Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/29- Reasons to Think about Predestination

(Lifeguard training to pull helpless person from the water]
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

6/29- Reasons to think about Predestination

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:28,29)

Calvin: They who shut the gates that no one may dare seek a taste of this doctrine [of election] wrong men no less than God. For neither will anything else suffice to make us humble as we ought to be nor shall we otherwise sincerely feel how much we are obliged to God. And as Christ teaches, here is our only ground for firmness and confidence: in order to free us of all fear and render us victorious amid so many dangers, snares, and mortal struggles, he promises that whatever the Father has entrusted into his keeping will be safe [John 10:28-29].(III.21.1)

Calvin thinks more about predestination and election than any other major theologian of the Reformation. Here he tells us why in part. Predestination brings humility- for more than any other aspect of salvation this doctrine tells us that we did not earn our salvation, but God chose us before we had a chance to earn it (as if we could). This doctrine therefore brings with it gratitude to God. Gratitude is a basic ingredient to the Christian life for Calvin. The third reason to think about predestination or election is that it brings about assurance of faith that we will survive the spiritual struggles of life. There are so many temptations and problems, without a doctrine that emphasizes God’s powerful grace leading us safely home, we might be caught up in fear. I am one who always likes to plan ahead. Predestination is the ultimate planning ahead by the ultimate Being. About three months ago I made a reservation at my hotel (where I am now- in Clemson) via the internet. I am always amazed that when I get there they actually are expecting me! Predestination gives us the assurance (confirmation) that our reservation has been made and paid for. No matter how many problems I may have along the way, no matter what my situation is, my reservation has been made and paid for- and is waiting on me. Now a hotel reservation made is just one less thing to worry about. But our eternal home-beyond the grave is really important. Calvin is right, there is some comfort in thinking about this.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, that before I was thinking about my future, you were. Thank you that we can rest in your love and your plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment