Ray's Blog

Gospel culture sets a new tone

“As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”  Psalm 16:3

As for the saints in the land.  They are in Christ.  That is what distinguishes them.  It is all they need to be distinguished.  Not their own talents or merits or attainments, and certainly not their likeness to me or to us, but only what God has done for them in Christ.  God has set them apart to himself.  It changes my perceptions completely.

They are the excellent ones.  There is much to admire in every Christian.  Just start asking questions.  About thirty seconds into the conversation, the excellence will become obvious.  Rather than rate them, grade them, scrutinize them, to see if they are up at our level, rather than say, “Well, they aren’t perfect,” which is condescending and irrelevant, rather than point out their shortcomings, gospel eyes choose to observe and notice and talk about the many excellencies divinely invested in another Christian.

In whom is all my delight.  This the final step.  It is personal.  It is emotional.  It is wholehearted.  It is so bold that it might feel like borderline idolatry (“all my delight”).  But the gospel allows for no aloofness, no “wait and see” attitude, no standoffishness.  We move toward one another with intensely sincere joy.

The world doesn’t think this way.  We must think this way.  The gospel demands it and provides it.

If we will openly, publicly rejoice in one another for the Lord’s sake, we might live down Anne Rice’s assessment that “Christians have lost credibility in America as people who know how to love.”

Nothing is more urgently needed than this gospel culture to take over everywhere and set a new tone among us all.

This post was originally published on The Gospel Coalition