The Word Of Salvation Versus Moralism

The reason there was so much opposition to Jesus’ ministry is because his gospel got to the heart of matters. He wasn’t giving dry, muddled expositions. His goal wasn’t the dissemination of information, or simply create controversies about how to correct human behavior. Jesus had one great goal: the salvation of people. Christ desired to bring the truth of the gospel powerfully to bear on the conscience so that when they heard him preach they understood it was a matter of life and death. The felt the urgency to turn and live “today” because “tonight their souls may be required of them.” “Immediately” Mark tells us, we should believe. That’s the punch of the “gospel” in the gospel of Mark.

Chris Gordon, The Gospel of the Synagogue Versus the Gospel of the Son of God.

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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4 comments

  1. Of course, the problem here is that moralism does contribute to a civil society. And the credibility of the Gospel is heavily damaged when those who claim to have repented and believed are not as moral as the average citizen in societal issues.

    • Curt,

      No one denies that morality is essential to civil life. The Gospel of Mark, however, which Rev Gordon is expositing, isn’t about civil morality but about salvation from the wrath to come.

  2. Motivation gets to the heart of the issue, I think. Shame and pride can provide twin walls to keep folks on “the straight and narrow path,” but such morality fails to address the heart, which the gospel does. We repent both of our sins and of our self-righteousness. Only a transformed heart can respond to God’s law out of true gratitude.

  3. David J Miller: respond out of true gratitude.

    and respond due to loving for His law (His work- having written it on our hearts,minds), it is our meditation all the day. (Ps119 )

    the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us Rom 5:5

    “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Heb 8:10

    “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,” Heb 10:16

    And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. Ez 11:19-20

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