Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Course In Personal Holiness

Greg Bahnsen on Romans 8:4
Now in this day it's easy for people to get misled as to what 'walking in the spirit' means and what the manifestation of 'walking in the spirit' would be. I don't need to remind you I'm sure, there are plenty of people who feel that 'walking in the spirit' is manifest in certain charismatic expressions, or charismatic gifts. Walking in the spirit means [to them] that we are free from external compulsion and guidance [law], that we are just 'inner directed' people. Or walking in the spirit for some people means that we are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. We don't ever pay attention to the things of this life. 'Walking in the spirit' is taken in many different ways but here Paul is clear that 'walking in the spirit' is manifest when the ordinance of the law is fulfilled in us. The spirit you see leads people to obey God. The very reason we need the holy spirit indwelling us and renewing us is because we have offended God; we've offended Him by spurning his requirements. He has told us to live in one particular way, a way He promises is for our blessing and we have gone our own way as wayward sheep we’ve wondered out of the paths and we’ve come under his judgement.

More than that we’ve also disabled ourselves with respect to moral matters. We’ve rendered ourselves incapable of doing what God wants us to do and so now the holy spirit indwelling his people changes that; He’s rectifying the situation and so Paul says when the holy spirit indwells you and you’re walking by the spirit now instead of spurning the law as you always did, and that’s what, if you will, got you into the mess you’re in morally in the first place, the spirit now leads you to honor the law and to do what the law says.

And so a course on personal ethics is important not simply that we’ll be true servants of Jesus Christ, but also that we will demonstrate that genuine inner life is ours and the spirit; that we are walking by the spirit. We must understand the commandments and do them if we are going to show that we are spirit indwelled people.

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