sinners, but now the work and righteousness of Christ has been given to us, and our lives have been changed.
We can never understand grace unless we first come to know the depth of our sin. That is one of the primary truths of the Bible, and it also happens to be one of the convicting truths that we do not like to hear, one which many modern churches tend to shy away from preaching.
That seems to me to be just the right response to the gospel. The Bible is replete with announcements that should stop us dead in our tracks with amazement.
When I read Jesus miracle about healing the demon-possessed man, I typically have tended to focus on the actions and words of the demons and the pigs. But, I find what happens next in the story quite interesting.