|If our righteousness is like filthy rags, how can we do good works and be holy?|
"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6
"For God hath not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness" (I Thessalonians 4:7). Some theologians assume that Scriptures that seem so completely opposed as these two are an indication that one of the Scriptures must be eliminated and the other one believed. However, this is a false conflict. The first speaks of the righteousness and holiness of man. The second speaks of the righteousness and holiness of God in man.
It's only by the power of the Holy Spirit that any person can do truly good works--because God does the work.
God doesn't want to reform us. God wants to Transform us with the transformation that is only available in Jesus Christ. God isn't looking for positive attitudes. God's goal is total metamorphosis. We can't improve or reform the self. We must die to self and live to Christ.
In fact, He has already given us everything we need to walk in holiness right now. Don't put off to some future day what God has already given you today. Don't tell God He can't do it when His Word, the Bible says that He has done it. Ask, rather, "How can I take hold of this thing that you are trying to give me, Lord?"
Many try vainly to live by a law, a set of rules or principles, which is simply a line drawn in the sand. From this futility, Jesus set us free by His grace. Grace moves by the leading of the Holy Spirit, guiding and giving power for righteousness. In the leading of the Spirit, there is no gray area. In each instance, we either obey the Holy Spirit or we do not. We either yield to His power or we do not.
God doesn't want self-improvement. God wants transfiguration.
Good works are simply this: the glory of the living God flowing out through someone who has yielded himself or herself to God.
Note, that the operative word on our part is "yielded."
You need to understand that sin is failing to attain to the glory of God. Would anyone like to claim to have attained to the glory of God?
God is the One Who is working.
You can be one of those who is saved.
As we reach the end of the age, more people than ever are hating God. They set up a web of rules in their minds to filter out God. They will only accept those things that conform to Naturalism, materialism, and uniformitarianism. Naturalism claims that God does nothing. Materialism claims that there is no God or spiritual realm. Uniformitarianism claims that there was not creation and that there was no violent worldwide flood, as the Bible and numerous other historical accounts record. Whatever they observe that does not conform to this complex filter is censored. The way that it is censored can take several forms. The ungodly may boldly proclaim that, though the data appears to support God's version and refute the version of the ungodly, yet it still must be interpreted to mean just the opposite of what it does mean. A backup method that ungodly people use is to prophecy that in the future, science will be able to explain what they see as an anomaly. If that fails, they will hide the data, set it aside, or lie to keep the public from knowing the truth. The data clearly demolishes the story of the ungodly and clearly supports the reality of the Creator God, His Bible, and His abiding Presence in His people. When confronted with the obvious, a closed-minded ungodly person says, "I can't understand it." They are willingly ignorant because they refuse to hold God in their knowledge. The reality is that these people, for whatever reason, don't what to know the Creator. They don't want to truly know Jesus, their Creator.
Last updated: Oct, 2011
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