His Reminders are Grace

Babe, the car is making a funny noise when I start it. It’s making a noise I’ve never heard before.” I got up from my comfortable sleeping position and went outside with my wife to see what was wrong with the car. She cranked it twice and both times there was a delay. I knew it was the battery because I’d been notified about it the last time the car was serviced. Right then I knew our day would not go as planned. I had a business appointment in another city and had arranged to have a rental ready, but I wasn’t sure if driving to the rental car agency or having them pick me up was going to be more efficient. Because of this uncertainty, I drove my wife to work instead of her taking our second car to work. As we were driving away, my wife kept voicing how she was going to be late to work and how this car problem threw off her whole day. It would also affect my day because it reduced my sleep time and taking her to work threw off my schedule by an hour.

Graciously, the LORD reminded me of His sovereignty and I took the opportunity to encourage my wife to respond biblically (recalling truths about God, etc.) and not in the flesh. She said she was trying, but I reminded her that life will always have trials that we are called to respond correctly to. She made it to work on time and arranged a ride home. I was picked up by the rental car agency and I made it to my meeting on time. Because I was picked up, our second car was at home which allowed her to run her errands after work. After I got home, we went to the auto parts store and purchased a new battery for our first car.

We discussed the day and talked about several things the LORD reminded us of with this small trial.

disciplehood-title-slides1

First, this trial reminded us that God sends trials that we might mature as Christians as we seek Him for wisdom and grace. James reminds us that we are to count it all joy when we experience trials because they’re working for our maturity and preparing us for eternity (Jam. 1:2-4).

Second, this trial reminded us that we are not in control of our lives and even dying car batteries serve the purposes of God to remind us of that. As mentioned before, we both had our days arranged and this interruption (by her own admission) revealed my wife’s lack of submission to God, and trust in God regarding this unplanned event. We must remember that God is sovereign over all and is working out all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11).

Third, this trial reminded us of how undone we are and how much we still desire to sit on the throne of our own lives. James reminds us that presuming upon the LORD’s grace is evil boastful arrogance and that we should be of the mind that says, “If the LORD wills, we will live and do this or that” (Jam. 4:13-15). Oh how patient the LORD is with us when we presumptuously make plans with no thought of His majesty. That is a mark of pride that often eludes us. We must remember that we are not our own, but we were bought with a price called to submit ourselves to God with His glory as our end goal.

Fourth, this trial reminded us that God answers prayer….and sometimes very fast! As I was driving my wife to work, she told me that she had just prayed that the LORD would cause her to think biblically in all things. Within an hour, He granted her an opportunity to put that prayer request to work. We must remember that God answers prayer according to His will and He will complete the work of salvation that He started to conform us to the image of His Son (Phil. 1:6, Rom. 8:29).

Finally, the trial reminded me of my call to lovingly lead my wife by speaking the truth to her in love. I haven’t always done this well, but the LORD was gracious to me in this instance. Though I sternly admonished my wife to think biblically, I did it because I love her. I also quickly admonished her to think correctly because I didn’t want her own sinful tendencies nor the enemy to assail her mind with anxiety and frustration concerning the car and her plans. More than anything in my marriage, my desire for my wife is to see her continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and I have a God ordained role to play a significant part in that (Eph. 5:25-27). It is a role that I need much grace for due to my own sin, and I rejoice because God is sufficient to supply all of our needs in Christ Jesus.

We must remember the next time when things don’t go our way, understand that they weren’t supposed to.

We must remember that God is God and we are not.

These reminders are grace working for our good and His glory! 

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First Things First

We are living in a time where meaning and the way we live are largely determined by the pleasures derived through our senses. We’re driven by the pleasures gained through seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, hearing and even our emotions.  Experiencing legitimate pleasure certainly is not wrong, for this is how the LORD created us and deemed it good! I certainly love the smell and taste of good food. I enjoy hearing fine melody and receiving a warm embrace and a loving kiss from my attractive wife.  The LORD is very gracious and loving to allow us to enjoy His creation in these ways. However, these things are not meant to drive us to pleasure for pleasure sake, but instead to the Creator of those things. They’re merely avenues, not the destination. The things that lead to our experience of pleasure and pleasure itself are meant to lead us to God.  God is ultimate and in His presence is the epitome of joy and pleasure. David writes in Psalm 16:11:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The reason why we don’t go to God for joy and pleasure is because we don’t perceive Him as the incomparable majestic holy being that He is. Therefore, we really don’t know Him as we should. We have other loves. We have other loves of infinitely lesser value. We have a greater affection for our other loves.  We simply desire God too little.

So what do we do?

We need greater affection for God. I believe this comes by studying and meditating on Him as revealed in the Scriptures. I believe right theology leads to passionate doxology. We need a greater sense of awe concerning God.  We first must understand who God is.

At the end of his pastoral ministry at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper preached a series titled “Thirty Year Theological Trademarks” and it was transcribed into an e-book titled Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks for a Lifetime.  Unsurprisingly and necessarily, Piper’s foundation was the nature and character of God.  Before we can live as God intended, we must first know God. He is the objective starting point for everything.  In the first chapter, God Is, Piper unpacked just that – who God is.  Piper’s desire for the listener / reader was to ponder how God revealed Himself to Moses as I AM and His eternal nature. Piper writes –

1. God’s absolute being means he never had a beginning. This staggers the mind. Every child asks, “Who made God?” And every wise parent says, “Nobody made God. God simply is. And always was. No beginning.”

2. God’s absolute being means God will never end. If he did not come into being, he cannot go out of being because he is being. He is what is. There is no place to go outside of being. There is only he. Before he creates, that’s all that is: God.

3. God’s absolute being means God is absolute reality. There is no reality before him. There is no reality outside of him unless he wills it and makes it. He is not one of many realities before he creates. He is simply there as absolute reality. He is all that was eternally. No space, no universe, no emptiness. Only God. Absolutely there. Absolutely all.

4. God’s absolute being means that God is utterly independent. He depends on nothing to bring him into being or support him or counsel him or make him what he is. That is what the words “absolute being” mean.

5. God’s absolute being means rather that everything that is not God depends totally on God. All that is not God is secondary, and dependent. The entire universe is utterly secondary. Not primary. It came into being by God and stays in being moment by moment on God’s decision to keep it in being.

6. God’s absolute being means all the universe is by comparison to God as nothing. Contingent, dependent reality is to absolute, independent reality as a shadow to substance. As an echo to a thunderclap. As a bubble to the ocean. All that we see, all that we are amazed by in the world and in the galaxies, is, compared to God, as nothing. “All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17).

7. God’s absolute being means that God is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He cannot be improved. He is not becoming anything. He is who he is. There is no development in God. No progress. Absolute perfection cannot be improved.

8. God’s absolute being means that he is the absolute standard of truth and goodness and beauty. There is no law-book to which he looks to know what is right. No almanac to establish facts. No guild to determine what is excellent or beautiful. He himself is the standard of what is right, what is true, what is beautiful.

9. God’s absolute being means God does whatever he pleases and it is always right and always beautiful and always in accord with truth. There are no constraints on him from outside him that could hinder him in doing anything he pleases. All reality that is outside of him he created and designed and governs as the absolute reality. So he is utterly free from any constraints that don’t originate from the counsel of his own will.

10. God’s absolute being means that he is the most important and most valuable reality and the most important and most valuable person in the universe. He is more worthy of interest and attention and admiration and enjoyment than all other realities, including the entire universe.

Meditate on these ten realities. They are profound and they are biblical. These reasons, and there are infinitely more, ought to cause us to consider how great God is. There is no one or nothing more truthful and exhilarating than God!

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

(Psalm 63:1-8 ESV)

Grace & Peace,

d.

 

The Actual Factual

Christians are a people of truth. Our faith is based on the truth of God. One of the most important and characteristic truths about Christianity is the doctrine of the Trinity. Though you won’t find the word “trinity” in the Scriptures, you will see the attributes of deity ascribed and described of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is one, but exists in three persons. Much controversy has come as a result of  this teaching, but the Scriptures are clear in its proclamation of the deity of all three members of the Godhead.

Perhaps the most controversial teaching of the Godhead is the teaching about the nature of Jesus Christ. In the Scriptures, we find that Jesus was an actual human being 100% and that He was also 100% God. This is known as the doctrine of the hypostatic union.

Notice what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:5-11 & Colossians 1:15-19

  • 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11) 
  • 15 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… (Colossians 1:15-19)

This is hugely significant as we consider the work of the gospel. For anyone to be saved, they must have the righteousness required by God that comes from obedience to the law. However, the Bible teaches that no one can perfectly obey the law of God because of his sinful nature. We’re all born rebels incapable of obeying the Lord, nor do we naturally have the desire to. This is why the doctrine of Christ or Christology is an essential doctrine.

As a man, Jesus perfectly obeyed the will/law of the Father (Matthew 5:17 & John 4:34). The law requires perfect obedience and it also demands death for disobedience.  Jesus lived as a human being, with its limitations, for 33 years perfectly submitted to the will of the Father, including dying on a cross as a ransom and a substitution for sinners. (Isaiah 53)

As God, Jesus exhibited the attributes of deity – authority over creation, received worship, immortality, His titles as Lord, and His claim to being I AM (John 8:58). What’s key is that only God can fulfill His own law and in this Jesus proved His deity as well.

The rejection of the nature and work of Jesus Christ is the birth of false religions. (i.e. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, etc.)

The nature and work of Jesus is one we must get right if we will fully appreciate the uniqueness, grace and mercy of the gospel and its security.

Check out the song, Hypostatic Union, by shai linne from his forthcoming album, Lyrical Theology Volume 1.

(see if you can decipher what the logo says)

Grace & Peace,

d.

 

The Attributes of God: The Solitariness of God

Recently, I outlined an extra-biblical reading list for the remainder of 2011 to aid in keeping my mind and heart focused and sharpened against the desires of my flesh, the world and the devil.  However, my reading is not only as a means of defense, but also to aid in serving the brethren and engaging the lost.  My goal is to read key works on the basics such as Theology Proper (the study of God), Christology (the study of Christ), Pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit), Soteriology (the study of salvation), Ecclesiology (the study of the church), Eschatolology (the study of last things), personal holiness and the like.

Today, was the beginning of my trek and I started with a A.W. Pink’s classic book, The Attributes of God. I started with “Theology Proper” because it establishes the foundation and interpretation of all other reading since everything stems from the nature, character and will of God.  Without a proper knowledge of God, the source of all truth, we abandon ourselves to lies and continue to lay bricks for the road of destruction.

In the preface, Pink starts by quoting Scripture:

23Thus says the LORD:”Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me,…” (Jeremiah 9:23-24a)

Do we understand and know the Lord as we ought?  Do we possess that desire?  If we’re honest, we’ll answer that we don’t.  Much to our dismay, we are unjustifiably preoccupied by lesser things; some necessary and some unnecessary.  Plus, we’re in a lifelong battle of killing the sin in our hearts that vies strongly against God.  However, we are not without power.  We have the Holy Spirit who testifies of Christ and allows us to cry out “Abba! Father!”, as reconciled and adopted sons and daughters.  Therefore, we should strive in His power and by His strength to endeavor to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

Pink begins the first chapter, The Solitariness of God, by declaring people generally don’t meditate on the perfections of God; namely His solitariness or His essence of being untouchably distinct or separate from all of His creation.  Because we were created in the likeness and in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), there is the ability to understand some particular things about God because we share certain qualities.  These are commonly referred to as communicable attributes.  Some of these are love, grace, mercy, holiness, righteousness, and justice.  However, His solitariness is something we cannot share in, nor understand apart from the help of the Spirit.

Consider how the Holy Spirit moved Moses to speak of God in Exodus 15:11:

11“Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
   Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
   awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

These questions rhetorically speak of God’s unmatched character and excellency.  Consider a few more observations Pink made concerning the solitariness of God.

  • There was a time when creation, even heaven, didn’t exist, but God’s glory did because He is from everlasting.
  • There was a time when angels, nor humans were praising Him and He was still altogether wonderful.
  • He is self-contained, self-sufficient, and  self-satisfied.
  • He was under no compulsion to create out of necessity or deficiency.
  • He created all things simply to display His glory.
  • God could’ve very well chosen not to create and He still would be The Perfect One.

Perhaps one the most humbling observations  Pink made was that God gains nothing from our worship as it pertains to His intrinsic worth.  What Pink is saying is that God’s glory and worth isn’t contingent on our praise or adoration.  Surely, we are called to praise Him, which Pink terms our praise as manifestative glory, but not intrinsic glory.  God’s glory isn’t increased or diminished by any outside agency’s recognition, acceptance or rejection of Him. He is altogether lovely!  We are very small.  He is big!  Ponder Isaiah 40:9-31.

Behold your God!

Grace & Peace,

d.

A Few Thoughts on Knowing God by J.I. Packer

 “The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father…..No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God……He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe.” (C.H. Spurgeon, January 7, 1855: New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, England, age 20)

I fully concur with Spurgeon and I am confident the majority of Christendom does as well.  As much as I enjoyed reading this book, it’s saddening to think that the church has to be reminded or encouraged to know God. Isn’t knowing Him an elementary essential of the faith?  One might ask why the need for such a reminder?  I am convinced that it is due to the insolvent teaching that is sweeping across the globe.  The insolvency has its foundation in the exaltation of the creature, rather than the Creator, teaching that God is a means to man’s puerile ends.  Therefore, God sets His mind to move many men to herald His fame, even among the professing elect, lest we forget the true source of reality, joy and purpose.  J.I. Packer is such a herald by the grace of God.

In his own words, Packer said the two main reasons why he undertook this task were:

(1) Christian minds have been conformed to the modern spirit: the spirit, that is, that spawns great thoughts of man and leaves room for only small thoughts of God.

(2) Christian minds have been confused by the modern skepticism.

The study of God or theology is fundamental to every believer.  Packer says, “Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”  If we are to live obediently and have a growing relationship with God, we have to understand who He is and why He says what He says that will lead us to the center of His redemptive will.  This will involve abandoning certain presuppositions as well as teachings that are incongruent with Scripture.  Packer goes on to say, “To follow the imagination of one’s heart in the realm of theology is the way to remain ignorant of God, and to become an idol-worshipper – the idol in this case being a false mental image of God, made by one’s own speculation and imagination.”

Packer arranged the book in three parts:

(I) Know The Lord – 6 chapters
(II) Behold Your God! – 11 chapters
(III) If God Be For Us…- 5 chapters

Part I lays the foundation of God’s identity and the importance of knowing Him. In Part II, Packer unfolds some of the attributes of God’s multifaceted essence. (i.e. immutability, majesty, love, judgment and grace)  Finally, Part III concludes the book with a detailed look at the salvific work of God and God’s commitment to the believer through the lens of Romans 8.  In it, he shows God’s essence manifest in His actions for our assurance and joy.

My recommendation is that every able believer read Knowing God. If you are an avid reader, like I am, I would encourage you to read this book meditatively alongside your Bible.  If reading is not a natural desire for you, my encouragement stands nonetheless.  It will be well worth your time and a great nourishment for your soul.

d.

The Prosperity of the Gospel

“And He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

This was Jesus’ command to the remaining eleven disciples after His resurrection.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,..” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

These were the words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth in defense of his ministry. Paul first received this message after he was converted on the Damascus Road in Acts 9.

Notice this message Paul preached is what he called “of first importance”. It is of first importance because it clarifies the fundamental problem of humanity – sin, God’s just wrath against sin, and His supply of the Atoner, Jesus Christ, for our sin. That is the gospel. That is what Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach and their obedience is obvious. This is God’s appointed Christocentric message to be proclaimed for the salvation of sinners (Romans 1:16). This is the message that laid the foundation of the church. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16), the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and head of the church (Colossians 1:17-18).

Sadly, many churches have abandoned this command and are preaching “another gospel”.  In America, and now in other places like Africa, the prosperity gospel is being preached with more vigor than the days of its inception almost 140 years ago. The economic model of supply and demand (i.e. God shall supply what I demand) has crept in through cunning teachers through eisegesis, taken root, and silenced the truth of Christ’s atonement on the cross in mainstream evangelicalism.  The result, false converts sincerely believing God wants them to have their best lives now.  There is no biblical evidence to support the teaching that Jesus’ death procures financial gain and earthly comforts.

The heresy of the prosperity gospel is that it teaches that God exists to make much of you, instead of you making much of Christ by magnifying His supreme worth through a lifestyle of sacrifice and worship. 

Luke 12:13-21 is a piercing teaching on the danger of seeking to accumulate earthly possessions. This is not the gospel and no one will prosper by it in this life and the next.

The true prosperity of the gospel is being forgiven of all our sins, adopted into the family of God being eternally reconciled to the Father through Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior.

  “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

(John 17:3)

 Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile : “Why Did Jesus Have To Die”

His Sovereignty, Our Hope

God moves in a mysterious way. His wonders to perform
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm

by William Cowper (1731-1800)

sov·er·eign One that exercises supreme, permanent authority.

That is GOD!  Failing to understand this characteristic of God handicaps our ability as believers to make sense our lives in light of Romans 8:28 which says:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

The sovereignty of God is a doctrine that has been widely discussed and debated, particularly as it pertains to salvation. However, my focus is the sovereignty of GOD in sanctification, especially in suffering.  How does one make sense of the goodness of God through suffering, pain or affliction? How is one comforted? Think about the afflictions Job suffered. Yet he managed to confidently say,

“the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD…. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

(Job 1:21b, 2:10b)

How can Job say, “blessed be the name of the LORD” after all of his children, belongings and health had been severely stricken? He saw Him who is invisible.

Our verse in Romans 8 says all things work together for good, not all things are good. All things – blessings and ‘misfortunes’ alike are filtered through the sovereign hand of God for one end, that you “be conformed to the image of His Son,…” (Romans 8:29). Lay hold of this unchangeable fact! God in His omniscience knows perfectly how to sanctify us for His predetermined purpose to make us holy and blameless in His sight.  He strips us of things or people that hinder our maturation, allegiance and fellowship with Him. Many times we are ignorant of the toxins in our lives and He lovingly removes them for our good and the good of others.  Sometimes He uproots us and replants us in other places that will bring about the best fruit in our lives. Vinedressers prune the vine’s branches for more fruit and health maintenance.

Consider the sovereignty of God in the agonizing crucifixion of our Savior Jesus Christ. From the natural eye, it was cruel, unjust and unwarranted for the Innocent to be executed. From heaven’s perspective, Peter boldly claims,

“This man [Jesus Christ] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” 

(Acts 2:23)

And Isaiah 53:10 says,

“Yet it pleased the LORD(Yahovah) to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.”

For what purpose? For this.

“He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

(Isaiah 53:12b)

What seems as something terrible is often God’s magnificent plan unfolding! We must come to a place to count it worthy to accept the suffering God allows so He can be glorified and we can be changed by it.  Our comfort through the suffering rests in the fact that God is sovereign, able to sustain us and see us through it.

“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…”

(Malachi 3:3a)  

d.

The Theology of the Cross

 

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…” (Isaiah 53:10)  

 

Antinomy is defined as a contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable.  This is seen more clearly when these contradicting principles or conclusions are part of one scenario.  How do we make sense of or respond to situations that contain opposing viewpoints, yet both seem valid, reasonable and beneficial?  As a simple illustration, imagine a mom taking candy away from her three year old child who is intensely enjoying the taste of it.  At that point a contradiction of thought has just emerged and the child will quickly express his/her disapproval.  To the child the mother seems cruel for taking away this reasonable pleasure.  To the mother she is reasonably restricting the intake of something that could bring her child displeasure.  How can something that we believe is good actually be harmful?  How can something we perceive as bad actually turn out for our good?

 

 

The Cross 

 

The cross is the greatest example of antinomy in human history. How can such a brutal event turn out for good?  The theology of the cross will humble you as the Holy Spirit teaches you its depth and the wisdom of God. Here in Isaiah 53, a Messianic prophecy, we read that it pleased the LORD to bruise the Son.  What you know or what you don’t know about God will gauge your reaction to this truth.  If you misunderstand God’s love then you may wonder why it pleased Him to crush Jesus.  If you understand God to be a God of justice, you may still wonder why He crushed Jesus, the Sinless One.  Yet it pleased the LORD to crush Him.  How can this be? How can the Holy One of Israel also be an object of God’s wrath?  How can the Sinless One become our sin bearer that the sinful might become the righteousness of God?  Jesus counted the Father’s will as the most important task in His life, even death on the cross. The Father chose the elect to be saved to the extent that He sent the Sinless One to bear His wrath for us. This magnifies God’s love, grace and mercy. To see His righteousness vindicated and us as vessels of mercy is why it pleased the LORD to bruise the Son. Also, to see the Son raised, exalted and worshipped by all creation is why it pleased the LORD to bruise His Son.

 

What we see is divine grace disguised as bitter providence. Joseph experienced it. Abraham experienced it as well as many others.  God’s love and will works through perceived mishaps or failures or frustrations.  We need to have our perspectives constantly adjusted to the sovereignty of God to understand those “contradictions” in our lives.  We also need to understand by faith that these antinomies are working spiritual life in us by extracting death from us, our flesh.  If God bruised the Son, we can count on God “bruising” us. And let us not forget that it pleases Him in a glorious way. These bruisings from God are meant for our good!  May Jesus’ words be our very own in these moments of bruising, “…not my will, but Yours be done.”

 

As we continue to run this race we will encounter the hurdle of antinomy, but let us ponder the theology of the cross and rejoice for “the works of his hands are faithful and just;..” (Psalm 111:7a)

 

d.