Wednesday, October 13, 2010

humility, thankfulness, peace & assurance

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord
or of me His prisoner,

but join with me in suffering for the gospel
according to the power of God,

who has saved us and called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works,

but according to His own purpose and grace
which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. . .
-2 Timothy 1:8-9

Because some of have asked, here's the John Stott quote referenced in the message on Sunday where he asserts the purpose of all references to the wonderful and mysterious doctrine of election like the one in 2 Timothy 1:9 are to form in us humility, thankfulness, peace and assurance, not "to arouse or baffle our carnal curiosity" . . .

We have to confess that the doctrine of election is difficult to finite minds. But it is incontrovertibly a biblical doctrine. It emphasizes that salvation is due to God's grace alone, not to man's merit; not to our works performed in time, but to God's purpose conceived in eternity, 'that purpose', as Bishop Ellicott expressed it, 'which was suggested by nothing outward, but arose only from the innermost depths of the divine eudokis'. Or in E. K. Simpson's words, 'the Lord's choices have their unfathomable grounds, but they are not founded on the innate eligibility of the chosen'. Thus understood, God's purpose of election is bound to be mysterious to men, for we cannot aspire to an understanding of the secret thoughts and decisions of the mind of God. However, the doctrine of election is never introduced in Scripture either to arouse or to baffle our carnal curiosity, but always for a practical purpose. On the one hand, it engenders deep humility and gratitude, for it excludes all boasting. On the other, it brings both peace and assurance, for nothing can quieten our fears for our own stability like the knowledge that our safety depends ultimately not on ourselves but on God's own purpose of grace.

Let's let 2 Timothy 1:9 do what God intends in us!

Here also is the slide deck from Sunday because some have requested to see and think about those circles some more. . . .


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