Three different streams flowed into one another for me last week as I was preparing to preach out of Colossians 3. The first stream was Jared Wilson’s blog. I am a fan of Christ in Jared and have found him to be a tremendous thinker. On Friday, May 28, Jared quoted D.A. Carson from “For the Love of God” (Vol. 2):
“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, and obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
So Carson became the second stream. The quote resonated deeply with my mind and soul. It’s very true. I wanted to see how Carson defined and unpacked “grace-driven effort” and was frustrated to see that he doesn’t do a lot of explaining, which led to the third stream.
In reading, I was reminded of an article written by Ralph Erskine (1685-1752) on “The Difference between Gospel Mortification and Legal Mortification.” After reading, praying and studying, I have tried to define “grace-driven effort” and will be rolling out what I believe it is in a series of blogs this week and next. Stay tuned.