Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grace - A Matter of the Heart

Elise Fitzpatrick has written a fabulous letter to Mr. Antinomian. I found her letter featured on Tullian Tchividjian's blog which I read regularly.
For the record "antinomianism" is a theological term for the heresy that says faith and God's grace are grounds for a Christian to be free from all laws (including the admonitions of Scripture and the moral standards of culture).

Dear Mr. Antinomian,
Forgive me for writing to you in such an open forum but I've been trying to meet you for years and we just never seemed to connect. ... I've got a few things to say to you and I think it's time I got them off my chest.
I wonder if you know how hard you're making it for those of us who love to brag about the gospel. You say that you love the gospel and grace too, but I wonder how that can be possible since it's been continuously reported to me that you live like such a slug. I've even heard that you are lazy and don't work at obeying God at all ... Rather you sit around munching on cigars and Twinkies, brewing beer and watching porn on your computer. Mr. A, really! Can this be true?
... I'm very tempted to tell you that you need to get up off your lazy chair, pour your beer down the drain, turn off your computer and get about the business of the Kingdom.
I admit that I'm absolutely fulmmoxed, though, which is why I'm writing as I am. You puzzle me. How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father's steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live the way you do? Have you ever considered the incarnation, about the Son leaving ineffable light to be consigned first to the darkness of Mary's womb and then the darkness of this world? Have you never considered how He labored day-after-dfay in His home, obeying His parents, loving His brothers and sisters so that you could be counted righteous in the sight of His Father? Have you forgotten the bloody disgrace of the cross you deserve? Don't you know that in the resurrection He demolished sin's power over you? Aren't you moved to loving action knowing that He's now your ascended Lord Who prays for you and daily bears you on His heart? Has your heart of stone never been warmed and transformed by the Spirit? Does this grace really not impel zealous obedience? ...
...Will you please come forward? Will you please stand up in front of all of us and tell us that your heart has been captivated so deeply by grace that it makes you want to watch the Playboy channel?
Again, please do forgive me for calling you out like this. I really would like to meet you. I am,
Trusting in Grace Alone,

Wow! Wish I had thought of writing such a letter! BUT it did get me thinking about grace and reflecting that the work of grace in my heart (and yours) SHOULD make me want to do all I can to glorify and enjoy God forever whether by life or by death! (Phil. 1:19-20 - For I know that this will turn out for my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.) Grace should drive my heart away from liscense to living in the truth of the Gospel which is that I am forgiven and accepted into the forever family of God not thru any merit of my own but simply and totally by grace alone! Grace drives my heart to do all that I do for the glory of God which includes rejecting mediocrity and minimalism in pursuit of excellence! It requires rather than negates living under God's truth as found in His Word! As Elyse says "Does this grace not impel zealous obedience?"!! It is truly a matter of the condition of the heart and the work of grace to change my heart! John Donne put it, " Batter my heart, Three Person God"! That is my prayer!

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