Monday, September 03, 2007

What are the requirements of Grace? And, What are the limits of Obedience?

1951 "Saying Grace" by Norman Rockwell

There is an issue of inherent tension in Scripture between grace and obedience.

I believe there is a subtle movement of the pure freedom of the Spirit, while the carnal necessarily demands concrete answers.

“Where are the lines drawn?”

But, this assumes that “lines” exist, where none necessarily may be.

This very point shows up through the Scriptures, both OT and NT.

My contemplations have attempted to reflect this and possibly to give some semblance of understanding to the nuances within God’s nature. Hence, my adopted description for my theology; “Theology of Nuance.”

  • Example:David is a man after God’s very heart.But, David is not worthy of preparing the Temple for Him, because the blood of violence stains him.

  • Or: Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name. Exodus 15:3. Yet, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

  • Or: “Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Tension, for sure…, but not only with grace & obedience. We find nuance, subtlety, and even harmony between disparate philosophical concepts everywhere I AM turns.

And still, HE is not the liar, neither is He the father of lies, nor is He the prince of the earth.

No, these titles are reserved for the adversary , who by the way, is the one demanding the “black & white”, the lines of demarcation between obedience and faith, and the concrete definitions of “who is my neighbor,” and on it goes with all things carnal, the domain of the Accuser of humankind.

Satan speaks to me, in my mind’s eye, and it is he who demands that I must know for certain, the requirements of grace as well as the limits of obedience.

(Or is it the “limits of grace as well as the requirements of obedience?”…Perhaps I must know both.)

My Holy Spirit powers are energized when I turn back to those demands and ask the simple question..., “Why?”
  • “Why must I know the black and white?”

  • “What purpose will that knowledge serve?”

  • Or, “How will the knowledge enable me to more easily glorify Jesus?”

  • “Where & when will my knowledge of these presumed boundaries, barriers, walls, rules, laws, regulations, and limits etc. help others to be free in Christ?”
My experiences with God do not require answers, just trust and faith.

People must trust in the Power of Him, to overcome the weaknesses of them.

God bless,


1 comment:

S. Starr said...

I understand fully. Explaining those limitations and requirements to one in spiritual freedom is like trying to explain the sky to a bird. Its like trying to explain the wetness of water to a dolphin.