Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Authenticity and Holiness

"Surely You desire truth in the inner parts ;
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Psalm 51:6

The other day, I read this article by James MacDonald's son, Luke, on the Harvest Bible Fellowship "Straight Up" site. I think it is well worth reading, so I am sharing it here. It is short and meaty. To get to the site directly, click here: James MacDonald - Harvest Bible Fellowship.

Posted By Luke MacDonald on August 6, 2009
One of the hallmarks of the moment in many movements in the evangelical church is a huge push for authenticity. Pastors not acting like they have it all together. Church-goers getting honest in relationships about the true struggles in their lives. A push against the overly perfect acting caricature of the previous generation’s church experience. I love the concept of creating a environment where everyone who is moving towards heaven are still works-in-progress. There is massive freedom in knowing all those around you are still struggling with sin.
HOWEVER
That struggle MUST be going somewhere. Victory must be increasing. Honesty is not an end in itself. Extending grace towards an admission of sin is important, but so is living out Romans 6.
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Authenticity is an amazing starting point. However, if our honesty is not converted into increasing obedience to Christ, it is merely cheap grace exulting in sin.
Authentic: yes. but Increasing Holiness: YES YES.
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."
2 Corinthians 7:1

11 comments:

Runner Mom said...

Ok, just disregard my last crazy comment on your post from yesterday! My computer is having issues!!

Love this!"However, if our honesty is not converted into increasing obedience to Christ, it is merely cheap grace exulting in sin." Very powerful and true!! Thank you, sweet friend!

Hugs!
Susan

Mich said...

Wow! Love this! It is so true. Sometimes I think we too often feel that if we just admit our faults and sin that that is enough. Truthfully we need to desire to change, if we want to be a Christ follower.

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Do you hear me saying AMEN????

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

Walking in obedience with you!

All for His glory or not at all!

Love you,
Jill

Kelly Combs said...

wow! That is big. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Dawn said...

Always a joy to come over and be drenched in God's goodness. Authenticity leading to obedience, radical obedience. Challenging me tonight.

And thanks for celebrating with us.
Sarah Dawn

christy rose said...

This is so good Sharon. I loved it!

Joyful said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing this Sharon. James MacDonald often comes to Muskoka Bible Conference Center where we have a trailer. His parents own a cottage on the lake, so he grew up here in Canada.

I just enjoyed a journey through your past several posts. I was so blessed by how you celebrated Joshua's b'day in fun and giving to others.

Your life is such a blessing!
Hugs,
Joy

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Fabulous Word today! I love it!

Edie said...

I love this Sharon! This is something that has been on my heart for a while. It seems that the *church* has focused so hard on God's Grace that we have neglected to address obedience and we are all affected by the results.

Heather said...

Cheap grace, doesn't that just sound really ugly???

What a powerful statement, we all need to tuck carefully in our hearts and live in obedience.

Hugs,
Heather

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Yep, honesty should not be an end but a way of life. The honest life should be business as usual. Can you imagine if everyone lived an honest life?