Turning from Self to Christ, Necessary for Obedience

“We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved.” -Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key



Why Guilt Isn’t a Great Motivator

“It seems upside down to say that God motivates our obedience by freeing us from law and by declaring that he has no wrath left for us, but it’s true, and true faith embraces it.

To help you understand this principle, let me ask you a few more questions: How do you act when you feel guilty? How do you feel about someone you might have offended? Does your guilt make you love him more? Of course not. When I feel guilty, it isn’t long before I’m comparing my behavior with my accuser’s, feeling angry or self-justifying, or spending hours in self-recrimination and despair. Guilt doesn’t produce love; only grace does that.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross


Whole-Hearted Obedience

The Heidelberg catechism says the tenth commandment forbids “even the slightest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments…”

J. Douma comments, “Understandably, every legalistic view of religion insists that this is going too far. We can well imagine that a tribal chief among the Toradjas once declared, ‘I would rather have the 7777 commandments and prohibitions of the Toradja Adat than the Ten Commandments of the Christians, for the Ten Commandments demand my whole heart, whereas the 7777 ancestral commands and prohibitions leave room for a lot of freedom.”