Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Augustine: Grace and Truth

Over the last few weeks I have been writing about a document I keep on the desktop of my computer entitled, “My Motivation.” It is designed to remind and inspire and focus me toward Christ-centered living, but it’s comprised of pictures rather than words. Nine of the fifteen pictures are of various men of God who inspire me for a number of reasons, the fourth of whom is the fourth century pastor and theologian, Augustine.
When I was in college, I read one of Augustine’s most famous works, Confessions. Given my past, it was very encouraging to read the story of a man who sinned so terribly and suffered the consequences of his actions, and yet who received so much grace from Jesus. Augustine’s honesty and humility made a great impact on me, as he helped me see that God could heal and use a broken person like me.
Then over the years, as I grew in the knowledge of the Bible and theology, I read several of Augustine’s more theological works and some of his sermons. Having heard the story of how the grace of Jesus transformed this man, I now began to partake of some of the fruit the Lord bore through this man.
Specifically, Augustine was among the first to inspire me to meditate long and hard on the glory of God, the attributes of God, the nature of God’s creative power, the depth of human depravity, the greater depth of God’s redemptive grace in Christ, the nature of the church, the mission of the church, and so on. Augustine’s story opened my heart all the more to the grace of Christ, and his theological writings opened my mind all the more to the truth of Christ.
And what is more, Augustine taught me that the quest for biblical truth is part and parcel of the passion to worship God. That is, he helped me understand that we can only worship God in truth when we know the truth about God.
This insight, in fact, has shaped my life. God has used this man, who lived some 1,600 years ago, to lead me in the way I should go, and for this I am eternally grateful to God. Like his Lord, Augustine’s life was characterized by grace and truth.
For the glory of Christ,
Pastor Charlie

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