The Sovereign, Eternal and Free Nature of God’s Grace

9 02 2008

In this post you will find a continuation of the discussion of God’s sovereign grace in regards to the salvation of mankind. With so much teaching these days following the lines of “free will” Arminianism, this decidedly Calvinistic stance in regards to the “doctrines of grace” will run counter to the understanding of many people regarding election, predestination, God’s sovereignty, etc.

But my goal here is not to be strident or extreme in presenting these views concerning the working of God’s grace. Indeed, it is more important for someone such as myself to actually “live in a manner that pleases the Lord”, “carrying every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”, “putting to death the deeds of the flesh”, than to obstinantly demand complete and full acceptance by others of these Calvinistic doctrines of grace.

However, I would also say that what a person believes regarding their biblical theology in general, and about the doctrines pertaining to the grace of God in particular, are the very foundations of our views and faith toward God, of how our lives are to be lived before Him, and of how He and we view other people (both the saved in Jesus Christ and the unsaved). It is of no small importance that we correctly understand what God has revealed to us in this written Word in regards to who He is and what He does and how we should respond to Him. Forever, forever, and forever we need to resist the continually creeping disease of the effect of man-centered humanism upon our view of God and His dealings with us. “To God be the glory!” is not meant to only be an idle, emotional exhortation among us Christ-believing church-goers. It is a call to all of us as Christians to have an accurate understanding of God, and in the living of our very lives to acknowledge God and bring honor to Him.

My personal conviction is that having a grace-oriented view of God and His workings in bringing about our salvation brings honor to Him. Conversely, man-centered viewpoints of how our salvation comes about (i.e., Arminianism, works salvation, new-age teaching, etc.) ultimately seek to allow mankind to gain some credit in the endeavor (credit that should all belong to God alone).

So, I encourage you to read through these passages, and to pray about and think upon the sovereign role of God in the effectual carrying out of our salvation in Christ Jesus.

*********************************************************************

In A.W. Pink’s book “The Attributes of God” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2001) (click here), the author discusses the Grace of God (Chapter 13, pages 66-71). This post continues to draw upon Pink’s explanation of the grace of God…

*****

A. God’s Grace is Eternal, Free, and Sovereign

B. God Sovereignly Exercises His Unmerited Favor (Grace) Toward Sinful Man

C. Eternal Life is a Gift from God

D. Natural Man’s Resistance Toward Acceptance of God’s Sovereign Grace

D. God’s Distinguishing Choice of His Elect Children

Ephesians 5:1-21 (Be Imitators of God)

(1) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; (2) and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

(3) But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; (4) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (5) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (6) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (7) Therefore do not be partakers with them; (8) for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (9) (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), (10) trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (11) Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (12) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (13) But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (14) For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

(15) Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, (16) making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (17) So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (18) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (20) always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (21) and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

*****

Coming posts will continue to focus on the doctrines of God’s grace. Lets examine them together.

Churchlayman

Advertisements




God’s Grace: Undeserved on Our Part

1 02 2008

In A.W. Pink’s book “The Attributes of God” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2001) (click here), the author discusses the Grace of God (Chapter 13, pages 66-71). Pink presents a view of the grace of God that is straight forward and clear in its support of Calvinistic, Divine sovereignty-centered theology.

We can trust God to work out all of these issues regarding election, predestination, grace and the salvation of the elect according to His Divine wisdom. Where else and in who else can we trust to fairly and justly handle such issues?

Following are some quotations from Pink in regards to the grace of God…..

**************

Grace is a perfection of the Divine character which is exercised only toward the elect. Neither in the Old Testament nor in the New is the grace of God ever mentioned in connection with mankind generally, still less with the lower orders of His creatures. In this it is distinguished from mercy, for the mercy of God is “over all His works(Psalm 145:9). Grace is the sole source from which flows the goodwill, love, and salvation of God unto His chosen people.”

Romans 4:1-8

(1) What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?(2) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

(3) For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

(4) Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

(5) But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

(6) just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

(7) “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.

(8) “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”

***********

Ephesians 2:1-10

(1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

(2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

(3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

(5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

(6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

(7) so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

(9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

*************

This is the first of a number of posts that will focus on God’s grace. In the short time we each spend on this side of eternity, the topic of God’s grace is certainly worth our focus and attention. It will lead us to more fully appreciate and worship the Lord.

Churchlayman