Monday, June 3, 2013

an exodus from virtue to grace‏

“The Christian life is not an exodus from vice to virtue, but rather from virtue to grace.” ~ Gerhard Forde

I first heard this quote on an episode of the White Horse Inn.

I love its simplicity and complexity in so succinctly nailing on the skull the very teeth I had been sinking into the heel of Jesus.

Our lives are not made right with God by finally cleaning ourselves up.
Christianity is not finally caving and doing the things we’re supposed to do.

Everyone should do what they are supposed to do.

There is no DNA of anything distinctly Christian in being moral, good and upright.
Everyone should strive to be what they deem to be good.

Virtue is not God.
Virtue is godly.

Do not mistake the one for the other or you will find yourself worshipping at the feet of a god who cannot save you and forsaking the feet of the God nailed for you.

Virtue cannot save.
It can only tell you what to do.

Like a lighthouse.

Lighthouses do not save ships.
They tell ships where to go.

If a ship goes off course, the lighthouse cannot steer them, stave the wind or calm the seas.
It just stands there.
Here is the mark.
Aim for this.

That is not to say that we don’t aim for the mark.
That is silly to even assume.

It is to say, however, that we do not ask the lighthouse to save us.
It can’t.

The lighthouse tells you where to go and that you aren’t going there.

Virtue does the same.

Turn to Jesus.
Not lighthouses.

Fall upon Jesus.
Not virtue.

Romans 9:30-33

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

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