Below I've cited a number of verses, which are not cherry picked after much searching, but simply came out of my devotional reading today.  Granted, I don't always read an entire epistle (I don't always read anything!), but tonight I did as well as a few other things.  As I was reading I just started noting verses that stood out in light of a lot of the recent back and forth over grace, sanctification, the role of good works, etc.  And I couldn't help but be struck by how far our discussions have moved from Biblical language.  I dare say that many of the statements posted below would be sent up on reformed blogs in record time if they were spoken or written by a PCA/OPC pastor rather than being the words of Asaph or St. John.  This is a problem.  If we so fear the specter of "works righteousness" that we recoil at the thought that we can please God by keeping his commandments (1 John 3.22), or that a condidtional if can be placed before statements of God's blessing (1 John 4.12), both notions I've seen lambasted by contemporary reformed writers, we have swung the pendulum too far.  God is our Father, as John is at pains to make clear, and just as a good earthly Father is gracious and forgiving, yet pleased by the intentional obedience of his children and willing to chastise disobedience (indeed to prevent complete dissolution of the familial relationship if rebellion is allowed to go unchecked), so our heavenly Father accepts and even demands our obedience as his godly (i.e. following in his footsteps) children.

“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
  lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
  to one who orders his way rightly
  I will show the salvation of God!
”(Psalm 50:22-23 ESV)

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.(1 John 2:3-6 ESV)

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.(1 John 2:29 ESV)

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.(1 John 3:7-11 ESV)

...and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.(1 John 3:22 ESV)

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.(1 John 3:15 ESV)

...if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12b ESV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.(1 John 5:3 ESV)



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