4 Great “Therefore’s” in the Bible

Michael Kelley: Indicatives and imperatives. You find them both in the Bible. Indicatives are facts; they are realities. And in the Bible, they are firm and secure because the Bible is the unchanging Word of God. The imperatives are commands or implications. They are statements of direction, made with authority, that have a direct and expected act of obedience expected to follow. Often, the indicative is linked with the imperative. It’s a statement of fact with an implication of response. And most often, the indicative is about what God has done and the imperative is about what we must do, think, or believe in response as a matter of response and obedience. The order is important here – we respond because God has done. Not, “We behave so that God will do.” It’s the simple difference between something like “God loves you,” therefore you respond, and “I am obedient,” so God will love me. The link between the indicative statement of fact and the

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Gospel imperatives and indicatives

The great gospel imperatives to holiness are ever rooted in indicatives of grace that are able to sustain the weight of those imperatives. The Apostles do not make the mistake that’s often made in Christian ministry. [For the Apostles] the indicatives are more powerful than the imperatives in gospel preaching. So often in our preaching our indicatives are not strong enough, great enough, holy enough, or gracious enough to sustain the power of the imperatives. And so our teaching on holiness becomes a whip or a rod to beat our people’s backs because we’ve looked at the New Testament and that’s all we ourselves have seen. We’ve seen our own failure and we’ve seen the imperatives to holiness and we’ve lost sight of the great indicatives of the gospel that sustain those imperatives. Woven into the warp and woof of the New Testament’s exposition of what it means for us to be holy is the great groundwork that the self-existent, thrice

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J.I. Packer on a “Fully Dressed” Gospel

In the chapter on “The Gospel as of First Importance,” Packer and Parrett address the need for a “fully dressed” Gospel. They write: Sadly, even tragically, evangelicals have sometimes been guilty of preaching and teaching a Gospel that is not, shall we say, “fully dressed.” They may have focused properly on the central features of God’s atoning work on the cross, faithfully preached Christ crucified for sinners, celebrated the resurrection as proof that Christ’s self-offering for our sins has been accepted, and urged hearers to be reconciled to God. In other words, they have been right about the essence of the gospel; the key facts have been there in what they have said. But at the same time they have missed some of the critical implications and applications of the Gospel for daily living. […] When we fail to conduct ourselves “in step with the truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14), we are in serious error. We are to live

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To be a good person you need to be a God person

Kevin DeYoung: We equate love with indifference to sin when the Bible’s logic is exactly the opposite. The cross is the fullest expression of God’s love not because it shows God’s indifference to sin, but because it shows God’s holy hatred toward sin and his willingness to pay for it himself. That’s love. At the end of Acts 7, we see Stephen praying for the angry mob stoning him to death. He says with his dying breath, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Surely this is love: Stephen wanted them to receive a mercy they did not show him. He had done nothing wrong. Stephen was not deserving of death. Their actions were a profound instance of criminal injustice. And yet in a final gasp, on his knees, he cries out on their behalf,  “Lord have mercy.” How did he do that? How could Stephen love like that? How do we love like that? Pray like that? Forgive

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Akin’s “done” and “to do” in Galatians

I’m grateful to Thabiti Anyabwile for publishing this list of Dr. Danny Akin’s survey of the book of Galatians, where he highlights the 29 indicative statements Paul makes about the gospel and the 13 imperatives that flow from them.  Akin makes it plain that out of the “done” (indicatives – what God has done through Christ) there flows a “do” (imperatives – the believer’s grace inspired and empowered response). 29 Indicatives 1. The gospel is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:1). 2. The gospel delivers us from the present evil age to the glory of Christ (1:3-5). 3. There is only one gospel and to desert it is to be damned (1:6-9). 4. The gospel is ours by divine revelation and not human imagination (1:10-12). 5. The gospel is grounded in a gracious election (1:15). 6. The gospel is constantly in danger of being lost and needs to be defended (2:4-5). 7. The gospel that saves Gentiles

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