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Application Without Moralism

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The chief means to do what God requires is consistent adulation of the mercy of God in Christ. People say, " How do I do that? " They're looking for me to say, " First you put something on your refrigerator door so you can see it. Then you put it on your mirror so when you're shaving you can read it. " Those are good aspects of suggestion, but the most powerful means is to have our hearts penetrated with the amazing mercy of God. That is the most transforming thing, and nothing is more powerful than that. Our greatest way of enabling the people God puts in our lives is to adore the mercy of God before them, so they're constantly getting the message of how wondrous and beautiful his love is. Their primary power is the faith God has put in them.

Faith is confidence that I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. My identity is that of a child of God. I have that privilege now. I am a fundamentally different creature. By faith I apprehend that knowledge that I don't have to listen to the lie of Satan that says I can't change.

The message of Scripture, by faith received, is that you can change. God has provided the means. It's teaching people that they are new creatures in Christ Jesus; by virtue of their union with him they have power to do what God requires.

This article is a transcript of the Preaching Today audio #225 workshop. To order this Preaching Today audio tape, e-mail your request to
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Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.

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May 17, 2011  3:25pm

An excellent, well thought out article that causes me to think more about my preaching. The thought: "Even when we preach grace, people hear law. It's the human reflex" is helpful. More realistic examples would have been helpful when moving to present imperative: "Jesus wore sandals and so should you" is cute and fills ths space, but I think we are usually more subtle and complex: "The Bible commands us to come out from among them and be separate; how can we have that tv in our home allowing all that garbage into our lives?...." Many thanks.

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Dick Braun

May 16, 2011  9:43am

Please put a print option on the site that allows the whole document to be printed at one time rather than in multiple sections.

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