A teaching that is often missing in mainstream American Christianity is termed the "active obedience of Christ." Simply put, it means that Christ not only PAID for our sins by dying on the cross("passive obedience"), he also KEPT the law perfectly for us ("active obedience"). Why is this so important? It comes down to this-if a church focuses only on Christ's passive obedience, the believer's salvation is often viewed in the *rear-view mirror*, meaning it is something that happened in the past, and now the rest of the Christian's life is about the Christian's obedience. The gospel is not continual good news for a Christian who lives that way. It is the good news of the past. In reality, Christ kept the law for the Christian, and His obedience is the Christian's obedience. Yes, Christians still need to hear the law of God. But that is not what makes them Christians. The gospel, which includes Christ's passive and active obedience, saves them and gives them new life. Then the Christian can truly say,
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..." Galatians 2:20
Here is a link to an Issues, Etc. program. The guest is Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith; the title is "Why is the Active Obedience of Christ Missing in Pop-American Christianity?"