Reformed, Book Reading, Apple Loving, Cigar Smoking, Beverage Snobbing , 23 Year-Old Husband and Seminary Student, In Need of Grace.
Grant Osborne, Matthew
Hagner, WBC Matthew
Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit
Augustine, On Reprimand and Grace
Augustine, Anti-Pelagian Writings
Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will
Christianity not only leads its members to believe people of other faiths have goodness and wisdom to offer, it also leads them to expect that many will live lives morally superior to their own. Most people believe that, if there is a God, we can relate to him and go to heaven through leading a good life. Let’s call this the “moral improvement” view. Christianity teaches the very opposite. In the Christian understanding, Jesus does not tell us how to live so we can merit salvation. Rather, he comes to forgive and save us through his live and death in our place. God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for savior.
Christians, then, should expect to find nonbelievers who are much nicer, kinder, wiser, and better than they are. Why? Christian believers are not accepted by God because of their moral performance, wisdom, or virtue, but because of Christ’s work on their behalf. Most religions and philosophies of life assume that one’s spiritual status depends on your religious attainments. This naturally leads adherents to feel superior to those who don’t believe and behave as they do. The Christian Gospel, in any case, should not have that effect.
Tim Keller, The Reason For God