Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not so good news

There may have been created within you a genuine desire to serve God, out of a sincere sense of gratitude to Christ for dying for you; you may be impelled out of a sense of duty as a Christian, to seek conformity to some pattern of behavior which has been imposed upon you as the norm for Christian living; you may be deeply moved by the need of others all around you, and holy ambitions may have been stirred within your heart, to count for God; if, however, all that has happened is that your sins have been forgiven, because you have accepted Christ as the Saviour who died for you, leaving you since your conversion only with those resources which you had before your conversion, then you will have no alternative but to “Christianize” the “flesh” and try to teach it to “behave” in such a way that it will be godly!

That is a sheer impossibility!

The nature of the “flesh” never changes, no matter how you may coerce it or conform it; it is rotten through and through, even with a Bible under its arm, a check for missions in its hand, and an evangelical look on its face! You need something more than forgiveness, and what you need is the big news of the Gospel!—The Mystery of Godliness, page 132

<idle musing>
Broken record, I know. But, so is the alternative: Saved by grace, sanctified by works. Or at least that's what I hear people saying without realizing it.

That doesn't mean that works aren't important. Far from it! I firmly believe that without transformation there is no salvation. But that is just the point. Transformation begins from the inside; works begin from the outside.

Transformation naturally results in a changed life that is consistent. Works are highly dependent on how you feel, how tired you are, how much stress in in your life, etc.

The Spirit-led life is not dependent on us. It is dependent on God, and as Psalm 121 says, he doesn't slumber or sleep, so he is available all the time...we just allow him to flow through us.
</idle musing>

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