I Am Accepted Therefore I Obey

I made this point before we celebrated the Lord’s Supper on 10/27

This is a false gospel:

I obey, therefore I am accepted.

Looking to the crucified and resurrected Christ, the true gospel fuels this way of living:

I am accepted, therefore I obey.

As one person mentioned, “This is classic Tim Keller,” and that is exactly right. I am very much indebted to the clear gospel thinking of Tim Keller. His books, Counterfeit Gods, The Meaning of Marriage, Gospel in Life, and The Reason for God, have made a profound impact on my understanding of God and the gospel. I return at least one a year to this sermon, “Blessed Self-Forgetfulness” and try regularly to examine myself using this article, “All of Life is Repentance.”

When my heart is hard and legalistic or guilty and weighed down, I look to Tim Keller to unpack the gospel is fresh ways. I hope you see the influence.

Don’t Merely Follow Jesus

“There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord. The first is by saying, ‘I am going to live my life the way I want.’ The second is described by Flannery O’Connor, who wrote about one of her characters, Hazel Motes, that ‘he knew that the best way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.’ If you are avoiding sin and living morally so that God will have to bless and save you then ironically, you may be looking to Jesus as a teacher, model, and helper but you are avoiding him as Savior. You are trusting in your own goodness rather than in Jesus for your standing with God. You are trying to save yourself by following Jesus” (Tim Keller, The Reason for God).

Trying to save yourself by following Jesus is a false gospel.