Everything Flows From This Issue…

His book the city of God, Augustine rightly determined that everything flows from the issue of glory. What’s the issue of glory is settled, that is, what glory is going into what deserves it, and everything else is decided. Once we determine in our souls that God’s glory is our goal, we can stop taking the path of least resistance and start taking the path of the most glory to God.

– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in ChristThomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 120

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This is How the Kingdom of Christ is Advanced

With the Reformation, Luther revived Augustine’s insights.  The kingdom of Christ advances exclusively through the Spiritual sword: the Word of God.  It is embraced by faith, rather than being coercively imposed by force.  In earthly affairs, unbelievers often excel believers.  We build temporal cities by our works, but receive the kingdom of Christ through preaching and sacrament.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 251

Sin Is Not Necessarily Loving Bad Things

The great church father Augustine pointed out that sin is not necessarily loving bad things, but loving good things inordinately.  In other words, it is turning God’s gifts into idols.  It is our “enlightening” way of fulfilling the apostles description of ungrateful living in Romans 1:22-25.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 45-46

There Is No Happiness Without Holiness

There is no happiness without holiness.  Created in God’s image “to glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” our fulfillment, meaning and pleasure are found in friendship with God.  As the church father Augustine expressed it in the form of a prayer, “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 40

A Severe Case of Spiritual Scoliosis

Picking up on a phrase from Augustine, the Protestant Reformers said that as fallen sinners we are all “curved in on ourselves.”  Born with a severe case of spiritual scoliosis, our spines are twisted so that all we can see are our own immediate felt needs, desires, wants and momentary gratifications  But the gospel makes us stand erect , looking up to God in faith and out to the word and our neighbors in love and service.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 20

Obedience, When it Happens, is a Gift

That is the mystery: We must obey the command to rejoice in the Lord, and we cannot, because of our willful and culpable corruption.  Therefore obedience, when it happens, is a gift.  The heretic Pelagius in the fourth century rejected this truth and was shocked and angered when he saw St. Augustine prayed in his Confessions.  Augustine prayed, “Give me the grace [O Lord] to do as you command, and command me to do what you will!…O holy God…when your commands are obeyed, it is from you that we receive the power to obey them.”

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 53

John Calvin on the Augustinian View of Human Corruption

John Calvin followed Augstine in this view of human corruption:

This is the heredity corruption to which early Christian writers gave the name Original Sin, meaning by the term the depravation of a nature formerly good and pure…when it was clearly proved from Scripture that the sin of the first man passed to all his prosterity, recourse was had to the cavil, that it passed by imitation, and not by propagation.  The orthodox, therefore, and more especially Augustine, laboured to show, that we are not corrupted by acquired wickedness, but bring an innate corruption from the very womb.

– John Calvin

as quoted by Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 123-124