Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You Must Be a Theologian To Be a Mother

More thoughts from John Piper on gospel-centered mothering:

What's the impression the children are picking up as we teach them? Are they getting the impression that the foundation of their acceptance with God is their good behavior, or is the foundation the perfect behavior and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, received by faith alone? Are they learning to win God’s favor by a righteousness they perform, or by a perfect righteousness performed on their behalf by Jesus Christ?

...Let's draw in the issue of sanctification (the obedience which God requires of believers) and ask the question like this: Are the children learning from us that the practical, personal obedience that God requires of believers is the way to become a justified person, or the way a justified person becomes? When you tell a child to do something, and insist on obedience--which you should--are you leading the child to think that his good behavior is the root that grows into justification, or the fruit that flows from justification by faith alone?

Are we helping the children see saving faith both as the way we have Christ’s righteousness as the basis of our acceptance with God, and as the way we have Christ’s power to become like him in daily life? Are we keeping both those things together but in the right order: faith in Christ as the link first to his perfection and pardon, and second as to his purifying power – the one for justification (his perfection and pardon), and the other for sanctification (his purifying power)?

This is a high calling, moms. You must be a theologian to be a mother. You must make some very clear distinctions. You must know how a person is saved. You must know the difference between sanctification and justification, and faith alone and the enabling power of God to obey.
How I pray Elijah will learn from the beginning what I did not learn until my early twenties...that he cannot earn God's acceptance and approval after he is saved any more than he could earn it while he was still dead in sin!

Listen to the full sermon here.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Gosh, this is so profound, even for those of us who aren't mothers (yet). These truths permeate how we (should) interact and pour into every one in our lives. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing!