Speaker: Jerry Cisar
It’s hard to say whether or not you can know more about an artist by his or her art, or more about the art by knowing the artist. Regardless, we can understand an artist more, if we study his or her art. We can certainly understand Dali more by becoming familiar with his art.
If Christ is the artist, the church is His art! We can’t separate the art from the artist. The world looks on and will try to know the artist by the art. Unfortunately, the church has too often offered cheap reproductions and not the real thing. Real art is costly.
Deitrich Bonhoeffer contrasts what he calls, “cheap grace” with “costly grace.” “Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of the church. Our struggle today is for costly grace.” The authors of one commentary on Phiippians write, “Nineteen centuries earlier, the Apostle Paul warned again cheap unity—the deadly enemy of Christian identity and mission. Cheap unity is a form of free association around a slogan or an ideology among people who claim identity with Christ, even community under the name of Christ, but without the personal sacrifice required for Christ-like living.”
In Philippians 1:27–2:5, Paul is calling us to costly unity—unity that is not around slogans but is costly because it requires the sacrifice of Christ-like living. Costly because it requires the surrender of personal will to the will of God, giving without expecting anything in return, and loving concern for others that overshadows our preoccupation with self.
Join us as we gather to worship Jesus Christ.