Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ordinary means of grace

Albert Mohler and Kevin DeYoung both discuss the necessity of the ordinary means of grace for convictional intelligence and sanctification.

There is no secret here, no special decoder ring, no hidden door. Convictional intelligence comes by what we rightly call the ordinary means of grace. God wants his people to posses convictional intelligence and the fulness of the Christian life, and these come by hearing the Word of God preached, celebrating the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, and living in the fellowship of believers in a faithful loacal church.
This is extended through the leader's personal devotional life, prayer, Bible reading, and reading of other Christian books and materials. But while the private acts of devotion are truly important, Christians are not called to grow into faithfulness alone. The Christian life is to be lived within the fellowship and accountability of a local congregation, where the Word is rightly preached and believers mature together. In that context convictional intelligence emerges naturally, along with those Christian intellectual habits, reflexes, and intuitions we desperately need. (Mohler, R. Albert. The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2012. Print. 36)

If you are thoroughly underwhelmed with my … points for pursuing communion with Christ, I don't apologize. It may sound boring or out-of-date, but it just happens to be true: the way to grow in your relationship with Jesus is to pray, read your Bible, and go to church where you'll get good preaching, good fellowship, and receive the sacraments. I'm not suggesting Christianity can be boiled down to a few external requirements. I'm not saying that at all. I'm arguing that if you want to be Christlike you need to have communion with Christ, and if you want communion with Christ you need to do it on his terms with channels of grace he's provided. And that means the only way to extraordinary holiness is through ordinary means. (DeYoung, Kevin. The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 134)

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