“The heirs of the Protestant Reformation have emphasized salvation by grace in general and sola fide (“by faith alone”) in particular. It was important for the church to recover the central biblical truth that we are justified by God, that this is an act of God’s grace, and that faith–apart from works–is the means by which we are justified. A related issue is the nature of works–obedience or faithfulness–in the Christian life. Evangelicals generally agree that a person enters into a covenant relationship with God by grace (even solely by grace) apart from works, but there is often much disagreement over how to construe the nature of works, or obedience, inside this covenantal relationship.
Bradley Green shows, from a close study of key Old and New Testament texts and interaction with historical and contemporary theologians, that in the new covenant, works–or obedience–will be a real and necessary God-elicited part of the Christian life. In short, “works” are “necessary” for salvation, because part of the “newness” of the new covenant is real, grace-induced, and grace-elicited obedience by its true members.
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For the Christian, to know Jesus, to confess him as Lord, entails obeying him. But how does this reality relate to a plethora of complementary themes? Dr. Green addresses this question by soundings in an impressive diversity of topics . . . The canvas on which he paints is large enough to draw in a wide range of readers, all of whom will find themselves stimulated to think about these issues more precisely.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
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