Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

God's Plumb Line 

For they [parents] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.    Hebrews 12:10-11

The verses above are in a passage dealing with the suffering of the children of God. Verses 10 and 11 say that the result of suffering is holiness—availability to God—and righteousness.


God sanctified us—set us apart to Himself—and justified us—declared us to be righteous—at the time of our conversion to Christ. Other New Testament passages, though, teach that we must grow in our availability to God and in righteousness.


Amos 7:7-8 says, “Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. … Then the Lord said: "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. Amos 6:7-8


Carpenters use plumb lines to assure that a wall stands straight. They hold one end of a plumb line at the top of a wall and let the other end of the line, which is attached to a weight, fall to the bottom of the wall. The plumb line is straight and the carpenter hammers the wall to the plumb line.


The plumb line next to the wall of our lives is sanctification and righteousness. According to Hebrews 12:10-11, God brings us into harmony with the plumb line through suffering.


There is, though, a more comfortable way for us to mature into a life of righteousness and holiness. Romans 6:17-19, which is in a broader passage about our oneness with Christ, teaches that righteousness and holiness can be ours through experiencing our oneness with Christ.


God uses both suffering and the life of union with Christ to bring us to maturity in sanctification and righteousness.