I understand this question personally because for decades I preached sermons that were of the nature of law as opposed to gospel, and I didn’t even realize what I was doing. I thought my responsibility was to open up the Bible and preach expositionally about how Christians can behave better. And that’s a valid concern and a legitimate matter for a pastor to address.
But I didn’t understand the larger wraparound category that gives hope to sinners who are not behaving well—which is all of us. So the grace of God became very precious, sacred, powerful, captivating to me when I went through my own gospel renaissance twenty-plus years ago. And now all I want to do is explain and trumpet and lift up the grace of God for undeserving sinners like me, because I’ve seen it turn my life around.
Titus 2 tells us that it’s the grace of God that teaches us to say no to ungodliness. But I think it’s so easy for us to think, Well, grace gets us in, and then we need the preacher to really sock it to people to get them changing.
But if people aren’t growing in godliness, Paul is saying they need more grace. They don’t need scolding by the pastor. They don’t need lots of challenge. They need more grace.
I believe that. Yes.
Ray Ortlund and Sam Allberry are coauthors of You’re Not Crazy: Gospel Sanity for Weary Churches.
Be encouraged to embrace God's grace to believers through these Scriptures.
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