Tuesday, April 15, 2014

day no. 12,958: i was supposed to write this, i'm sure of it

A conversation this morning regarding predestination fueled a fury of thoughts on my drive to work this morning. The conversation was, as per usual, in reference to Romans 9.
Romans 9:11-18
11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand—12 not from works but from the One who calls—she was told: The older will serve the younger.13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not!15 For He tells Moses:
I will show mercy
to whom I will show mercy,
and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh:
I raised you up for this reason
so that I may display My power in you
and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
18 So then, He shows mercy to those He wants to, and He hardens those He wants to harden.
My thoughts were rallying around one common objection people make in response to the reality that God has predestined people. That being, “Well if God has already decided, what does it matter what I do?”
Great question.
Unfortunately, the answer to that is almost without exception fleshed out in the following manner. An exasperated person hears that God is in complete control and throws up their hands and says, “Well if it’s already been decided, then I’m just going to do what I want. If God is going to do what He wants, I will do what I want and we’ll see what happens in the end since He’s going to do it anyways.”
This commonly takes the form of laziness, self-centeredness, callousness and the most base behaviors imaginable found under the defense of, “Who can resist God’s will? If He wants to save me, He will. If He doesn’t, He won’t.”
I agree.
But your response to freedom is interesting, is it not?
You discover that nothing you can do will gain or lose your salvation and so your default is to act in a way unworthy of the Gospel.
Why is it every time someone says, “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what I do,” they throw their hands up and engage in the most vile behaviors imaginable?
No one ever says, “It doesn’t matter what I do,” and then ends up giving all their possessions away to the poor and serving widows and orphans with all their time and energy. No one ever says, “I guess it doesn’t matter” and spends their free time preaching the Gospel to strangers and opening their house to those in need.
Isn’t it interesting how we default to total depravity in a moment’s time?
The very response to God’s sovereignty and decision proves our depravity and the election necessary for anyone to be saved.
God is free to do whatever He desires.
Observe the stark contrast.
He can do whatever He wants and with that freedom, He sends His one and only begotten Son. He send Him as a sacrifice to die. He chooses to be selfless. He chooses to die.
When given a world of possibilities and options, He chooses sacrifice.
He is not totally depraved. He is wholly divine.
Godliness chooses to die, chooses to suffer, and chooses in love to do whatever it takes to win those opposed.
And for whom does He do this?
Selfish, introspective, infantile hedonists who choose themselves every time over everyone else and over God.
He dies for those who would never choose Him. He dies for those who default to pleasure-seeking and impatience.
God demonstrates His love in choosing to save those who have proved themselves unworthy of being saved.
This should produce hands raised in worship, not in exasperation. Yes, He is fully in charge and has determined our steps. But He is good and loving and has proven this time and time again by His faithfulness and His provision of Jesus Christ.
That is the Gospel.

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