Monday, March 25, 2013

Holiness and grace; are they mutually exclusive? Part 2



Yesterday’s post was the introduction to this series. Check it out if you have not done so. I try to keep all the posts short, between 500 and 750 words. The purpose of this series is two-fold. First, I desire to see the saints of God set free from the bondage of religion. Second, I desire to show that unlimited grace will actually promote more holiness than the current idea of limited grace and commanded holiness. I desire to see the body of Christ conduct themselves in a godly manner.

(2Peter 1:1-4 ESV)  Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:  (2) May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  (3)  His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (4) by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

So then, we see that we have been given all things that will enable us to live a godly life and we actually become partakers of the divine nature. You may say to yourself, what is different about what you are writing now? Isn’t that pretty much what everyone believes? Well, that may be so in one sense, but there are not that many, if any, that can adequately explain step by step how the transformation process works and how we grow ever godlier by partaking of the divine nature. That will be the point and goal of this series of posts.

Too often we tell people that it is a spiritual process because of the indwelling Holy Spirit and leave it at that. This does not give them the understanding of the process. The truth is that the power of God is in the preaching of the cross. The transforming power of God is the gospel. It operates by bringing peace with God (Romans 5:1.) It cannot be engrained in just one occasion. The gospel of grace must be presented over and over, even to the seasoned saint. Each time it is presented the Holy Spirit confirms the word of the gospel. In fact, they will not see real, true transformation apart from peace with God and the love for God that it generates. The indwelling Holy Spirit, Peter called it partaking of the divine nature, is there to reinforce and confirm the grace of God and imputed righteousness (John 16:10.) John 16:8-11 explains the mission and work of the Holy Spirit. He comes to convict unbelievers of their sin of unbelief, to convict or convince believers of their imputed righteousness (to promote peace) and to convince the believer that Satan has been judged.

Grace brings peace with God. Peace promotes love for God. Love for God translates into love for others. Loving others is godliness. You can read another post that explains the transformation process here. This series will be continued…..

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