Steve Brown, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and president of Key Life Network, penned a marvelous word picture of the motive and expression of a life gripped by God’s grace:
When I became a Christian, two things happened. I got saved, and I got loved. I got loved so deeply that it still amazes me when I think about it. Because I got loved so deeply, I want to please the One who loved me that much. I may not always please him – sometimes I even run in the other direction, because his love can really hurt. I may chafe against pleasing him; I may not even speak to him. But I’ll tell you something: I want to please him, and when I don’t please him, it hurts. Now if I really want to please him, I must know what pleases him. I find that out by reading the Word and listening to his commandments. When I know what he wants, I want what he wants. Love does that to you. But I must know what he wants. That is why we must never soften the teaching of the Law of God. Holiness is a very important teaching as long as it is given in the context of God’s love.
5 thoughts on “Living & Loving to Please God”
I agree traching of the Law is important in the context of Gods Love. As the religious leaders of the time of Jesus were “holy men” as keepres of the law and book, devoted to Gods Word and probably knew the law better than most men & seminary professors do today, but they missed so much as well. As Jesus would say “you’ve heard that … but I say …. ” The action of Jesus & his men in the field of grain, the law said they would be guilty of death ! But Jesus said…the Sabbath was made for men not men for the sabboth…
Jesus fullfilled the law and turned it upside down in a simple statement of Loving God and loving people. I think this is the key to what God desires for us.
Holyness comes from simple faith expressed, not learned in books of the law. Not from works of learning.
I would say we need more learning & teaching on what Love is and how it’s expressed as I believe the Scripture teaches Holyness comes out of Gods Love. We certanily don’t become Holy to earn God’s Love or favor. We Love God because He first loved us….not because of anything we do. But Love expressed in faith, I think is holyness.
Thats why I so liked your recent posts on marrage as they are an expression of real Love and I think Holyness….
I know I’ve probably stepped on many toes here but it seems like Steve is saying in a sense that we can learn holyness as a practice where I think it’s something we more gain from God’s Grace to us because of His Love expressed in our actions.
“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,” ~ 1 Timothy 1.8
Yep,….. but ! Lawfully Jesus & His men should have been put to death for breaking the sabbath. (that was a hugh deal according to the Law, worthy of death…) & David and his men should have never eaten the show bread according to the Law. But he got a pass… there are other good examples as well.
So by I Tim 1:8 you mean out of either Loving God or people I agree. But as trying to keep the law, i’d say nay…
Haven’t seen anyone keep the law or use it lawfully yet ! I know that is pushing things a bit. But it’s true. No person can keep the law let alone use it lawfully !
We can be guided by it and use it to the best of our abilities which are flawed at best.
So, I guess you are saying since the law cannot be completely kept, and because man has always distorted the law of God and used it in a way contrary to the way God intends, we should not trust or value the law?
Should we “treasure” it like an old family heirloom that has no real function any more?
Or is it possible that there is a “lawful” use of the law that you are not considering?
The latter is the way most evangelicals today go. While denying the law has any functional purpose, they nevertheless use the law to support the vices they oppose.
There is another way. A Biblical way. A way to use the law toward our sanctification… A way law & grace are not at odds, but as Spurgeon said” “Friends”.
I’m not saying we should do away with it or consider it old and something to read about and wonder but understand it’s place in regards to Grace & Faith.
I like your last para above. It seems like the Law and Grace are at odds at times at least there is some friction in the Scriptures about how it’s applied at times.
I just don’t really know. I know to do right and to follow Gods commands. But I find myself falling short over and over and not sure how I can be holy if I fail over and over. Short of Faith in Jesus only and not my ability to follow the Law or “Spiritual practices” as a means to obtain Holyness.
Since I know I can only be Holy in Jesus I’d rather depend upon Hiom only…If that makes sense. Not to give up on my struggles but to follow Gods Law but to know my Holyness is secure in Jesus and not in me.
The Law and me may be friends, but I don’t trust him…!