This morning while taking the kids to school Shannon turned to me and said, “I bet you don’t like this song.” I replied I didn’t know the song that was playing on KLTY at the time. As I listened I heard these lyrics to Jason Gray‘s “More Like Falling in Love“.
…It’s like I’m falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me
My initial reaction was disbelief. Do I really understand what he is saying? Is this the new poster child for “Jesus is my boyfriend songs”? What does falling in love has to do with the gospel?
Now several hours later, I am open to the fact that may not be completely accurate in my understanding of what Jason Gray is trying to say in the song. That said, I am still convinced that this song does not line up with Scripture.
Falling in love with Jesus has nothing to do with our salvation nor its fruits (the change Gray speaks of). How is this different from a Muslim saying they fell in love with Mohammed? Or a Buddhist proclaiming that falling in love with the Buddha brought about the change in his/her life. As Chris Rosebrough has said, what about a burrito? Why couldn’t a burrito produce this life change?
Folks we are not part of the gospel! My ability/inability to fall in love with Christ has nothing to do with my salvation. The gospel is entirely outside of us as Michael Horton notes in The Gospel-Driven Life:
It is an “external Word” spoken by another person to me in the name of Christ. The gospel doesn’t depend on anything in me at all; it is an objective completed work. The gospel is entirely outside of you! (p 26)
The gospel is an announcement of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15). It happened 2,000 years ago. While we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and rose for our justification.
Don’t I need to do something to change? Again, let me quote from Horton:
The gospel transforms us in heart, mind, will, and actions precisely because it is not itself a message about our transformation. Nothing that I am or that I feel, choose, or do qualifies as Good News. On my best days, my experience of transformation is weak, but the gospel is an announcement of a certain state of affairs that exists because of something in God, not something in me; something that God has done, not something that I have done; the love in God’s heart which he has shown in his Son, not the love in my heart that I exhibit in my relationships. Precisely as the Good News of a completed, sufficient, and perfect work of God in Christ accomplished for me and outside of me in history, the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation” not only at the beginning but throughout the Christian life. In fact, our sanctification is simply a lifelong process of letting that Good News sink in and responding appropriately: becoming the people whom God says that we already are in Christ. (p 77)
Ok Eric, but can’t I fall in love with Jesus during this process of sanctification? I am not going to say you can’t. What I am going to say is that even if you do, that falling in love part doesn’t produce the change. If it did produce the change, what happens when the emotions fade? Like Paul (Romans 7) I struggle with sin. I am, according to Luther “Simul Iustus Et Peccator“, or “At Once Justified and Sinner”. For this very reason, my faith must be in the one who began the good work (Philippians 1:6) for salvation is a work of God (Jonah 2:9) from beginning to the end (Romans 8:28-30).
One last quote from Horton on this issue:
Do I define the Jesus study or does it define me? Is Jesus’s significance objective and universal, which I am simply to acknowledge and embrace, or do I determine his significance in my own life? Paul tells believers “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). (p 116)
So we are to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). This gospel of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who in dying on the cross satisfied the justice of God; exhausted the wrath of God; removed our sins from the presence of God; redeemed us from the curse of God and reconciled us to God. But the Good News does not stop there he rose from the grave; justified us before God; and reigns as the firstborn from the dead. This gospel saves us, sanctifies us, and will glorify us. Rest in Christ alone. Soli Deo Gloria!
About that image up top, if you do think falling in love with Jesus is the greatest, Zazzle.com has a t-shirt for you.