Gospel Thought – 1. Know your Friend, 2. Know your enemy, 3. Know your weaknesses

Recently I have been reading Jack Miller’s book “The Heart of a Servant Leader.”  On page 59 we read a letter that Jack wrote to a young pastor who encountered resistance to his teaching on how the grace of Christ is designed to change hearts.  Jack writes…

“One irony that strikes me is that so often people who emphasize the third use of the law (reminding believers of the mark at which we are to aim, namely Christ – Tim’s ad) are really not great law keepers themselves.  For example, I have noted that sometimes church members given heavy doses of the third use of the law have little idea of the inner nature of the law as a delighting in God.  I have also noted a tendency to exclude the tongue and a a critical spirit from consideration as well, so that you can get the irony of believers defending the law with a harshness that itself breaks the law!  What sinners we can be!But I do think that the Heidelberg Catechism (see question 32 – Tim’s ad) and the Belgic Confession have an excellent emphasis on faith and sanctification.  It is also interesting to see that (as best I can recall) the Larger Catechism speaks of the third use of the law and relates its role to breaking us and driving us to Christ.  Add that emphasis, and grace follows.  For what it is worth, here is how I see the theological emphasis of English Puritanism 1.  Know your enemy – the word, the flesh, the devil; 2 – Know your personal limitations – your own particular fleshly characteristics and habits; 3 – Know your Friend – the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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