Saturday, August 7, 2010

What About "Being Holy"?

Yes, yes, grace for sin. But what about holiness?

As if the two are unrelated.
There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.

-- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my holiness. Therefore, becoming holy is not primarily a matter of pursuing holiness but primarily a matter of pursuing Christ. Rather, becoming holy is a matter of receiving his pursuit of me. And any righteousness I pursue that doesn't have Jesus in the crosshairs of my effort -- or, again rather, having myself in the crosshairs of his effort -- is self-righteousness.
It is not Christ as the Lord, subduing my sin, that is the matter of my justification before God, but Christ, as a Priest, paying all my debt; it is not my personal righteousness, even in my gracious subjection to Christ as a Lord, that can be the ground of justification; but it is the righteousness of Christ alone as a Priest, his doing and dying, that is the ground of justification. And therefore it is not faith dealing with Christ as a Lord that justifies, but faith’s dealing with Christ as a Priest, a Saviour, and a complete Righteousness.

This is the doctrine of the word; which, when our Reformers began to publish, they were branded as enemies to holiness and good works; and if something like this be not at the root of many reproaches in our day, I know not what it is; and if this be the ground of these reproaches, we may gladly bear them as our glory.

-- Ralph Erskine

6 comments:

Bob said...

Right. On. Ralph. Erskine.

Josh C said...

Regarding the first quote, I remember once being told that if one's Gospel proclamation doesn't draw the same accusations of lawlessness that Jesus and Paul faced (like the objections Paul answers in Romans), then we're not quite preaching the same Gospel.

Roberta said...

Matthew 10:34--" Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

It is painful but in the end it is for our good and the good of others.

Anonymous said...

Should Erskine's quote be understood as anti-Lordship salvation?

Jared said...

Anonymous, no, I don't believe so. The "Lordship salvation" controversy didn't even arise until two centuries after Erskine, anyhow.

I think if he were to respond to it, he would say that it makes little sense to think true Christians could have Jesus as Savior but not Lord, but I think what he's saying is that we come to recognize him and trust him as Lord when we know first as Savior. But of course this "timing" can appear instantaneous in the conversion experience.

But, if I understand your question correctly, no, I don't believe he's saying one can experience Christ's salvation and then not go on as if nothing had changed (which is a question at the heart of the Lordship salvation debate).

Nothing Special said...

You could have just said, "Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my holiness." and it would have already been the best news ever.

But you went on. And it only got to be better and better "Best News" ever.

I have heard it taught this way too:
It is like going to a advanced biology class and having the professor announce that the entire class already has an "A" and now they can spend the rest of the semester truly enjoying the material.

May we be charged to purse Christ more and more!