Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Standing on the Promises Part 5


A Curve Ball (or so it seems to my puny mind)

I had to reread this sentence a few times and I don't yet fully understand it:

As discussed above, the promises of God never rest upon our performance of our duty in any way. Rather, the performance of our duty rests upon the faithfulness of God. Indeed, the godly performance in one of the things promised. (emphasis from author) Pg. 39

And then this:

As parents, we must not do our duty in order to earn our way into the promises. The promises of God are freely given in Christ to all parents who believe them. And how can we recognize who they are who so believe? They are the ones who believe the promises in such a way that it results in a glad, joyful, evangelical performance of their parental duties--which in turn results in the promised fruit. Pg. 40

Clear as mud?

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time catching on. Wilson goes on to scare the socks off us all by stating:

God does not call us to a job of parenting that is somehow "in the ballpark." He calls us to covenantal faithfulness. As we look at these requirements, it will be borne in on us yet again that we are all sinners, and that we all need the forgiveness of Christ constantly. At the same time, by the grace of God, covenantal faithfulness remains within reach--even for forgiven sinners. Pg. 40

Wouldn't you have rather read that a ballpark range is fine?

These things seem so hard to understand, and yet understanding is the precursor to believing which leads to obedience. I hope that I am growing in my understanding, belief and therefore obedience more and more.

As I was thinking about all this more today, my mind kept doing these circles: so we believe the promises and that makes them true, but they're only true when that belief shows itself by obedience, but that obedience doesn't earn the promise, and the promise is nothing without obedience, but the promise works through our obedience, and faith is the condition, obedience is the fruit, but faith is never without fruit. Did I get it?

Then it occurred to me that maybe I'm making this all more complicated that it needs to be. Maybe I'm over analyzing everything, trying to think it through until I've ironed out every wrinkle. Maybe I shouldn't try to understand it in such a mathematical way. Imagine this: I just need to believe it whether or not it fits my understanding of "makes perfect sense." When I read God's promises in scripture, I just need to trust that they are true. It's just like the old song goes: trust and obey, there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey. Scripture is full of seemingly paradoxes. And as we've all heard so many times from our beloved Chesterton: "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds."

I'm sorry to say, but this realization may not keep me from writing a part 6.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

I enjoyed that crazy ramble. One of the reasons why we just need to trust and obey, is that we can't even be the judges of our own performances. We have to let that go and just get up every morning with the commitment to trust and obey.