Saturday, July 16, 2011
The True Woman: Chapter 4
This chapter begins by saying that “a true reflection demands the hard stuff of repentance, faith, obedience, and forgiveness.” These aren’t things that I would have originally thought were hard, but they are. Words come easy, but repentance is more than mere words. It is a commitment to change our ways, not just feeling sorry for a moment. The truth is that true repentance is so hard, that we can only achieve it through God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.
To really reflect redemption, we have to take all of God’s promises and apply them to every aspect of our lives. We have to live God’s Word! This is where sanctification enters the picture. When we accept Christ, we are instantly changed on the inside, but that isn’t the end of it. No one can immediately be perfect for the rest of their lives. There are no short cuts, but as John once said, “Jesus must become greater; we must become less.” (Paraphrase of John 3:30). So begins the process of sanctification. I love the definition of sanctification given in the book. It says: “…the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” Reminds me of our memory verse!!!
Having a life that reflects our Redeemer is finding a lifestyle balance where both faith and work are operative (James 2:14), where both holiness and service motivate, where both Word and deed dominate, and where the Gospel is proclaimed in both doctrine and life. In other words, we can’t be a reflection of our redeemer if we are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. That is a complete contradiction, and nothing like Christ was while He was on earth. We are to be in the world but not of it. We are to care for God’s creation, not because we love the world, but because we love God and He created it. We are just pilgrims passing through.
There is so much more that I could write on this chapter, but I will stop here. I jokingly told my Bible study girls that I could have written a book from my notes off of this chapter alone! It was powerful!!!