2001-10-22 - God's Grace
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.
We will take a different approach today. I came upon a Charles Haddon Spurgeon quote a few days ago and it has stimulated a little thought. He said regarding theological views, "We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed one at a time, in order that we way be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement." A pithy statement, at least. Well, it has made me think some about how varied different theological traditions are in our nation and to prove that point I thought I would share with you the standard interpretations on God's grace from several different views. It is an interesting comparison.
My suggestion, if you have the time, is that you take each view and try to
defend it from the Bible. I have no intention of telling you what view I
lean towards or believe. Rather, we all ought to be like the Berean Christians
in the above quoted verse. We ought to examine the Scriptures and see if
these things are so. It is a habit that is learned. But I am not done with
only a first suggestion. Besides trying to defend each view as suggested
above, I would suggest you try to refute each view from Scripture. That exercise
might be very insightful for all of us.
All the five above have flaws. It isn't quite that simple with any of them. However, it seems that these are the basics of each view. Now there is a great variety here and the real question is, "What does the Bible teach about God's grace?" Good men and women in each tradition have interpreted the Bible differently here. Our task is to search the Scriptures and seek to defend and refute each view. It is an old rhetorical trick to do this, but it works. If you can't defend it from the Bible, it isn't true. If you can't refute from the Bible, it must be true.
As I started above, this is an unusual approach to a devotional. However, it is also a reminder and an attempt at a call that we must be studying our Bibles. We must be students of God's Word. We must be meditating on It. There are a lot of teachers out there and there are several different views regarding how to interpret Scripture. We must not allow ourselves to be led astray from God's Word. We must study, pray, and rely upon the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to us.
Soli Deo Gloria,