Upset at God’s Generosity

The Bible is very clear that God’s election, his choice, his predeterimination is based on his grace alone, not works or anything we do.  “In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen.” (Canons of Dordt, Art. 6) 

Are we angry because God saves whom he wants to save? Do we think him unjust? Or have we embraced the modern version of a “knock off” deity that is fair and universally inclusive?

“What shall we …say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom 9:14-18).

Christ asks, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ ” (Mt 20:15). God does not owe and is not indebted to show anyone mercy, love and grace. They are his gift.

On the other hand, God is obligated to act in justice against sin. He is holy and he hates sin (Rom 1:18). People love darkness rather than light, they hate the light, neither come to the light because their actions would be exposed (John 3:18-21).

People act in accordance with what they love most, do they not? If they love sin, they are the slave to sin. They cannot serve two masters- they will love the one or hate the other.

 Therefore, the sad case of men and women is not that they are unable to come but also that they are unwilling to come. God can only remedy this by coming to them in his Sovereign Grace.

 

© 2011 Stephen S. Gibney Soul Health Care

 

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The Struggle with the Godhood of God

The scriptures are very clear about the Godhood of God. The Bible says,

“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:6).

All emotional reactions and experiences aside, He alone is God.  The very original and conventional sin of man is pride. It is self idolatry. Pride deifies man and makes him in control of his destiny and life. We are not only uncomfortable with the fact with the freedom of God’s power and “he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. ” (Ps 115:3) but we have an aversion to it.  He makes choices, he decides what is best and for us because he is God and whether we like it or not it is done. God is relentless and unstoppable. When it comes to salvation, God who is mighty to save them who are, “predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. 1:11).

Saying, I don’t believe something does not make that truth go away.  Being inept at explaining that truth does not make it wrong and being a Christian and still struggling with that truth does not you a bad Christian.

My issue is that Pastors and preachers feel God has called them to be a spiritual public relations person for Christ. It is despicable reinterpreting God in terms, “He meant to say this…” or, “When he did this he actually was…” We are called to be spokesmen for God, to say all he has commanded, not to decode the scripture into oblivion.

With all the talk about trusting God I really think we are suspicious of him. It seems his freedom to do things with which we do not agree with is intact.  I know I still struggle with my own uncertainties.  If I did not struggle, I would doubt my own salvation. For struggle is the very essence of spiritual life.

The Bible is clear, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30).

It is pretty scary predestination and all. It is at first terrifying and then comforting.  

Should all truth make us comfortable?

That is a joke.

Is that true faith? 

For people who decry lying, we sure hate honesty, yet honesty has a way keeping both feet on terra firma.

Perhaps faith is when you grapple with some truth and are afraid of it-is that not faith as well?  This is not a rationalization of being double minded and half hearted. It it about being able to explain genuine faith or explaining in terms of embracing the belief in one God who predestines all things.

Does the ability to explain or lack thereof effect your faith? I struggle everyday with trust in GOD’s plans and purposes for my own life. The calm assurance that I have at times is much more precious than trillions of bailout dollars.

 The logical conclusion to predestination is a strange mix and fear and confidence. But the Godhood of God is a fact. One may speculate and struggle with it but in the end when we see he has done all things well,  we submit in surrender to him.