Sorry, There’s Not an App for That

Like every other area of life, we have come to believe that growth in Christ – as individuals or as churches – can and should be programmed to generate predictable outcomes that are unrealistic and are not even justified biblically.  We want big results – sooner rather than later.  And we’ve forgotten that God showers his extraordinary gifts through ordinary gifts through ordinary means of grace, loves us through ordinary fellow image bearers, and sends us out into the world to love and serve others in ordinary callings.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; page 13

Three Reasons the New Testament Gives us Commands In Light of Living Under Grace…

Here are three reasons the New Testament still gives us commands [in light of the liberty given by grace]:

  1. The commandments enlighten our darkened hearts.
  2. Obedience to the commandments limits the damage of our sin.
  3. Disciplining ourselves to practice certain behaviors helps us develop a love for them.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 193-194

It Will Never Look the Same

When you have tasted the grace of the gospel, no relationship, no matter how wrong or hurtful or annoying, looks the same to you.  You’ll see yourself as”first, sinner, and second, sinned against,” and when that happens, your entire disposition toward others’ offenses toward you will change.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 120

Is Retaliation Ever Right?

Ultimately I am responding to Jesus, not to the person in front of me.  The person wronging me may not deserve a response to grace, but the Jesus who bled and died for me does.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 120

Christ Did First, We Should Now

We make our wives beautiful by extending to them the grace of the cross.  This “washes them with the word” and helps form in them Christ-like character.  Christ did it for us, first; we do it for our wives second.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 118

Grace vs. Retaliation

Christ loved the church by receiving her hurtful blows and offering only love in response.  His grace toward the church did not find, but made, the church beautiful.  This produced in the church a love for Him that could never have been produced through retaliation.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 118

Aggressively Graceful

The gospel does not tell us to be passive toward others in their faults.  It tells us to be aggressively graceful.  We overcome evil with good.  “Overcome” is a warrior’s term.  Paul is saying, “Go to war with evil, and defeat it soundly with grace.”  Jesus overcame evil in us through the grace of the cross.  We will overcome evil in others by being to them as Jesus was to us.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 117