If Obedience to God’s Law Is Optional…

Ironically, the law of God, viewed as commands to be obeyed, should actually promote promote living by grace. When we view God’s commands as optional — or think that as God’s children we are no longer under the law as a moral requirement — we subtly slip into a works mentality. If obedience to God’s law is optional, then in our minds we begin to accumulate merit or extra points. “After all, we didn’t have to obey, so we must gain some voluntary obedience.”

But the person who knows that he is required to obey God’s commands, even as a child of God, will see more and more how far short he comes in obedience. And if that person understands the biblical concept of grace, he will be driven more and more into the arms of the Savior and His merit alone.

Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1991), 92.

The Test of Evangelism

Here finally is where we must all evaluate the contribution that our life and witness is making to the supreme purpose of him who is the Savior of the world. Are those who have followed us to Christ now leading others to him and teaching them to make disciples like ourselves? Note, it is not enough to rescue the perishing, though this is imperative; nor is it sufficient to build up newborn babes in the faith of Christ, although this, too, is necessary if the first-fruit is to endure; in fact, it is not sufficient just to get them out winning souls, as commendable as this work maybe. What really counts in the ultimate perpetuation of our works is the faithfulness with which our converts go and make leaders out of their converts, not simply more followers. Surely we want to win our generation for Christ, and to do it now, but this is not enough. Our work is never finished until it has assured its continuation in the lives of those redeemed by the Evangel.

The test of any work of evangelism thus is not what is seen at the moment, or in the conference report, but in the effectiveness with which the work continues in the next generation. Similarly the criteria on which a church should measure its success is not how many new names are added to the role or how much the budget is increased, but rather how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes. The ultimate extent of our witness is what matters, and for this reason values can be measured only by eternity.

Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2010), 105-106.