Happy New Year from Gerhard Forde

Here is some much needed grace-centered theology on Christian growth from Gerhard Forde that will forgive us for not being better people in 2013 and remind us that we probably won’t be much better in 2014.  In doing this he points us to the source of true life for Christians: God’s one-way love found in the Gospel.  Enjoy:

“Is there such a thing as growth in sanctification, progress in the Christian life?…  There is a kind of growth and progress, it is to be hoped, but it is growth in grace–a growth in coming to be captivated more and more, if we can so speak, by the totality, the unconditionality of the grace of God.  It’s a matter of getting used to the fact that if we are to be saved it will have to be by grace alone

Since we always are confronted and given grace as a totality, we find ourselves always starting fresh.  As Luther put it, ‘To progress is always to begin again.’  In this life, we never get over grace, we never entirely grasp it, we never really learn it.  It always takes us by surprise.  Again and again we have to be conquered and captivated by its totality…  The Christian who is grasped by the totality of grace always discovers the miracle anew.  One is always at a new beginning.  Grace is new everyday…

[Because of this] all our ordinary views of progress and growth are turned upside down.  It is not that we are somehow moving toward the goal, but rather that the goal is moving closer and closer to us…  The progress, if one can call it that, is that we are being shaped more and more by the totality of the grace coming to us.  The progress is due to the steady invasion of the new…”

Gerhard Forde, “The Preached God

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