In light of the current Adult Bible Hour study in Galatians, I thought that Al Baker’s most recent article would be helpful. The balance between licentiousness and legalism has been fought in Christ’s church from the beginning. Satan always wants to move us to one extreme or the other. God has most certainly called His people to obedience but even my obedience (or sanctification) is powered by grace (Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing”) but is not a passive activity on our part. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Yet, in my desire and efforts to do that very thing I receive no heavenly “brownie points.” The Triune God loves me no more or less because I’m seeking to obey Him in all things (or not) because His love is unchangeable and grounded in the perfection of Christ whose perfect righteousness has been put to my account in my justification.
But notice that Jesus puts the heart issue before the acts of obedience. It’s not “obey and then love me” but rather “If you LOVE ME…” THEN there will be an attendant life of obedience to His Word. There is the motive of my obedience to Christ. It is the “love of Christ” that pushes me along on the road of service and honoring Jesus in my life. And when I fail to properly honor Him the Holy Spirit compels me to repent even as I remind myself that I am a beloved child of God’s beneficent grace and will never be cast out of His forever family and it’s precisely because of His great mercy that my heart is broken when I fail to live in ways that bring Him the glory due Him. Pastor Baker develops these truths further in the article I’ve included for your edification.
Just a reminder that Al will be our Missions Conference preacher on Sunday, March 6 so if you would like to meet the man behind these articles then you’ll have the opportunity to do so in just a few weeks. God bless you as you seek to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ” for the praise of His glory and grace.