"O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." By Ruben Alexander
|O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be! By Ruben Alexander|
"It takes a good theologian to help you misunderstand the bible!" Jesse Duplantis
Today (09/27/14), at Gateway Church, Pastor Robert Morris talked about Grace. He mentioned how in bible school the students used to sit around and "debate" (another word for argue) about various topics (like Calvin vs Armenian). He stated, that he was asked what he thought about this Grace vs Works debate they were having, and he said: "Look, all I know is that I once was lost, and now I'm found". They turned back to their debate.
This reminded me of the stories my wife told me about her experiences in college. She took a class on Augustine, and thought the whole class was about the most ridiculous waste of time she'd seen to that point in her life. A whole class of people having heated arguments over things like infant baptism.
Truth be told, I enjoyed those kinds of debates. I was in there all heated up with the best of them in my college days. My wife... and Pastor Robert... are among the more simple in faith... and as a result, they both see more results than people like me do.
In fact, they showed THIS video today, of a father carrying his son through life, and how that was supposed to picture God's grace toward us, carrying us through life, if we let him. My lightening fast mind saw the work of the father as my work that I would have to do to carry others... I totally missed the point at first. I turned a message of Grace into a message of Works in less than 30 seconds.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 English Standard Version
This verse doesn't mean that we won't go to heaven unless we become like Children. It means that we will not experience God's Kingdom, in full operation, in our lives here on earth the way Jesus did... unless we become like little children in our faith.
Did you know you are NOT saved by faith?
I know... that TOTALLY threw me for a loop the first time I heard it. But it's true!
King James Bible
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8
The bible actually teaches us that we are saved BY GRACE... THROUGH FAITH. I like the way the the New Living Translation (which is actually a paraphrase but whatever) says it:
New Living Translation
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Eph 2:8
Cognate: 5485 xáris (another feminine noun from xar-, "favor, disposed to, inclined, favorable towards, leaning towards to share benefit") – properly, grace. 5485 (xáris) is preeminently used of the Lord's favor – freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is "always leaning toward them").5485 /xáris ("grace") answers directly to the Hebrew (OT) term 2580 /Kaná ("grace, extension-toward"). Both refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.[5485 (xáris) is sometimes rendered "thanks" but the core-idea is "favor, grace" ("extension towards").]
The Father is constantly showing his grace towards us. Isn't it amazing that we think we have any work to do at all (one point the for Calvinists) or that this loving Father would leave a single person out of his redemptive plan (one point for the Armenians).
There is only one thing that is stopping his Grace toward me... my willingness to accept, or not accept that help? He will not force anyone to be saved. Not anyone. Neither is he willing to let one single person to go to hell. Nevertheless, He will not force us to accept his Grace. He will respect our choice, even if it means loosing us to hell.
But what about smaller things? Let's put the far future life and death aside for a moment. What about, say, the traffic ticket you got last week... Does God care about that?
Yes! Not a single hair on your head falls without his notice.
Nevertheless, He will not force His grace on you or I for a traffic ticket, anymore than he will heaven.
The question is... will I turn to Him, ask Him for help, and be willing to listen long enough to hear instruction, and obey that instruction when I receive it?
In other words... will I #BeStillBeLed?
And now I leave you with a question:
What do you think about Grace?
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