Monday, 22 April 2019

The Christian Life is Like Bowling

One analogy of sanctification is bowling. The gutters on either side of the lane are legalism and antinomianism. And like in bowling, it's much easier to have the ball roll into the gutter than go straight down the alley.

Legalism, as I've explained before, is reading strictly literal meanings into biblical commands. One example I've written about is tithing. There were three sorts of tithe in the Old Testament but the general idea is to give a tenth of one's income to the Lord's house. Certain Christians make tithing compulsory but the New Testament writers say we should give as God has prospered us.

On the other side of the spiritual bowling lane is antinomianism. This error claims that the Old Testament laws don't apply at all, not even the Ten Commandments. Preachers who teach it claim that we don't need the law and that grace is everything.  Those who believe this feel they can live any way they want to and all will be well because grace covers everything.

The Apostle Paul ran into that same kind of nonsense. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:15 (BBE), "Do you not see that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? how then may I take what is a part of the body of Christ and make it a part of the body of a loose woman? such a thing may not be."

The law is holy, as Paul pointed out, but it's us who are sinful and need its light to reveal our wickedness. As Romans 7:13 (BBE) demonstrates, "Was then that which is good, death to me? In no way. But the purpose was that sin might be seen to be sin by working death to me through that which is good; so that through the orders of the law sin might seem much more evil."

Scripture likens following God as walking straight forward. One example is in 2 Chronicles 34:1 and 2 (BBE). "Josiah was eight years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of his father David, without turning to the right hand or to the left."

Sin is like the ball turning away from the center of the alley. Ezekiel 3:19 (BBE) advises, "But if you give the evil-doer word of his danger, and he is not turned from his sin or from his evil way, death will overtake him in his evil-doing; but your life will be safe."

Solomon also said in Proverbs 4:27 (BBE), "Let there be no turning to the right or to the left, keep your feet from evil"."

I could also add other verses which exhort us to keep on the straight and narrow road. Instead, I'll save those for my book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Satan is always trying to distract us from following Christ. One way he does that is with wrong doctrines which seem to offer us something to brag about.

I'll post on Thursday about the meaning of consecration. My hope in posts like that is to take the mystery out of these theological terms.

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