Peter Mead had a post last week that has stuck with me. It is a quote from Bryan Chappell. At first I didn’t like the quote. Something about it bugged me. But I have kept going back to it and reading it over and over again.
Upon first reading, it seemed that Bryan (and Peter by extension) were saying that if we call people to "Be Like" certain biblical characters or to "Be Good" or holy or to "Be Disciplined" in Christian practices, that is wrong. And that bugged me. A lot. It reinforced the old stereotypes I picked up as a kid that Baptist/Reformed folks believed, "Live however you want because you’re saved anyway." A wrong and immature preconception, but one that I picked up early (as a teenager).
But I had really missed one little key in Peter’s emphasis. He said, in part…
It is easy to fall into the trap of being biblically based, but biblically incomplete in our preaching. Be focusing on the narrow slice of text we are preaching, and not taking into account the broader teaching of Scripture, we can end up implying (or even stating), that we need to “be” something in order to be loved by God. (See Christ-Centered Preaching, page 289ff).
I missed the little phrase "to be loved by God." It is really an emphasis on God’s love and even an emphasis on our identity. As usual, I am glad I stuck with something that I disagreed with that someone I respect wrote and worked through it.
I would suggest that you read the entire post. It is worth your time and attention.