If Paul had planted perfect churches, we might have the mistaken notion that the power for healthy churches died with the apostles, and that the best we can do now is to try to get back to the model of those early churches. In reality, however, the “power” for healthy churches and healthy Christians is just as alive today as He was in the first century. As Paul himself put it: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
The people whose examples stir me most are dead now—at least their bodies don’t live on the earth anymore. But I can still take walks with them by reading their biographies. Here are snippets from the writings of several men whose examples never fail to stir me, correct me, and excite my hunger for God.
A big God makes sin a cross-sized problem. But no problem is too big for God’s all-abounding, all-cleansing, magnificent grace. I hope this week you’ll see past the cruel Romans, beyond the petty Pharisees, and through the fearful disciples to eternity’s finest display of love and grace: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Because Jesus died our sin, we are free to confess, and God is free to forgive.