I am not a blogger by nature. I have never blogged and would never have intended to blog had it not been for my sons. I know their desire to blog, living in cyberspace, but why should they push their dad to be in cyberspace? And Blog! That intrigued me to the point of asking the question. What is it that will put me in cyberspace. Is there anything meaningful to blog? Well, I did not buy a new car recently nor did I go fly-fishing to Alaska. If I did, then I could have blogged to all my friends about it. So why should I blog? I think I know why. Be a voice in the wilderness.
Let me start by giving a testimony. Who am I? I am a sinner saved by Grace, but this statement is marred with so many different meanings. Let me explain what I mean by that statement. I like to start with the basic premise, “I am a sinner.” This means everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:10-12 reads “There is none righteous, not even one.” Jeremiah 13:23 reads “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” So then the implication is that everyone is wholly inadequate, morally and spiritually incapable of doing anything good.
What does the Bible mean by good? Are not there good people in this world? Yes, because of the common grace of God. Then what does the Bible mean by stating that there is no one who is good? Obviously it is goodness in relation to the God of the Universe. The standard of goodness is God and one’s righteousness is like filthy rags in comparison to the true standard of righteousness that is found in God alone.
So how can I get this standard of righteousness or goodness that is found in God alone? I think the question is rhetorical for I cannot attain it. I am dead in my trespasses and sins. To use a symbolic language, “I am dead and I lay at the bottom of the ocean floor unable to come up to the surface because of my deadness.” I cannot move my fingers, open my eyes, or even cry out for help because I do not even recognize the fact that I am dead. This can be compared to the body that lies dead in the coffin. What does he even know? Knowledge is not even possible because he cannot have any knowledge. This is total depravity.
Humanly speaking there is no hope, but this is where God acts. Hope enters the scene. The sinner now gets a glimpse of Salvation. A sinner totally dead in sins and unable to save himself cannot be saved unless something outside of himself wakes him or brings him back to life. The subject is dead. How can the subject do anything to act upon itself? Nothing whatsoever! We need an outside agency to allow the dead body to respond. Who is this external agent? God
Ephesians 2:8-9 reads, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.” It is by grace that we are saved through faith. I am sure that anyone in evangelical circles will have absolutely no problems whatsoever accepting this. But where the road gets murky is the phrase “and that not of yourselves.” What is the antecedent to “that”? “That” refers to the faith? The faith by which we have been saved is the gift of God. It is not a result of works. God freely gives the gift of faith to anyone that will ask him for that gift. A desire for people to be saved is in the perfect will of God. So if, we beg God to be gracious to us and to save us, the God of grace will surely do that.
Depraved sinners can not call out to God for mercy. This is a problem. Again we find ourselves going back to the Creator. God has to be the initiator of the call. When God initiates the call that person cries out to Him for mercy. This call is called the effectual call, and this call of God is something that has taken place in eternity past. In eternity past the elect of God were set apart to Himself. So that, when the Gospel call comes to the elect, they (the elect) call out to God for mercy, and he answers them. Regeneration happens prior to their cry for mercy. In fact, it is the regeneration that enables people to cry out for mercy.
Why do the elect cry out for mercy? Because they are the elect.
When did they become the elect? From eternity past.
Why did they have to wait so long to call for out mercy? The call had to come. The universal call (the gospel) call goes out to everyone. The elect respond as they hear this call they beg for mercy, and when they beg for mercy, God opens their heart to receive eternal life—the hope of salvation—Christ Jesus.
So how do we recognize the elect of God? Wouldn’t it be easy to go up to the elect and give them the Gospel? They would have no choice but to receive the Gospel with open arms. They would see the grace of God, and there would be no show of fist against His wondrous grace, but the irony is that we do not know who the elect are? How easy that would be, but providentially God has chosen not to reveal that to us. Instead, God has revealed His love towards us in the Gospel which is the overwhelming, unlimited, unending love of God towards a God hating world. This love is displayed on the cross as the soldiers drove the nails on His hands and feet. This is the Gospel message that saved me. I was a sinner but now am saved by Grace.
This is what happened to me years ago. This transformed my life and put into me the desire to learn God’s Word. This strong desire only kept growing each day.
God led me by His sovereignty to “The Masters Seminary,” where by the Grace of God, I was able to immerse myself in a systematic study of His Word. This school taught me to exegete Scriptures, believe in the authority of the Scriptures, depend on the Scripture for everything, and the only means to proclaim Scriptures—the Expository Preaching of Scriptures. Today, God has placed me as a pastor and an educator, but first and foremost, I am a husband to my lovely wife Vivy and a father to my sons—Christie and Georgie.
I will continue to keep the readers posted. That is why I am going to blog. I will blog on relevant issues that face Evangelicals and the Bride of Christ. I remain committed to the Bride of Christ and will consider every opportunity to be a herald of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and protect the Bride from false shepherds as Paul exhorted Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3-7.
Until the next Blog—Shalom.