Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Big is your God?

Unconditional Election. Predestination. 
When you read or hear these words how do they make you feel? do they make you feel:
- uneasy?
- awkward?
- angry? 

- confused?
- uncomfortable?

Why do you feel those feelings?
Is it because these ideas don’t fit into the tiny theological box that you’ve put God in? Is it because you think that God wouldn’t do something that you wouldn’t do? Or maybe God would not think or act in a way in which you do not think or act?

Do we ever think that maybe the creators plans are more developed then our own and that maybe his nature and character is perfect and it is us who is flawed? So often we put Gods actions into our reasoning. We tend to put God into a box and are tempted to only believe the things the we can understand or comprehend. The things that we don’t understand or do not like; we get rid of. 

For many of us, our God is too small. Our tendency is to make him reflection of who we are and what we understand rather than us being a reflection of him. We can come to places that tell us things about God that go way beyond what we can understand or comprehend, and instead of accepting things by faith and believing them despite whether these things are true about God, we tend to dismiss them, sweep them or under the rug, or get rid of them in our minds altogether.

There are things about God that we will never understand because God is God and we are not, God is big, we are small. God is infinite we are finite. God is knowable and we don’t have to guess who he is, because he has showed us. What we do know about God is true and real as long as it corresponds with the scriptures. What we know is true, but it is only partial. How can it be that God has ordained everything and yet we are not robots?- this is a good question and we may never know. Scripture tells us things about God that are gloriously true but way beyond our ability to understand. If we don’t dismiss them but wrestle and take God at his word, we will grow and mature. 

The book of Romans, paint a depressing, and sad portrait of the condition and depravity of humanity. One does not have to read far into the first chapter before learning that  humans are so spiritually corrupt, prideful, rebellious and wretched that we would never choose God (Rom.1:21,3:9-10, Psalm 14:1,3) In fact, not only would we never chose him, we actually actively reject him. (1:21,32)

Further more, we also have the audacity to take God and put him on trial (1:28) We decide that this is not the kind of God we want, we reject him as God, do not see him fit to be worshipped, in so turn and worship the creature, rather than the creator thus God gives humanity over to its rebellion and he lets humanity to worship, pursue and obtain the very things that lead to destruction (1:18-32) Because we are in rebellion, everything we do is sin, good works and bad works alike (Rom.14:23) Our inability to submit to God or make changes to ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment. If God waited for us to seek after him, the point is that he would be still waiting. Naturally we run from him. And if God waited for us to move towards him, we would have no hope at all. We are Dead.(Ephesians 2:4–5) Blind. (2 Cor 4:4) Hopeless people. Every single person.(1:20) Period.

But along with being perfect, holy and just God is also compassionate and loving. So before the world ever existed, before there were stars, a moon, the sky, before their were grass and goats. There was God. In that moment, God had you in mind and, in His unfathomable, electing, shocking, ruthless, scandalous and unconditional love, He decided to redeem you in Jesus Christ. He really did. He chose to save you (Ephesians 1:3) His love for you is eternal and not based any merit. God chose you to be his child before the foundation of the world, despite you.(Romans 8:29-30, 9:11, 11:5-7, Ephesians 1:4-6) While you were still dead in your trespasses(Romans 5:8. Ephesians 2:4-5) spitting in his face, jamming nails into his wrists, thorns into his head, he did something shocking. God took you, his will overrode your will, he gave you faith, HE saved you, HE embraced you, and HE accepted you. Then he substituted your cold dead heart with a new and regenerated heart and then sealed you with the Holy Spirit. Because God is faithful to complete the work he began; he promised to sustain you, and to hold you back from sin that leads to death. You are you eternally secure (Ephesians 1:13, 2Corinthians 1:22, 5:5)

‘Wait Chance you mean to tell me that God unconditionally elects?’

How dare he:
- trade me his righteousness for my sin
- come uninvited into my life.

- force his will to over ride my will.

- make a choice.

- give me something I don't deserve(grace)
- not give me what I do deserve (wrath)

How dare he:

- he save me.

- give me faith.
- secure me.
- give me a new heart.
- a new mind.
- a new path.

(sound ridiculous?)

praise God.

How does this fit into the post modern thinking in which you are saturated in?
is this offensive? 

Well, you or I do not get to comment on how God saves. He is God, we are not. We are just pieces of clay, trying to tell other pieces of clay, about who the potter is. His thoughts are not like our thoughts and his ways are not like our ways(Isa 55:8) 

The Doctrine of Unconditional Election is a comforting doctrine. In understanding that God saves sinners, and sinners don save themselves, it frees us to approach evangelism with confidence and boldness. It assures us of our eternal security. God Loved you before you did anything good or bad, and you can be confident that he loves you after.

The Doctrine of Election isn’t a topic to be debated, but embraced and bring overflowing passion and worship to our Sovereign, omnipotent God. It should challenge us to be Christians;
"Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.’’- John Piper

Well how do I know if I am elect?

Do you hate sin and love Jesus and been giving a regenerated heart by the Holy Spirit?
Then you are elect.

Unconditional Election. Predestination. 

When you read or hear these words how do they make you feel? How about:

- thankful?
- humbled?
- excited?
- passionate?
- worshipful?
- assured?
- comforted?

How big is your God?

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