Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Here's a great post from Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology:

What's the Key to Healthy Christian Growth in Godliness?

That’s the question I asked a handful of thoughtful men of God last week. Responses below.

Please understand: I explicitly asked our brothers to keep it to a single, short sentence. Of course, whole volumes could be (and have been!) written addressing this question (here’s my favorite). So we gladly receive these wise statements remembering that sanctification is not a math problem. There is no formula. Every answer below needs a hundred footnotes. Point taken.

The purpose of this exercise is not to provide an opportunity to nit-pick but to re-center, refresh, encourage, spur on, help one another.

Thabiti Anyabwile:
‘If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.’ (Col. 3:1)
Mike Bullmore:
I believe the key to healthy Christian growth in godliness is a deep life in the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3) in which we are encountered by Christ, the Living Word (John 5:39-40, Col. 3:16), in whom we find all the fullness of God himself (Col. 1:19, 2 Cor. 1:20, and a hundred other verses).
Justin Buzzard:
Trusting and enjoying God as your Father, living as his son/daughter, on account of Christ's work.
Graham Cole:
The key is to treasure Jesus Christ, for that will be where your heart is.
Jonathan Dodson:
Growth in godliness is not character-centered but Christ-centered, a constant expression of repentance and faith in the person and work of Jesus.
Lyle Dorsett:
Radical, unreserved love for Jesus Christ manifested in obedient intimacy.
Zack Eswine:
Jesus. Mercy. Tears. A friend. Time.
Sean Lucas:
The key to healthy Christian growth in godliness is to live out of the reality of your union with Christ.
Doug Moo:
The constant, disciplined practice of reminding ourselves who we are in Christ.
Steve Nichols:
Self-determination is a myth.
Eric Ortlund:
The key to healthy (un-Pharisaical, un-ugly) Christian growth is the thing you believed when you first became a Christian, which delivers you into that deep rest and rightness and OK-ness before God, and which exposes sin as counterfeits which can’t match Christ’s righteousness.
Gavin Ortlund:
The key to healthy Christian growth in godliness is experiencing the grace and glory of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Ray Ortlund:
Applying the interruptive ‘But now’ of Romans 3:21 to my heart.
Darrin Patrick:
We must have an increasing sense of our unworthiness before God by ourselves and an increasing sense of our own acceptance from God in Christ.
George Robertson:
The key to healthy Christian growth in godliness is faithful attention to gospel preaching.
Tim Savage:
Having the strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ in us (cf. Eph. 3:18).
Tom Schreiner:
The key to growth is trust in God, and faith comes from hearing God’s word.
Steve Smallman:
I’ve become convinced from Scripture and experience that personal spiritual growth is rooted in participation in a healthy church; personal growth comes from community growth.
Colin Smith:
A lively sense of all that Christ is for us and all that is ours in Him.
Sam Storms:
Healthy Christian growth in godliness doesn’t primarily come from trying harder but from enjoying more; or again, pleasure in God is the power for purity in life.
Justin Taylor:
The key to healthy growth in godliness is to seek and to enjoy fellowship with the Father, in union with Christ, through the power of the Spirit, in accordance with the Word, with the body of Christ.
Joe Thorn:
I believe the key to healthy growth in godliness is the cultivation and exercise of Scripture-saturated prayer by which we express and experience our dependence on, joy in, and work through Jesus Christ.
Carl Trueman:
The key to healthy growth in godliness is to be an active, serving member of a local church where the gospel is preached and the eldership care about nurturing the congregation as outward-looking, humble servants of Christ.
Bruce Ware:
Growing knowledge of and love for God, particularly as revealed in Christ and through the Scriptures, that re-structures one’s mind and enflames one’s heart, resulting in increasing transformation into Christ-like character.
Jared Wilson:
As pat as the answer may sound, the key to healthy Christian growth in godliness is submissive study of the Scriptures.
Bob Yarbrough:
Hard work in response to Christ’s cross.

Good answers, brothers! Thought-provoking and helpful. Thank you for serving us in this way.

(My own response would be something like:
Resolutely enjoying our full and free justification from God in Christ, in the shadow of which all the beckoning functional justifications of the world lose their vice-like grip on our hearts.)

God grant us grace to move forward with the glad abandon of faith in September 2010 as never before.

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