Saturday, April 25, 2009

Smiling Upon Sovereign Grace - Erik Raymond

This is a post from Erik Raymond's website from April 20, 2009.

The Christian life is simultaneously pride smashing and smile producing. And frankly, you cannot have one without the other.

The truth of that matter is that too many of us do not smile large enough upon the realities of sovereign grace because our pride is not appropriately smashed by the reality of human inability.

In other words, we think highly of our own merit and think lowly of diving grace.

The reality of the matter is that we (the Christians) do not have a real good spiritual résumé. We read in Colossians 1.21 that we were “were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” This is to say that we were separated from God (alienated). And as a result, the disposition of our mind was hostile. This literally means “haters in the mind.” Well who are we ‘hating’ in our minds? It is the One whom we are alienated from. Just as Romans 1.30 indicates in its catalog of depravity, we were “haters of God”. It only follow then that the one who hates God in his mind is going to be ‘doing evil deeds.’ We were the spiritual insurgents who strapped the explosives of self-serving, God-belittling sin to our chest as we aimed to thwart, undermine, and mock the will and glory of God at every turn. This is truly the essence of evil.

Apart from Christ we are alienated; we have no way to God. But on top of this, we are neither able nor willing to come. We are content in the giving God the stiff arm with one hand and with the other, holding up the mirror as we admire our own perceived glory.

But God does not leave us there.

He powerfully, lovingly, mercifully, and graciously overtakes the sinner with an irresistible view of the glory of Jesus Christ. This is called sovereign grace.

In 2 Corinthians 4 we learn that in addition to being totally depraved we are under the influence of Satan’s eye blinding techniques (2 Cor. 4..4). But notice what we can’t see? The text says “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

It is the glory of Christ that we are blinded from seeing.

Ah, but what does the ever gracious and sovereign God do?

The God “who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4.6).

God has made us to see the glory of Christ! We did not stumble upon this truth. We were not taught it by men. We didn’t inherit it in this country like some sort of unalienable right. NO! The sovereign God of the universe has crashed through your sinfully barricaded heart with his powerful sovereign grace so that you would be able to see the beauty, worth, goodness, power, and attractiveness of Christ! He has done this for you!

You could never nor would never, ever see him on your own. But God, according to his kindness, mercy and grace has given you eyes to see the most precious sight available. And he has given his Spirit so that you might enjoy the most satisfying One available.

It is through this seeing and savoring of Christ that you agree with God about the glory of his Son. You are to continue to drink from the inexhaustible river of delight and feast upon the true manna from heaven.

But as you continue to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34.7a) smile large Christian– because you know that your seat at this feast is all of grace.

No comments:

Post a Comment