Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holiness and grace; Are they mutually exclusive? Part 4

(Gal 5:22-23 NASB)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

It should be abundantly clear that godliness, therefore holiness is expressed in the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is agape… og-ga-pay (correct pronunciation). Agape is a special kind of love. Many have said it is God love… that is, the love that God has and gives. Rest assured that true righteousness and holiness is an expression of agape. All of the up-tight saints that are trying to walk the chalk miss this idea and in their tight fear miss agape and its expression in their life.

Let’s take a quick look at the description of agape. It can be found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian saints in the thirteenth chapter.

(1Co 13:4-8 NASB)  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  (5)  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  (6)  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  (7)  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8)  Love never fails…

The above passage is another way of expressing the fruit of the Spirit and it describes holiness. As was pointed out in previous posts, this spiritual fruit, agape is birthed and sustained by peace with God, (Romans 5:1.) In fact, it is faith in the gospel of grace that produces this Spiritual fruit. Now then, the saint has to be grounded in the fact that they are completely made right in the eyes of the Father to allow this agape to be produced.

If faith in Christ is the reason for justification and right standing with the Father then, our obedience to the commands cannot be. In fact, our obedience to the commands will not even keep us in right standing with the Father. The only thing that will do that is faith in the gospel. This is why Paul told the Colossians that as they received the Lord Jesus (by faith) that is how they should WALK in him (Col 2:6)… in other words, just like they believed in the gospel to be saved, they must continue to believe in the gospel to faithfully walk in him.

I am not shouting but I want to emphasize the following so I am putting it in capital letters…. UNTIL THE SAINTS ARE COMPLETELY CONVINCED IN THE ABSOLUTE PERMENANT EFFECACY OF GOD’S GRACE THEY CAN NEVER LOOK AT THE LAW TO BE INSTRUCTED IN PROPER RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE! However, from the position of assurance of justification no matter what, justification that is based solely on the work of Christ and faith in that work, then one can look at the law and admonition passages and begin to see ways that holiness can be displayed.

Still more to come in this series…

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