The Gospel Is How We Grow

I’ve almost completed reading The Prodigal God by Tim Keller…a powerful exposition and meditation on the parable of the lost sons in Luke 15.  Tonight in our house church we spent almost an hour chewing on this parable together, examining what “lostness” looks like in  both elder brothers and younger brothers.  Thanks to John at The Gospel Driven Blog for posting the following quote which gets at the heart of Keller’s message:

“We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we do not. Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity- all of these things serve as our heart’s ‘functional trust’ rather than what Christ has done, and as a result we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control. You cannot change such things through mere willpower, through learning Biblical principles and trying to carry them out. We can only change permanently as we take the gospel more deeply into our understanding and into our hearts. We must feed on the gospel, as it were, digesting it and making it part of ourselves. That is how we grow.

Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, p. 115 (emphasis mine)

[HT:  The Gospel Driven Blog]

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