Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting to Christ

By Tim Keller

Justification and Sanctification by Faith Alone
We’re not only justified by faith- we are also sanctified by faith. We need to exhort people to faith in Christ wherever they are at! Power to live a holy life comes by faith in the cross. We shouldn’t exhort people to right living without giving revealing to them the key: faith.

Sanctification is orienting yourself towards justification. We need to feed off our justification to be sanctified.

Actual righteousness is produced by embracing the means by which we gained our imputed righteousness. Faith preserves us form self inflicted moralism.

Idolatry by Faith Alone
‘All those who do not at all times trust God…but seek His favour in other things or in themselves is breaking the first commandment.’- Luther

The first commandment is broken when you fail to believe in justification by faith. If you’re not trusting in Christ you are trusting in something else.

All people sin in general. Why do we sin in any particular instance? Any sin is rooted in inordinate lust for something other than God. We always make something our functional saviour though faith when we sin.

Moral effort in which people say ‘obedience produces blessing’ restrains the heart but does not change the heart. It produces moral behaviour out of self-interest.

What makes people virtuous?
Most people are virtuous out of self-interest. How does God keep the world from being such a bad place? Common grace. Morality is produced, virtue is seen but this virtue and honesty is what Edward’s calls common virtue. Common virtue is a restraining of the heart not a changing of the heart. Common Virtue can be produced by fear or pride. Fear because I’m afraid of what people think of me. Pride because I want people to look up to as an example.

If sermons become moral exhortations then we are strengthening the roots of sin.

What is true virtue?
True virtue is when you’re honest not because it profits you or makes you feel better. It comes about when you’re captured by the beauty of God and love truth for the sake of God. True honesty grows when we see Christ being faithful, keeping the promise He made to us.

Thomas Chalmers: The Expulsive Power of a New Affection
Old and sinful affections rule the heart until the object of the hearts desire becomes good. The sinful desire can only be expelled from the heart when another object of greater value and satisfaction replaces it. The hearts desire to have an object is unconquerable. The heart is always seeking happiness.
Therefore it is not enough to speak to the conscience and show that a particular action is wrong. Showing people the beauty of Christ will change desires leading to holy lives.

Preaching David and Goliath
What’s the meaning of the narrative to us? Without Christ the message becomes: the bigger they come the harder they fall. The story tells us that the Israelites can’t defeat Goliath. David- a weak, young man can do the job. We are in the crowed. We are portrayed as the Israelite who needs a substitute. David points to Christ as the only conqueror of everyone one of our enemies.
We can conqueror our giants because Christ faced and defeated the largest giants of life.

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