Love and Holiness

I recently read an article highlighting the letters of Francis Schaeffer. The post called attention to Shaeffer’s emphasis on the Christian’s responsibilty to reflect both the love and the holiness of God. It was Schaeffer’s conviction, and I believe he was correct, that these two characteristics could coinside in an individual only by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Photo by leicadog1

Here is the quote from an undated letter:

Increasingly I believe that after we are saved we have only one calling, and that is to show forth the existence and the character of God. Since God is love and God is holy, it is our calling to act in such a way as to demonstrate the existence of God–in other words to be and to act in such a way as to show forth His love and His holiness simultaneously. Further, I believe that the failure to show forth either of these is equally a perversion.

Of course, in one’s own strength it is only possible to show forth either love or holiness. But to show forth the holiness and love of God simultaneously requires much more. It requires a moment by moment work of the Holy Spirit in a very practical way.

In the flesh we can exhibit a pharisitical vengance against sin or we can exhibit a benevolance that dismisses sin. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit do these characteristics come into balance.

“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalms 25:10

A Good Confession

by Frederic Faber

The chains that have bound me are flung to the wind,
By the mercy of God the poor slave is set free;
And the strong grace of heaven breathes fresh o’er the mind,
Like the bright winds of summer that gladden the sea.

There was nought in God‘s world half so dark or so vile
As the sin and bondage that fettered my soul;
There was nought half so base as the malice and guile
Of my own sordid passions, or Satan‘s control.

For years I have borne about hell in my breast;
When I thought of my God it was nothing but gloom;
Day brought me no pleasure, night gave me no rest,
There was still the grim shadow of horrible doom.

It seemed as if nothing les likely could be
Than that light should break in on dungeon so deep;
To create a new world were less hard than to free
The slave from his bondage, the soul from its sleep.

But the Word had gone forth, and said, Let there be light,
And it flashed through my soul like a sharp passing smart;
One look to my Savior, and all the dark night,
Like a dream scarce remembered, was gone from my heart.

I cried out for mercy, and fell on my knees,
And confessed, while my heart with keen sorrow wrung;
‘Twas the labor of minutes, and years of disease
Fell fast from my soul as the words from my tongue.

And now, blest be God and the sweet Lord who died!
No deer on the mountain, no bird in the sky,
No bright wave that leaps on the dark bounding tide,
Is a creature so free or happy as I.

All hail, then, all hail, to the dear Precious Blood,
That hath worked these sweet wonders of mercy in me;
May each day countless numbers throng down to its flood,
And God have His glory, and sinners go free.

Christianity vs Truth! What?

There is a troubling trend in Christianity today.  Sometimes it is blatantly and brazenly professed and sometimes it comes incognito, made to look like worship.  It is a belief that truth cannot be known.  We can’t really understand anything about Scripture or about God.  As I mentioned some preach (I hesitate to call what they do preaching) this from their platforms whether it be sermons, books, or blogs.  And others try to pass it off as worship, “God is so great and wonderful!  We can’t possibly understand or even really know Him!”

Wait a second!  Christianity is ALL ABOUT TRUTH!  Truth is knowable.  In fact, God WANTS us to KNOW.  That is the purpose of His Word.  Scripture is the measure, the standard, and the TRUTH.  It is God’s all-sufficient, complete, and unchangeable guide and gift for His people.  And while it is true that we cannot fully comprehend God, for His ways are higher than our ways, there is a lot that we CAN know.  He has revealed it to us through His Word.  Yet knowledge of the Bible ranks pretty low, even among “born again” believers.  The preaching and teaching of Bible Truths is disappearing from many churches and is being replaced by entertaining speeches.  The love of God’s Word is waning in the hearts of His people.

There are many that believe that the authority of God functions separately from written Scripture.  They believe that Scripture cannot be fully authoritative at the level of its functioning in the life of the Church today.  There is a dismissal of the importance of doctrine and the assumption that it is neither central, nor important in the lives of the post-modern day Christian.  As a result, we have a lot of murmuring and complaining about Truth, and a lot of shouting and rejoicing about many other subjects.  The Christian Church is distracted!

We have to get back to Bible Teaching and Bible Preaching.  People, our pastors should not have to worry about us getting bored or anxious to leave when they begin teaching us Biblical Truths.  We need to encourage them to teach to us and preach to us, like never before, the Truth of God’s Word.

We need to embrace God’s Word, embrace God’s Truth, and embrace the One at the center of its message.

Without Truth, there is no Christianity!

For more on this, I suggest David Well’s The Courage to be Protestant  from which most of these thoughts were inspired.

What Do You Have To Say About Truth?  Don’t Lie!