I hope you’ll enjoy this first-ever “guest post” from my good friend Bill Dandreano:
We live at the end of one age and the dawn of another. We who are part of the old age, need to be dead in order to live in a new age. I find it hilarious that the proclaimed “Simple Gospel” – the one that says “You must be born again!” – was spoken by Jesus to a very learned man of the cloth. It’s not so simple I believe. Jesus even slapped poor Nicodemus around a bit by telling him that he can’t understand these heavenly things. I think it is unsettling, difficult to comprehend, question-raising, and at times, down right frustrating that the Gospel is bad news and good, life and death, free and costly, easy and demanding, intellectual and obvious, killing and healing, slaughtering and re-creating.
We who live at like 2 a.m. of the new age (I say 2 a.m. to reflect the passing of one age and the dawning of another) must understand that Jesus is the “first fruit” and the Holy Spirit a down payment of what is to come. Faith then, becomes the only way to begin to experience the new life, the reality of God. I must have two realities that are both true in order for both of them to be true. Like the Law without the Gospel is harmful and the Gospel without the Law is not even helpful, my life now without the life to come gives me no hope, and the life to come, without my life now, is a dream with no reality. We need both and one cannot be sacrificed on the altar for the other.