Friday, March 5, 2010

Need, Rest and, Reasonable Service; Transformation by renewing the mind to the gospel of grace

Earlier, we discussed the pattern of Paul’s letter to the Romans. We observed that it took the following pattern. First, it laid out the need of all humanity both Jews and, Gentiles; it moved on to an explanation of the redemptive decrees, the source of the Sabbath Rest and, finally it began to look at reasonable service. It flows this way for a reason as rest is the source of the reasonable service. Paul writes I beseech/urge you brothers/sisters by the mercies of God that you present yourself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service….spiritual worship (Rom 12:1)
Notice that it is the mercy of God that is the catalyst for the reasonable service. Remember James….”mercy always triumphs over judgment.” What is the mercy of God Paul was writing about? Answer; it is the redemptive decrees that make up the Sabbath Rest.

It is observable that throughout the biblical writings there are statements that can best be described as God’s redemptive decrees. These are statements… that if one ties a condition to them….they end up being untrue. Here are examples; “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that -whosoever believes- in him shall not parish but have eternal life;”-- “that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved;”-- “There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus;” -- “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness;” -- we could go on indefinitely but, you get the idea…these are proclamations that cannot be modified if they are true. They are either true or they are not and, if they are not true they are really worthless.

We have already looked at James and Paul earlier and, we discovered that James was not really saying what most evangelicals have suggested he was saying. The works were not Law works…they were not read and do instructions but rather, were indicative of a heart changed and they were aimed at loving ones brother realizing that mercy always, always, always triumphs over judgment.

The reason for this is that rest is the foremost aspect of the transformation. While there will be no transformation without recognizing the need, there can be no spiritual transformation without the rest. Rest is a term that includes all of the definitions of faith. We are using the Amplified Bible definition of faith which is clinging to, relying on, trusting in and having a settled confidence. It is not merely a mental assent. Still, this rest---faith is the catalyst of the transformation.

Further, real spiritual transformation can only operate if and when a person is resting in Jesus completely. Anything short of transformation from rest is in fact fleshly motivated reformation and is not really transformation at all. Transformation comes from renewing the mind daily to the gospel of grace.

1 comment:

  1. With transformation comes sacrifice. We must sacrifice; give up the things that are not of
    God to have a transforming mind. If we do what we want to do we are operating in the flesh, and not by the Spirit of God.


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