on the rationale of liberated righteousness

Kent Brandenburg has an excellent post on Laws about Grace, well worth your contemplation.

His post reminded me of a summary of our series on Law, Legalism and Life that I did in Sedro Woolley, WA on Saturday morning. I was over across the pond for the ordination of a friend and new church planter, Tom Parr. Friday afternoon was the occasion for grilling the preacher. All went extremely well. Tom acquitted himself excellently and the council of preachers offered a thorough examination with no sideshows. (Those who have attended a number of ordinations might know what I mean by sideshows!)

The next morning after the ordination council was a men’s prayer breakfast at First Baptist, Sedro Woolley. The pastor asked me if I could offer a brief challenge, so I gave the men a summary of my series so far, under the title: Reasons for Christian Standards. I thought the list might be of some general interest, so I offer it here:

I. There is such a thing as behaviour that pleases God

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

  • NOT works done in order to obtain salvation
  • NOT works done in order to gain a pious reputation
  • BUT works done out of a heart of personal devotion

II. The fact is, faith is more than just your ticket to heaven

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

  • You must believe from the heart in order to be born again
  • Your faith will be seen in behaviour that shows you are believing the promise of God

III. The operation of God’s grace in a Christian life tends towards godliness (Tit 2.11-12)

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

  • Denying ungodliness
  • Living soberly, righteously and godly

IV. The notion of lawlessness is incompatible with Christianity

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

  • Lawlessness = without law, outlaw behaviour
  • “You can’t tell me what to do” “Your laws don’t apply to me”

V. The liberty part of Christian liberty means ‘set free’, not ‘self serve’

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Set free to serve Christ [free from bondage of sin]
Not set free to do what I want [‘self serve’]

VI. The Christian mission is ultimately tasked with the discipline of discipleship (Mt 28.19-20)

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  • Imperative – make disciples
  • Process [from least to greatest]
  1. Going
  2. Baptizing
  3. Teaching them to observe (obey) all things I commanded you

VII. The nature of Christianity is that its people are subjects of The King

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Who is your king?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3


  1. Kent Brandenburg says:

    Very good, Bro. Don.

  2. AVU says:

    Our behavior that pleases God is not self-generated. It is Holy Spirit dependent. Therefore, it does not even come from within ourselves, but from the Holy Spirit Who is within us. I love this amazing concept.