A Bee-line to the Cross

I am in the process of working my way through a book by Michael Horton (of White Horse Inn fame) entitled, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church and I came across this important paragraph:

We need the law and the gospel, but each does different things. When we confuse law and gospel, we avoid both the trauma of God’s holiness and the liberating power of his grace. We begin to speak about living the gospel, doing the gospel, even being the gospel, as if the Good News were a message about us and our works instead of about Christ and his works. The proper response is neither to dispense with the law nor to soften it from demand to helpful advice. Rather, it is to recognize the difference between law and gospel. We are not called to live the gospel but to believe the gospel and to follow the law in view of God’s mercies. Turning the gospel into law is a very easy thing for us to do; it comes naturally. That is why we can never take the Good News for granted. (P. 124)

While the law is very important in the Christian’s life for it shows us those things that “are pleasing in his sight,” and it commands us to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” we must never allow our preaching to sink to the level of simply crying out, “Try harder!” No, we are also commanded to preach the Good News that we are to be “found in [Christ], not having a righteousness of [our] own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”  

Thus, our preaching should include the divine imperatives of the text of Scripture, but we would be wise to also follow Charles Spurgeon’s description of his own preaching, “I take my text and make a bee-line to the cross,” for it is in Christ that “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

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1 Comment

  1. BradyO said,

    May 23, 2009 at 4:31 AM

    Great post. We are certainly confused in America about the law and gospel. As a matter of fact I’m preaching the first commandment Sunday. Exciting.


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