Thursday, February 21, 2013

Work and Grace

One of the hardest thing to phrase is the distinction between law-doing and grace-doing. It is so easy to say "try," but try is so often heard as law, not gospel. What is the difference between them? How does one say "you should do this," without bringing law down on them? Even more practically, how does one act in grace? If I say "I should do this," how do I do so in the law of grace, and not the law of works?

We are saved, and so live, by the power of the Holy Spirit. If our life is because of the Spirit, then all that we do should be impelled, propelled, by the Spirit. How do I live like this? I pray for the Spirit to indwell me more and more, to impel and propel me to good works more and more. How do I pray? By the Spirit, who, even if we do not know how to pray, intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Thus, in all that we do, it is no longer we who do, but Christ who does in us. To respond to questions with "I'm trying," is good in the willingness to be unfinished, but all our trying must be God working in us. It is not that I am still trying to do this thing, since it is impossible for me, but it is God who is still working on, even in me, since all things are possible for, and thus with, him. Depend, therefore, on God, who raises the dead, to enliven you to good works, not done by yourself, but done as a gift from God, that is, good works given by God, which he has prepared for us, to give them to us to walk in. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. This verse is not a command that we ought to do, but a promise that God has set us to do, by his power, that is, by our being created in Christ Jesus. "That we should walk in them" not that it is dependent on our will, but that, because we walk in Christ, we will walk into, through, in, the good work which have been prepared for us--not in a way that removes our responsibility, but in a way that makes us able, indeed, unable not to do the good which has been set in our way to do because of our being in Christ and thus walking by the Spirit, which we do by the will of the Father who set us apart for salvation.

No comments:

Post a Comment