Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holiness and grace; Are they mutually exclusive? Part 3

(Eph 4:22-24 ESV)  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  (23)  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  (24)  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

This should be the desire of every saint. I know that it is my desire. I want the new man to be in control of me. Notice that the new man comes in as the result of a renewed mind. Renewed how? Renewed to what? Is it renewed to scripture? I don’t think so. Instead, it is renewed to the gospel. That is why Jesus and his followers redefined the phrase word of God/word of truth. He knew that the assurance of the gospel would bring peace with God that would result in love for God and love for God is what results in true holiness.

Look at what Paul says about righteousness.
So what is true righteousness and holiness? While the King James Version renders verse 24 as righteousness and true holiness it should be true righteousness and holiness as it is rendered in most versions. In the Greek it is dikaiosune kai hosioteti which is righteousness and holiness so the alethias/truth is related equally to both words. So then, now that we have established that it is true righteousness and holiness, let’s look at what true righteousness is because, true righteousness is what results in true holiness. (Romans 10:1-4 ESV)  “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.  (2)  For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  (3)  For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.  (4)  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” The righteousness of God is imputed righteousness based on faith (Gen 15:6.) Paul says in second Corinthians that God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be made sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor 5:21.) the concept of being justified by our faith in Jesus is the foundational ground for peace with God.
(Rom 5:1 ESV)  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the peace with God… that is… being at peace with God that leads to love for God by resting in grace. This is how the Holy Spirit transforms us. The result will be love. Remember Jesus words? (John 13:35 ESV)  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Notice that Jesus did not say that all people will know you are my disciples if you obey the law; or, all people will know that you are my disciples if you dress a certain way, or, all people will know that you are my disciples if you speak a certain way…. NO, NOT AT ALL… it is uncommon love that will identify us as the disciples of Jesus. Friend, peace with God via believing the gospel is the source of this uncommon love. It is the transformer!

Holiness and grace Part 1 and Holiness and grace Part 2 Check these posts out also… this theme is to be continued…..

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