FAITH: To Live By

Romans 4:20-21 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, (21) fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

How lovely. This is the faith (confidence) the justified LIVE by. God can give us a strong faith (thru the word of Christ, by the Spirit) in God, that He can deliver on His promises (which flow from Christ, the Amen!). This is the faith that glorifies God. This is the faith wherein we are sanctified.

ALERT: Eyes fixed/Ears opened!

My response to a conversation held elsewhere (Might as well face it you’re addicted to Law):

Thank you for the response…I truly appreciate the concern with the imperatives, and trust that you understand that NT imperatives are not the OT Law. For, we have died to the Law and are married to another, Christ, that we might might bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Rom 7:4) who brings us along in the way of Christ — not back to the external code (Rom 7:6) — in order that the *righteous requirement* of the Law might be fulfilled in us, again, by the Spirit (Rom 8:4).

Indeed, what I’ve said “sounds spiritual” because it is biblical, Christian. Our focus is solely upon Christ (The Indicative) and such focus is the sole means whereby the Holy Spirit produces fruit (the imperatives). With eyes fixed upon Jesus our ears are opened to the calling of the Holy Spirit, who works in us the works of God.

We are called to rest upon Christ who is our Rest. To behold and live. This is the way of the New Covenant, which is Christ himself, our Covenant (Isaiah 42:649:82Cor 3:1-18).

The NC imperatives are altogether Christological, not Law, no less commands but more than mere commands. They depict for us the likeness of Christ, both for and in us. They define what the Spirit of Christ is doing in us who believe this is how God works.

2Cor 4:6-7 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

We are not missing the call to action, but grasp the New Covenant cause of action…the effectual and finished work of Jesus Christ. Imperatives that become unhinged from this Gospel-context end up as Law-like things doing what the Law does best (Rom 7.7-25)…inciting the Flesh to do works that have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power (2Tim 3:5).

The Spirit of God has been given us, not as a spirit of fear (as to how well we are performing), but as the Spirit of power and love and self-control (2Tim 1:7). This is how the Gospel has come to those who hear it rightly, not only as a word, but as an effectual work of God that will cause us to delight in loving God and neighbor (1Thes 1:5). Against such, there is no external code in force (Gal 5:23), but the Rule of the Spirit inwardly (Ezek. 36:25-27).

Beholding is becoming.

LIFE: Gospel-given?

Question: Where should the emphasis be…Gospel-given or Gospel-driven?

Concern: Gospel-driven may be a disguise for gospel+drive (self-effort).  The focus ends up on US, rather than upon the person and work of Christ, the beginning, middle and end of the ‘new life’.

Gospel-given speaks of our being given the Holy Spirit as a result of Christ’s finished work, fulfilling all things.  The Gospel itself (Christ’s person/work) gives us all things.  ‘New life’ is given only by genuine faith in his having given his life and taken it up again.  ‘Growth’ is given only to those who continue believing this is how it works.

We end up living by some kind of works-righteous-law when we miss the Gospel as the continuing source of LIFE, whereby the Holy Spirit works.

FREE BOOK: The Fourth Stream

Learn of the doctrine of “Christ the Covenant” that has served to bring together New Covenant Theology advocates whose roots were located in various and diverse theological backgrounds such as Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism.

This is a free digital publication published by our own ESS. All we ask of you is that you would read it carefully and freely share with others by providing the following link.

www.takeacopy.com/books/The Fourth Stream.pdf

IMPERATIVES: Descriptive of Christ for/in Us

As for the imperatives of the New Covenant being imperatives in the life of the Believer, I get that…BUT…theologically, they are first and foremost and forever descriptive of Christ himself and the life of the Holy Spirit in us.  In others words, they aren’t external codes that I merely strive to live by in order to become more Christ-like, but an internal reality of the Spirit’s presence, manifest in a measure He’s pleased to grant (30, 60 or 100 fold).

RESOLUTION: Yours or His?

Is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about your resolution: the act of determining to do better?  Or, is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about God’s resolution: His sharpening our eyes to His both determining and fulfilling all things in Christ?

It could easily be the former and that would be quite natural, in keeping with the Flesh.  As for the latter, this would be in keeping with the Spirit, in accord with the Gospel, the New Covenant.

The Spirit gives and interprets His word, so that we might understand how God has resolved to deal with our sin and open our eyes to see,  increasingly with higher resolution, His righteousness in the face of Christ in all of Scripture.  Christ as both the Promise and Fulfillment of all Scripture!

The Spirit’s single means to opening our eyes, giving us the high-def resolution, is all of Scripture being read through the lens of the New Covenant (the Gospel).  If we miss this means, that, the Spirit gives in-sight by/thru the New Covenant, which is Jesus himself (Isa.42.6; 49.8; Mt.26.28; Lk.22.20; 1Cor.11.25; Heb.13.20; ), we miss the Big Picture made up of the many pixels.  We end up missing the Picture for the pixels.  We end up with the low-def resolution, seeing things as if they were essentially about our “being resolved” (a pixel).

CENTER: On self?

Unfortunately, the Liberal worldview is just one manifestation of our not being ‘grown-up’ about things (i.e., family, friends, foes, work, play, rest, etc.).  In other words, what’s wrong with Liberalism is wrong with all of us!  We need to grow-up and be comfortable doing so, especially when those around us act/think like children.

Let’s remember that all our efforts are in vain, unless Christ builds himself (likeness) in us, otherwise we’ll be found pretending to be grown-up.