At this time’s query is from Jordan. “Good afternoon, Pastor John. I used to be just lately listening to episode 1322, “He Killed His Spouse and Youngsters — Can He Actually Be Forgiven?” What you mentioned in regards to the older brother jumped out at me: ‘The issue with the older brother is that he lived like a slave, not a son. He associated to his father as if his work would earn good issues, as a substitute of having fun with the fellowship of the daddy’s bounty.’ That’s a terrific precept pulled from Luke 15:17–24. I typically battle with figuring out in my coronary heart that no good work can ever be sufficient to please God. I believe in my thoughts that God is unquestionably not happy sufficient with me. I worry I reside like this older brother. How do you reside as a son and never a slave? How would I do know if I’m residing as a slave?”
Discuss Like a Son
Okay, step one in not residing like a slave however like a son of God is to cease saying mistaken, slave-like issues about our Father. Jesus mentioned in John 15:15, “Now not do I name you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his grasp is doing; however I’ve known as you buddies, for all that I’ve heard from my Father I’ve made identified to you.” You might say sons as nicely — each photos are within the New Testomony, and each are getting on the similar actuality. However right here the purpose is that this: “I’ve known as you buddies, for all that I heard from my Father I’ve made identified to you.”
“Step one in not residing like a slave however like a son of God is to cease saying mistaken, slave-like issues about our Father.”
One of many marks of a slave is that we act like we reside approach out on the sting of the plantation within the slave quarters, the place no person is aware of what the grasp’s plans are. Whenever you don’t know what the grasp’s plans are — how he does his enterprise — you’ll be able to simply say false issues about him. One of many first marks of a son, or a buddy, is that we all know him. We’re introduced into his councils. We see how he works. We see how he makes his choices. We see what he’s as much as. We start to know his methods and the way he goes about working the world. We cease saying issues about him that aren’t true.
Jordan, I say this out of affection, so please take this proper. Right here’s one step you’ll be able to take away from a slave-like relation to God. By no means say once more what you mentioned: “I typically battle with figuring out in my coronary heart that no good work can ever be sufficient to please God.” Don’t say that anymore. Now, I is perhaps misunderstanding you. I’m going to provide the advantage of the doubt right here, nevertheless it sounds such as you actually imagine this — like no good work can ever be sufficient to please God. That’s slave discuss; that’s not son discuss. The 1st step is to not imagine that. Don’t say that anymore.
I’m lingering on this since you’re not the issue right here. 1000’s of individuals have been taught to say that by quoting Isaiah 64:6. We even sing it. Within the King James, it says, “However we’re all as an unclean factor, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” What number of Christians have been taught to say that about each considered one of their good deeds as a Christian? That’s not what Isaiah is speaking about. Let me emphasize — learn it in context — he isn’t describing the great deeds of the real believer, good deeds finished within the energy of the Holy Spirit. These had been the hypocritical non secular acts that made God maintain his nostril.
When Jesus mentioned, “Let your gentle shine earlier than others, in order that they could see your good works” (Matthew 5:16), he didn’t imply “that they could see your filthy rags.” He didn’t. When Paul mentioned that Christians bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit — the Holy, Holy, Holy Spirit — he didn’t imply that the Spirit produces filthy rags. When Paul mentioned, “[Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a individuals for his personal possession who’re zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14), he didn’t imply Christ died to create filthy rags.
What has occurred in our grassroots theology is that, in our zeal to make clear the pervasiveness of sin and the perfection of justification, we’ve got undercut the Spirit’s work in sanctification. However the Spirit’s work may be very actual and really treasured and shouldn’t be known as filthy rags.
Within the Father’s Home
One of many methods we all know we’re the youngsters of God is that God has despatched his Spirit to steer us. He leads us into warfare with sin, and he leads us into paths of righteousness. Right here’s Romans 8:14–16: “For all who’re led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you didn’t obtain the spirit of slavery to fall again into worry, however you may have acquired the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we’re youngsters of God.”
“As a result of he gave his Son, your sins are forgiven, and his Spirit lets you please him.”
The Spirit “bears witness that we’re youngsters of God.” That witness he bears is, primary, his energy in us to do issues which might be not filthy rags. That’s witness primary: “I’m working in you to provide my fruit, not your filth.” Quantity two, he offers us a candy assurance that we’ve got an all-caring Father: “Abba! Father!” When that cry rises from the guts in childlike want, it’s the Spirit in us.
Right here’s the important thing to a non-slave, sonship relation with God: Get to know God in his phrase. You’re not slaves who have no idea what the Father is as much as. You’re within the massive home. Your slavery is over. Chances are you’ll stroll into the Father’s research at any time and interrupt him. His e book is 1,200 pages lengthy, and stuffed with gold and silver and honey for his youngsters. That’s the place him and meet him — in his phrase. Notice that as a result of he gave his Son, your sins are forgiven, and his Spirit lets you please him.
Leaving Rags Behind
Okay, I’m going to wrap up in a minute. You mentioned you don’t assume you can ever do something that pleases God. I may have misinterpret what you mentioned, however that’s what it gave the impression of. I would like you to cease speaking and pondering that approach. Paul mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “Whether or not we’re at dwelling or away, we make it our intention to please him.” He didn’t imply “Our complete futile, aimless, pointless Christian life is a failure since no person can do it.” He didn’t imply that.
“Christ didn’t die only for our justification. He died for our sanctification.”
He meant what he mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 1:11: “[God fulfills] each work of religion by his energy, in order that the title of our Lord Jesus could also be glorified in you, and also you in him, based on the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11–12). Don’t name that magnificent, grace-based Spirit-work filthy rags and displeasing to the Lord. Christ didn’t die only for our justification. He died for our sanctification. He didn’t die simply to take away the guilt of sin, however the energy of sin as nicely.
Sons of God experience forgiveness and belief the Spirit of the Father to do good. If there are imperfections in our Spirit-empowered good deeds, which there are, that doesn’t make them filthy rags. They’re the fruit of the Spirit, and our Father is happy with them. The day of perfection will come. Oh, it should come. However till then, God is aware of what he’s working in his youngsters. Mark that: God is aware of what he’s working in his youngsters, and he’s happy with what he’s working. Hebrews 13:21 says — and I finish with this — “[He is] working in us that which is pleasant in his sight, by Jesus Christ, to whom be glory eternally and ever. Amen.”
That’s the way in which a son talks, not a slave.