A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday!

It is a special day as we consider all our Lord has done for us. However, our day here hasn't been all that out of the ordinary, maybe sad to say.

The usual chores, getting moving on things, animal chores, kid care, school and learning, and a short stint at work for me.

We did have friends stop by this afternoon - it was such a beautiful day and the kids got to ride the pony (if they wanted to), jump on the trampoline, find eggs and play with baby goats. That was great fun! AND, I got to snuggle with their almost three month old baby, which was awesome!!! Love those baby snuggles!

My thoughtful part of the post is a request for input. There is always a lot of talk this time of year about how we are saved by God's grace, by Jesus' sacrifice. That that and that alone is our salvation, that nothing we can do can make us deserving, as we have all fallen short of the glory of God. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."
Titus 2:10-12

Absolutely, totally get that. No matter what I do, how hard I try, I cannot live a sinless life. I am human and it just isn't possible. Thankful for grace here, the gift that I cannot earn or ever deserve.

However, there is also that bit about "faith without works is dead". James 2:14-26
"14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. "

Okay, so the dispute I have heard in circles is that it just doesn't matter what we do.

I would have to say "yes" and "no" and always have, but have never quite been able to say why, beyond because I believe that given the gift of salvation, we really should do something about it. Not that we have to, but we SHOULD.

So, I have been listening to lots of books on tape or CD as I drive lately, and my favorites by far are CS Lewis and John Piper, though I admit, I really have to think things through, but both are very challenging!

Well, John Piper was discussing justification and sanctification.

Justification is a declaration of innocence. Jesus went before us to plead our case to God, upon our request for salvation, and we were declared innocent, cleansed, wiped clean. Justified means declared innocent in a court.

Well, then, so we are justified upon our salvation and requesting Jesus's salvation and turning our lives to Him. That I could follow.

Sanctification is becoming more and more Christ-like. It is a process we all go through in our faith walk, or at least we should. God changes us to become more like Him, if we allow. Got it.

So, back to the faith versus works debate. I had a light bulb moment that really made things make sense to me. Feel free to jump in and tell me what you think, but maybe I finally just got it.

We are Justified by Grace. We are Sanctified through Works.

God's grace is the only thing that can save us, the only thing that can declare us clean and worthy. Because face it, we aren't.

But then in order to become more and more Christ-like, to go further in our faith walk, we must work. And everyone's work is different as God has made each of us different. But we MUST actively do something. So, that is how Faith without Works is dead. We still have the Grace, but we haven't moved farther down the lane to all that God has designed. If we don't do the works, we are still saved, God still loves us, it is all there. We don't lose it. But we do lose the opportunity to become more Christlike and in God's image, which is ultimately what we desire.

Let me know if you think I am making sense from a theological perspective, but I think it fits with what scripture says. I think it makes sense to me. It certainly explains a lot to me, but then I am generally a works based person anyway (my love language is definitely service!).

1 comment:

Steve said...

That all sounds right to me. We are told that we need to be Christ's hands and feet on earth, and that would be acts.

Is there anybody else out there with a comment?