Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Can't quite wrap my head around it sometimes
Yet we see this throughout the Bible. Resting in Christ, yet striving to please Him. Knowing that our works cannot please Him, yet counting our suffering for the sake a Christ a joy. It sounds like craziness sometimes.
Weakness. I have plenty. Yet when I am weak, when I confess my need for more of God in my life, then I am made strong. Not in my own self, but my strength comes from the God who sustains me.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Phil. 3: 12)
There, Paul has put it into words. I am not perfect, but I strive to make myself better because Christ has made me his own. Get it? Not because it pleases him, or because he will love me more because of it, but because of what has already been done. My striving is not to gain a future reward, but to honor a past event. Just like celebrating President's Day doesn't make our presidents better, nor does it promise us more freedom, it simply honors those who have served in the office. And choosing not to celebrate does not lessen their deeds either.
A few quotable lines from chapter 7 to wrap up:
"Works are not grace, but works are not incompatible with grace."
"In the end, while some of the high-minded want to pit grace against striving , and while we are not saved by our striving and in fact are saved from our striving, we are also saved to our striving— a striving after Christ."