God’s laws are his gift to us. They reflect the way the world works. If you want to know the best way to live, live according to God’s instructions. If you want to be reasonably happy, live according to the instructions God has given. If you want to be reasonably healthy and wise, then do what God says. God doesn’t tell us adultery is wrong because he thinks sex is nasty. He tells us that adultery is wrong because it can destroy your life, the life of your spouse, and the lives of your children. He doesn’t tell us to forgive to keep us from getting justice. He says to forgive because its the best thing for your heart and your stomach. Bitterness, in the end, will destroy you and rob you of your peace.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 58-59
Power and self-righteousness can be wonderfully addictive and easily acquired by accusing others. Believe me, I know.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 53
The gospel is simple – simplicity on the other side of complexity. We are needy and helpless orphans birthed into a fallen world of darkness and death. God, out of his boundless compassion and love has come himself and made us sons and daughters by the sacrifice of Christ. Aquinas rightly said that the cross did not secure the love of God, but the love of God secured the cross.
By trusting in Christ – and him alone – we become divine heirs. Orphans don’t receive anything. The news is so phenomenally good that we can hardly stand it: ” But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) “For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God, through faith.” (Galatians 3:26)
And not only did we get reconciled to a holy and righteous God through the sacrifice of Christ, something else happened. We received the righteousness of Christ (we call the formal doctrine “imputed righteousness”). God transferred all the goodness of Christ to our account. “That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’ But the words ‘it was counted to him as righteousness’ were not written for his sake alone but for ours also. It [Christ’s righteousness] will be counted [“imputed”] to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 8:33, 37-39)
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 45-46