Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bonhoeffer: holding both sides together

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
    Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330
    But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
    —Romans 6:17-18 (NIV)
    The truth is that so long as we hold both sides of the proposition together they contain nothing inconsistent with orthodoxy, but as soon as one is divorced from the other, it is bound to prove a stumbling-block. “Only those who believe obey” is what we say to that part of a believer’s soul which obeys, and “only those who obey believe” is what we say to that part of the soul of the obedient which believes. If the first half of the proposition stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of cheap grace, which is another word for damnation. If the second half stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of salvation through works, which is also another word for damnation.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 68 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 6:17-18; Ps. 116:16; 119:32,45; John 8:32; 1 Cor. 7:22; Gal. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Keep my eyes on You, Lord.
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