One aspect of our new life in Christ to which modern evangelical and Reformed Christians have not always paid a great deal of attention is the matter of virtue. There are some good reasons for this. The medieval church came to think that we are accepted by God by grace and cooperation with grace, through the formation of virtue in us. So John Calvin wrote to Francis I in his preface to the Institutes of the Christian Religion,
“For what accords better and more aptly with faith than to acknowledge ourselves divested of all virtue that we may be clothed by God, devoid of all goodness that we may be filled by Him, the slaves of sin that he may give us freedom, blind that he may enlighten, lame that he may cure, and feeble that he may sustain us; to strip ourselves of all ground of glorying that he alone may shine forth glorious, and we be glorified in Him?”
When it comes to justification, all the Protestants said, “amen” with him. Yet, they said more about that virtue being formed in those who have been freely accepted by God, on the ground of Christ’s righteousness imputed alone, through faith alone. David VanDrunen joined us to help us understand how we should and shouldn’t think about virtue in the Christian life.
Here is the episode.
Here are the episodes for Season Five: New Life in the Shadow of Death.
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