The Law and Grace. Day fifty-eight...
For years one of the banks in our area has used the motto, “We Can Do That!” in their advertising. I'm not a marketing guy by any means, and I didn't see any value in the slogan.
In fact, I thought the slogan was a bit on the stupid side—stupid, that is, until God called me to teach. But after looking at enough blank stares that said, “I don't know what he's thinking; I can never do that!” I began to change my teaching style.
I quickly abandoned any attempt to tickle a person's intellect, and focused instead on presenting the Word of God in a way that whoever was listening could say, “I can do that!”
When teaching, I now try to illustrate God's Word in enough practical ways to be able to see, “I can do that!” in the eyes of anyone who is listening.
Jesus makes a seemingly outrageous demand early on in His message to the multitudes on the mountain, as recorded in Matthew chapters 5–7.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 KJV)
And I just have to wonder, “I don't know what Jesus is thinking; I can never do that!”
But when Jesus tells me to be perfect, even as my Father in Heaven is perfect, He is challenging me to a position.
We, however, don't think of being perfect as a position. We think of being perfect as an impossible obligation on our part.
I think that's why the word “holiness” has been put in the same bucket with “legalism.” Holiness has almost become a dirty word in the American church today.
I see plenty of vibrant‐looking churches around with the word “grace” in their name. But when I think of a church with the word “holiness” in its title, I think of a bunch of old‐fashioned Christians meeting in an outdated building—having no appeal to me whatsoever.
The concept of holiness (or godliness, as it's more often translated in the New Testament) has always seemed such an impossible burden, that I think we've given up on it.
And we've been fooled into believing God's grace was His substitute for holiness on our part.
We've been fooled into believing that holiness may be a noble goal, but a goal that is impossible to achieve. So we might as well forget any consideration of holiness, and just kick back and let God's grace cover for our inadequacies.
But what if I were to say to you that holiness is not an impossible burden?
What if I were to say to you that holiness is not a hold‐over concept from the days of the Law—but holiness is a necessary “and” attainable key to the more‐than‐abundant life Jesus offers you?
Let's continue with this tomorrow.
Have a good day,