“The pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian. No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part”
– Jerry Bridges
We live in a time when the fire of God in our land has grown dim. The hearts of many have grown cold, where iniquity (self-will) abounds and sin is marginalized. Many see the horror but say nothing at all for the sake of grace! This is a grace which is presented as a sentiment to ignore the sin and the loose living of those who call themselves by His Name. It is a word synonymous with compromise and hypocrisy. How we would do well to reacquaint ourselves with the unmerited Grace of God freely given to us in Christ Jesus…
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid…”
Is this the Grace of God?
Was it not Grace that caused the Son to “cleanse” the Temple in His Day? Is it not Grace that stands for the glory and honour of God in the day of apathy? Surely it is the true Grace of God which ministers a pure pursuit for holiness in all who call upon His Name (Hebrews 12:14). It is grace that produces a burning desire to overcome sin within our own hearts and to know the heartbeat of the Love of God for one another. It is Grace that must confront the complacency with sin and carnality in His House. A grace which is content with the current state of things in our land is not the grace of God. Instead it is a word used for compromise by those who rejoice “in the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10). Grace has become a byword to justify sin, lethargy and wickedness. It is a word used to attempt to stifle the life and fire of God out of those who would contend for the faith. It is a word used to drown out the voices for truth and righteousness.
The True Grace
The true demonstration of Grace is when His people reveal Christ in such power that the hearers are brought to repentance (Acts 2:14-38). It is Grace that convicts us of our waywardness and worldliness, and Grace which moves us to the blessedness of broken and contrite hearts. This is the Grace which brings us into the life and the wonder of our God.
“And he shall bring forward the headstone
amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it“
The Grace of God working powerfully in the heart of Zerubbabel brought the completion of the House of God in the midst of all the opposition from within and without.
The Grace of God is given to complete His work within our hearts, not to comfort us in our sin and complacency.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”
“God has one destined end for mankind – holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy”
– Oswald Chambers