Today is both Trinity Sunday and also Aldergate Day when John Wesley went to a Moravian Church Service and his heart was ‘strangely warmed’ which transformed his life, his ministry, our nation and this local area of Kingswood.
In this Church in Aldergate Street, the young missionary and Anglican Minister realized he wasn’t saved by his religious piety or good works but by God’s unearned grace towards us.
What of us, what was it when we encountered God that warmed our hearts?
Perhaps some of us long to have our hearts warmed again, afresh.
I was thinking about the Trinity and the Gospel…
I thought about how different Christians talk about the Salvation Message.
The Father, the idea that God is real, he is not remote or distant, he loves all he has made, he himself is good news.
The God who created the Universe allows us to call him Father.
Sometime when think of God in this way, we think awe, reverence, adoration and wonder.
Yet, for some our focus is on preaching Christ, and he crucified. The message is about God’s Holiness and purity, his hatred of sin but his love for humanity, God who came as rescuer to seek and to save that which was lost -in other words ME and You.
All of us have sinned.
All of us have fallen short of the Glory of God.
None of us on our own merit is good enough for a Holy God -how could we be?
Yet God, came in human form, to live and to die, he did nothing wrong, was completely holy, pure and blameless and yet he shouldered the sin of the whole world “he who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might have the righteousness of God”, because it was “whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Jesus, God incarnate, died for all our sin on the cross, once and for all, so if we put our trust in him we “wont perish but have everlasting life”.
Others preach about a God who wants to be IN our lives, bring transformation, equip us to live the life we were intend to live, to make us the people we were meant to be, a people who look like Jesus.
A message not just for the mind, but for the heart too, that we can experience and encounter God by his Spirit, that the God of Heaven can come and dwell in us, he can leave our hearts (like Wesley) ‘strangely warmed’ and our lives transformed.
All these Gospel messages are great and I have preached them all myself on numerous occasions, but the wonder and the glory of the Gospel is that it is one message, these mind blowing truths all inter-link and dance together.
These may sound like impressive pieces of theology and doctrine, but, like Wesley, they are not meant to be dissected like some science experiment rather they are meant to be encountered and lives out, as radically different Kingdom people, reflecting the glory of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit… A God who we encounter leaves us like Wesley forever changed and transformed.