Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FINALLY, PART FIVE--------A LIFE OF FAITH

As Paul was said by Peter to have said some thinks "hard to understand" I think I have said some things of that category. [Not biblical truth, but practical and relational working out of biblical and certainly hard to understand.] Remember, I said at the outset that only one out of the ten who would read it would get it perhaps. That was prophetic. But that one has written and "got it. That's sufficient. Now the final segment.

Paul reminded the Roman christians that they had been set free from sin because they had "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. " We need to understand that there is absolutely no conflict in the New Testament between faith and obedience. There is a genuine conflict between living by faith and living by the Law as there is between Grace and Law, but none whatsoever between faith and obedience in the life of a believer.

In fact, were one to attempt to separate faith and obedience one would effectively destroy both. There is no real biblical faith without obedience and no real biblical obedience except it flow from the reservoir of genuine faith.

The biblical message of Christ and His Cross work is to be understood two ways. There are those things declared to be accomplished and you can bank on being true. [Generally referred to in the Indicative mood] Then there are those things commanded that are to be obeyed in light of His accomplishments. [Referred to in the Imperative mood.] The only thing we do with the accomplished things is believe them. [Rest in their genuineness] It is impossible to obey a fact declared accomplished. It isn't even addressed to our will but to our mind or understanding.

Likewise, a command is not to be believed but obeyed. It is not addressed to our mind or understanding but to our will. We can certainly trust it is a wise things commanded and best for our lives but it is to be obeyed.

The christian life is to be lived with this duality in mind always. As we believe who He is and what He has accomplished on our behalf, we are to then obey what He commands in every realm of life whether it be marriage, family, work, ministry or whatever a day may bring. Christianity is not a thing of religious activities to be performed but a way of life. As we choose to obey what He commands trusting who He is and what He's done to be real we will find the power and authority for the living of that way of life. Troubles, trials, good times alike will come and go but life will be meaningful and abundant BECAUSE He is alive in and through us.

Study the New Testament to know the ways of God and obey the will of God as you see it trusting that the ways you've learned are true. This is obedience flowing from that reservoir of faith in His accomplishments which was mentioned earlier. Do this as a way of life and a "well done" will be heard for the new year of 2009.

Paul B.

7 comments:

Benji Ramsaur said...

"There are those things declared to be accomplished and you can bank on being true. [Generally referred to in the Indicative mood] Then there are those things commanded that are to be obeyed in light of His accomplishments. [Referred to in the Imperative mood.]"

It is this kind of teaching that is so important and I'm afraid does not get the attention and emphasis that maybe it should [being possibly drowned out by things like the "alcohol" debate].

If all Christians understood what you are saying about the imperative being based on the indicative, then there might be a lot less drunkenness anyway.

And both side could agree with that.

Grace

Benji

BTW: Imperative rooted in the indicative, one anothering, and sanctification flowing out of union with Christ...3 "Mega" New Testament lessons that are good for the soul. I'm sure you already know all this--may your knowledge spread.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

My looking forward to what you had to say was well and truly justified.

What you have written has certainly been experientially true for me, and I suspect, most others who have sought to follow Christ. The sad fact is we don't want to recognise much of it.

For me it also brings up the question of eldership, or whatever name we might give leadership, as we see it today. How better equipped we are at the end of our lives.

I write those words with the knowledge of several churches which have been destroyed by young fellows who had no idea of who, or what they are, and of the inevitable conflicts within themselves,which they deny.

Paul Burleson said...

Benji,

Your "drunkenness" comment was the proverbial nail-on-the-head thing. In fact it is that [or the lack of undestanding that] that keeps us performing ALL the works of the flesh we so often perform. [Even religious ones.] Good comment.



Aussie John,

I totally agree. The wisdom of Elders in the New Testament would be seen afresh were we to see that a multiplicity of leaders protects from the possibility of one kind of unchecked flesh being in charge. That IS the essense of cultic behavior whether in an organization, religious group or marriage.

Now if we could get us to see that flesh can look good, even religious, but still be flesh. :)

Aussie John said...

Paul,

"a multiplicity of leaders". How about an experienced gray head or two as well? How that could have helped myself and some of my idealistic young peers.

"Now if we could get us to see that flesh can look good, even religious, but still be flesh. :)"

Ouch! I personally learned that lesson the hard way (as most of us do).

Mind you, leaders who are NOT more concerned about "looking good" than being honest, and realistic, about their own struggles, would do wonders for the congregations they are serving.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

Your whole comment is good. That last sentence is a gem.

Ron said...

Paul, I too agree that the last sentence of Aussie John's comment was a gem. So few are unwilling to admit much less share their struggles with others.

Paul Burleson said...

Ron,

Thanks for stopping by. do it often.