Marathon session here. I looked down at my listening guide and saw we were only on page 89… out of 143. Appropriate, I suppose, that we now come to sanctification. And then election, the “theological deep end”, according to David, “where none of us can swim.”
In particular for the doctrine, David acknowledged the difficulty of the doctrine which is heightened by the North American context that is bent on freedom. It’s interesting to note his comments that not all areas of the world, particularly those more familiar with a sovereign ruler, find the doctrine so offensive. I appreciated very much the great care and detail David went into when talking through this doctrine. He did so respectfully and in a pastoral way. Perhaps most importantly, he moved the doctrine of election out of the realm of theological debate and showed us how it is rightly applied.
Not only would this particular section be instructive for our understanding of salvation, but also in the broader context of the presence of evil in the world. And at the center of it all, there is again the centrality of God in all things. The great example is the death of Jesus, again so appropriate for Good Friday.
Was it God’s will for Jesus Christ to be murdered? Yes and no.
Does God will for all people to be saved? Yes and no.
The yes acknowledges God’s sovereign will, apart from which nothing will happen. The no refers to His revealed will in Scripture. This was well put and articulated from stage.
Other statements from this teaching segment:
In this, we transition from point to process of salvation – we have been saved, and now we are being saved.
– From our standing overflows our life.
– Death to the flesh, life to the spirit.
– A Christian would never say, “I don’t want to grow in Christ.”
– If you’re working for God, what do you need Christ for? Evidently you can do it on your own.
– Gospel truth is never intended to be only believed; gospel truth is always intended to be obeyed. Never only accepted in our heads; always intended to be applied in our lives.
– 15 times in James the word “work” is used, and it’s always positive. Fueled by faith.
– Work fueled by faith brings great glory to God.
– Our work is ultimately fueled by God’s work. Ultimately, we’re not working for God; He’s working for us.
– We aren’t free to flout God’s commands – we’re free to follow God’s commands.
– Christians WILL persevere to the end… AND… Christians MUST persevere to the end. Christianity is a fight to be fought and a race to be won.
– The two questions, “How do I become a Christian?” and “How do I know I am a Christian?” have very different answers. The book of 1 John answers the second.
– If you’re a child of God, you live like God. If you’re a child of the devil, you live like the devil.
– The warnings to Christians about falling away are the means by which God accomplishes the promise.
– You’ve got a passport with your name on it and the home country is heaven.
– Most believers will die, but all believers will be resurrected.
– The doctrine of election is an affront to human freedom.
– We don’t just resort to mystery when we are lazy.
– It’s tragic that this doctrine has proved so divisive when it’s given to encourage unity in the church.
– Election is a family secret; it makes no sense to the unregenerate mind.
– If a study looking at election does not drive us to more passion in evangelism, we miss the whole point. We should not end baffled by theological debate, but passionate in making the gospel known.
– Every Christian who believes in the Bible believes in election.
– No Christian congratulates himself on his own conversion. Neither do we claim to be able to convert anyone else. That’s why we pray for people.
– God loves everyone in the world. At the same time, those who believe on the name of Jesus will experience His love in a radically different way.
– God finishes what He starts.
– The ground of your salvation is not your commitment to God but ultimately God’s commitment to you.
– No matter how much they resist, no one whom God calls can outrun His grace. And that’s very hopeful.
– If we deem election to be unfair, we reveal that we think everyone is entitled to salvation when the whole point of the gospel is that no one is entitled to salvation.
– It’s not easy to process, but if we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves sitting in judgment on God.
– The mystery is how God can be sovereign and man be responsible at the same time.
– God has ordained that the means by which election is accomplished be our preaching of the gospel.
There are still over 6,000 ethnic people groups who haven’t heard the gospel. This is not acceptable – not with all we have. The message is clear. The excuses are non-existent.
Let’s get busy.