Do you feel sad, guilty, unworthy, or ashamed? Does it seem that no matter what you do, you can’t live up to God’s standards? Are you always trying to be on your best behavior, but still feel like you aren’t being good enough? If you always have the feeling you are being watched and judged, then you know what it means to be living on parole. God does not want you to live that way. He wants you to know his love. He wants you to feel freedom and joy.
“Judge not, lest you be judged” has been misinterpreted to mean that no matter what anyone does, we should not judge the behavior. He pointed out that we are not to condemn someone for their sins, lest we get condemned for ours, but that does NOT mean we are not to discern what is right and wrong, or identify certain behaviors as sin.Grace does not mean there is no law and we are free to behave any way we wish. Grace is to lead us to holiness, which is the walking in the presence of God and reflecting his character.
A Summary Doctrine of Sanctification (from the book: Pardoned or Paroled?) 1] God Alone is Righteous and God alone is Good: Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him, (Isaiah 45:24, RSV). And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone,” (Luke 18:19, RSV). 2] We are not to look to ourselves for any good or righteousness, for none exists in us: For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh, (Romans 7:18, RSV). For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness, (Romans 10:3, RSV). Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God … Read more
Paul & the Law: A Contextual Approach by Frank Thielman, InterVarsity Press, 1994. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. “My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to my servant Jacob; they and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever; and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in … Read more