An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
Proverbs 4:26-27

Today’s verse passage instructs us to walk, without deviation, the line God has prepared for us. This speaks not only of our outward conduct but our doctrines and attitudes as well. The idea of walking such a “straight and narrow” path always reminds me of stepping out onto a tight rope—or better yet—a razor’s edge. Think of the doctrine of Christ Himself, which is absolutely essential to salvation (2 John 9). The Bible teaches that His is both fully God (John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:15-15; 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3, et al) and fully man (Acts 2:22; 17:31; Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:9-18, et al). By virtue of the fact that our Lord has both natures (divine and human), He acts as the supreme Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We will never fully understand how God became a man in the Person of Jesus, but the Bible insists we believe it nonetheless.In other words, we are obligated by Scripture to “walk the razor’s edge,” to affirm both realities concerning our Lord without overemphasizing or denying one or the other. We find ourselves performing the same “balancing act” when it comes to the doctrine of salvation. We know that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our performance has nothing to do with our receiving the free gift of eternal life. Paul is very clear on this; salvation is a free gift that simply cannot be earned by good works. In fact, hypothetically speaking, a person who simply trusted in Christ for salvation, without performing a single good work in this life, would still enter heaven when his time on earth is done. “But to him that worketh not,” wrote Paul, “but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). The apostle reminds us that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). Even at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), a believer who passes before review without a single good work to his name will still “be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15). We must not, however, make the mistake of thinking that this doctrine gives a Christian a license to sin. “Shall we sin,” asked Paul, “because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (Greek: me ginomai, “may it never be!”) (Roman 6:15). Under God, faith is the root of salvation, but good works and obedience to God’s commands are its necessary fruits. Calvin said something like this: “Faith alone saves, but saving faith is not alone.” Here again we are called to affirm both realities. While we ought to take personal sin seriously, mourning over it in fact, we also ought to rejoice in God our Savior, whose redemptive work in the Person of Jesus Christ is able to purge sin and save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).

God bless,

pastor john