Before we were changed from the living dead to the truly living, there was no question of our ever practicing any form of holiness. Job 25:4-6 "How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?"
Since our redemption we are indeed truly NEW creatures:
Elected to holiness: Rom 8:29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..."
Called to holiness: I Thess. 4:7 "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness."
Re-created in holiness: Eph. 4:24 "...put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."
As Paul asks in Rom 9:31, "What then shall we say to these things?" Our answer must be moment by moment obedience to Peter's admonition: "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct."
Paradox Question: Will learning about God cease in heaven? If you think not, what do you do with I Cor. 13:12?
"Our loftiest utterances will be trivialities in comparison with Him." Novation, 200-258 AD
Because we are limited in EVERY way, we cannot truly concieve of or express His inifinity.
For God, everything that has got to happen has already happened. "The present day does not five way to tomorrow, nor does it take the place of yesterday. The present day is eternity." G'head, just try to get your head around that one!
Titus 1:2 "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began." So, how long has my eternal destination been determined and settled?
God never differs from Himself. The permanence of God's character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises.
Infatuation with this life will distract from preparation for eternity.
We tend to make Jesus a "part" of our lives when we should be making Him the "point" of our lives.
Principles crucial to the task of defending the faith:
- No Neutrality - I Peter 3:15 We don't have "options." Christian faith is not the most probable truth, it is the only truth. God must be the starting point for all thought. Christ must be not only the Lord of my heart, but the Lord of my *mind*. I cannot allow myself to consider any thought as independent from Him.
- Only Antithesis - Every thought of the unbeliever is totally opposed to the truth. There is no common ground to be used as a starting point for discussion.
- The Impossibility of the Contrary - Presuppositional defense of the faith. If I deny the Christian faith, I deny the very foundation for reasoning, for science, for ethics, for morality. Nothing makes sense without the truth of Christianity. There is nothing we can truly know apart from God. It is, therefore, impossible for Christianity to not be true.