alien righteousness

Would too much Grace throw a wrench in the process of Christian growth?

This is from a discussion on the White Horse Inn. From a four part series on the doctrine of Justification. The broadcast titled What They’re Saying Today About Justification screams a “heck no!” to that question.  

“…now arguably, empirically, Presbyterians and Puritans have not been antinomians, but if you hold the view that justification is nothing but God’s declaration of perfect righteousness on account of Christ received through faith alone, you are going to be accused of being antinomian. Martin Lloyd Jones said in his commentary on Romans that based on Paul’s question, there, at the end of chapter 5, “Shall we sin that Grace may abound?” Lloyd Jones said that if your hearers have not asked that question, if your preaching of the Gospel hasn’t raised that question, you haven’t preached the Gospel yet. You have to be accused of antinomianism, or you haven’t preached the gospel clearly. Now if you go on to actually say, “sure let’s sin that grace may abound,” then you are really an antinomian, but if you don’t raise the question you are also not evangelical.”- Michael Horton (teaches apologetics and historical theology at Westminster Theological seminary in California)

“If we took Grace too seriously especially the doctrine of election it would undermine our only basis for pursuing a holy life, fear of punishment and hope of rewards.”- John Wesley        


“but isn’t that [to the Wesley quote above] a selfish motivation  for the Christian life? That has always been the fear, “Too much grace it will throw a wrench in the whole process of Christian growth.” But the scriptures insist that a legalistic view of the Christian life is what leads us right back to fear and bondage. Since the law, though good in it of itself  could never give us the power to perform what it commands; the gospel not only reconciles us to God in the first place.  It’s the only fuel we have to keep us going in the process of sanctification. Therefore gratitude not fear of punishment or hope of reward is the only proper basis for pursuing a holy and God glorifying existence. Folks, if our salvation depended on us for one moment even in the slightest degree, we would eventually either become self-righteous, pretending that we were actually pulling it off, or we would despair of ever knowing whether God really accepted us. How could we possibly love God and serve our neighbor freely if we were still caught up in the saving of our own skin.”- The Intro to Guilt, Grace, Gratitude on the White Horse Inn


A few years ago the White Horse Inn broadcast did a mind blowing, freeing series on the doctrine of Justification. The audios are not archived on the White Horse Inn website. So if you want them I will send you the audios. Email me at inwoo dot lee at gmail dot com.

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