H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
My complete profile...
The Buzz

Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010
The beauty of His holiness.
Immature believers are easily convinced that any continuing presence of sin in their life proves or at the most strongly suggests something illegitimate about their faith. Who among us, no matter where we are in our walk, can say that we have never experienced concern about the legitimacy of our confession, having found ourselves at some weak moment, in the grip of sin?

As we mature, we begin to rely, not on our own effort, but on God's steadfast faithfulness. We do not look to our obedience to prove ourselves legitimate, but we look to God's promise again, with renewed certainty that we were made acceptable to Him in Christ, and that this is a finished work ("...it is finished!") rather than setting our hope in our own imperfect ability to remain ultra holy.

I think a great many preachers attempt to do the work of the Holy Spirit in trying to persuade their congregation, however this persuasion comes, to be more ... well, Christ like. I know the longing desire to see Christ formed, not only in myself, but in others. I know that the world has no balm like the life of Christ which provides not only comfort in the knowledge of a sure reconciliation, but more, provides the Holy Spirit who works in us, conforming us to the image of Christ - in spite of all our failure. Who but God is fit to build His church?

My encouragement for you today is one about where the focus of your faith must remain if you are to grow in it. Do not look to your own sinful self, but look to the God whose steadfastness can keep a promise made, even to a wretch like yourself. God's promise doesn't waver because you are unworthy of it. Learn and live that, and you will find yourself able to draw nearer to God. Those who keep their gaze on their own efforts imagine that God loves them when they are obedient, and hates them when they are not. Of course, since they never feel "good" for long, they end up putting a holy hill between themselves and God, and hamstring their own sanctification.

Funny how that works. They want to be holy in order for God to accept them (bad theology), and it is this very thing that cripples the whole process of sanctification.

Don't get me wrong, we should/must concern ourselves with holiness, and the pursuit thereof - but not as those who do so in order to make themselves acceptable to God. The moment we obey in order to make God like us, we are operating in the flesh. Obedience is supposed to be an act of unfeigned worship. Our flesh will never desire to obey, so that when we do obey, we must be on guard against trying to purchase God's favor through our begrudging effort. It is a sign of maturity to reason, "My flesh hates to obey you in this, but my soul delights to worship you in obeying!"

We cannot draw near to God through obedience that flows from a desire to pacify or placate - rather we draw near first by resting in God's steadfast promises by which we are irrevocably named His children, and given the right to come before Him (in Christ). We first rest, I say, in what God has accomplished in reconciling us to himself - and then, in the certainty that we are His children, and acceptable to Him, not because of our sinlessness, or perfect obedience, but because of Jesus Christ, and what has already been accomplished on our behalf at Calvary - in that strength, I say, we yield our members to obey, not as a means to do again what Christ has already done (reconcile ourselves to God), but rather as a conscious act of worship - to live in accord with the desires of He who made us, and to do so for no other reason than He said we ought to, and we trust Him over our own desires.

Worship God, the scriptures say, in the beauty of His holiness.


posted by Daniel @ 10:43 AM  
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