Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the indicative

John Piper gets it ... the indicatives of the Gospel.

  • the gospel is a plan, i.e., it was predetermined and foretold by God
  • the gospel is an event in history, i.e., Christ died
  • the gospel is an achievement in and through that event, i.e., sins were paid for and righteousness was completed
  • the gospel is the achievement is extended to the world and it is free
  • the gospel is the application of the achievement, i.e., we are forgiven and justified
  • the gospel is we are forgiven and justified to bring us to God, i.e., He is the end, not simply our forgiveness and justification
I love that. We must understand the indicative before we can move to the imperative. Sadly, the conservative (some in the evangelical world) and the liberal (some in the emergent world) to exactly that. They see and live only the imperative. For the conservative, the result is works (confess this document, get baptized this way rather than that, pray this way rather than that, wear this rather than that, preach in this style rather than that, etc.) - hard cold legalism built on tradition and law - and all without a true knowledge of God. For the liberal, the result is works (care for the environment, embrace and promote the homosexual life, learn faith from other faiths, etc.) - squishy borderless inclusivism - and all without a true knowledge of God.

Both land in the world of works and both end far from the true knowledge of the living God. So to Piper's indicative I only add, only on that base, go, love, live.

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