November 25, 2011

Elected to Grace

Even in my prayers I sometimes ask the wrong questions. When I say, “Lord, why don’t You save so-and-so?” I should be wondering why He saves anyone, including me. 
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:14–16)
God claims the right to give or to withhold mercy according to His sovereign will. Just as life and death are in His hands, so also does He have the right to spare or condemn the guilty.

We can claim human rights all we want, but because of our sin, we have forfeited all claim toward God. Because He is holy and our Creator, we deserve to perish for our sins. If everyone did so, not one would have ground for complaint.

Yet God saves some. He saved me. This is utterly amazing. He knows my proud and sinful human nature against His sovereign right to rule over me. When He brought me to see my own utter sinfulness, I’ve realized what I deserve and have no ground for protest on that or about any of His dealings with me. I know that God does not have to save anyone. I cannot complain about what He does or does not do. I am only glad that He had mercy on me and continues to show grace. This was His free act of undeserved goodness based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, not on any merit of mine, for which I will forever bless His name.

Spurgeon asks today, “How shall those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God?” Certainly I have no room for boasting. God’s sovereignty excludes it and Christ’s sacrifice is my only boast. I am saved by grace through faith, and even faith is a gift from His mercy. He alone is glorified. The very notion of human merit is contemptible. I know myself, and He knows me even more. When I am tested, apart from Christ living in me, I would fail every test.

The teaching of God’s sovereign election, by which He saves whomever He chooses, is highly debated. Perhaps this happens because election stands against all our pride. That He has the choice is entirely humbling and gives me no ground to stand on except His mercy.

Lord, again You know what I need to hear. The fact that Your sovereign grace has been poured out on me puts humility in my heart. It also makes me want to say NO to all my wants and wishes and YES to Your choices. Today, and I needed this reminder today, Your saving grace produces in me a renewed energy to do everything I do as unto You — with joy, gratitude, and a heart full of praise.

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