Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tim Chester on power and weakness in the Christian life

The Christian life is not a life of victory and power, nor a is it a life of weakness. It's a life of power in weakness. Through the Holy Spirit we experience the power of resurrection from the coming age, so that we might follow the way of the cross in the present age. We must never separate the power of the resurrection from the way of the cross. We live in the power of the Spirit, but the Spirit-empowered life is characterized by service, love and submission....

This is how we steer between hopelessness on the one hand and triumphalism on the other. Triumphalism suggests we can experience now that which truly belongs to the renewal of creation. It trumpets 'victorious Christian living' in which stress is placed upon Christian victory and joy at the expense of the needs of the world and the ongoing power of sin in our lives. But discipleship now is always to follow the way of the cross, sustained by hope through the Spirit.

Yet the alternative to triumphalism is not hopelessness and inactivity. By the Holy Spirit, the power of the resurrection is at work in the life of the Christian community. The coming kingdom has already entered history through Christ the King, and his presence continues to be mediated by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit creates the life of the future kingdom now in the Christian community. We live in the power of the future through the Holy Spirit and in that power we serve the needs of the world.

Tim Chester, The Ordinary Hero, pp.170-171

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