Good Morning Ladies (and few gents),
Today’s devotion included below “Show, Don’t Just Tell” is a reminder from GiG Arlene that, “It can be hard to back up our words with actions! Yet words without supporting actions are weak and powerless…take a moment today to take inventory of our talk and our walk. ”
It’s Monday and time to share the 27th Catechism truth.
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 NLT
Question 27: Are all people, just as they were lost through Adam, saved through Christ? (Romans 5:17)
Answer: “No, only those who are elected by God and united to Christ by faith. Nevertheless God in his mercy demonstrates common grace even to those who are not elect, by restraining the effects of sin and enabling works of culture for human well-being.”
GiG, I recently discovered the writings of one theologian that helps sum up the truth in Catechism 27. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (B: 12/20/1899; D: 3/1/1981), a Welsh Protestant minister and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.
He explains that common grace is the term applied to those general blessings which God imparts to all humans indiscriminately as He pleases, not only to His own people, but to all humans, according to His will. We are aware that the Holy Spirit has been operative in this world from the very beginning and He had His influence and His effect upon humans who are not saved and who have gone to perdition (or “utter destruction”). It isn’t a saving influence, nor is it a redemptive influence, but it is a part of God’s purpose. If the Holy Spirit were not operative in our lives in this general way, we human beings as a result of the Fall and of sin, would have festered away into oblivion long ago. OUCH!
Timothy J. Keller, an American pastor, theologian, Christian apologist, and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York, helps to explain this particular catechism answer further.
Simply put, it strikes a very helpful balance. On the one hand, we learn that not all human beings will be saved. This is taught so clearly in the Bible in so many places that it’s impossible to list all the texts. But I’m going to call your attention to one passage—Romans 8:28-30. Paul writes in verse 30: “Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Did you notice? It’s the same number all the way through. It’s a definite number. Not all people will be saved.
However, this catechism answer talks about common grace. Though not all people are going to be saved, God still gives his gifts of wisdom and insight across the face of the whole human race. And there’s a balance we should strike. “On the one hand, no. not everyone is to be saved. No, not everyone has the saving grace of Jesus Christ in their lives. But on the other hand, we must appreciate the common grace that God gives across the whole human race.” (Pastor Keller)
GiG, we only need to hit life’s pause button briefly to recognize that this is true. We can see that God is helping us and helping in the world through many people who do not believe. We need to appreciate this. We must be grateful for them, and we must respect them. That’s the balance that we must strike.
May we be encouraged to hold on to the truth that we have a Sovereign Savior—Jesus Christ and there is salvation in no one but him. He saves everyone who calls upon his name. We may not fully understand his electing love, but we can confess that neither we nor anyone else deserves it.
God’s Got It…so we can REST—"The gospel is open to all; the most respectable sinner has no more claim on it than the worst." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Have a “May Not Fully Understand” Monday, March 18, 2019—but…”To be a Christian is not only to believe the teaching of Christ, and to practice it; it is not only to try to follow the pattern and example of Christ; it is to be so vitally related to Christ that His life and His power are working in us. It is to be "in Christ,“ it is for Christ to be in us”. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Called to serve and encouraging others to thrive,
DEA: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life and Loving My Priorities, Loving My Life