Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Not Primarily Ethics

This was a post written by Ray Ortlund on The Gospel Coalition yesterday. Ortlund is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville that Sean and I have attended multiple times. These were wise and timely words for me! This post first appeared on The Gospel Coalition, June 3rd 2014.


The Christian life is not primarily a matter of ethics.  Primarily, it is a matter of faith.  Abraham trusted God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.  As Kierkegaard points out in The Sickness Unto Death, “The opposite of sin is not virtue but faith.  Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).”
Ethics we can manage on our own.  We can even observe biblical ethics to keep God at a safe distance.  But if our hearts are believing the promises of God, we cannot say no to him.  We yield to him.  We suffer dislocation in this world for his sake.  We feel the ground shifting under our feet and we don’t panic.  Nothing seems stable, but we accept that.  We surrender to God.  Drawn on toward his promises, we soften, our hearts crack open, we start changing.
The most urgent question in our lives today is not moral versus immoral but true versus false, heavenly versus earthly, divine promise versus human pride, trust versus possession.
Good news for sinners who don’t mind handing everything over to God.

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