Can I Use Wite-out On This Please?

Picture Taken from:

This morning I was checking out a website that will grant me a chuckle now and then.  One of the postings had the picture above.  At first glance it is difficult to discern whether or not it is a serious picture.  Is the picture attempting to display irony or is the lady seriously trying to be right with God? 

The picture is actually a magnet that was hanging on a fridge.  An anonymous person snapped a picture of it and sent it into the website.

Once I realized that this picture was not attempting to communicate irony, my heart sunk and I groaned for the person who was embracing the theology being communicated through this simple magnet.

There are three things that we can learn from this magnet.  In other words, this magnet has three theological assumptions that are fundamentally wrong.

The fist thing is that this magnet message believes that what one does can change God's disposition and attitude towards mankind.  This is clearly viewing salvation underneath the Law and not Gospel.  In other words, the individual is attempting to be right with God by what they are doing, rather than resting in the message that they are right with God by what Christ has already done for them through His life, death, burial and resurrection. 

The second thing is that the magnet theology doesn't realize just how sinful mankind is.  To actually think that sinful mankind has the ability to do good works that might please God is foolish at best.  The theology of the magnet has an inflated view of mankind and doesn't realize that apart from Christ, even our best of works are like polluted garments. (Is. 64:6)    

The third thing is that this magnet message does not have the message of the cross in view.  By the way of the Law we realize that we can never please God enough in thought, word and deed.  By the way of the Law we realize that we are dead in sin and the thought of even 'trying' to do something to please God is out of our reach.  However, by the way of the Gospel we realize that Jesus, the Christ, was completely obedient for us.  That on the Cross, Jesus who knew no sin was made to be sin on our behalf, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)  In Christ, we have the Gospel Message that we don't have to try to be right with God (i.e. because we simply can't) but rather we are right with God through Christ Crucified!  In Christ, God is well pleased with us for Christ's sake.   

I would love to grab a bottle of wite-out and run to the individuals house that has this posted and edit it to say,  "I'm right with God because of Jesus."  However, this simple posting will have to do for now. 


Anonymous said…
right on!
Pastor Bob Lawson said…
Matt, I fully understand what you're saying but the magnet isn't completely wrong if a person really gets that they're right with God because of Jesus. Repentance and contrition can't be forgotten - the work of the Law should bring us to a realization that we will always fall far short. Turning from sin could be seen by many as "trying to get right with God". If the right understanding of Christ's atonement goes along with "getting right" I don't see that as wrong.
Anonymous said…
Amen! That magnet made me sad as well, and you summed up the problems with it well. May my goal always be less of me – more of Christ!