What Measurement Matters?

We crave approval, but we do not even know what the real measurement is even though we sense that we have fallen short of it.  Suppressing our awareness of God, we shift the source of our validation to other people.  Even many Christians today rarely asks, “Am I really measuring up to God’s holy law?”  Rather, they wonder whether they’re measuring up to the expectations of other Christians – or society at large.  We mask our “discrepancies” (i.e. sins) with the rhetoric of being high achievers.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 130

The Clearest Indication that We Have Idolized Ourselves

Yet at its heart sin is the eclipse of thankfulness toward God (Romans 1:21).  Why thankfulness?  Because rather than seeing ourselves as self-creators who choose our own identity and purpose, the biblical worldview tells us that we are on the receiving end of our existence.  We are beholden to someone else.  Our life is a gift from God, not our own achievement.  And our ingratitude is the clearest expression that we have idolized ourselves.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 89

We Go Desparately Wrong

“Lovelessness,” “apathy,” and “habitual sin” are diagnoses of spiritual death.  We go desperately wrong, however, when we think we can fix those things by correcting our behavior.  Faith in the gospel is always God’s prognosis.

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

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

Evil Is Destroyed By Extravagant Grace

The person who receives your kindness in response to their sin is shocked into awareness.  Your kindness to them makes them see the absurdity of their selfish and helps awaken them to the blessings of relationship.

Only then, Paul says, will you overcome evil.  You can’t overcome evil in someone by paying them back.  You’ll only perpetuate it.  Your retaliation will produce more anger in them, and, in turn, more evil, if not toward you, toward someone else.  You destroy the evil in someone by showing them extravagant grace.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 116