Friday, August 05, 2005

Nothing without Him!



As I was reading through God's No and God's Yes: Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther tonight something finally clicked with me. Nothing I do is good enough and only with God does anything I do have any ounce of value. There is no command in the Bible that I can keep to the standards that God wants.

All that I have is to praise him for giving his one and only Son to die for the sins that I am always committing. No matter how hard I try to stop myself from sinning it is futile. There is no way to follow the Law. Instead I must depend on someone else to do it for me. Cue Jesus. He took care of everything for me and I just have to rejoice in this great gift that has been given to me. How simple is that, I do nothing I can be secure knowing that everything is already taken care of for me.

Does this mean that I can sin all I want now knowing that I will be forgiven? Of course not. For doing things against my conscience is not living in a way that is faithful to my Lord. But rather living willfully against my conscience shows that I am still putting my faith in sin. This is something which is clearly not acceptable.

Our Lord Jesus Christ died so that we may have the confidence that we do not need our own merit to survive. His death is the merit that we need. Our obedience to God is lived from him through our faith. For it is by grace alone that we are saved. My mind is reeling from this new light that has been shed on the Scriptures for me. I can now see that anything I thought that I did was really only God working in me through my faith.

Praise the Lord for the gift that he has so freely given to us. We would be nothing without the wonderful gift of grace.

2 comments:

Joe Fremer said...

"Does this mean that I can sin all I want now knowing that I will be forgiven? Of course not. For doing things against my conscience is not living in a way that is faithful to my Lord..."

You're right! Paul was dealing with the same straw man in Rom. 6. I find his (inspired) logic fascinating.
Dead people don't sin.
You're dead! (baptized=dead)
Therefore, "you" (the new you in Christ) can't sin.

His practical conclusion: Make up your mind that you are dead to sin, and act according to that mindset.

Before the Evil One turns that conclusion into yet another acid splash of Law, here's the countermeasure: the secret you know, that he hates us knowing, is that you can't reform the old Adam. Your old life is beyond repair. You need a new one. You need a Donor. Therefore Paul's sanctification advice (6:11-12) is to graft into the donated life, and let it do its job, and keep up the anti-rejection medication (sounds like Holy Communion to me!).

The reason I say you're right, is that "living willfully against my conscience shows that I am still putting my faith in sin." Why attach veins and arteries to the gangrenous old dead heart, when a living beating heart of a Donor is installed and ready?

God is simply awesome!

Ryan P.T. said...

It's as though the sun were rising on the whole of scriptures...

Isn't this exciting, andy? God's word for us, enlivening and equipping, all we need. Hallelujah. I'm so excited we're learning this stuff together.