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Danger: Exhortation that ignores the new heart

Much of what passes for the “gospel” these days is a message of exhortation without regeneration—preaching that excludes the New Covenant reality of a transformed heart. (Or more accurately, preaching that is grossly unaware of this transformation having already occurred.)

The message of exhortation translated today says, “You’re not doing enough of this; or you’re doing too much of that:” “You’re too selfish, not committed to your marriage, not serving enough …”

Exhortation becomes an attempt to manage (or manipulate) people’s behavior by pressure and guilt, rather than urging them to release the good stored up in their heart through Christ’s work in them.  Exhortation leans toward the 'not-enough' and 'not yet' rather than relentlessly pursuing the  supernaturally-pure heart Jesus has already given us at our conversion.

[Excerpted from my book: Recover Your Good Heart -- Living Free from Religious Guilt and the Shame of Not Good-Enough.]

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