Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chapell's motives for obedience

In his book on expository preaching(Chapell, Bryan. Christ-centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005. Print.), Bryan Chapell differentiates between grace-based motives for change and obedience over and against those which are grace-less. He lists these positive reasons for change and obedience:
  • A response to the love shown us by Christ
  • A response through adulation of the mercy of God in Christ
  • A response of love to others loved by God
  • A response through a proper love for self in Christ
Previous to these points, Chapell writes, "Guilt for sin drives us to the cross, but love for God that is the fruit of his grace should propel us from it ... Obedience naturally follows as loving service to our faithful God becomes our delight ... When explanation of God's full provision and unfailing love does not accompany exhortations for corrected behavior and right conduct, then spiritual damage must occur." (318)

Though Chapell is writing to preachers, consider this as someone who preaches to yourself. Regularly and unceasingly remind yourself of God's great mercy, love, and grace extended to you in Christ. The gospel, which you should daily preach to yourself, is evidence of this. But, do not omit exhorting yourself to obedience and right behavior which are actions fueled by the motives listed above. For me, obedience stemming from desire and delight in my crucified and glorified Savior is the goal I am aiming at.

1 comment:

  1. Very good! It seems that guilt winds up becoming an idol in our lives preventing us from obeying God. Guilt unchecked is idolatrous since it focuses on self and not on Christ.