Archive for September, 2010

True Holiness

An important feature of our Christian walk is the understanding that to fail to do what we ought to do is no less a sin than doing that which we ought not to do. In other words, the believer’s faith is not merely a matter of abstaining from evil, but also has the weightier matter of manifesting goodness.  In fact, abstaining from evil is a “default” characteristic of the believer; it is the minimum requirement.  It would be tragic then to assume that mere abstinence – the default form of Christianity – is the utmost expression of the regenerate heart.  Christianity is not relegated to abstinence.  Our faith is “…faith which works through love” (Gal 5:6). 

Paul, speaking to the Ephesians, in Chapter 5 of that epistle tells them “You were formerly darkness, but now you are the light, so walk as children of the light.” (v8)  Of course, at this point, the default Christian begins to think only in terms of abstinence: “The apostle must be exhorting me to refrain from evil”, he says to himself…..but that is not what Paul has primarily in view here.  Paul goes on to say in the very next verse: “…for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth, trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” (v9).  The point is this: The “fruit” of regenerate children is not mere abstinence.  Paul tells us succinctly, that the fruit of regenerate children is goodness, righteousness, and truth. 

I want to set this thought in your mind this morning.  The Christian is called to live a life of moral purity, but holiness goes far, far beyond this point.  Holiness is a matter of bearing good fruit.  The servant who had one talent entrusted to him, and which he neglected, is declared by Christ to be a “…wicked and lazy servant” (Matt 25:26).  Not because he had wasted the talent…..but because he had made no improvement with it; it bore no fruit.  In Matt 25:41, The Lord describes myriads who will be condemned to eternal darkness…..not for crimes of evil, but for neglect of doing righteously.  “Depart from Me, cursed ones….for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”

Many who confess Christ seem all too content if they preserve their testimony from flagrant reproach.  It is good and right to be diligent in this regard — but take a moment also to reflect upon the Parable of the Fig Tree given by Christ.  The tree was ordered to be cut down…..and NOT because the Owner of the vineyard found harmful fruit upon it.  Rather, it was ordered to be cut down because He found no fruit upon it (Luke 13).

The Lord Himself has declared that His true followers are those that produce fruit in accordance with the Vine they abide in…….the fruits of goodness, righteousness, and truth.  And not fruit in any small amount, mind you:  “I am the vine and you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in Him, he bears much fruit.”  (Jn. 15:5)

Make today more than mere abstinence……make it a day of fruit-bearing to the glory of God.  “By this My father is glorified, that you bear MUCH fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (Jn. 15:8)


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God’s Law

   What is the Law to us today? What application does the Law have in a New Testament Christians life? It is so easy to separate the Bible into then and now, saying that when grace came the law was done away with. But that is not what we are told in Romans 5:20-21.

20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

   Here we see that the Law came to show us our transgression, where we sinned against a righteous and holy God. The above passage states The Law came in so that the transgression would increase, which is to say, the Law is there to show us how far we have fallen into sin and away from God, not that sin would get worse when the Law came. This was the purpose in the Old Testament and so it is now. When we use just the Ten Commandments to look at our lives we see that in every aspect we offend God. There is no way in our self that we can come close to God’s requirements, which means we require something more than we can offer. With the first sin of Adam we were as far away from God as ”East is from West” and the Law bears that out. But God chose to draw us back to Himself by grace through the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Son.
   We do well, as Christians, to remember this daily as it should cause you to look on the lost differently. When you have opportunity, use the Ten Commandants to show the depravity of man and let God’s word convict in the hearts of man. We are not called to save them we are called to show this world the truth of Gods word. Do your part then let God save those He will, by His grace. Soli Deo Gloria

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What does it mean to trust?

What does it mean to trust?  Does it mean that someone treats you well?  Does it mean that you treat others well?  Trust from a Biblical perspective means that you believe in, rely on, commit to someone or something without questions, period.  It is complete.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”.

God is telling us to completely and whole-heartedly trust our lives to Him, not just in some aspects, but in everything.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ help us to do just that each day.

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