Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trying vs. Dying

I went to a friend’s house last night and we listened to Chuck Smith teaching through Ephesians 1. We discussed again the phenomenal power of God’s grace. It boggles the mind. God has given so much and asks so little.

Then we started talking about churches

So many churches simply do not teach doctrine. It’s like pastors are afraid that if they teach doctrine, they will bore their congregations or something. I guess it’s a tough decision between boring people or sending them to hell. We see so many people working for their own salvation. I think so often people don’t know that they are doing it!

So where does this works thing come from?

Whenever we try to maintain our own salvation or take responsibility for our own actions, we are working. When we understand the New Covenant, we are freed from the stress that comes from TRYING to live according to the Law of God. The Law is good because it shows us our desperate need for Jesus Christ, but it reminds us of just how inept we are. Isaiah says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The grace of God is great because it shows us our desperate need for Jesus Christ while, at the same time, freeing us from the disappointment that comes so often from the realization that we cannot fulfill the Law’s requirements. Bob Hoekstra writes:

When a person struggles and struggles with a major medical problem, it is agonizing to go on and on, not knowing what the problem actually is. It is glorious when someone is able to reveal what the problem actually is. Part of the glory of the law is that it reveals the basic problem of human struggles: sin. Yet, it is a far more glorious matter to have a remedy for a problem revealed. Grace is that remedy.

Trying vs. Dying

Louie Giglio says we need to do a lot less trying and a lot more dying. That is a good preachery kind of way to put it. In the opening chapters of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit says that Jesus Christ has sat down at the right hand of the Father so that we might enter into the true rest that is typified throughout the Old Testament by the Sabbath Day of rest. Our High Priest has sat down to rest (meaning there is no more work to be done) so that we, too, might enter into that rest. Later, I will write much more on the subject of losing one’s salvation. For now, suffice it to say that when we labor to maintain our own salvation and fear losing it, we miss out on the rest that God has provided once for all for us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Glory be to His holy name.

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