Tuesday, January 12, 2010

performance based

“From start to finish, the whole Christian life is by grace through faith. A new life in Christ commences with faith, continues by faith, and will be completed through faith. To put this another way, the Gospel is for Christians just as much as it is for non-Christians.

We never advance beyond the good news of the cross and the empty tomb… Therefore, the Christian always looks back to the Gospel and never to the law as the basis for his righteousness before God… There is no such thing as performance-based Christianity… Justification is a doctrine for the whole Christian life from start to finish. It is not simply a doctrine for coming to Christ in the first place… Justification is a doctrine to live by each and every moment.”

- Philip Ryken, Commentary on Galatians, p90-92



dle said...

Justification, yes. There is nothing we can do on our own to bridge the gap.

But justification is in an instant. Sanctification is for a lifetime. Is not sanctification abiding by the commands of God from one glory into the next? And is not our reward in heaven based solely upon what we do?

rick said...

I liked the quote because attempting sanctification on any basis other than justification is legalism. Our current waiting is not passive or merely talk, it is action based. The key is ensuring that action initiates from the proper springboard.

dle said...

This is one of the major problems I have with Reformed/Calvinist theology and practice. It starts at justification...and ends there. It's as if sanctification doesn't exist. Apologists tend to crawl onto the justification ledge and stay there. In a way, there is no springboard because no one ever ventures out to the edge of it!

I see the trepidation on their parts, though. You start venturing into the sanctification waters and their theology gets murky. It's hard to deal with all the commands, all the qualifications God enacts, all the "partnership" talk that seems to bring man into the holiness responsibility arena.

I guess this is why I know so many hardcore 5-pointers who seem to have "arrived," yet they never go anywhere else. A mission mindset is lost on them. They want to abide in the grace and stay there soaking it all in. Their churches become country clubs for the faithful.

Now, obviously the other side has its own issues. Those folks tend to dwell on sanctification to the detriment of justification. And they fall into legalism.

But which is worse, saying "Lord, Lord" and never doing anything for the Kingdom, or always doing things because you're worried about your standing with God? Honestly, both are whack.