Too Much Indicative?

The quote below is a blurb from Tullian Tchividjian, one of the two speakers at the spring men’s conference at Perimeter Church, April 27-28. For more information and to register, just go here.

“There seems to be a fear out there that the preaching of radical grace produces serial killers. Or, to put it in more theological terms, too much emphasis on the indicatives of the gospel leads to antinomianism. My problem with this fear is that I’ve never actually met anyone who has been truly gripped by God’s amazing grace in the gospel who then doesn’t care about obeying him. As I have said before: antinomianism happens not when we think too much of grace. Just the opposite, actually. Antinomianism happens when we think too little of grace.”

So it appears as if the answer to spiritual laziness and carelessness is not more law, it is more gospel, which awakens the heart to the justifying and sanctifying power of God’s grace in Jesus through the cross. That was Paul’s position, after all, who said, “11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14).  I added the bold to make it more helpful to see the flow of Paul’s thought. 

Does this mean that there is no place for the law? Absolutely not! Or as Paul says, “By no means!” The law shows us what we should do, which drives us to Jesus, who gives us the Holy Spirit in fullness. It is THEN that we are able to manifest spiritual fruit that fulfills the law—not because we have to obey, but because we want to obey and are now emowered by the Spirit to obey (and because it is downright good for us!). The problem in the sanctification discussion is not, SHOULD we grow in practical holiness, but HOW do we grow in practical holiness? By looking to the law with new commitment? Or by walking by the Spirit with gospel-faith? FYI: the answer is B.

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