Sunday, June 24, 2012

Passive Righteousness

This quote is from Martin Luther, from his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, as quoted in Sonship (World Harvest Mission, 2002). 

Speaking of "Passive Righteousness, he writes:

"It is called 'passive righteousness' because we do not have to labor for it...It is not righteousness that we work for, but righteousness we receive by faith.  This passive righteousness is a mystery that someone who does not know Jesus cannot understand.  In fact Christians do not completely understand it and rarely take advantage of it in their daily lives...when there is any fear or our conscience is bothered, it is a sign that our passive righteousness is out of sight and Christ is hidden.
     The person who wanders away from 'passive righteousness' has no other choice but to live by works righteousness.  If he does not depend on the work of Christ, he must depend on his own work.  So we must teach and continually repeat the truth of this 'passive' or 'Christian' righteousness so that Christians continue to hold to in and never confuse it with "works" righteousness."

Lining up With God

One of the most liberating things I have discovered about the faith is that as long as what you want matches what God wants, he'd never hold out on you.

In this regard, answered prayer is as simple as being saturated in the Word of God so that what we ask is what he would gladly do.  John 14 makes this clear.

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do what I have been doing...And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (vv. 12-13.

Tying all these facts together, God wants to do much through his Son in the world that he loves, but his disciples are the ones who will carry it out. Asking for resources to do it will be met with a resounding Yes!

As to healing from a dreaded disease, having enough money, getting free from trouble, well, we may ask for these things, but be prepared to wait.  Some of them require time, and some require only the perfection of heaven to get answered.