So often people are looking for acceptance. The great good news is that in Christ we are accepted by God. However, so often people do not desire to change. They want to be accepted by God, but they do not want to follow Christ. They want God's love, but they do not want God's interference; they do not want the glorious, transforming freedom offered to us by God's grace through faith in Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I was making my regular check of certain blogs, I ran across the quote below from Bishop N.T. Wright. I found it on my friend, Fr. James Gibson's blog, Sanctus. He, it appears, found it at Creedal Christian. There, it was cited as having come from + N.T. Wright's, "Communion and Koinonia: Pauline Reflections on Tolerance and Boundaries."
As a "holiness preacher," I found this quote to be spot on!
"It is one of the most important principles of biblical ethics, and one trampled in the mud again and again in contemporary debate: that God's grace meets us where we are, but God's grace, thank God, does not leave us where we are; that God accepts us as we are, but that God's grace, thank God, is always a transforming acceptance, so that in God's very act of loving us and wooing our answering love we are being changed; and, more dramatically, in baptism and all that it means we are actually dying and rising, leaving one whole way of life and entering upon a wholly different one."
Not only is our life changed at our time of conversion, as our baptism so dramatically proclaims, but as Christians, we are, by the grace of God, "Called Unto Holiness!" God so desires to sanctify us through and through that we might actually reflect the divine image. In other words, God really desires to answer our prayer when we pray:
"Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen." - Praise be to God!