Does our Justification Lead to Inaction? Part 2 of 3

In our last post, we sought to encourage our own souls and those of our readers that the reality that we are justified in God’s eyes should in no way slow us down from seeking to zealously pursue good works.  We are speculating that Satan is lying to the church telling us that the doctrine of justification should slow us down in our attempt to please God with our lives.  The second lie that we’ve been tempted to believe is…

2) God always “Feels” the Same Way Towards Us

I am sure I am not the only one who has been tempted to believe that because I am a royal son of God, there is nothing I can do or not do to please him more or less.  Perfect is perfect right?

It is true that the Lord adopts us into his family when we accept his Son and sings over us and delights in us, but that does not mean that his emotions towards us are static when we waste our lives on vain things.  As a parent, I sing and rejoice over my children, but I also cry over their selfishness, rejoice in their obedience, and grieve when they fight with one another.   In the same way, we can cause the Holy Spirit great grief:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.  Ephesians 4:30   
This verse alone proves that what we do can cause God sorrow.  Put positively, Paul tells us to seek to discern how we can live lives that please the Lord:
Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.  Ephesians 5:10  
So our conduct can please and displease the Lord.  In Revelation 2-3, we see Jesus very displeased with the seven churches that were wandering from the faith.  He repeatedly says, “I have this against you…” Now are the elect in the 7 churches righteous in God’s eyes because of Christ?  Yes.  And yet, in their real-time day-to-day life, they are sinning and Jesus reacts to how they are living and says that he has a list of grievances against them.  Does Jesus have such a list against us?

My actions canplease or displease the Lord.  The Bible teaches two truths – that I have peace with God through Jesus and he can be displeased with me.  I think this is very similar to how we as parents love our children with all our hearts and yet would still be grieved if they played video games in our basements all their lives.  The love is constant, but we do not want to see our children waste their lives.

You might be thinking, “Yes…BUT the Gospel is power and the doctrine of justification leads me to worship the Lord more—is not that what I was created for?!”  To that, I say absolutely yes, but just know that another lie of Satan is…(check it out in post #3!)

Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.