reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Friday, December 14, 2007

These things are CONNECTED!

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
Well, my last post on Christian hedonism caused quite a stir. I'm not critiquing anything in this post - well only obliquely - so hopefully less controversial.
Anyway, I feel like I had a bit of a personal revelation when giving a seminar on godliness last week. It's BLATANTLY obvious, yet, I rarely hear people saying it.

It was this: the ways God tells us to be godly are connected to what he tells us to believe in the Gospel.
So - for example - lots in the Bible about not being proud. Great. Now I am a Christian, I must TRY not to be proud. No No No! If I am a Christian, and have believed that I am saved because of God and not me, and that all of us stand before God only on that basis (which I do believe, because I am a Christian!) I cannot be proud. I just can't. The things that God tells us to do as Christians aren't his wishlist for how he thinks people should live, as much as simply the applications of the the truths of the Gospel to actually living.
For too long I have heard (and believed, sadly) that godliness is some type of project involving effort and accountability that one gets on with after trusting the Gospel to become a Christian. It isn't. In fact, that's veering towards the Galatian heresy in my not so humble opinion.
Godliness is my battle to believe the Gospel. When I sin, I need to dig out the root of unbelief. The things he is telling me to do are related to the ways he tells me to act. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Why is no one telling people this? Grace is actually the power to live the Christian life. We have all we need to live for God in what he has given us in the Gospel. Can we all start telling that to each other please? Thanks.


Blogger Sam Allberry said...

Amen and amen!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

too right. Similar thoughts on titus last summer - grappling with this idea of "knowledge of the truth that accords with goodness" - in trying to hold them together,
it's always: "godliness is the product of the truth which [somehow] brings it about" as if it's completely different in kind, but has this kind of formulaic magic power to bring about goodness? Rather than saying truth --> godliness, isnt the truth itself godly? So 1:1-3 links this truth with God's honesty in keeping a promise. We're used to untruths carrying moral stigma: falsehood, distortion, lies...but we hardly ever talk about truth in moral categories - just its matter of factness.

I'm pretty sure this undergirds much of 1 corinthians - the cross totally subverting what I value and what should make me stumble - Christ our wisdom, Christ our distinction.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous christy said...

I have banished many a disciple from saying the word "try" in relation to their faith unless they are somehow connecting their faith to rugby. :)

i love this post mo. :)

5:59 PM  

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