I have been thinking lately how someone like me could have been brought up in the church, and then made a conscious decision to live outside the law of God. I wonder if we haven't been missing something in our gospel presentation among Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. There is so much talk about the love of God, but have we left out a bit about the holiness of God? Martin Luther was troubled as a young monk by the thought of God as a vengeful angry God ready to send sinners to hell. I would have to agree with him, but I wonder if we haven't taken things to far to the extreme. The Apostle Paul is very clear that grace of God is not a license to sin. We shouldn't accept the grace of God, and then try to rack up as many sins as possible because God will forgive it. James says that faith without works is dead. The question I would ask if you confess to be a believer and then live in an ungodly way, then were you truly converted in the first place. The love of God is amazing. However, outside the confines of the holiness of God it is hard to see a change of heart. If you ignore the loftiness of God, then it is very easy to continue in the lie of garden and be a god unto yourself. God's grace is not a free pass. A true conversion should result in a certain change in character. Sanctification is not a secondary step to salvation, but it should be a symptom of a true conversion. Sanctification is when we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and he beginnings to have an effect on the way that we live our lives. I love to tell people about the immense love of God. I just think that we shouldn't avoid describing clearly the immense distance between the Holiness of God, and the depravity of Man. The Bible says that the heart of man is desperately wicked. God is perfect. To gaze upon the glory of God as a sinner would mean certain death. The presence of God dwelt in the mercy-seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The mercy-seat was the space between the angels on the top of the ark. The power of God was so much, that to even touch the ark meant certain death. When the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies, they would tie a rope around his ankle. If he were to enter and not be found worth by God, then he would be struck dead. The other priests would then have a means to remove him from the Holy of Holies without endangering themselves. This is the type of God that we are dealing with. He is not a warm and fuzzy God. He is not the type of God that a person should test. As much as he is loving, he is also just.
I know in my own life, that it has been the justice of God, that has made me the most thankful for my salvation. I am a wicked man. Even when I think I am not that bad. I am only fooling myself. All three of the major monotheistic faiths acknowledge a supreme Holy God. The difference with Christianity is that we acknowledge that there is nothing we could do to please him. We don't behave morally in order to win the favor of God. That is just a fool's errand. When we see our inability to please him and his grace towards us, we are moved by that love to act morally. Also, knowing the immense love that God has for us, we must realize that any restrictions he puts on us, are given in love. When he tells us we should not act in a certain way, then he is guiding us toward that which will be the best for our own good. He is not a divine kill joy. His way is a better way.
I don't know. Just some thoughts I have been running through my mind. I just thought I would share them. If you have any others please feel free to share them in the comments.