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Belief and Behavior July 19, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.


Here’s a great quote I read from Tim Keller:

“Normal preaching should be evangelistic preaching. Ordinarily, ‘edificational’ preaching is more oriented to behavior (”you must obey Christ in this way and this way”) while ‘evangelistic’ preaching is usually oriented toward belief (”you must believe in Christ in this way and this way”). But this misses the unity of the human soul. Edwards in his Affections argues persuasively that, essentially, “if you truly believe, it changes behavior, and if you are not behaving properly, it is because of unbelief.” A person may say, “I know God cares for me, but I am still petrified with fear.” No. If they are running in fear, it is because they don’t ‘know’ God’s care.

Therefore, any failure in behavior in Christians is due to unbelief. The antidote to unbelief is a fresh telling of the gospel. So, if a sermon is Christ-centered in its exposition and application, and if it is oriented toward a) dismantling the unbelief systems of the human heart, and toward b) re-explaining and using the gospel on the unbelief – then it will be highly illuminating to non-Christians even when it is aimed primarily to Christians. Preaching that cannot both edify and evangelize at once is choosing behavior over belief or belief over behavior.”

Laboring to edify and evangelize in every message,




1. Will B. - July 19, 2007


Well said! So much damage is done to our faith when we concentrate on the failure to do what God commands of us rather than the failure to understand who he is. Concetrating on our sin–the failure to do as God commands–once we have repented of it, keeps the focus just where Satan wants it, on ourselves. Only when I direct my eyes toward our glorious Lord do I find any victory over sin.


2. lisa - July 19, 2007

I agree…often times you hear people say that I’m saved and yet they continune to live the same way…we know that by the Word of God the transformation begins..”Old things begin to pass away and all thing become new”, ” In His time He makes all thing beautiful.”..So we have to walk in the belief of..I heard the Gospel, I belived the Gospel and i am living the Gospel. This is working out your salvation to what was said.

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