Doctrine, flowing into a culture.

Posted: June 19, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

from Ray Ortlund’s blog

Now, as we pursue biblical holiness together in community, the question I keep asking is this.  How do we press toward God’s moral law without creating a legal social psychology poisoning our relationships?  With all the strife in our churches, churches that affirm both grace and holiness, something is still wrong.

Doctrinal subscription alone, even accompanied by good intentions, is not enough.  But when gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture, our churches become safe places for sinners growing into the beauty of holiness.  If a social environment — a family, a church, a small group, a denomination — isn’t a living experience of grace, then the doctrines of grace aren’t really there.  Well, they’re there on paper, as theory.  But they aren’t the reality setting the tone of the group.  Something else is setting the tone.  Whatever that is should be identified and repented of.

The gospel doctrine is this.  Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us at the cross (Galatians 3:13).  The curse of the law, the threat of the law, the “or-else-ness” of the law, has been exhausted.  We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).  There is no condemnation, no legal threat, looming over us now (Romans 8:1).  The spirit of dread has been expelled, and the confident Spirit of adoption is now re-flavoring our relationship with God (Romans 8:15).  That is the doctrine, flowing into a culture.

read the rest here

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