Thursday, September 18, 2008

Salvation, Grace and Law

Our evangelical culture has gone incredibly overboard in its emphasis on grace. This is especially evident in how many people have "prayed the prayer," call themselves "Christian," and yet show no evidence of fruit in their lives. John MacArthur recently had a four-day series on his Grace to You radio program that addressed this issue. The programs, based on the last portions of the Sermon on the Mount, can be found HERE, dated 9/2/2008-9/5/2008, entitled "Empty Words" and "Empty Hearts." I purchased his 20th anniversary edition of "The Gospel According to Jesus" and find it to be fantastic...and a very sharp critique of our "Christian" culture. (You can find a link to that book on the left.)

Another resource that I suspect will be interesting is a book by Puritan Samuel Bolton entitled, "The True Bounds of Christian Freedom." (HT: Tony at For His Glory). I intend to read this book soon! A quote that Tony point out encapsulates it well: "The Law sends us to the Gospel for justification; the Gospel sends us to the Law to frame our way of life." Wow!!!

As dads (and moms) who desire our children to walk in the way of our Lord, understanding true salvation and conversion is critical (MacArthur), and understanding the role of the Law in shaping our sanctification is crucial as well (Bolton).

1 comment:

Tony said...

Hi Charley:
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

As much as I enjoy the Puritans I had not heard of this book before. On reading it so far, I am only up to about page 75, he gives what seems the most balanced view of the place of the law that I have read. He gives a clear understanding where we are free in regards to the law and then helps the reader see what that freedom is for the believer in relation to the law.

I would agree with you that grace is all too often taught in a way Paul and the other writers of both the OT and NT, not to mention God, would cringe at. I don’t know how many conversations I have had where professing Christians spend more effort in trying to see how they are not held in any way to the law rather than see how they are to interact with it.

I pray you are as edified as I am being by this book and look forward to see what your thoughts are on it. I guess as I am not done I could come across issues but it does not seem like that will be the case, based on what I have read so far.