How do Christ-centered messages effect change in the way we live our lives each day? We obey God because we love him, not to avoid punishment or to get things from him. Threatening people with punishment or enticing them with "stuff" cause people to respond to God out of selfish motivations. Encouraging people to obey God because of our love for Him and gratefulness for His love for us produces holiness. If grace is not put into the equation of human works and divine acceptance, then legalism or moralism results. The rules don't change but the reason we obey changes. We motivate by grace, not by guilt.
Theology of Change
1. What makes people more holy: threat of condmnation or promise of grace?
2. Serve God to get more "good stuff"
a. Obeying because of compulsion or threat must be pursued for self-protection or self-promotion
c. What makes your service holy is the belief that your good deeds merit you nothing
d. Heirarchy of motives
e. When our motivation is the love of God, we become more holy
f. The imperative rests on the indicative and the order is not reversible
g. Are we holy to get God's acceptance, or are we holy because of God's acceptance?
h. A formula for holiness: Only a work of grace because of what Christ has done on the cross can remove guilt. When it causes a change in behavior, thre result is repentance.
3. Preaching the whole council of God means not only to tell people what to do, but why and how, so their motivation will be the love of God rather than selfishness.
4. Sanctification results in good works but is not earned by good works
5. We may experience God's discipline as His expression of love for our welfare: discipline vs. punishment
6. Motives behind behavior change
a. Gratitude for the love shown us by Christ
b. Proper and improper use of guilt as motivation for behavior change
c. Teach the avoidance of the consequences of sin revealed by a loving God
d. The motivation of doing things our of a love for others who are loved by God
7. The goal of preaching is to take people away from themselves as the instrument of healing