Monday, April 08, 2013

A Thought for Monday 4/8/13

“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfaithful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”  2 Peter 1:5-9

The theology of grace from the biblical witness has a distinct “growth” perspective and pattern.  Peter points out to his audience that there is no such thing as a “magic spell” in discipleship.   That moment of justification, when the Holy Spirit gives witness to our spiritual cleansing by the Holy God alone, is that moment when we are freed from our old selves and have been forgiven.  It is in that moment when we become “somebody” not by human standards but by the Divine Standard; the mercy and grace of our Lord.  However, it does not end there.  We have not been cleansed so that we can go out and dirty ourselves again!  We have been freed from our old selves and enabled to move forward, freed to respond!

Sanctification, then, is what Peter is referring to.  It is the pursuit of spiritual perfection borne of an inward grace that defines self-giving love and moves with personal will.  It is that love, when we give of ourselves in service to the Lord, His Church, and to one another that we make conscious decisions.  There is nothing “magical” about it; it is, rather, the path of discipleship, we choosing to act as disciples of our Lord rather than as minions of the evil one and living as though we had “forgotten that we were cleansed from our own sins”! 

It is a long and often difficult journey in which we persevere not only by our own faith (which will surely be tested!) but also by the faith of the community of the Body; that is, the Church.  We will be challenged and pushed and tested again and again, but the Promise is sure when our Lord teaches: “Those who endure to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

Hang in there, and know there is that “cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us and had endured much worse that we will ever see in this country!  It can be done, and it is the Church which exists for this very purpose; the Body of Christ, the community of disciples who are with, for, and in one another in The Most Holy Name!


No comments: