LIBERATE 2013 Speaker Profile: Bryan Chapell
The great fear/accusation of grace-based discipleship is that it will lead to loose living. The assumption is that the assurance of God’s mercy will make people unconcerned about their sin and unconscientious about obedience. Human reason and selfishness may reasonably conclude, “Hey, if God will forgive me later, why not sin now?” The gospel does not fail to recognize this reasoning but counters it with the affections of the heart. The chemistry of the heart, enthralled with the wonders of Christ’s mercy toward us, overcomes the math of the mind with the logic of love: “If Jesus so loves me, then I want to express complete and loving devotion to him.” The indicatives (who we are by Christ’s mercy alone) of the gospel empower our obedience to the imperatives (what we are to do) in Scripture, rather than cancel them. Nowhere is this more clear than in the opening verses of Colossians 3, where Paul uses the wonders of Christ’s gracious provision for his people to motivate his most strident imperative: “Kill whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” The result is not fear-based obedience, but love-compelled devotion to the Savior whose grace is so astoundingly great for sinners like us.