Last week at the Community Group my family is a part of Kevin McDunn was leading us through a discussion based on the previous Sunday's sermon at Redeemer. He concluded our time together by pressing us in this direction. I thought you would all benefit from taking this in.
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."
This prompts me to ask why does this not mean that you earn your position with God by your works? My answer: my work does earn position with God. But all my work earns eternal separation from Him (Romans 3:10-20). It is true that I need perfect works to become God's son and the only way to "earn" that is the righteous works of another--Jesus (Romans 6:23). Having been reborn in Him and being gifted with His righteousness we must now, and can't help but (1 John 3:9b), work out His righteousness by practicing it in obedience, thankfulness and delight in God's law.
Thank you, Kevin, for pressing the gospel and calling us to live lives of godliness in response to it!