I have made a great deal of noise about our calling to holiness. There is certainly nothing wrong with pressing one another to such a high calling. And every Christian is called to the highest possible standards.
But I have never preached the gospel to a robot. It’s not likely I ever will. The gospel is not made for automated consumption. The gospel is made to be consumed by frail, and even rebellious, people.
Too much talk, however, about our necessity to gain holiness can leave many with a broken heart and destroyed faith. Not to mention that many people will simply stop listening, because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.
I cannot retract one article or word in regard to our high calling. The Lord Himself told us to be holy, even as our Heavenly Father is Holy. So I cannot retract what the Holy Lord has spoken.
So in view of the audience, which the gospel intends to command, there must be a doorway of relative ease by grace. Such a doorway does exist. In fact it is a double swinging door. That is to say, two doors which can open independently, yet are side by side. One is made of spirit, the other is made of flesh.
The first door was built by Jesus. It was hung, and operational at the speaking of these words by Isaiah the prophet: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice. . .”. Christ Jesus, being the full mercy of the living God, is the door of grace. This is the door made of spirit.
You would think this is enough proof for anyone who is struggling. But God has supplied a second door, due to the weakness of man.
Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example. As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”.
God has supplied the second door through the Apostle Paul. We will call this one the door made of flesh.
As he worked out his own salvation, he fell upon a place of concern. Though the desire within him to “become” was great, he found the flesh drawing back his upward momentum. So he spoke to the people to explain his view. (Failure visits every man.)
Because of the grace of God he could continue without interruption. But continuing did not mean he needed to start over, as some are persuaded is true of their own faith.
He intended to forget what was behind and set his mind firmly on what lay ahead. But he also understood that if he was trying so very desperately to “accomplish”, what would become of the weaker Christians. That’s when the Lord gave him a door to hang.
The Apostle Paul’s door of mercy hangs right next to the door of grace. It simply says this: “Only let us live up to what we have already attained“.
Strive as hard as you can, but let God be God.
A great deal more can be said in regard to this. But I’ve already used a whole lot of words.
In every job there is the craftsman as well as the apprentice. Each continues to do what he has learned. Each one adds daily to what he knows. There are different levels and skills. But the craftsmen and the apprentice own the job they are given.
Apply this as you will. Only learn that God is Holy Love.
By His Grace