Distinguishing between a meritorious cause of God’s blessing and an instrumental cause! #54

Ignoring God? August 8, 2014
Today’s Scripture: John 14:24
“The word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
Read it online at the Bible Gateway: (NIV) (NASB) (KJV) (The Message)

Everything I’ve taught about the disciplines of Bible study, Scripture memorization, continual meditation, and application of Scripture in daily life has been based on Scripture. I have not developed man-made theories about Christian growth. All I’ve done is point out what the Scriptures say about these disciplines. And what Scripture says, God says. If we ignore these disciplines, we’re ignoring God.

We must always remember, though, that practicing these disciplines does not earn us any favor with God. It’s helpful to distinguish between a meritorious cause of God’s blessing and an instrumental cause. The meritorious cause is always the merit of Christ. We can never add to what he has already done to procure God’s blessing on our lives. The instrumental cause, however, is the means or avenues God has ordained to use. God has clearly set forth certain disciplines for us to practice in pursuing holiness. As we practice them, God will use them in our lives, not because we’ve earned his blessing but because we’ve followed his ordained path of blessing.

We also need to keep in mind that the imperative in Romans 12:2 to be transformed immediately follows the imperative of verse 1—to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. Both exhortations are based on the mercy of God. The discipline of developing Bible-based convictions, then, should be a response to God’s mercy and grace to us through Christ. If we truly desire to live by grace, we’ll want to respond to that grace by seeking to live lives that are pleasing to God. And we simply cannot do that if we do not practice the disciplines necessary to develop Bible-based convictions. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)

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