Applying the gospel
Kathy Keller on how the gospel becomes operational in our lives:
I once likened…the preaching of the Gospel or the understanding of grace (choose the jargon you like best), to the coin operated dryers in my building’s laundry. It costs $1.50 to dry a load, and as you feed six quarters into the machine it goes ‘bong’ and registers each one. Sometimes, however, all six quarters will be in there, but some of them haven’t registered their presence yet. We have all become adept at making a fist and pounding on the mechanism until the coins that are in there drop and turn the whole thing on. Similarly Christians claim to understand that they are saved by grace (the information is ‘in there’) but they haven’t had Martin Luther’s recommended experience of someone ‘beating it into their head’ until what they know becomes operational and warms their hearts…
We have not yet found the perfect way to transmit this understanding of grace to our leaders and attendees. As I hope I’ve made clear, it starts in the pulpit, and has to be the driving vision of all other parts of church life. If there is something that is being done or taught that suggests that the Gospel is the way one enters the kingdom of God, and after that, it’s a matter of obeying Biblical principles (Sunday school curriculum, especially children’s curriculum, is a likely hiding place), that thing has to be rooted up and replaced, even if you have to write your own material.
From a World Harvest Mission archive (circa 2001)