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"All declare the glory of God"

“All creatures reflect God's glory and tell us something of the heavenly kingdom ... all creatures in the universe, great and small whether telescopical or microscopical, are so many characters, signs, letters, or words which lead us to contemplate God! The whole universe is God-environed and God-oriented. The things of God are understood by the things that...

Depravity and Regeneration (11): "In the way of a holy life of obedience"

The experience of fellowship with God, the joy and peace that accompanies such fellowship is rooted in the work of Christ, imparted through a justifying faith in Christ, and enjoyed as the believer walks in the way of, down the path of, a holy life of obedience. This Scriptural terminology is necessary for the reasons Rev. Griess points out in his article. (The reader would well equip himself to read that article as well as all of them in his series.) For that reason, we may not look at this phrase with suspicion as if it is “indistinctive language” or “the phrase needs careful explanation if it is used.” Of course, it needs to be defined. So do the terms grace or love. The phrase “in the way of a holy life of obedience” must be above suspicion. When a believer through the weakness of his faith gives in to his old man of sin and walks in the way of disobedience and sin, God by his grace withholds from him the joy and peace that he experiences when walking in the way of obedience. God does this in order to bring his child back to him in the way of repentance.

The Unforgiving Servant

The relation is reciprocal: if we fail to forgive our brother, it is only because we have not been forgiven by God. We have not known forgiveness for our sins. There is a subtle nuance here. We do not know forgiveness, because we do not confess our sins. We do not confess our sins, because we do not know them in our pride. It is precisely that pride which is the reason for a sense of superiority over against our brother and an unwillingness to forgive him.

Likewise, when we fail to forgive our brother, we do not experience forgiveness ourselves. We cannot hold grudges against our brother, refuse to forgive him, and then expect God to forgive us. This is making a hollow mockery of God and his mercy. God will cast us into the place of torment if from our hearts we do not forgive our brother his trespasses.

Therefore, only in the way of forgiving our brothers will we experience the blessed peace of forgiveness. Experiencing this forgiveness, we will sing, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Ps. 32:1, 2). Forgiving one another, we will live in the rich blessedness of the communion of saints who together have salvation in the cross of Jesus Christ.

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