Rules of obedience do not change, our reasons do. (Bryan Chapell - 1 Peter 8-10)

While I'm still discussing Bryan Chapell's book "Redeeming the Expository Sermon" (see post two days ago for details) I wanted to mention one other thing he wrote about that struck a chord with me.

He presses for a bit about the importance grace in preaching; and again how easy it is to fall into a pattern of teaching works-based salvation without realizing it. Then he has a list of the things an expository sermon should teach. Among which is "Grace compelling holiness."

The quote that really gets my attention is this, "In Christ-centered preaching, the rules of Christian obedience do not change; the reasons do."

Think about that.

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. . ." - 1 Peter 8-10

A person motivated by grace loves his neighbor because he is loved no matter what he does, he knows it is impossible to lose the love of the Lord. Therefore he does not love his neighbor out of fear that the Lord will take away His hand of blessing (as I often do), but rather, out of love.

If I understand grace I will not go pray for that dirty beggar because I must, but because I can. Because God loved me, I will choose to love him, rather than doing it out of guilt.

Gosh I want to understand this, and it will likely be a life-long struggle, but I just cant get it deeper than my skin. I know it in my head, but it doesn't ever sink in. I want to be a good steward of your grace, but in order to really do that, I need to really believe it.

Lord help me to be compelled to love; compelled to obedience, not out of guilt, but out of my understanding of your love and grace for me. Help me to understand.