The HEM Bible Study – An Update from Korea
Since I am away for a while I will not be writing very much on this blog. Here is the message of Dan Berry from back home in Korea. Praise the Lord for everything good that takes place there.
First week without Pastor Cris went fairly well. The Jerry Bridges book (Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ) is simply presented and very helpful. Chapter 2, Compelled by Love, suggested that we are compelled to work out our salvation by love of Christ’s finished work on our behalf and reverence for the holy God who made this happen. God loves us no more or less than He already does, says Bridges and we cannot add to that by coercing Him with our deeds. I wish Bridges would make a distinction between kinds of love, but since he writes for believers, perhaps it is not necessary.
We do not work for our salvation, but a helpful distinction that was not perhaps fully explained by Bridges (maybe he wouldn’t agree, I don’t know) is that between justification and sanctification.
Both fall under the broad concept of salvation. Justification is monergistic, that is, of one energy (God), while I think it is fair to say that the sanctification process is in a sense synergistic (I have to read more John Murray on redemption); of two energies, ours and God’s.
We are not saved by our works but it is part of our status of being saved. Those He justified, He sanctified, those He sanctified, he glorified…so I think its is safe to say fruit is a part of those who are truly saved, but we shouldn’t despair of not fully doing what we “ought” to do or for having impure motives since we are not fully “finished” til we die.
We can beat ourselves up for not meeting ours or another’s timetable for proper Christian growth. However, we cannot fall back on cheap grace and pretend that we do not need to remain focused and intentional in meditating on Good’s worthiness and great love.
Soli Deo Gloria,