I’ts All About God — Part 2

April 24, 2008 at 9:31 am | Posted in It's All About God, Theology | Leave a comment

Ephesians 1-3.  I believe the reason some people have a difficult time with Reformed theology is that we all have an inborn desire to have a part in what is ours.  We have trouble believing that we have nothing to do with our salvation; we want to take at least some of the credit for it.  However, this doesn’t fit the clear teaching of the scriptures.  The first half of Ephesians emphasizes this point in a lucid way.  God is the active agent of everything in these chapters.  He is almost always the subject, and even when “we” is the subject of a sentence, the sentence is passive and God does it.  In other words, “It is all about God!”

Note that God blessed us with spiritual blessings; he chose us in Christ; he predestined us to be adopted; he lavished his grace on us; he called us to a glorious inheritance; he made us alive when we were dead in sin; he raised us up with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms; he preached peace to us who were far from him; he purposed all this; and he accomplished his eternal purpose in Christ.  We were chosen and predestined; we were included in Christ; we were marked with the Holy Spirit; we have been saved by grace (said twice and emphasized with “it is the gift of God”); we have been brought near to God through the blood of Christ; we are being built together as a dwelling for God (all passive sentences with God as the active agent).

I might add that all the above are past tense sentences, except the last one in my list.  Not only does God do it all; he has already done it.  It is finished.  Nothing I do can undo what God as already done!  Otherwise his word wouldn’t be true.

Paul adds to all this that even his preaching of the message is “the grace of God which was given to me.”   Even his prayers emphasizes the role of God doing it all for us.  He asks the father to give us a spirit of wisdom; to enlighten the eyes of our hearts; that we might know him better; that he would strengthen us through power in the inner man; that we might grasp the love of Christ.  Some of the things on this prayer list make it seem like we are the subject (that we might know him and might grasp his love), but why would Paul pray these things if they were our own doing!?  He prays them because he knows they are God’s work.

The clear teaching of the Bible is that God does it all.  It’s all about God!  That’s something worthy of my trust.  I can’t trust my sinful self to hold on to Christ; but I can trust the God described in these chapters, the God who has already done the things described in these chapters, to hold on to me!

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