Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Letter From A Dear Friend

I just listened to the first couple sermons* on my computer. They
reminded me a lot of a letter St. Augustine wrote called "The Spirit and the
Letter." It is about how God's written Law makes us recognize our sin
and causes us to despair of our own efforts to be righteous. He goes on
though to say that when God's grace and the Holy Spirit transforms us,
then the Law is written in our hearts (coming to us from inside by the
"spirit" instead of from outside by the "letter"). So we end up
desiring to fulfill the Law. He is also interpreting Romans like Piper.

Here are some good quotes:

"The law [...] contributes nothing to God's saving act: through it he
does but show man his weakness, that by faith he may take refuge in the
divine mercy and be healed."

"[humans are] justified, then, not by the law, not by their own will,
but 'freely by his grace': not that the justification is without our
will, but the weakness of our will is discovered by the law, so that grace
may restore the will and the restored will may fulfill the law,
established neither under the law nor in need of law."

"Through grace he is justified 'freely,' that is, by no preceding
merits of his own works-- 'otherwise grace is no more grace' (Romans 11:6):
for it is given not because we have done good works, but in order that
we may have power to do them, not because we have fulfilled the law,
but in order that we may be able to fulfill it."

"He commands [in the form of laws], in order that we may take refuge
with him when in ourselves we fail."

"The law was given that grace might be sought; grace was given that the
law might be fulfilled. For the non-fulfillment of the law was not
through its own fault, but the fault of the 'mind of the flesh'--a fault
which the law must exhibit, and grace must heal."

Ok, I got a little carried away with the quotes, but there are just so
many good ones. Have a good day.

* Sermons
  1. Mouths Stopped and All the World Accountable to God, Part One
  2. The Demonstration of God's Righteousness - Part One, A
  3. The Demonstration of God's Righteousness - Part One, B
  4. God's Pursuit of Racial Diversity at Infinite Cost, Part One
  5. God's Pursuit of Racial Diversity at Infinite Cost, Part Two
  6. The Demonstration of God's Righteousness - Part Two, A
  7. The Demonstration of God's Righteousness - Part Two, B

1 comment:

Laurel Audrey Taylor said...

Wow... I feel special having a letter I wrote posted on a blog site.

Here is a cool poem related to human unworthiness and grace:

Love (3)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

By George Herbert