In chapter 18, Swindoll discussed "Corrective vs Preventive" Theology citing Gal 6:6-8. It is a key message for the "Grace-Doctrine" hearers. It clarify some of the misconceptions that "Grace Doctrine" hearers may have.
We have emphasized too much on confession and repentance of sins - the corrective effort (1 John 1:9) but very little on the preventive effort - Rom 6.
The whole purpose of God's grace to us is not just the forgiveness of sins but the empowerment to live beyond the passive demands of the laws in victory and doing God glorifying works (Eph 2:10).
Rom 6 tells us we are set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:22) ; spent much time arguing against using grace as license to sin.
Rom 7 speaks of struggle with the flesh , 7:19 but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing but ended with the secret to victoriy - Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Rom 8 gives us the encouragement that God is for us and will lead us through and to victory all the ways. The secret is "Grace Power - Christ in Us".
Gal preached against justification by laws and stressed that salvation come only through faith in Christ. Yet it reminded all that God's laws shall not be mocked - we reap whatever we sow. There is forgiveness for sin but not saving from the consequences of our sin. God's grace enables us to learn and walk through the consequences.
Let's us follow after the Holy Spirit and be empowered grace inside to lead a God glorify life. We do not have to waste time committing and then repenting from sins. Preventing is not trying not to sin but to pursue righteousness leaving us no time to sin.
31 If you abide in my word
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
34 everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
The word 'know' is the original 'ginosko' meaning "to know (by experience, or effort)".
Hence, freedom comes from learning about the Truth (taught by Jesus) and then obeying them by putting them into practice, and then taste the real experience of freedom. ... Know-Do-Have-KnowMore-cycles to greater and greater freedom.
So we have this interesting truth of "Obedience brings Freedom". Freedom comes not by doing whatever you like but only by following the Truths. Sins and bondage come from disobedience of the truth. If we are trapped in bondage, being forced to do things then we must know that we are following a lie. Discover the truth to reveal the lie and then follow after the truth and you can break free.
This is not difficult to understand. We are built, like machine as an example, to work in a certain way. If we operate not according to our instruction manual, we will malfunction. Only when we follow our operating manual will we find the effectiveness, joy and fulfillment of life. To be free, learn and obey our operating manual - the Bible and receive the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus the reason for this Christmas season.
There is the old saying that “a failure to plan is a plan to fail. This is emphasized twice by Jesus in the Parables of "Building a tower" and "Waging a War" in Luke 14:28–33.
The Steps are:
- sit down - spend the effort
- count the cost
a. for the total project
b. make sure it is enough to complete and to overcome the obstacles- Luke 14:28, 31
- If not, Come out with alternatives to complete the project - Luke 14:32
- Commit all your resources in fulfilling your plan (eg Calling by God) - Luke 14:33
Half-hearted commitment is not able to bring success.
Next:Focus & Priority
I think it is the "Doctrine of Grace" or "The New Covenant of Grace". The 6 basic doctrines are actually covered in the Old Testament. The new, more excellence Covenant, the once for all and eternal, the desires and aims of the OT, is accomplished and brought about, by Jesus Christ, the true Great High Priest.
We need to spend lot more time understanding and living out this new covenant of grace. Paul went through great extent explaining the why and how for our benefits that we may focus on Christ, empowered by Christ, put our faith in Christ, run and complete the race before us, following our leaders, encouraging and loving one another, doing God glorifying works to testify the goodness and love of God, and enter into the rest and rewards that Christ has gone before us to obtain for us.
The details are in the mind map Growing Up in Grace.
A comparison of the old and new is shown below:
| || |
Once for all
cannot perfect the conscience Heb 9:9
purify our conscience Heb 9:14
God glorifying work
obey the Laws
By faith in Christ's work
payment for sins
payment + new life
Grace Empowerment CIU
manual - follow the laws
Laws within Heart & Mind
In this post, I want to bring up the reinforcing effect of doing and have-ing on the be. By doing, we get to understand our identify better. Having strengthens our faith and give us confidence of our 'be-ing" that was there originally. This is growth. Big accomplishment is achieved through the repeated small steps of progress.
If we do and we don't have the success of "have" then we need to check on the method and process of our do. Did we have the right motive, did we hear God correctly, did we have the right methods and very often, did we give time for the effects to be seen. The seeds that germinate inside the earth, growing it roots is not seen until the stem and leave sprout out of the earth. Being persistent and patience is a quality of maturity especially towards people. On the other hand, we must be alert and flexible to adopt a new strategy if situation has changed. Life has such interesting variation that makes for real joy and challenge in living.
Death is not cessation of life but disconnection from God. Man rejection of God resulted in amity between God and man. It takes Jesus' substitutional death on cross to remove this amity. However, while Jesus makes possible the way back to God, it is still up to man to choose to be reconciled to God. It is a free will decision.