Monday, January 12, 2009

The Gospel Pipeline--The Waltz

So, all Christians dance...some do the Bunny Hop, some the Texas Two-Step, but those dances are incomplete renditions of the Christ-centered life. The Dance with Christ that leads to spiritual transformation is a Waltz. What is a waltz? You've heard Tchaikovsky or seen a ballroom waltz scene on the big screen...a waltz is a three-step dance. One, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three. Spiritual transformation occurs as we waltz with Christ. Step One--Repent. Christian growth begins with repentance: admitting our sin and acknowledging we are as helpless to change ourselves apart from Christ as we are to save ourselves from sin apart from Christ. But the waltz is never just a one step dance, so waltzing doesn't end with us admitting our sin and helplessness. That would be depressing! Repentance leads to fresh faith in Christ, so Step Two of the Waltz is Believe. There are two elements here: appreciate and appropriate. First, as you acknowledge sin, appreciate your justified standing with God. You are right with God because of your union with Christ and His righteousness, not because you are perfectly obedient in your life. Second, trust the power of the blood of Christ to be applied to your life at your point of repentance and to change you the same way you trusted the blood of Christ to save you at your conversion. But thus far we simply have a Texas Two-Step, so Step Three of the Waltz is to Fight! There are vices to put off and virtues to put on. We are not lifeless sticks flowing down the current just waiting passively to be carried away. Trusting in Christ afresh unites us with the life-giving energy of His Spirit and we are to step out in dependence and say yes to righteousness and no to sin. Then, as we move out and then blow it again, the waltz music starts all over...Repent, Believe, Fight...1,2,3; 1,2,3; 1,2,3; We waltz with Christ who teaches better and better this dance of growth. We also waltz in the Ballroom of the Church and we encourage one another to grow. One last thing...we are all heavy-footed in one of the steps because of temperament, background, baggage, parenting, experiences, etc. To really grow in a balanced way, we must know where we are heavy-footed in the Waltz and make sure we become more proficient in the other two elements of the waltz. Happy Waltzing!

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