December 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm #22728
“Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider” – St. Augustine
I thought this was a great analogy. God has given us free will to choose His grace that he has predestined us to walk in. If we submit and allow the bridal of the Holy Spirit to be placed in us then we can follow the path that God ordained for us. When we get off the path His mercy leads us back to the path because His love has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rms. 5:5).
Something else I thought of when reading this quote was this: When we, with our free will, try to make grace the horse and direct it by our own will, we frustrate the grace of God and in a sense nullify the grace because we are exercising our own selfish will and not allowing the Holy Spirit to mature us in Christ. I’m afraid that many Christian’s have developed a false grace theology in that, a single experience be it an altar call, praying the sinner’s prayer, baptism, etc. qualifies them for eternal life so they feel that they are assured a place in heaven. The faith is not a short sprint but a race won by those who endure until the end. What that entails, I think, can’t really be judged or perceived clearly by anyone but God. But we know that God knows who are His from the foundations of the world. And from His perspective He will not lose anyone from His hands. This is because our Father in Heaven knows the end from the beginning. The scripture that people with an eternal security theology use (He will not lose one out of His hands) shouldn’t be taken from our view here on earth but from the eternal view from the beginning. In that sense He will not lose one person. That is the church eternal not the church empirical. That being, said, let each person, examine his or her own heart daily and continue to know Jesus more and more. Let us walk in His grace in humbleness of heart with the hope of laying hold of His mercy that is available through the blood of Jesus knowing that the Holy Spirit is our helper along the way giving us grace, that divinely given power to avoid and conquer sin. Let us reflect this great love that has called us out from the darkness so that we may proclaim the greatness of our God!December 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm #35972
I preached a message this past sunday using this quote of Augustine’s. The crux of the message was that Grace, Faith, and Free Will are never to be considered as separate when considering salvation but comprehensive, each one in its place. I included works as well because in James it says that we are not justified by our faith alone but by works also. All of these must work together or our theology will be lopsided.December 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm #35973
Here’s an equation I came up to solve the eternal life debate…
Life^2-Death=Eternal Life X B where B the Beatitudes.
1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3″Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1″Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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