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Many Christians struggle to integrate the demands of discipleship with the gift of God's grace. Some tend to make their justification dependent upon their progress in sanctification. Others make their sanctification a superfluous response to their justification. The former leads us into a dead end of performance-driven Christianity dominated by fear and uncertainty. The latter persuades us of our free acceptance before God, but struggles to convince us that holiness is a necessary pursuit. Frequently, these two errors galvanize into theological factions, dig trenches, and exchange fire about "law" and "gospel."
1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104
IT IS TEMPTING TO COMMENT further on the Pauline triad found in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (see meditation on October 11), but the confrontation on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) beckons.
On a trans-Atlantic flight, the airline provided me with a little travel kit. There was a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash for not offending; a comb for looking good; and socks to keep my feet cozy.