Our believing gives way to our behaving. Our theology (i.e. the stuff we really believe about God and not the stuff we pretend to believe about God) always flows out of our fingertips. What you do is a result of what you truly believe. Therefore, our becoming like Christ is absolutely dependent on what we believe about Christ and His work.
Ray Ortlund powerfully unpacks what this looks like for our churches.
Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace, as Jesus himself touches us through his truths. Without the doctrines, the culture alone is fragile. Without the culture, the doctrines alone appear pointless. But the New Testament binds doctrine and culture together. For example:
The doctrine of regeneration creates a culture of humility (Ephesians 2:1-9).
The doctrine of justification creates a culture of inclusion (Galatians 2:11-16).
The doctrine of reconciliation creates a culture of peace (Ephesians 2:14-16).
The doctrine of sanctification creates a culture of life (Romans 6:20-23).
The doctrine of glorification creates a culture of hope (Romans 5:2).
The doctrine of God creates a culture of honesty (1 John 1:5-10). And what could be more basic than that?
If we want this culture to thrive, we can’t take doctrinal short cuts. If we want this doctrine to be credible, we can’t disregard the culture. But churches where the doctrine and culture converge bear living witness to the power of Jesus.
If you want to live out the fullness of the gospel, you must dig deeply into the riches of the gospel’s truth. Dig into God’s Word and let His treasures shine in your life.
Read the whole piece here.