Showing posts with label holiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiness. Show all posts


Sunday Scripture - Hebrews 12 v 14

Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.

Today I am looking at Hebrews 12 v 14

The first thing that struck me when I was considering the verse for this week was the fact that within each of the last 3 verses in this Sunday Scripture series, there is a mention of one of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The first one had PATIENCE,

                 the second one had JOY

                       and now this one has PEACE.

I don't think this is a coincidence because the Fruit of the Spirit is very important in our lives and we should show this daily.

The other main word in this verse is HOLINESS.

I believe that there are two relationships here in this verse, the PEACE in is about the relationship between us and others and the HOLINESS is about the relationship between us and God.

Yet the two cannot be completely distinct from each other.

How can we possibly expect to be sanctified and lead holy lives if we do not live in Peace?

How can we who are naturally sinful and selfish live in peaceful relationships if we do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit with us each day as He helps us to live and grow more like Jesus?

What do we need for a true relationship with God and man?

Our Christianity cannot be complete if we do not have 
the right relationship with man and with God.

We are not to be completely apart from the world but we are to be God's representatives in the world showing peace and holiness to touch the lives of others.

In other words we are to be Christlike as we live with the hope of coming into the presence of Christ Himself.  And that links back again to that earlier Sunday Scripture that also mentioned patience.

Today's verse is a strong word on how we should live towards God and towards man and if we learn to live holy lives then the peace will be there as a result.  We cannot be holy and yet at odds with others, the peace will be the outworking of the holiness and through this the fruit of the Spirit will be seen.


The Discipline of Grace - 3

If you have not read my notes on the first two Chapters of

"The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges 

then you may wish to go visit those before continuing here.



Chapter 3

Again I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter and to me the emphasis was on justification and grace.

Bridges seems to be excited by what he is writing as he talks of our sin, the atonement by the blood of Jesus, justification through the death and punishment suffered by Jesus on our behalf and the grace of God in the forgiveness we receive.

None of this is subject to us but freely given by God and Jesus.

Several times Bridges writes "Preach the Gospel to yourself" which he admits will seem to be a strange instruction; but he goes on to clearly explain that this is the way to truly know and remember what Jesus has done for us and will help us not to be overcome with guilt (covered in first chapter) about our sin and the imperfect people we are.

While I was reading this I couldn't help but think on the sad comments that Steve Chalke has made about the death of Jesus and how mistreated he claims Jesus was by His Father God; 

so I must say here that

I am very thankful for a book like this one which clearly states the true reason for our Saviour's death and the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

I do agree with Bridges when he says you should "preach the Gospel to yourself"

Do you?

Do we preach the gospel to ourselves?

If this encourages you to read the book you'll find it on amazon for kindle or in paperback.

For other posts on this book see Links below:

Grace 1
Grace 2


The Discipline of Grace - 2

Click here to read  Grace 1 which covered the first chapter of the book

  The Discipline of Grace 
by Jerry Bridges

 Now let's take a look chapter 2  this time.

 Chapter 2

This surprised me at first because it was so different to the first chapter.

Here he takes a look at the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican going to pray.

I loved the way he explained what this parable is all about.

What it boils down to I think is the fact that when the Publican says

                         "Lord be merciful to me a sinner" 

he is able to say this because he is sure of the grace of God.

Isn't that so ironic that he understands grace but the Pharisee doesn't.

If the Pharisee truly knew what the grace of God was, he could not have been so confident in himself.

The Publican did understand but still he was not confident in himself instead he was confident in God because of grace.

Of course the author has a lot more to say than just this and again this chapter is full of truth and I found it so encouraging.

If this encourages you to read the book you'll find it on amazon for kindle or in paperback.

I promise that later posts on this book will contain shorter notes on each chapter.  

For other posts on this book see Links below:

Grace 1
Grace 3

Grace 1 - The Discipline of Grace

Some time ago I decided to read

        "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges

and I have been slowly, very slowly doing so because there is just so much to take in from each chapter.

If I waited until I had read the whole book the notes on it would be extremely long judging by the ones thus far so I've decided to put together here just the notes from my reading of the first chapter to give a taste of what this book has to offer.

Chapter 1

The Holy Spirit transforms us spiritually; we cannot do this ourselves. This is sanctification.
The Pursuit of Holiness is our cooperation and involvement in the sanctification process and it is something we need to be fully committed to.  This must be anchored in the Grace of God.

God's blessing does not depend on our performance.
God's grace through Christ is greater than our sin.
If God’s blessings were dependent on our performance, they would be meager indeed.
Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.
And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone.
We are saved by grace but also each day of our lives we live by grace because we must look only to Jesus for God's blessings on our lives we cannot earn the blessings ourselves.

God's grace through Christ is greater than our sin.

Grace - God's unmerited favour to those who deserve His wrath.
Although saved we still sin; but we also still receive His grace.
We are neither blessed because we have done good enough to gain His favour or not blessed because we have failed to earn it.
 Our performance rating is not the important thing here.
The Gospel applied to our hearts each day frees us to be honest with ourselves & God.
We can admit we still sin and take responsibility for this instead of blaming our actions on the effects of others.

"So it doesn't matter how I live because God forgives me unconditionally" - no, this is not acceptable as it means that the truth is being abused.

We cannot allow others to lessen the value of the truth for all of us. So they need to be reminded of the Gospel.

What about those who struggle with the fact that we are still sinners and they think they are not committed enough? They also still need to be reminded of the Gospel because it does not pour on guilt but rather brings freedom from guilt to them.

We cannot allow others to lessen the value of the truth for all of us.

To live no longer for ourselves but for God is the essence of discipleship.
Love is what compels us to live for God.

So it is by the Gospel that we must be motivated to live a holy life and not by guilt or duty because it is through the Gospel that we will be conscious of His great love.

God's grace is greater than all our sins.
Repentance is one of the Christian's greatest privileges. A repentant Christian focuses on God's mercy & God's love.
One who draws on God's mercy & grace is quick to repent but also slow to sin.
Are we willing to rely on God's mercy & grace alone instead of on our performance, to boast in nothing save the cross?

If this encourages you to read the book you'll find it on amazon for kindle or in paperback.

I promise that later posts on this book will contain shorter notes on each chapter.  
See Links below:

Grace 2
Grace 3