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Behaviour Is Not What Saves Us

Measuring ourselves by our behaviour can lead to legalistic practices and a lot of other "stuff" that is definitely not salvation by grace.

Hi Mr. Warden:

I read your book report on The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience with interest.

Maybe it comes down to something more profound—like grace.

I'll keep an eye out for the book, but it raised some questions I've been thinking on for a while.

I'm not convinced that we should expect the Church to be so different than our surroundings in terms of behaviour. Behaviour is not what saves us, and it's pretty clear from early biblical writers, the Christians in the early days struggled with pretty much the same issues as we do today.

I once belonged to a church that measured itself against 'the unsaved' world around us by behaviour and it was a very false way to believe. It resulted in legalistic practices and a ton of other 'stuff' that was definitely not salvation by faith in Christ.

Maybe we need to shake up our entire paradigm that leads us to believe that there is a measurable behavioural difference between Christians and others. Maybe, in fact, it's this "behaviour" 'stuff' that drives people away from the church.

Maybe it comes down to something more profound—like grace. Maybe it comes down to a behaviour that doesn't change all that much, but a heart that knows the difference and does repent, and struggles, and often loses the struggle, but accepts that, thanks to Christ, in the long run behaviour is not the issue.

Thanks again,
Grant Corriveau, Ile Perrot, Qc.




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