The first requisite stage of the transformation is need. The individual must become acutely aware of their inadequacy to be righteous before a Holy God. They must realize that no matter how hard they try to be righteous it is not sufficient. Therefore, they must be confident of the fact that God is merciful and loves them as a good parent loves his or her child. This is the purpose of the law. It shows each person their need. Paramount to the spirit generated transformation is the understanding and acceptance of need and is precisely why Paul wrote Romans 7:8-23. The fact is that we all, when really honest… the kind of honesty we have alone in front of the mirror, realize that often…. the good that we want to do we don’t do and the very things that we do not want to do we do. Paul was right. It is a wretched condition.
The second requisite stage… and this is where nuance comes into play… is resting in the redemptive decrees of God. The writer of Hebrews referred to it as the Sabbath Rest. Yes, this rest is absolutely necessary in the spirit generated transformation process. In other words, one must rest in the fact that they are the righteousness of God in Christ. This is true whether or not it is manifest. It may not be obvious… at least not at first… This is precisely the place where faith comes into play. Faith is what is required. Resting in Jesus and, the redemptive decrees about how Christ bought redemption is exactly the source of the rest.
Finally, reasonable service will flow out of love for God. Here is the current problem… much of evangelical Christianity does not emphasize the rest and the order of transformation goes directly from need to reasonable service. If there is any rest at all in the current way of looking at it…it comes from doing reasonable service. Under the current popular majority view reasonable service is he evidence of transformation and thereby necessary so the order is as follows; needà reasonable service à rest. In this particular order reasonable service is motivated out of duty and fear. This is reason for so much burn out in evangelical circles. It is impossible to really rest when this order is in operation. People are always forced to do more to please God.
The gospel teaches that God is pleased by our faith and trust in his mercy, love and, grace. God is pleased with the one who is resting in Jesus no matter what. The person confident of God’s love and acceptance… if they really grasp it… cannot help but develop a deep love and, a heightened sense of praise for God. This nuance is a slight difference with a big impact.