1 Peter 1:12
“It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
Where is the awe?
I often become discouraged when I look at the lives of the Christians around me, and eve more so when I examine my own life. I look at what Scripture calls us to (holiness, see 1 Peter 1:15-16) and compare that with reality, and this is a recipe for disappointment. I read and hear the accusations from the world of hypocrisy in the church and often am left with nothing but, “yep. You’re right. We’re hypocrites.” This despairing and judgmental attitude is usually sinful, and honestly I wouldn’t suggest trying it out. It puts you on the fast track to depression. But it does give me pause to consider what some of the causes of worldly, hypocritical, disingenuous Christianity are. As I have been studying 1 Peter, one of the answers I come away with is our lack of awe.
What has God done?
Most reading this blog are familiar with the Gospel narrative. If you aren’t, here is a basic short form version:
-God creates man, male and female, in his own image, places him at the head of his creation, and gives him a garden paradise to live in and cultivate.
-Man rebels against God, breaking the only commandment God has given him. This severs man’s intimate relationship with his Creator and brings upon us all the just penalty of our sin-death.
-However, God not only places a curse upon man, but promises a Redeemer from that curse. We see in the Old Testament God calling out a people for himself from among the nations, giving them his law, rescuing them time and again from foreign oppressors, sending prophets to correct his people when they sin, and ultimately sending his own Son to earth through this people.
-Jesus comes to earth. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life here on the earth, being tempted and tried in every way.
-Jesus not only lived a perfect life, but he then goes to the cross and dies, bearing the weight of my sin, and your sin, and the sin of any who would believe upon himself. He paid our debt to God in full.
-Jesus rose from the dead, thus proving that God is victorious over death, and that all who place their faith on Christ may live forever with him. Though they die, yet shall they live. For our God is not the God of the dead, but the living.
-Jesus ascended into heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of God. All those who place their faith on him have an eternal hope.
-After Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit was sent to earth, where he convicts men of sin and righteousness, indwells believers, and empowers the church. The church, the people of God, serve as the new temple. We no longer have to travel to a specific building to worship God because God himself indwells every believer.
This is mind boggling!
This salvation which has been promised to all who believe is an absolutely astounding thing to behold. Read that list again, not as though you have know it. Read it as though you are coming to it the first time. Take a moment to think about how truly sinful you are. Your thought life is wicked, as often are your motivations, and at times even your actions are. And yet God has made a way of deliverance from your body of death. He has shown mercy, he has shown grace. How this is possible, how this works, these are things into which angels long to look! This is a story so gripping, so compelling, so amazing that even the heavenly beings are captured by it and long to understand. That stands in stark contrast with you and I who are most generally bored by it, or dismissive of it. Or we are otherwise blasphemous, if not with our words, then with our actions and attitudes. We do not act affected because we do not feel affected. Look at the Gospel.
Where is our awe?
Where is mine?
Where is yours?