— Written for a Christmas many years ago —
Her name was Nena Elmina Bracken before she married Papaw, Horace W. Wallace.
I found this among my parents’ things after they passed away, written in an old notebook that belonged to Granny Wallace. I believe this was a draft from which she intended to make copies by longhand for her grandchildren for the next Christmas but she got too sick and died near the end of September of 1982. Section titles and comments in parentheses (?) are my own, everything else is hers. – Allan
The Christian and the World
Do you think a person can do worldly things and be a Christian?
Yes. Salvation isn’t a matter of what you do yourself, but something Christ did for you and you have only to accept it. But if you’re asking about those things as the practice of a person who is saved that is another question.
The Bible says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
Then you think it is all right for a Christian to be worldly sometimes?
No. I don’t think those things are to be considered when one accepts the Lord Jesus as his savior. The question is just that Jesus Christ died for our sins and is willing to take them and their penalty upon his own account instead of us. If you accept what he has already done for you and believe fully that he has done it, then you are born again. You have a new nature born of God and that nature does not deserve the things of this world.
Yet, you still have that old sinning nature with you and will have as long as you live on the earth, that draws you in spite of your best resolves. It makes you want to do the things that you have resolved over and over again never to do and as long as that old nature has a chance to get on the top every little (once in a) while, you haven’t much chance of living the steady testimony that a saved soul should live.
But God has provided a way of victory for you over the old nature. He has said that if you will go the whole way with him, even to the cross, and let the old nature be crucified with Him, reckon (count on) it to have died with him; that he will give you His own resurrection power in your life, that is, He will live His life in you on a different plain from ordinary living. It is reckoning (considering) yourself to be dead to the things of the flesh and alive unto God. It is asking Him to slay self (to kill our carnal nature) so that we can honestly say:
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ that lives within me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (from Galatians 2:20)
Grace and The Old Law
Grace – the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man. Not by works of righteousness which we have done. [Titus 3:4-5]
The Law: is connected with Moses and Works [John 1:17]
Grace: is connected with Christ and Faith [Romans 10:4-10]
The Law: Blesses the Good.
Grace: Blesses the Bad. [Exodus 19:5 & Ephesians 2:1-9]
The Law: demands that blessings be Earned.
Grace: is a Free Gift. [Deuteronomy 28:1-6, Ephesians 2:8, & Romans 4:4-5]
The Test of Salvation changed with Christ
The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as a fruit of Salvation. [John 1:12-13, 3:36; John 15:22-25; Matthew 21:37; Matthew 22:42; 1 John 5:10-12; Hebrews 1:2]
The immediate result of this testing was the rejection of Christ by the Jews and his crucifixion by the Jews and Gentiles.
Salvation and the Judgment
The Judgment of the believer’s work, not Sins, is in question here.
II Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad.
The sins have been atoned for, and are remembered no more for ever.
Hebrews 10:17 – “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
But every work must come into Judgment.
Matthew 12:36 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Romans 14:10 – But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The result is reward or loss (of the reward), but he himself shall be saved.
I Corinthians 3:11-15 – 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Other related scriptures:
Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
I Corinthians 15:45 – And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit (life-giving being).
Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
The Nature of Sin and the Old Law
The Law was added because of transgression to give sin the character of transgression. Men sinned before Moses but as there was no law, there sins were not put to their account. [Romans 5:13]
The Law gave to sin the character of transgression and of personal guilt. Men continued to sin after the law was given and were provoked to transgress by the very law which forbade it. [Romans 7:11-13]
The Law therefore concluded all under sin until the seed (the Christ) should come. [Galatians 19]
The Law to the Jews was as the pedagogue (wise teacher) in a Greek household, a ruler of children in the minority (before adulthood). Christ having come, the believer is no longer under the pedagogue.
Granny’s Christmas Prayer
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee for this day on which Your Son was born into the world. It is so great to know that He came to take our sins upon himself and pay the penalty for them with his own precious blood.
So today, we confess that we have sinned – that I have sinned, Lord, and I ask forgiveness. I thank Thee that I know Thou wilt give it.
Bless us all, and help us to walk to please Thee today. Guide us in the way we ought to go, we ask it in the name of Jesus. – Aman.