Monday, March 30, 2015

Brunner: we cannot reach the goal

Monday, March 30, 2015
Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    —Isaiah 53:1 (NIV)
    All religion that man himself makes has the opposite direction from that of the gospel. It is an ascent toward the eternal, perfect God. Up, up—that is its call. God is high above, we are down below; and now we shall soar by means of our moral, spiritual, and religious endeavors out of the earthly, human depths into the divine heights... God is too high and the evil in us too deep that man could reach the goal this way. The soul of man is crippled or stiffened and cramped in such an ascent to the highest height. The end is more or less unconfessed or unavowed despair, or a self-righteousness that leaves room neither for love of God nor for genuine love of men. When we men wish to be honest, we have to say, “We cannot reach the goal.” [Continued tomorrow]
    ... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), I Believe in the Living God: sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Westminster Press, 1960, p. 79-80 (see the book)
    See also Isa. 53:1; John 10:9; 14:4-6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:10-12; 5:1-2; 8:1-2; Eph. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I cannot reach You in my own strength.
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