There is one thing that I can’t get over, it’s been about 4 years since The LORD opened my eyes up to the truth of His sovereign grace, and that is the beauty and wonder of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Over the short while I have come to see, and ever increasingly understand, these truths God has brought me into many conversation with those who do not hold to sovereign grace.
I’ve been thinking on the doctrine that the non-Calvinist (yet non-Pelagian) holds to – prevenient grace. This is the notion that God gives grace to all men equally which they are able to improve on in order to be saved. This prevenient grace doesn’t save them, but somehow nullifies the effects of sin without giving any certain inclination to righteousness either. It, in essence, is thought to put the will in neutral so that it is absolutely free to choose good or evil. There are a multiplicity of issues with this view: 1.) it’s not taught in Scripture anywhere, 2.) it must divorce the actions and choices of man from the seat of action – the heart – which is completely against the clear teachings of Scripture, 3.) it cannot account for the difference between two people who hear the gospel and have two different responses, apart from claiming there was something within the individual that made the difference; 4.) It negates the work of Christ on the cross, bleeding it of all it’s power, making it nothing more than the work of a mortal as it was merely done to aid us in our getting ourselves out of hell. Thus prevenient grace still is a system of works, or merit based, salvation. It adds grace into the equation in an attempt to be more faithful to the Scripture than the pelagian system, yet still falls short of Scriptural. Rejecting God’s sovereign choice to save whichever condemned sinners He will, they wish to make the playing field completely equal. Thus they say that what God has done, He has done equally for every individual male/female, inevitably placing their destination in their own hands. They make man the master of his fate and the captain of his soul, ultimately denying God’s control over His creation, and effectively placing man at the position satan promised him he would hold – “you will be as gods”.
Let’s examine an instance of how this prevenient grace is said to work. Greg is lost in his sin, but one day “happens” to go to church (he was actually itch’n for a hitch’n and was hoping to find a good girl at the local baptist church; so he had a reason, but to others it appeared to be chance). While he is sitting there, scoping out the girls, the preacher is giving a clear presentation of the gospel. He hears it with his ears, he can’t help but hear it as the man is literally screaming, Jack Hyles style, from the top of his lungs. The invitation is given as they sing 32 stanzas of “Just as I am”. Now here is what those who espouse prevenient grace believe is going on inside the man:
As the gospel is being preached, the man is hearing it, and God is trying to convince the man that he needs Jesus and to place faith in The Christ. God doesn’t change the man, for the man has to ask God to do that first. Instead, God is thought to somehow nullify the fallen state that Adam’s sin has placed the man without giving him any desire for righteousness. This man is thought to be morally neutral. Having been given this grace that doesn’t really save the man, he is left with his salvation in his own hands. If he meets the condition to merit salvation, namely making the right choice at that moment, then God will grant him saving grace. If not, then the man will be placed back into his sin bound state from which he was momentarily freed.
How does this line up with Scripture? Jesus clearly taught that we must have a definite change in our constitution before we will believe. Jesus said, “unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” He also said, “men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” and “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” directly tying the actions we do as the result of the wickedness of our hearts. Christ clearly stated this relationship when He said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” Prevenient grace not only violates the clear teaching of Jesus by assuming that a man can make a choice for good without actually having had his heart changed to desire good over evil, but it also violates the law of non-contradiction as well. Those who ascribe to prevenient grace declare (by the very nature of it being necessary from the start) that a man cannot choose contrary to his desires; yet after the assumed prevenient grace is given, they say that man can choose contrary to his desires. They say that he has somehow been freed form his bondage to evil, yet not bound to righteousness. Thus being neutral, per what Scripture teaches, no decision would be made; yet they claim that he can now decide for a thing he has no like or dislike for. Trying to take away all influences upon the will of man so as to make it sovereign in itself they have negated effectiveness of the work of Christ. Prevenient grace essentially claims that the death of Christ didn’t save anyone, but merely made man savable if we provide our part with it. Per prevenient grace, Jesus’ death only accomplishes the task of placing us back in some sort of pre-Adamic state to where we can decide our own fate for ourselves. This makes the work of the Trinity ineffectual unless we work with it. For although, as they claim, Jesus has done the same work for every man, and the Holy Spirit has given prevenient grace to every man (or at least every man who hears the gospel), the only difference between the man in heaven and the man in hell is the man himself – the work that he has done.
Standing or falling on his own merit, the man is taught to say alongside William Earnest Henley:
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
Psalm 96:9 “Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!”
Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”
Bringing glory to God in all we do is the most supreme endeavor man could ever be involved in. Making God appear as glorious as He really is should be the desire that consumes us. Our lives should reflect Him. I have been thinking about the drastic distinction this calls for. As I look around at professing believers, and even my own life, I don’t see the burning desire to “heap glory” as it were, upon the name of The LORD. The two verses cited call all creation to worship God – everything outside of man, and everything within the being of man. There is no part of anything that exists that is not obligated to give glory to God. It seems that we, at least American Christendom, have lost sight of this as a whole. We are caught up on trying to convince the lost to try Jesus so they can have better relationships, or a better future after death. We have taken the most glorious Being and demeaned Him into a slave to that only finds fulfillment in serving His created man. An example of this can be see in how the average pastor warns his people against divorce (if at all). We are told how much horror it causes in the family, and the ripple effect among relatives. How it damages the children. We’re given statistics of how many troubled teens come from broken homes, etc. Very few Christians are ever taught that marriage was instituted by God to image the love He has for His people. They’re not told that divorce makes a distorted claim about the gospel as, without saying any words, it screams that God is not faithful no matter how unfaithful we are. (I’m not going to get into the topic of divorce here, I’m just using it as an example of how people are given pragmatic and man-centered reasons to keep God’s commands.) We should do what we do to glorify The KING of kings, we should tell men to obey their Creator because He is worthy, regardless of the practical implications. This is true worship.
There is a question that was put to me about 4 years ago that challenged me… it has stuck with me ever since. I find it helpful in examining my heart – whether I am longing to glorify God or if I am serving Him because of what I can gain from Him. It short, but sharp: “If you knew you could serve God with all your hear, soul, and might all your life, and He would still send you to hell; would you still serve Him?”
Our imaging God, our worshiping Him, our prizing Him as our EVERYTHING is paramount. Why?
He is worthy!!!
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD, he turns it wherever he will.” Proverbs 21:1
I can’t tell you how many times it has bees suggested to me that because I believe in the sovereign LORD, Who controls all things down to the smallest detail, that I should cease prayer. Yet, some of those people who tell me that, are the ones who would use the very verse to encourage prayer for the President of America, or some other political issue which they are concerned about.
I believe it was J. I. Packer that said something to the effect of every Christian is a Calvinist on his/her knees. It is precisely the sovereignty of God that drives us to prayer and gives us the assurance that He can accomplish what we ask. If God did not have control of the the hearts of kings, then why ask God to change the direction a ruler is headed, to cause him to veto a bill, or alter his allocation of troops? If God doesn’t hold sovereign sway over the hearts of men then why ask God to save the lost? Why ask God to bring a straying child back? If words mean anything at all, at the heart of the one asking these things is the belief that it is really God who does these things. They may claim free-will as a God frustrating factor, but when they go to seek God’s face they leave their man made notions of freedom behind. If they are to pray biblically, then they must do so.
The believers in Acts prayed like this (chapter 4:24-30… note their appeal to God’s creatorship and control over all things, and their plea for the grace to be bold instead of trusting in their own determination to preach the gospel) “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
We serve the Almighty God, and it’s is precisely because He controls all things that we go to Him in assurance that He can do what we ask.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, ”
Colossians 3:4 “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ”
Phil. 1:21 “ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ”
It’s been a week since my sister and Brandon Cook were wed. There is a thought that has been on my mind throughout the week that I have been itching to share. It’s not just illustrated in their wedding, but in the wedding of any man and woman who are lovers of each other and lovers of God. When my brother-in-law, Brandon, said “I do” to my sister he forsook all others and committed himself to her alone. We joke about it being “game over” or him being locked up to a ball-and-chain, but he seriously did lose his freedom. He no longer may come and go as he pleases, but must give his concerns and thoughts to my sister (as well as his paycheck! LOL!). Her well being precedes his own. There will be items that he will have to fore go obtain so that my sister may have something she needs or maybe just desires to have. In short, Brandon has lost his life for my sister. This, although not perfect, is an illustrative reminder (or a pointer) to the infinitely greater reality of what Jesus Christ has done for His bride – His Church. He considered His being God not a thing to be exploited and took upon Himself the form of a servant, a human, and was obedient unto the death of the cross. He gave His life so as to obtain His chosen people – His Bride! A definite price paid for a definite object, the object of His affection.
But there is another part to the “I do”’s, and that’s my sister, the bride. When she said “I do!” she lost her life as well; although not the same way as her new husband. Brandon lost his life for her, but Kristan lost her life IN him. You see he becomes her life, she forsakes her previous last name and adopts his. She is no longer a Pulliam, but a Cook. He is now her head as opposed to our Dad. She is concerned with pleasing him, adoring him as a wife should adore her husband. She looks to him for protection and guidance. Colossians 3:4 and Philippians 1:21 are two verses of God’s Word that their marriage reminded me of.
A marriage is to illustrate gospel truths to other. One of the ways we image our maker is through marriage. One of the ways we communicate the gospel is through marriage. I do pray The LORD to work mightily in the lives of my sister and her husband. I thank Him for His grace, and that He has given us reminders and illustrations of the gospel in various areas of life.
Are you His Bride? “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26
The Arminian kingdom of heaven is like an architect who lived during the boom of the American economy. He was extremely good at his job. Josh, the architect, had an enemy who was massively cruel. Every building Josh would erect, Stan ( his opponent) would attempt to destroy. Josh decided to build the peak of His architectural feats. He was going to build the world’s largest residential complex. It would house all the known population of New York city. In this complex, one could commute to work, live, swim, spend time at a park, etc all without ever leaving the building. There was no pollution, no disease, and one wouldn’t even feel as if he were indoors when playing in the indoor parks, or pools, or whatever. On top of that electricity was half the cost than power outside of the complex. This was the utopia of New York City.
Josh knew Stan well though. He knew Stan would try to wreak havoc on not only the structure itself, but on the residents who would live in it. He knew Stan so well that he knew exactly how Stan would go about attempting to destroy the building and the people in it. Knowing this Josh took an extra precaution. He made a way in which the people could get out of the building – a trap door that Stan didn’t know about.
As a matter of fact, hardly anyone knew about it. The handful of people that did know didn’t tell everybody about it either. So when Stan detonated the bombs, and set fire to the edifice, many perished because they didn’t know about the trap door. Some knew about it, but just figured the little rumble they heard from the 100+ floors below was just thunder and there was no need to panic. Others jumped out the windows because they heard the bombs but didn’t believe the trap door was really their way of escape. And others chose to walk through the door, some really believing what they were told and others just trying it hoping it would work, not really believing at all but having no other viable option.
1. Was Josh really their savior or did he just make a way for them to save themselves if they chose to?
2. If Josh did the same thing for every resident in the building, and some of them weren’t saved by what Josh did – was it Josh that made the difference between life and death for them?
3. Was it possible, based on the effectiveness of Josh’s work; for no one to have been saved and all die in the burning building had they chose to. In other words, could Josh actually make sure his escape plan was effective?
4. If Josh couldn’t guarantee that the residents be saved, and Stan couldn’t guarantee all the residents perish, but it was up to the residents themselves – who has the power to determine the success of the antagonist and protagonist schemes?
I have much to share regarding my sister’s wedding, but I was reading this article by Steve Camp and thought I’d share it as I will not be able to blog until the 1st of July.
Here is the link to the site if you wish to read more of his thoughts on topics.
May God be glorified.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
…salvation is not your choice – it is His
October 29th 2009 –
For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
-1 Corinthians 1:18
One of the damnable lies that has crept into evangelicalism over the last fifty years (via a return to Finneyism) is that salvation is the result of your free will enacted by your own volition to decide to follow Jesus Christ so that you can gain eternal life. Rubbish! Salvation is the result of His sovereign election of His own from all eternity past in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:1-2). Salvation is not the result of you mumbling some little sinners prayer, walking an aisle, raising a hand, or signing a decision card. “The only thing,” as Jonathan Edwards has said, “that you bring to your salvation is the sin that makes it necessary.”
So read the following words by brother C.H. Spurgeon and consider the greatness of your salvation – that it is all of grace, all of God, all of Christ Jesus the Lord, all of the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7). Any boasting in and of ourselves is excluded; any attribution in the smallest degree to man’s free will is a gospel worthy of the dung hill (Roms. 3:21-31; Phil. 3:1-12). All our boasting and glory is in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:27-31)!
We stand in grace,
“I feel persuaded that false doctrine, inasmuch as it touches God’s sovereignty, is always an object of divine jealousy. Let me indicate especially the doctrines of free-will. I know there are some good men who hold and preach them, but I am persuaded that the Lord must be grieved with their doctrine though he forgives them their sin of ignorance. Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God’s purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if he gives grace to one he is bound to do so to all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men and since some are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man’s own will, thus making the atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. Those sentiments dilute the scriptural description of man’s depravity, and by imputing strength to fallen humanity, rob the Spirit of the glory of his effectual grace: this theory says in effect that it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that showeth mercy.
Any doctrine, my brethren, which stands in opposition to this truth—”I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” provokes God’s jealousy. I often tremble in this pulpit lest I should utter anything which should oppose the sovereignty of my God; and though you know I am not ashamed to preach the responsibility of man to God—if God be a sovereign, man must be bound to obey him—on the other hand, I am equally bold to preach that God has a right to do what he wills with his own, that he giveth no account of his matters and none may stay his hand, or say unto him, “What doest thou?” I believe that the free-will heresy assails the sovereignty of God, and mars the glory of his dominion. In all faithfulness, mingled with sorrow, I persuade you who have been deluded by it, to see well to your ways and receive the truth which sets God on high, and lays the creature in the dust.” — C. H. Spurgeon
Today my sister said “I do” to the love of her life. (There’s a good chance my next few post might have somthing to do with the wedding, sorry in advance for those who are like “get off it already!”)
I had the priviledge of ushering in those attending as well as my Maw-Maw (Grandmother on my Mom’s side) and my own Mom. It was a great joy to see lots of my old friends, some I grew up with, some I watch grow up, and some who watched me grow up. I felt like I was getting more hugs than the bride and groom – it’s a blessing to be loved. But back to what I was saying… I would sit people and one of the questions I asked (aside from “would you like a fan?” it was stink’n hot!!) was “Bride or groom?” so I could sit them accordingly. Every wonder why? Ever wonder why we separate the witnesses like that? And then have the bride and groom walking between the two? Then when that part’s over we have a reception. These things make my mind hearken back to the whole covenantal theme. Mind if I explain? Good, ’cause I’m gonn’a! =)
Let’s go back “briefly” to Genesis, chapter 15. God makes a covenant with Abraham, and does a VERY significan thing in that He walks the covenant aisle without Abraham (but I won’t talk about that… for now.) Remember what The LORD was walking between? Halves of animals. That’s vital, for those halves had meaning. One of the things represented by them was the covenant curse. What was said at such a ceremony was something to the effect of “If I don’t uphold my covenant promise, my what happened to these animals be my lot!” Now the meaning of The LORD walking through alone takes on more form. Had God permitted Abraham to walk through, Abraham surley would have invoked the curse on himself. But God promised to make of Abraham a great nation, God promised to redeem all nations through Abraham’s Seed. God needed no help from Abraham. Had Abraham gotten involved, had it been contingent upon Abraham keeping some part of the deal, then it would not have come to fruition. He proves that later when he tries to help God out and just creates a problem with Hagar. Then he lies about who his wife is, claiming she is his sister, and “jeopardized” God’s promise by giving a king free reign to sleep with his own wife! God kept the king from doing so, but look at how the man that every Jew aspires to be like, and every Christian stands in awe of, was lacking faith right when it seemed to matter most!
In the covenant ceremony, those halfed animal parts were reminders, helpers if you will, to spur the two parties that walk between them (humanly speaking, as God needs no incentive to keep covenant) of the seriousness of their vow and the curse for breaking it. So all those witnesses present have a responsiblity to help the newly married couple, and encourage them in their covenant keeping toward each other.
I’ve got nothing surprising to share really, other than that one of things the wedding did was take me back to Genesis and see God walking through the halves as He was making a covenant. That a covenant contains precious promises, witnesses, responsibilities, and curses for breaking it.
I will say this in closing, maybe you will see why I am so fascinated with covenants. God gave Adam what theologians call “The Covenant of Works” in the garden. Through Adam’s disobedience, he invoked the curse on all of humanity. But there is another covenant, one that was made among the persons of the Trinity. One where the Father covenanted with The Son to give Him a people, those for whom He would die for. The Son became flesh and was made a curse for men. The very covenantal curse that was on me, He took on Himself. He, Who knew no sin, became sin for me. He ransomed sinners by His death, and The Father is brining those sinners to His Son, Jesus Christ. There will be a day when all creation will witness the Son meeting His bride face to face. We will then enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb – a reception like no other!
Just something that went through my mind today as wedding stuff was taking place – Covenants.
(Note: The Random House Dictionary give a definition of a pervert as “a person who has been perverted, esp. to a religious belief regarded as erroneous.” It is this definition I am using in this post, not one of sexual perversion.)
I was told a story of an elderly woman who was raised in a denomination that taught one could lose their salvation if they did not keep certain rules. She began attending a church where the pastor taught a biblical eternal security that was not based upon our works, but Christ’s work. The woman sat under the teaching for a while, examining it in light of Scripture. In time, she came to the pastor, and checking behind her as if she thought she may be followed or was being watch by some spy, whispered to the pastor “I believe what you’re teaching is true.” Then she added, “But don’t you think it’s dangerous?”
She’s correct! This is a real danger. There are some who realize this danger – they realize that people are prone to take a teaching, no matter how true it may be, and pervert it. To remedy this problem, they decide to pervert the truth in the other direction. An example is on the biblical doctrine of grace. Realizing that some could hear what Paul is really saying about grace and conclude that we can live however we want as long as we have confessed Jesus Christ, they attach a works based foundation to the “real Christian” life. They tell people that they must perform certain actions in order to be a good Christian. This is done to keep others out of immorality, or some other sin, that they may be prone to fall into if they twisted what Paul said about not being under the law but under grace. Rather than proclaim truth, as Paul did, and deal with those who would pervert it, they pervert it in order to beat the opposing pervert to the punch. This is the primary method that I have observed in legalism. Men will stand in the pulpit and use fear to control people, and get them to submit to their yoke of legalism. These men use fear as that is what motivate them. They are afraid that people will twist truth, so they pass this fear down to those who are under them. People are told they have to draw the line somewhere or their children will go wild. They’re not satisfied with the biblical lines, as they fear the children will cross them so they set extra-biblical laws in the name of protection and pass them off as biblical. If the Scripture says, “Don’t play in the road.”; they would say, “If you play in the front yard, you’re disobeying God!” These leaders have a fear that people may not read their Bible as they should, so they tell them a “5 star” Christian does that daily, and if they want to be a top notch Christian then they should do the same. The list is endless, anything from style of dress, to forms of entertainment, to “brand” of Bible. I’m not saying that these men do not have good intentions; but to quote something one of them told me “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
My question is this: If one man perverts truth in order to keep another man from perverting the truth, who is a pervert?
I watched Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” with the family last night. My wife thought it didn’t make sense, my 4 year old was captivated by it (loving the Jabberwok, which concerns me a bit), my 2 year old was scared of it before I even hit play, my 7 month old could care less, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anyone who knows me, knows that it’s not far into a story before connections begin to be made in my mind to illustrate truth. I think that’s one of the things I liked about the movie so much – the connections were plain as day. I’m not saying Tim intentionally made them that clear; but even with the cover of gnarled tree branches, a protagonist that looked like death warmed over, and a villain with a head to match her ego; theological connections were not masked much at all. Although there are various rabbit trails that we could follow, I will follow what I believe to be the white rabbit – the one, over arching theme of the entire film. I’m not trying to do any injustice to Burton’s or Carrol’s genius by being reductionistic; I simply want to let the trees fade a bit so we can more clearly see the forest.
There was one statement Alice made that summed it all up: “Since the moment I fell down the rabbit hole, I’ve been told who to be and how to act, but I’m going to make my own path!” Shortly after her entrance into Wonderland, she was shown a scroll of the history of Wonderland. Interestingly enough the history of the place had not all taken place as of yet. To whoever wrote it, it was history although it hadn’t happened yet. And here is where Alice’s struggle comes in. She says she couldn’t kill anything if her life depended on it, yet everyone (everyone good that is) is telling her that she has to. The villains of the movie also know about the historical scroll, and they are attempting to stop Alice, although Alice still doesn’t think she is the one to slay the Jabberwok. So sure are Alice’s friends that the record of the scroll is correct that they are all anticipating “Frabjous Day” – a day yet to come that celebrates what is yet to occur (another glorious illustration I may elaborate on in another post). For the entire movie it looks as if all who believe this day will come are lunatics. And yet there’s another twist, one I think we all can identify with more closely. The White Queen tells Alice how to kill the beast, but that Alice must choose to do so. There is even a point where the queen asks for volunteers, waiting for Alice to step forward (which she doesn’t do at that time).
To make a short story even shorter… Frabjous Day comes, and Alice is there, voluntarily, decked out in full battle attire, just as the scroll recorded she would be. She voluntarily slays the Jabberwok, just as predetermined in the scroll and does so in the exact place as foretold by the scroll. What had always been history in the scroll became history to the inhabitants of Wonderland. Their anticipation of what was to happen was fulfilled. What appeared to be insanity was really faith in what had been promised ahead of time (again, something I’d love to blog about later).
But for now, I ask you… how did all this work out as it did? By mistake, or by design? How is it that Alice, seemingly forging her own path, actually fulfilled the path predetermined for her? How is it that the antagonists willingly played right into the hands of “destiny”? Although through the movie it seemed possible that the scroll could be wrong, that Frabjous Day may not take place, that Alice wouldn’t fight the Jabberwok or be victorious if she did – was that actually the case? Was someone in control of the entire situation? If so Who?
Now, I encourage you to climb back out of the rabbit hole and make application to your own life.
If first period class was the depravity of the human heart, then second period was Sola Gratia (grace alone). In the previous two posts there are two things that should be apparent: 1. My own inability to adequately parent due to me being finite as well as possessing a sin nature; and 2. My boys have the very same issue I do – depravity. It’s essentially the blind leading the blind.
Much to my dismay, my children did not come equipped with child raising software. There was no “Daddy-ing for Dummies” at my doorstep when we returned home from the hospital. And to add insult to injury, I quickly found out that even had there been it would not have helped; for the things I knew to do from God’s Word I failed to implement. I quickly realized that I can not be the father God requires me to be. If my kids are the result of my parenting then they are doomed!
Then there’s the second problem – my kid’s depravity. Not only are they being raised by a man who constantly fails and is anything but the father he should be, but they are just as sinful! Talk about a hopeless plight! It’s like one leper trying to apply balm on the flesh of another leper – futile! All that happens is my dead flesh rubs off on them.
Hopeless? NO! Why? GRACE! God showing me the predicament of me and my boys is a blessing, for in truly seeing it as it is causes me to see Him as He is all the more and my need for Him. I know that if God doesn’t grant grace in changing my boys hearts, and if He doesn’t graciously keep me stayed on Him, then all is lost. I need Him! If my boys are to become men of God then it will be 100% by the grace of God.
So… lesson #3 concerning my three sons? Sola Gratia – Grace Alone!