This week I’ve been reading Michael Horton’s book “God of Promise”. I’ll post a full review soon (just finished it this morning) but wanted to share a short section from the book. Here Horton provides a great illustration for how God’s law provides normative standards for Christian living:
I evidently still have not been married long enough to overcome my penchant for buying presents for my wife that she doesn’t actually want. Instead, I often will buy her what I want her to have or think she wants. When I don’t get the response I’d like, my response (even if unstated) is frequently something like this: “Look, if you tell me what you want every time Christmas or your birthday rolls around, I’ll never be able to be spontaneous and creative in expressing my love for you.” Of course, there are countless ways in a given day in which I could express my love in spontaneous and creative ways, but it is not, at the end of the day, a sign of love but of selfishness if I do not consider her likes and dislikes when it comes to presents. How much more are our pretensions to pleasing God actually displeasing when we willfully determine for ourselves — out of our own desire for exercising spontaneity and creativity — what kind of response to his grace brings him joy. My wife is a sinner just as I am, but God is holy. He has not simply revealed personal preferences, but the law that expresses his own moral character. He has not commanded anything of us that is not required by the core of his very being. His commands never spring from a whim, but come from a will that is rooted in his unchanging nature.