The Way We Live
The difference between the culture of God’s people, and the cultures of the world, must be clearly manifest. It is this clarity that allows for an informed choice, by those who would repent of their sin and turn in genuine faith to God for salvation.
If the difference is not clear the choice cannot be clear. The free will of man is not served by the unclearness of the issue. If men, being free moral agents, will be able to make a self obligating moral choice, they must understand the issue without ambiguity.
Therefore the Lord says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:7-9
The forsaking of one’s way of thinking, and way of doing things, is a major decision. But it is the decision called for in both the Old and New Testaments. It is certain that man’s way of thinking and God’s way of thinking, concerning matters of righteousness, do not agree.
Notice that in God’s salvation appeal to the wicked and unrighteous, the forsaking of thoughts and ways, precedes the returning and receiving of mercy and abundant pardon.
This reminds me of a time that a young man came to me asking how he could be saved. I asked him if he was ready to repent of his sin and he assured me that he was a “pretty good person.”
But if one would attain to righteousness by his own efforts he must be perfect. Jesus admonishes us in the sermon on the mount, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
It seemed in the young man’s way of thinking, that in comparison with others he must surely qualify for God’s salvation. But according to Isaiah such thinking is to be forsaken, because by holding such thoughts one fails to “return unto the Lord,” continuing to trust in his own works for salvation.
But the bases for mercy and abundant pardon may not be found in the good works of men for Isaiah also says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; (Isaiah 64:6) Therefore we must look elsewhere for any righteousness we may attain to.
So we are thankful that Jesus Christ has come, living the perfect life before the Father, that we could not; and by sacrificing His life, that was not deserving of death, Jesus has provided eternal salvation for all who will put their trust in Him. In Jesus we find the mercy and abundant pardon of God. (Romans 6:17-23)
As Christians we must keep the issue clear, and openly demonstrate the difference Jesus Christ has made in our lives. The way we think, and what we do, must demonstrate the difference to be expected by one who returns to the Lord. We must manifest the clear and present choice that is before the free will of each person every day.
Rev. George T. Frey,
Faith Christian Center