Conviction and Consolation in the Gospel

Throughout the Bible, God’s unified work of redemption includes both an element of conviction and an element of consolation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ gives clear expression of these two elements

“The conviction and consolation we receive in Christ grandly correspond to the character of God the Father as both just and gracious (Gen 34:6-7). Though we may naturally prefer the consolation of the gospel, we must also learn to acknowledge and then to celebrate the element of conviction of the gospel.”

 

Throughout the Bible, God’s unified work of redemption includes both an element of conviction and an element of consolation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ gives clear expression of these two elements. In the gospel,

  1. conviction calls us to true saving faith, by which we receive the benefits of redemption, while consolation is the fact that such faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8), and by such faith our sin, our unfaithfulness to God, is covered over on account of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2);
  2. conviction draws us out of our petty and besetting sins into a life that properly images the God of our creation and redemption, while consolation reminds us that our loving father knows us as his sons “in Christ,” heirs to the kingdom, and that loving bond will never fail (Heb 12:6);
  3. conviction shows us that we have a long way to go, while consolation shows us that Christ will not stop working in our lives until he has brought us to completion (Phil 1:6)

The conviction and consolation we receive in Christ grandly correspond to the character of God the Father as both just and gracious (Gen 34:6-7). Though we may naturally prefer the consolation of the gospel, we must also learn to acknowledge and then to celebrate the element of conviction of the gospel.

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