Also known as.... 'The "Merits" of Vanity... The Sanctifying of the Secular...
A selection of thoughts, adapted from the English Reformer William Tyndale's message, 'The Parable of the Wicked Mammon'.
Modelling has become oh so important to life this past year (just ask Imperial College, SAGE, and a certain Government advisor), but this series of insights from the man who gave us the scriptures in English is looking at the manner of all too common profiling that resides beneath the supposed 'wisdom' and confidence of the day.
As Larry Norman puts it, nothing really changes...
The malady we face is plain -
Moral justification by what is deemed virtuous (notions and endeavours presumed correct, indeed godly) that actually depart from the faith to conform to a wisdom, in truth, detached from the Gospel, is the great malady of the present. Such "philosophy" unseats the authority of what is imperative, allowing folly to be deemed correct. This violently rends and tares the authority of what God has said and done and thereby binds the scope of genuine authority to the 'necessity' of what has been deemed correct in the present cicumstances.
With such 'law' resides a terrible curse - exile and detachment... a dispensation of woe. By this manifestation we are shown to be at war with God Himself, for, in both our deeds and our very convictions, we actually reveal that we hate what has been truly required - a faith which conveys what is absolutely (not contingently) good - the full truth - amidst all immediate folly.
In ourselves, we only have power to convince that we are good and doing good when we are distant from God's true aid, for our religion, carried on in disobedience, cannot do more in respect to full remedy than leave us wretches miserably deluded, for it holds to a 'rightness' other than what has truly been provided in what is good.
What are the roots of our life before God and one another? The precious work made ours from Christ must be evidenced in our word and practice, for only by such means will the word of life brought near, and seen as living and active amongst the world.
The vital truth delivered by Paul is that what is essential cannot come to us by keeping a 'law' of external things, actually divorced from God's will in Christ. Such means will never provide what is necessary for us to be righteous. What truly matters is not within our own powers to have, or to do, though we so readily imagine and opinion-ate that we can do what is worthy and profitable. Good works must be divorced from the imaginings of our own hearts, for clearly, many will be evidenced amongst even the household of God who are entirely deluded on such vital issues (Jude 12 and 13).
Health cries out for what is wholesome and essential to our being Christ's. It loosens the heart to love and crave what is 'good for food', and brought to banquet there, readily brings about the fruit of genuine righteousness in what is expressed to others. In this, we despair of ourselves and yearn to be refreshed and nurtured in the living life and faith which is Christ's, and not invented or imagined by ourselves. This is the way which leads us through adversity and hardship into the properly rich manner of eternal life.
The greatest mercies make us those who bestow true riches to others - works which truly do us all much good.
The days now are evil, though God made them, because of great and prevalent sin, and those that occasion evil and imperil the souls of many in pursuit or riches or comfort, hence what is good is miserably tainted - strife, thievery, a lying in wait to harm, the use of flattery - all and more are employed due to our tragic unhappiness, for we so often crave "wealth" now above true riches.
There is indeed a 'wisdom' found in those who do harm to raise or keep themselves. Like the woman who adorns herself to allure those she can prey upon, such are in effect using their skills to do the very same.
The Christian finds wisdom in a single provision, and rejoices only in this. Acknowledging his bondage to the flesh, the believer turns himself to all that avails for him in the shed blood of Christ, and trusts wholly in the promises which accompany this 'once and for all' offering of God.