Over the past few weeks there has been a growing joy that has shaped in my life, hanging over me. I find myself smiling and trusting God more, weeping as I read his Word as I consider this miracle of sovereign grace. I think of my ways of thinking in the past and the defeat I had over sin back then, despite very sincere attempts to overcome. Now walking in victory and growing in the Lord I consider His grace and mercy to me. Here are some thoughts that I had at the airport in Amsterdam last week as I was waiting in line to board. I jotted them down quickly.
How dangerous it is to trust in anything but sovereign grace, for being by nature utterly depraved I am incapable of defeating sin on the basis of free will. If I truly believe in inherited depravity then I must believe that my will, left to itself, will always choose destruction and rebellion against God. In fact on the basis of my own free will even the good which I would seem to do would be tainted with the stench of my inherited depravity. Reliance on free will not only fails to exalt Christ to his rightful place as the “author and finisher“ of our faith but it leads down a path that could result in hearing “I never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23) I always assumed that this was talking about people who preached or confessed some form of the gospel, but they must have lived in some hidden sin or something like this, but could it be that these well-meaning folk, denying the work of God’s sovereign grace, were followed to the judgement with a trail of good deeds tainted by depravity instead of shining with the imputed righteousness of Christ? That “having a form of godliness” they denied it’s power? That they were found at the feast, but were thrust out because their garments were of their standard and not suitable for the presence of a just, holy God? Sobering thoughts on one hand, but wait!!!!
Behold! The thought of divine grace to me! An undeserving wretch! What joy! What victory! An offender of the Almighty, enemy of God, chosen in my depravity, made righteous by the Judge and empowered for good works sweetened with the purity and goodness of Christ!