Monday, January 31, 2011

The Rhythm of the New Testament

By Dane Ortlund

"I want to call people to holiness, as the new creatures they are, by bringing them into deeper and deeper awareness of the gospel of grace... I believe the gospel is central to sanctification, and that effort and action are neither central nor optional (optional = antinomianism) but integral."

The rhythm of the New Testament is “walk in love as a response to how deeply you are loved in Christ.” “Be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph 5:1). In a nutshell: if the imperatives of Scripture are extracted in preaching without being self-consciously placed within their (heart-transforming) indicative framework, then such bald imperatives will invariably devolve into a counterproductive reinforcement of the Pharisee lurking in every human heart—even the regenerate human heart.

For the regenerate, holiness has taken on a strangely attractive hue, for God is now our loving Father, not our wrathful judge. We now delight in the law in a way we never did (never could) before. But the law itself remains impotent to generate this holiness. The law can guide us, but not propel us. It is a steering wheel, not an engine.

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