In further meditating on J.C. Ryle’s quote from the previous post entitled, “Train your Children as God Trains His,” my mind began to muse on another way in which God deals with His own: He never lowers the bar, but provides His children with all they need to meet His standard.
One of the overwhelming themes of the Old Testament is the character of God, primarily His holiness as revealed in the Law. In giving the Law to man, He clearly set the bar for His standard of holiness and man has been struggling with it ever since because, left to ourselves, we all fall hopelessly short of it. Some might ignore the bar altogether, while others try to skirt around it. Most, however, tend to try and work their way to the bar in their own efforts (all man-made religions fall into this category), while others develop a theology that tries to lower it. However, God simply sets it and makes no excuses for it.
However, God, in His great love and compassion toward us, recognizes that we could never attain to His standard of holiness on our own (which is one of the reasons the Law was given in the first place). But, rather than lower the bar to meet us, He provides us with everything that we need to meet it. With regard to our justification, He provided the perfect, spotless Lamb to atone for our sins and grant us His righteousness. With regard to our sanctification, He gave us His Spirit to empower us and compel us toward holiness.