Theology Thursday

Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.

Westminster Shorter Catechism

Ours is a tale of two estates (think household - like real estate). We are born into the estate of Adam, it is a household of sin and therefore misery. Picture it, it’s dark, covered by thorns and thistles. Its buildings are painted with graffiti & messages like ‘you are on your own’, ‘there is no God’ and ‘eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die’. 

Over the other side of the river is another estate. It is bathed in light. Clean and tidy. Its trees are covered in good fruit. Its slogans are ‘love God & love people’, ‘we are God’s children’ & ‘God is good’. 

The river that runs between is wide. It’s fast and furious. It seems uncrossable.

How do we cross the river? Well, that we can at all is by God’s good pleasure. He need not make any way across. Yet, in His grace He has sent a redeemer into Adam’s estate. He is the ferry, with the power that can cross the river and He comes to collect those who are God’s, to deliver them from their estate.

But grasp the big point here. It wasn’t because of something in us. God didn’t look over at our situation and say, ooh, there’s some good people trapped over there. He didn’t say that person seems fairly worthy of an upgrade.

It was His good pleasure to show mercy to wretched people. To those that outside of His grace would have sinned as seriously as anyone else. We owe our salvation to God alone and can claim no contribution of our own. That’s why He deserves all the glory and our whole lives.

For Today:
  • Do you feel entitled to God’s grace?
  • What would your slogan be outside of Christ? What is it now?
  • How should God’s good pleasure/grace shape you today?

  • Praise the Father that it was His good pleasure that caused our change in estate. 
  • Give thanks that Christ came to save us from our situation and bring us into His light. 
  • Ask God for His Holy Spirit to help you and others live in light of your change of estate.

Passages: Acts 13:48, Ephesians, 1:4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
Genesis 3:15, Jeremiah. 31:31-34; 1 Corinthian. 11:25

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