Theology Thursday

Salvation is all of grace and all of God. Life must come from God before the sinner can arise from the grave.

Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2008), 137.

I doubt I will ever forget the moment when my whole view of salvation changed. I was in our lounge room. Reading. I think Allita was making dinner or something like that. I can’t remember what I was reading but what I won’t forget is that I called out to Allita saying something like, “what if God chooses us before we choose Him.”

For the previous 10 years or so, I’d been under the impression that we had to choose Jesus. That everyone was free to do so and that ultimately it came down to me. Now, that’s not totally wrong.

But what I found was that the Bible told a different story. That no one can choose to follow Jesus, no one can repent, no one can turn to Him in faith, unless God first shows them grace. And that it’s by God’s grace alone, sending His Spirit into my heart, that allows me to turn to Him in faith.

Maybe this isn’t something you’ve heard before. Maybe you are wondering, is that really what the Bible says? Ephesians 2 tells us that we were dead in our trespasses and sins. Let me ask you, what are dead people capable of? Paul’s point is, nothing. But then Paul will go on to say that “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive together with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions.”

Similarly, Jesus tells Nicodemus that you must be born again by the Spirit, in John 3. Let me ask you, did you choose to be born? Neither do you choose to be spiritually born again.
The reason for God’s sovereign grace is so that only He can be glorified for your salvation.

Here is the truth, if we had contributed, even the smallest part to our salvation, what would we do? We would congratulate ourselves, think more highly of ourselves than we should, we would pat ourselves on the back rather than turning to God in thanksgiving and wholehearted praise.

But we can’t. Because salvation is by God’s grace alone. So give thanks and praise to the one who deserves it all. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit.

For Today:
  • Have you ever wrestled with this concept before?
  • Do you struggle with the concept of election, predestination or sovereign grace?
  • Why do we find this aspect of theology so confronting?
Pray: Praise the Father for His sovereign grace that He has lavished on us in Christ. Give thanks for Jesus who is the expression of the riches of God’s grace to us. Ask God for His Holy Spirit to go and make many more people alive to God.

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