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God Is The Hero Of The Story

AGENCY

This consistent preaching of the dimensions of the grace of God does not render superfluous the commands of the law, but rather gives them new power by providing both our biblical motivation and enablement to honor them. Motivation and enablement are the agency (or, means) by which we do what God requires. Redemptive preaching supplies this agency by highlighting the redemptive work of God. Such preaching refuses to define grace as the world does — a license to do as I please. Redemptive preaching defines grace as does the Bible: a mercy so overwhelming that it compels us to do what pleases God. Thus, the agency that is the motivating power for obedience is evident in Christ’s words, “If you love me you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). The agency for fulfilling God’s purposes in our lives is revelation and recognition of the grace of God that instills the love that compels the obedience he requires.

PURPOSE

Because redemptive interpretation of Scripture leads to sermons marked by consistent adulation of the mercy of God in Christ, hearts in which the Spirit dwells are continually filled with more cause to love God. This filling becomes the primary purpose for preaching when we recognize that hearts in which the Spirit dwells are most able and willing to obey God when they are captivated by love for the Savior. For the believer there is no greater spiritual motivation than grace-stimulated love — not fear, or guilt, or gain.

Burning love for God fueled by consistent preaching of grace makes the Christian want to walk with God and follow the commands that please Him. This is why the Apostle Paul could say the grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions (see Titus 2:12). The Bible ultimate purpose for our lives — to be holy because God is holy — is the product of a compelling love for the Savior that flows from embracing the grace that has saved us from His just wrath for our sin.

When grace is properly perceived, the law is not trashed; it is treasured. The standards that honor God we want to honor because we love Him. In grace-based preaching the rules do not change; the reasons do. We serve God because we love Him, not in order to make Him love us. After all, how could production of more filthy rags make God love us? He releases us from the performance treadmill that promises to provide holiness through human effort, but the effect on the heart is love that is more constrained to please Him. God’s overwhelming and unconditional mercy ensures that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1), but rather than promoting license, this kindness leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4). We want to turn from the sin that grieves the One we love (Eph. 4:30).

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