Mercy and Morality

guercin0_rueturn

There is a tendency to think that the ardent freeness of grace should not be diminished or clouded by ethical demands. This is contrary to the logic of the gospel of Christ. The most striking thing about our Lord, as Lewis comments, is the union of great ferocity with extreme tenderness. We should not separate mercy and morality, or disconnect justification from sanctification. Both need to be stressed side by side in creative tension. It has been pointed out that “the essence of orthodoxy is paradoxy.” We cannot overstate the vast abundance of grace or the strong demands it makes upon us.

We are now called to wear the regal robe that was purchased with blood and custom-made by God. It is our high privilege. We can relax within the luxurious folds of this magnificent garment. When our conduct is out of character for a member of heaven’s kingdom, we must not throw off the royal robe. We should throw off the unrighteous behavior. We are learning to live in a new way. We are learning to enjoy the gift that was fashioned for us before the foundation of the world.

–Jurgen Schulz
What Jesus Wished People Knew About God

Artwork:
Guercino, Return of the Prodigal Son

Advertisements

Transformation

Shagpile symmetry

The sinful heart
is never transformed
by conformity to
the imperatives
but only by relationship
with the One who
cleanses hearts.

— Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Love’s power

He that
is furnished
with love,
stands at
a distance
from all sin.

–Polycarp
(69?-155?)

Published in: on 01/20/2012 at 16:09  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: