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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Untying the Knot, continued
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (II Peter 2:20,21)
"Not to have known the way of righteousness." The way of righteousness.
Does that expression say anything to you? It says to me that the Christian life is a way of righteousness, a way of behaving righteously from which you can turn and go back into the pigpen if you wish.
We stated in the beginning that all Christians when asked would affirm that we are supposed to keep the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles.
We then said there are four areas of disagreement concerning the keeping of the New Testament commandments.
* The consequences of not keeping the commandments.
* The approach we take to the commandments.
* The role of our own personality in keeping the commandments.
* What the results are of keeping the commandments.
Then we combined the various viewpoints concerning these four areas of disagreement into a first viewpoint, and then the current, Evangelical viewpoint.
After that we discussed the two viewpoints.
It is our firm opinion that dispensational thinking, which along with the Lutheran "faith alone" position accounts for much of the second viewpoint, is absolutely disastrous. By postulating a dispensation of grace different from all the previous working of God we have, I believe, destroyed the whole intention of the new covenant, which is to produce people who, unlike the Jews under the Law of Moses, actually practice righteousness, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
God's goal for man never changes. God's method of attaining the goal may change from time to time (but not as much as suggested by a "dispensation of grace").
However, we have changed the goal. We are presenting the goal as eternal residence in the spirit Paradise in a mansion. We are not emphasizing the forming of the new, righteous creation that is at home anywhere in God's universe. We are changing the location rather than the person, and this never was, is not, and never shall be the purpose of God's plan of redemption.
Man fell through disobedience. Jesus Christ came and walked in obedience to the Father. Now through His resurrection Life we are to learn to walk in obedience to the Father. This is the new covenant.
How utterly frustrating it must be to God to see His plan for developing righteous people changed into an escape to the place from which Satan originated—the spirit Paradise.
If I have ever heard from the Lord in fifty-two years as a Christian He is telling me to urge upon His people the importance of keeping His commandments. We invite you to go to Jesus in prayer and see if He actually is saying that to us.
Do you think we made any progress untying the knot?
Here is a one-liner for your meditation this week.
If the Christian salvation does not change our behavior it is worthless to God and to man.