"The Integrity of His Name"
God freely provides and maintains salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God… Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 4:30). He does so, however, in a manner that will not violate the integrity of His name and reputation.
"Help us, o God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name" (Psalm 79:9).
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).
It greatly honors the Lord to save sinners by grace. It also greatly honors Him to discipline saints when and as necessary. Redemption in the Lord Jesus does not merely provide fire insurance, as it were, for escape from "the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10). No teaching of such salvation exists in pages of the New Testament. God rather redeems us for the glory of His Son and the revelation of His righteous character, nature, and way. This means He saves us in the only way possible, namely, He saves us. "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9). However, His rescue involves not only deliverance from the penalty of sin. He also acts to save us from dominion of sin. "Ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). When born again believers blithely act in a manner that contradicts the Lord of righteousness and our identity in Christ as servants of righteousness, our Heavenly Father will not overlook the necessity to "chasten and scourge." He loves us far to much to act otherwise. Again, however, the greater issue involves His integrity and reputation.
Consider wayward children of earthly parents. We've all likely encountered such children in public places wherein they disturb the peace by noisy, raucous, out of control behavior. The parents are nearby, but seem uninvolved and unconcerned by their offspring disturbing the peace. Who do we feel most responsible in such situations? Obviously, we wonder why the adults are failing to heed the axiom, "When children most act like children, adults must most act like adults." The reputation of the careless parent rightly suffers the most. The same hold true in our relationship with our Heavenly Father through Christ. However, we can be absolutely sure that He will not fail to act as necessary if His trusting children jeopardize the sanctity of His name and reputation. Indeed, the writer of Hebrews referenced believers when he declared, "The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31).
We may and must joyfully proclaim the freely given and maintained salvation of the Lord Jesus. We also solemnly proclaim that such grace does not preclude our Heavenly Father's determination to redeem in a manner that confirms the sanctity of His name. We wouldn't want it any other way. And we can be sure it won't be any other say.
"Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
"But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
Weekly Memory Verse
Help us, o God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name.