I enjoyed the second episode of our SHIFT training in Westbroek, this time facilitated by Douwe (Church21) and focused on the heart, what it means that Jesus calls us to follow Him.
Evert-Jan came up with some challenging insights on the Ten Commandments. He said Hebrew language doesn't know imperative, so the Big Ten is not about rules or laws, but actually Ten Promises. If we remember (keep focusing on) the God who delivered us, then we will not kill, steal, engage in idolatry, etc. Knowing God brings forth the desire to do good. It's amazing how much Roman judicial thinking influenced our perception of the Gospel, which can easily turn into legalism.
When explaining the message of Jesus, we often start with the concept of sin and that we need Jesus to legally get rid of that problem. But why not start with God's overall plan of restoration, and that Jesus is the Anointed One who can restore and bring to fulfillment. Makes you wonder what conversion is really about. Is it about getting rid of your sins and going to Heaven (the traditional Evangelical perception) or about living a restored life as truely loved sons and daughters of God and bringing restoration to others (see also this Methodist article). It's interesting that in the story of the prodigal son the father's attitude is not judicial (focused on the sin that might be in-between him and his son), but immediately confirms his identity as a son.