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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 3


All are justified by God's free grace alone .... Does this mean that we are using faith to undermine law? By no means: we are placing law itself on a firmer fooling. Rom. 3:24-31, N.E.B.

Men often speak of the law and the gospel in terms that imply an antagonism between them, whereas there is no antagonism. They belong together in God's plan for our lives. However, there is a difference between them.

There must be some way available in which obedience to the law and the will of God is possible for us as Christians, for the moral principles set forth in the Ten Commandments commend themselves to all sound-thinking men. The law of God condemns us, both Christian and non-Christian, for every violation of the law. Hence the need for the gospel as well as for the law. The law provides us with no power to obey. We must have sufficient resources to keep God's commandments. God has provided this in the gospel. Since Christ came to save from sin and the transgression of the law, we expect Him to do nothing less than that. By the power of the gospel, God promised to put His laws into our minds, and write then, in our hearts (see Heb. 8:10).

With every demand that God makes, every requirement of the law that He has specified, He has provided us with the power to fulfill it. God fulfills His promise to do just that. The woman of Samaria asked for water and He gave her living water. David asked for a clean heart and he became a new man. Paul asked for light. Christ met him and enlightened his life.

Do not be afraid that God will make a demand on you that you will not have the strength to meet. God says to us: "Call on Me. Make demands on Me for strength. I will put a new heart in you. I will put a right spirit within you. I will be your patience, your purity, your obedience, your ability to live as I live." God's purpose is to restore men to virtue, righteousness, and obedience. But God alone can do it.

New life from God is brought into us. We are a new creation. We find Christ utterly reliable and trustworthy. "The righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).

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