Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903-1996) was a pastor in the Reformed Church in the Netherlands and chair of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam wrote in his book, Faith and Sanctification, about what the Gospel is and isn’t.
Always, when the Scriptures exhort the believer to be as Christ, they point to the act of his love in the atonement for sin. This may seem strange since this act is his alone and we can and may recognize him as Mediator in this act alone, but the fact remains that the entire New Testament is in agreement on this point. This required conformity to an exclusive act of love would be a contradictory demand if it were a conformity to a law illustrated in the life of Christ: but it is possible nonetheless, and makes good sense, when it presupposes and flows from the Atonement. … The imitation of Christ could never be part of the Good News, or the Evangel of Grace, were it a Via Dolorosa whose goal was God’s grace; but because it receives its impetus from the revelation of God’s antecedent grace, a grace unapplied for and unsolicited, therefore it is a wonderfully enriching evangelical truth, (pg. 149-150).
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