Saturday, February 21, 2009

The foundations of holiness are counter-intuitive

The foundations of holiness are counter-intuitive. There are biblical doctrines that seem, to some at least, to reduce the need for a holy life, or to excuse and justify unholy behaviour. It ought to be clear to us, however, that a life of holiness can only be lived as the fruit and consequence of God's sovereign grace in the gospel.

John Owen points us in the right direction:
The Socinians contend that the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ doth overthrow the necessity of a holy life; the Papists say the same concerning the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto our justification; the same charge is laid by others against the doctrine of the gratuitous election of God, the almighty efficacy of his grace in the conversion of sinners, and his faithfulness in the preservation of true believers in their state of grace unto the end.

On the other hand, the Scripture doth so place the foundations of all true and real holiness in these things, that without the faith of them, and an influence on our minds from them, it will not allow any thing to be so called.
The Works of John Owen Vol. 3, p. 566-7

No comments: