I found this post and thought it was too good not to share.
Many Christians have grown up in the church on moralistic preaching; that is, preaching that calls for obedience without connecting the commands of God to the cross of Christ.
Show the God of the Command
For example, God commands us to be holy, because he is holy (1 Pt 1:16). He commands us to speak the truth (Eph 4:25) and not bear false witness against our neighbor (Ex 20:16), because he is a God of truth who cannot lie (Is 65:16; Heb 6:18). He commands us to be faithful, for he trustworthy and keeps his word (Ps 36:5). He calls us to love, because he is love (1 Jn 4:7-8). Naked commands, separated from the character of God, lack both weight and compelling beauty. Showing the God of the command moves us from preaching moralism to unpacking theology. It moves us beyond the command to the God who gives it.
Naked commands, separated from the character of God, lack both weight and compelling beauty.
Show the Grace Behind the Command
Show the Gospel Above the Command
1. Jesus atoned for our failure in this command. (Col. 1:3;2:13, 14; Eph. 2:16; Rom. 5:9)
The commands of God are pure and beautiful. They are a perfect reflection of his character and will, and we stand in stark contrast to that revelation. We are spiritual failures who could be justly condemned for our sin. But, our failure is not the end. Jesus has fully atoned for our sins through his death on the cross, and by it we are reconciled to God.
God does not reveal his will so that we can build our confidence in our ability to keep it, but so that we can exalt and exult in the God we know by grace.
2. Jesus fulfilled this command for us. (1 Cor. 1:30, 31; Rom. 5:19; Phil. 3:9)
Not only has God forgiven us of our unrighteousness, but he has given us the righteousness of Jesus, declaring that in him we are holy and blameless. In every point where we have failed, Jesus has been faithful. In this very command, Jesus was not only righteous, but was righteous for us.
3. Jesus empowers us to live out this command. (Phil. 2:12,13; Eph. 6:10-20; 1 Pet. 4:11)
The good news of the gospel is that in Christ we are not only delivered from the curse of the law, but also empowered by God to keep it. Relatively. We remain sinners, and find ourselves unable to loose ourselves from sin’s presence this side of the resurrection, but God is at work in his people to enable us to walk in his ways. You really can live a godly life. One in which you acknowledge and repent of your sin, and submit yourself to will and ways of God through power that comes by the Holy Spirit.