A Response to “The Poison of Law and Shame”

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Tal Prince, one of the leading experts on the Gospel and sexual addiction, responds to Rooted Conference chairman Cameron Cole’s article, “The Poison of Law and Shame”.

The one thing that is missing [in your article] is pain. We run to sex, booze, drugs, performance – you name it – to medicate the pain of our own experience with the fall. This is why grace is the answer; no law has ever healed pain. Ever. The focus on the law, very often, causes us to question our justification. That freaks us out, brings more shame, and down we go. This is why I heavily rely on these two historical questions:



Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
 
A. That I am not my own,1 but belong—body and soul, in life and in death2—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3 He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4 and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5 He also watches over me in such a way6 that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;7 in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8 Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life9 and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.10
11 Cor. 6:19-20; 
2 Rom. 14:7-9; 
3 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14; 
4 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2; 5 John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11; 
6 John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5; 7 Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18; 
8 Rom. 8:28; 
9 Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14; 
10 Rom. 8:1-17


Q. How are you righteous before God?
 

A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.1

Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, of never having kept any of them,2 and of still being inclined toward all evil,3 nevertheless, without any merit of my own,4 out of sheer grace,5 God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,6 as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, and as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.7 All I need to do is accept this gift with a believing heart.8
 
1 Rom. 3:21-28; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil 3:8-11; 
2 Rom. 3:9-10; 
3 Rom. 7:23; 
4 Titus 3:4-5; 
5 Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8; 
6 Rom. 4:3-5 (Gen. 15:6); 2 Cor. 5:17-19; 1 John 2:1-2; 
7 Rom. 4:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:21; 
8John 3:18; Acts 16:30-31

[The above questions], combined with my love of Luther and his views of grace, are the backbones of my approach. It is the kindness of the Father that leads us to repentance.
They are medicating pain, and until we understand that, we’ll just try to hand them a different bottle of medicine that is still not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It may be cleaner – it may seem less sinful – but it is powerless nonetheless.

I leave you with these words of Martin Luther: “It is my sincere request and admonition that you join our group and associate with us who are real, great, and hard-boiled sinners.”
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