Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Christian's Obedience, Faith, and Glory are From God

Here's something I copied from one of Tony Hayling's articles awhile back:

"The mature Christian sees even his obedience as coming from God Himself. It is the obedience of Christ wrought in the heart of the believer by God through the faith He has given. Does the believer exercise his faith? Yes. Is he responsible to God for his obedience and disobedience? Yes. Is God alone due the glory for all of it? Yes. It is because this defies all we have learned from childhood about our own ability to effect results that even professing Christians have such difficulty with this principle. Men want it to be one way or the other and God says it is both ways. Men want to be able to get credit for their obedience and God says Christ gets the credit for everything - even though men must obey. It is unfathomable, but also liberating. And it is settled."

This is a balanced, Biblical view of the believer's sanctification, recognizing God Himself as the sole source of all good. Believers are the recipients of and the participants in the good supplied by God - but we are never the origin of it, and never the sustainer. The glory belongs to God alone.

In one sense, God will never share His glory, for it is His only. It would be detrimental to us as creatures to bear the heavy weight of responsibility entailed with being glorious. But in another sense, God is ever sharing His glory, always bringing us into it, continually blessing us by it, in it, and through it. Though we are not glorious, we are being glorified.

We relate to God's glory much as we relate to water. We can swim in it, drink it in, wash in it, and enjoy the refreshment of it. But if we look to ourselves as the source of it, we find only a degraded version that is tainted by our own pollution and contamination. We would not swim in urine, drink sweat, or wash with spit and mucous! We must always be hydrated, and always full of water, but we are not a reliable source of hydration. As we cannot create water, and only benefit from it when it is pure, so God's glory only helps us when we apprehend it purely, as His alone, and enjoy it as His gracious gift.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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