Torch, Winter 1987

[ You Can Be Godly! ] W e live in a "soft" a time, in which we tend to be very easy on ourselves and on our sin. I think we tend toward peaceful co-existence with our sin. We grow to a certain extent as believers and then level off. Our self-imposed ceiling is couched in such phrases as, 'Tm only human," and "You can't expect perfection this side of glory," or "This far and no farther; you can't get blood out of a turnip." Such softness reveals our failure to grasp and to be grasped by the teaching of the Scriptures about sin. Instead of peacefully co-existing with our sin, we must rather come to hate it. "Ye that love the Lord hate evil" (Ps. 97:10). Rather than growing used to our sin, we must grow out of it. We are supposed to be aspiring to a true godliness with all of our energies. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48) still applies to the eighties. Nor will such high and holy aspirations lead inevitably to frustration. Our God has provided "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (II Peter 1:4). It is inconceivable that a holy God would give us His holy Word and His Holy Spirit and, in doing so, not equip us completely for a holy life. He even ordered us to be "holy as he is holy" (lPeter 1:16). We possess, however, more than just a hollow command to move us in the direction of holiness. We also have some very specific equipment to enable us for godly living. Here it comes.... A LEGAL STA TVS 6 by W. David Warren Our situation is much like that of the restoration Jews struggling to rebuild the Temple. They had every legal right to begin construction because the decree of King Cyrus had legitimized their activities. When neighboring enemies called into question their right to build, they caved in to the pressure unnecessarily and lost some 20 years in bringing the project to its completion. Now there was no logical or legal reason for this; the decree of Cyrus was on their side. The ministries of Haggai and Zechariah rekindled their efforts, which were substantiated by the discovery in Ecbatana of the legal documents confirming their right to build. What does this have to do with us and a godly lifestyle? We, too, have a legal, rightful basis on which to build a godly life. We are not being presump– tuous to suppose that we can attain holiness. We have a firm legal footing . I refer, of course, to the truth of justification. In justification we are completely identified with Christ in heaven 's perspective. God places us "in Christ." We have been crucified, buried, made alive, resurrected, ascended, and seated with Him in the heavenlies. Our sins are imparted to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us. This is not a legal fiction but rather a true transferral of our failure to Christ and His right– eousness to us.