A Jagged Contention: Do I Have To?

“To be grasped by the freedom of the Gospel is to face a new question: What would you like to do now that Christ has done everything required? The freedom of the Gospel creates a whole new agenda that arise from finally being grasped by the reality that we do not have to do anything and thus are free to be and do what we are in Christ. As a new creation in Christ, the necessity of good works is beside the point! Gerhard Forde has a marvelous illustration of the meaninglessness of have to questions about good works in this context. Imagine the joyful expectation of their wedding night of just-married lovers. Now try to imagine the groom asking his bride: Do I have to do something tonight? If you were his bride, how would you answer the question? What would you say? The question is just crazy! Perhaps if we thought about it for a while we might think the best reply would be something similar tow what was shared above: I don’t know, don’t you want to?”

– Steven A Hein, The Christian Life: Cross or Glory?, pg. 134


Question:

Why do some find the freedom Hein describes so dangerous? What do you make of Hein’s (and Forde’s) wedding night illustration on the “have to” of good works for the Christian?

Share your thoughts in the comments

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One comment

  1. This question reminds me of my friends from other traditions who are fixated on their doctrine of eternal security, as if lurking behind the question is actually “Do I need to do anything?” where Christ is offering just that security in his means of grace. But do I have to? Don’t I want to? Lord have mercy.

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