Thursday, March 10, 2011

A People For His Name

I have heard various definitions of "grace". God's Riches At Christ' Expense, etc. I believe this thing (grace) is nearly an indescribable quality, or attribute, of our Creator God. The Father, as a person "is" grace. He defines it! He quantifies the rules of, and qualifies to whom He may present it. It is His sovereign choice. And what blows my mind is the fact that He chose to present this nearly indescribable gift to ALL. And by Scriptural definition "all" seems to refer to just that ....ALL, everyone! The people / nation of Israel were, from the onset, God's chosen people. Romans chapter 11 refers to a remnant of Israel (God's chosen) who can still choose God, despite their rebellious past. He hasn't given up on those who have given up! This same portion of Scripture also refers to Gentiles (anyone NOT of Israel), and God "grafting" them into His ultimate plan of redemption ...for ALL. So, this covers ALL the bases of mankind. WOW!!! He could have stopped with the Israelites, or He could have "permanently" dismissed us to turn, each to his own way (Isaiah 53:6). But, in His "grace", God seems even to use an attribute such as "jealousy" to arouse the Jewish remnant ..simply by taking from among them (Gentiles or non-Jews) a people for His name (Acts 15:14).

I had a professor state once.... "If I am saved, it is all Christ. If I am lost, it is all me." God's sovereign choice has presented saving grace to ALL of us. And unless you ascribe to the theology of irresistible grace (meaning that God simply chooses whom He chooses, and we have no choice in the matter whatsoever) ...we are given the absolute free-will to accept His grace. 

Un-believer, it is my prayer that this manner of grace speaks to you, for want of a regenerate mind and life, and pray the Holy Spirit of God will take up residence in your life ...that, by His grace, you may be compelled to desire His long-suffering mercy, and freely receive His gift of grace. Christ-follower... it is my prayer that this same saving grace produces, in you and I, a sanctifying grace cause us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds absolute surrender to Him; a people for the sake of His name.

"1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:1-2