A Thought on Grace by Tullian Tchividjian

"The ironic thing about legalism is that it not only doesn’t make people work harder, it makes them give up. Moralism doesn’t produce morality; rather, it produces immorality. The Onion brilliantly parodied this dynamic with its article, “Where Are All These ‘Loose Women’ My Pastor Keeps Warning Me About?” in which a fictional 17 year-old kid laments that he never seems to run into any of the promiscuous ladies that he hears about at church so often. The humor is based in reality. It is no coincidence, for example, that the straight-laced Leave It to Beaver generation preceded the ‘free love’ movement of the 1960s. We live in a country where the state most known for its wholesomeness and frugality, Utah, also leads the country in rates of pornography consumption and antidepressant prescriptions."

"We make a big mistake when we conclude that the law is the answer to bad behavior. In fact, the law alone stirs up more of such behavior. People get worse, not better, when you lay down the law. To be sure, the Spirit does use both God’s law and God’s gospel in our sanctification. But the law and the gospel do very different things. The law reveals sin but is powerless to remove it. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it. It shows us what godliness is, but it cannot make us godly. As Martin Luther said, “Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.” The law apart from the gospel can only crush; it cannot cure."

Taken from the forthcoming book One-Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World) by Tullian Tchividjian, Wednesday. Posted March 20, 2013 7:57 AM CT