Friday, May 7, 2010

Apply the Gospel to Everything

“In order to grow in Christlikeness, we’ve got to intentionally apply the gospel to everything we are and everything we long to do. We’re not to sever our obedience from [Christ's] perfect sinlessness nor disconnect our mortal life from his resurrected life. We’ve got to understand ourselves in the light of our new identity, seeing ourselves as we truly are: sinful and flawed, loved and welcomed. Only these gospel realities have enough power to engender faith, kill idolatry, produce character change, and motivate faithful obedience.”

- Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me

May the glory of the gospel fill up your being like the waters cover the seas.


Rob said...


The sentence that jumped out at me is this one:

"We’ve got to understand ourselves in the light of our new identity, seeing ourselves as we truly are: sinful and flawed, loved and welcomed."

I've been having a debate with my wife as to whether we should think of ourselves primarily as sinners saved by grace or as saints who occasionally sin. What triggered this debate is some teaching my wife received that said that anyone who sees themselves as a sinner saved by grace is much more likely to continue to struggle with sin that someone who sees themselves as a saint who occasionally sins. My issue with this is that I feel taking the latter view can lead to self-righteousness and pride, which often precedes a fall. There is a humility and God-dependence in recognising our sinful state – the fact that, apart from God's grace and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, we would remain boud in our natural state of sinfulness. Yes, we are saints in the sense that Christ has justified us by his atoning death, but we are also engaged in a lifelong process of sanctification.

We were talking about this earlier today, so your quote was very à propos. I'd love to hear your perspective on this.



Eric said...

Paul said in Galatians 2:20, ¨I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.¨Truly I understand what you are saying, but I would have to lean towards your wife´s view on this. You are right without God`s grace and His son dying for us and shedding his blood and the Holy Spirit working through us we could identify ourselves as sinners and flawed, but because of His doing, taking no credit of our own, we are now able to view ourselves as children of the Most High. Are God´s children in His eyes, sinful and flawed? I would hope our Heavenly Father does not view us this way, so neither should we. We are not justified by our own works but by faith. (Read Romans 3:21-28) As long as we keep this in mind, there is no way pride and self-righteousness can creep into our lives. I can see you are diligently seeking God and His Word. Keep it up. You and your wife continue doing what you´re doing. ¨Iron sharpens iron¨

Jared said...

I side with Luther and the Reformers (and, I believe, Paul) in thinking Christians are simultaneously saints and sinners.

Simul Iustus et Peccator:

Rob said...

Eric: thanks for your encouragement.

Jared: thanks for your comment and link. I like it.