Monday, April 14, 2008

walking worthy of God

Again, in hearing God's word this morning, I ran across the truth that in Jesus believers can walk worthy of the Lord in this life. What does this mean? Certainly not like any of us will arrive in this life, and never sin.

It is good to read passages that speak of living worthy in their context to see what is being spoken of. I do believe it means that by grace we can live as true followers of Jesus. Involved in that for us will be repentance, though what is evident in the passages is the new life lived out in this present existence. It is a life lived out from God's life given to us in Jesus by the Spirit. A life of the new creation, destined by God to make all things new, but beginning with us now. This is a life in the here and now that can actually honor the Lord. And is seen in some true measure in every child of God in Jesus in this life.

In our zeal to honor the message of the Reformation, that works are not a part of salvation, we can cut off the importance of works altogether. We're not declared righteous by our works in this life, but only by faith. But in the judgment to come people will be declared righteous or judged by their works, by the lives they lived. Of course such lives and works acceptable to God through Christ are possible only by faith. Our works by themselves are dead, but saving faith works through love, or else it is dead.

There is a difference in our lives in Jesus, but we must grow in this grace if we're to walk worthy of God in this life, and avoid falling into sin. It's of grace and by the Spirit. I personally am working on making as a habit of my life to consciously seek to walk by the Spirit. And then, as I do, good works through the fruit of the Spirit will follow.

Anyone out there who would like to shed some light for us in this matter? Or who may question anything I say here?

(The links are like end notes. They can be helpful, and in this case are links to passages of Scripture, which demonstrate I hope, the truth of what is being said here.)

8 comments:

Every Square Inch said...

No disagreement from me. Another way I think about it is that we are simply to live a life that pursues what is of greatest value - Jesus Christ Himself.

Kim said...

I think your last paragraph says it all - we are to strive to "walk in the Spirit" - only then will we bear good fruit. First things first!

John Frye said...

Ted,
Very encouraging post. I believe the great challenge and privilege we have is to walk worthy of our calling. Indeed, the Spirit and God's grace are essential for this. I think I would add also--the believing community. The walk in the Spirit is not a private, individualistic challenge. It is the mission of the redeemed community. What do you think?

NaNcY said...

i think that it is fine to think about these things apart from community in a personal kind of way. we are all responsible to some degree for our own relationship with God to be able to receive from and give to the community by the Spirit doing what th Spirit does best through us and not of us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Yes. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. In him is all we need for life and godliness. We need to get and remain focused on him.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kim,
Walking in the Spirit. Yes, that's what I've been thinking about recently, and even though it's a Spirit reality, we are commanded to do it.

I did a post on this recently, but since I'm feeling a little under the weather, I won't take the time to link it here.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

John,
Thanks, and that is the missing note here that is needed. I did bring that out a little in the recent post I had on walking by the Spirit.

It's definitely relational and communal in that the fruit of the Spirit are relational in nature.

Gordon Fee in his big work on the Spirit in the letters of Paul said that most all the commentators on Galatians missed that point. He emphasizes it there.

I need to keep working on getting out of my individualistic mindset. I think I've come a long ways on that, but am still prone to be there, I'm afraid.

Thanks for your other good, helpful words to us as well. And for your compliment.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Yes, we each have our part and individual responsibility, then that works out into the whole in community. Good point.

Thanks.