Monday, May 27, 2013

The Only Thing that Counts

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

-Galatians 5:6b, Stott's text today in Through the Bible Through the Year.

My NIV Study Bible's note includes, "Faith is not mere intellectual assent (see Jas 2:18-19) but a living trust in God's grace that expresses itself in acts of love (see 1 Th. 1:3)."

I especially like the 1 Thessalonians 1:3 cross-reference in the NIV note:

We continually remember before our God and Father[, Paul writes,] your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The theme in Scott's text is Christian freedom.  One of the points he makes is the following:

Christian freedom is not freedom to exploit our neighbor.  Rather, "serve one another in love" (v 13 of Galatians 5). There is a powerful paradox here.  So far from having liberty to ignore, neglect, or abuse our neighbors, we are commanded to love them and through love to serve them.  So from one point of view Christian freedom is a form of slavery - not slavery to our selfish nature but to our neighbor.  We are free in relation to God but slaves in relation to each other.

I remember a preacher stating that a husband has no rights as far as his wife is concerned, only duties.  And vice versa.  I was willing to meet him half way on that proposition, the vice versa half of it.  He was completely right, of course.

No comments: