Saturday, May 08, 2010

Why Christians Need the Gospel

I'm not going to stop beating the gospel drum around here anytime soon. The gospel is not just the story unbelievers need to is the fuel that empowers every moment of our lives as followers of Christ! I thought Justin Taylor's recent post on this was a clear and helpful illustration for those who struggle to understand the concept of "gospel-centeredness":

The dominant mode of evangelical preaching on sanctification, the main way to motivate for godly living, sounds something like this:

You are not _____;

You should be _________;

Therefore, do or be ________!

Fill in the blank with anything good and biblical (holy; salt and light; feed the poor; walk humbly; give generously; etc.).

This is not how Paul and the other New Testament writers motivated the church in light of the resurrection and the outpouring of the Spirit. They did give imperatives (=what you should do), but they do so only based on indicatives (=what God has done).

The problem with the typical evangelical motivation toward radical or sacrificial living is that “imperatives divorced from indicatives become impossibilities” (to quote Tullian Tchividjian). Or another way that Tullian puts it: “gospel obligations must be based on gospel declarations.”

Read the rest of the post "Imperatives - Indicatives = Impossibilities" for more thoughts on becoming what you are through the gospel.

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