When I wrote Future Grace my aim was to show that, in the Bible, motivation for obedience to Jesus is never said explicitly to be gratitude. This is astonishing since many (most?) Christians list gratitude as the main motive for our obedience to Jesus.
My argument is that in the Bible “faith in future grace” not “gratitude for past grace” is the primary focus in motivating acts of love. (“You had compassion on those in prison…since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” Hebrews 10:34).
We read of “faith working through love” not “gratitude working through love.” And “work of faith” not “work of gratitude.” And “obedience of faith” not “obedience of gratitude.”
Nevertheless, gratitude is a beautiful, powerful, and necessary affection of the born again heart. It does, in fact, have a huge role in turning us into people who love each other. I paid this tribute to gratitude on pages 48-49 of Future Grace. I record it here in honor of Thanksgiving Day, and the God of all grace. Let everything that has breath thank the Lord!
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