Tullian is going to talk about the law and the Gospel.
Righteousness is not just about external behavior irrespective of what is going on inside of you. The church has unwittingly absorbed this view. Jesus turns this idea on it's head in the Sermon on the Mount. He destroys it. Jesus looks to the heart. He insists that righteous is not just a matter of what we do but why we do it.
Most non-Christians think Christianity is about following the rules OR they think Christianity is about being against abortion or homosexuality.
Most Christians think that God cares only THAT we obey not why we obey. Cain and Abel show this is not true. If God cared only about external obedience then Jesus would have applauded the Pharisees over and over again.
Luther said that the Bible is in two parts: commandments and promises. Law and Gospel. Two words from God that are both good but are in different genres. Both are good but they do different things.
What does the Law do?
Paul says that it is good in Romans 7. The problem is not God's law, the problem is us. We are to blame. Paul thought he was good before he knew God's standard, the law. Paul says that the law killed him. The light of God's perfect standard showed how desperate that he was. The problem is sin and the law exposes that.
We know that the law can't convert us or save us but it can grow us. Wrong. No it can't grow you. It wrecks us. Paul says so. When we come to terms with how sinful we are based on the law, this destroys us. It doesn't make us grow. It reveals sin but does not remove sin. It cannot engender what it commands. It serves me by showing me what a sanctified life looks like but cannot create that sanctified life.
The biggest lie that the church believes is that grace is dangerous and needs to be kept in check. Most church people believe this. Too much grace leads to licentiousness. How do we deal with disobedience? Lay down the law! We think that the law will change the heart. Paul doesn't put a governor on grace, he presses it in further.
Desperate people love grace, people who are legalists, fear it.
The law brings us to the end of ourselves and look away from ourselves and look to Jesus and his blood and his sacrifice. The more you look inside the less peace you find. The more you look outside (to Jesus) the more peace you find. Again, most church people don't really believe this.
Bob Jones and Joel Osteen both preach "do more, try harder!!!" One does it with a stick and the other does it with a carrot.
God relates to you based on Christ's performance and perfection, not your standard of performance and perfection. The law can only crush, it cannot cure. The law tells us what to do, the Gospel tells us what has been done. Both are good and both have roles in our lives.
The law serves both Christians and non-Christians. It tells us that we don't measure up. We ALL need to hear that. The law tells us that we are far worse off than we thought.
So if God accepts me regardless of how I perform what should motivate obedience? When a husband knows that a wife will love him no matter what, does that cause the husband to be more of a jerk? No!
God's loving forgiveness and grace HAS to motivate obedience or you don't get it. The motivation to do good is to view what has been done. What are you doing to do now? Now that you don't have to do anything?
The Gospel compels grace-driven obedience.
We think way too much about how we are growing and if we are growing and what we need to do to grow. There is no hope in wallowing around in ourselves. We all spend way too much time thinking about us and less about what Jesus has done for us. This doesn't compel anything helpful or holy. Confession groups can just increase our self-centeredness. We should emphasize fixing our gaze on Jesus. Obsess over what you need to do and you'll be a narcissist. Obsess over what Jesus has done and your obedience will be instinctive.
**My note: I would encourage you to memorize those last two sentences.**