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Monday, January 08, 2018

But ... Why?

We are, by nature, anthropocentric. (Sorry. I like the word. Rolls off the tongue. Okay, maybe not.) It means "centered on Man". We are, by virtue of the Fall, centered on us rather than on God. We are so ensconced in this way of thinking that we -- even believers -- often don't notice. So we will take things we see and view them from a "me as the center" perspective. We ask, "Why would God allow evil?" without regard to why God might want evil to exist because "It doesn't do us any good." We wonder, "Why would God allow bad things to happen to me?" without considering His perspective on it. And we are certain -- quite certain -- that God saves us because He loves us. We are that special, you see?

Did you know that God disagrees? No, not with the fact that He loves us (John 3:16). He loves us, but that's not why He saves us. God didn't save us for us. He tells us why.
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, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. (2 Tim 1:8-11)
Now, I don't know if you were paying attention, but Paul, in this (way too long) sentence to Timothy, tells us exactly why God saved us -- "not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace." Imagine that!

In his epistle to Rome, Paul wrote about God's calling to salvation -- the "elect". He says that God chose Jacob over Esau "so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls." (Rom 9:11) There it is again. God's purpose.

We are delighted that God has saved us and we understand that it's not according to our works, but we are, at our core, anthropocentric. He didn't save us because of our works, but surely because He loves us. He does love us, but according to Paul that's not why He saved us. According to Paul He saved us for His purpose. He saved us for His glory (Eph 1:3-12). Let's not be confused on that. It is to our benefit that He loves us and that He saves us, but He did it for Himself. Let's keep that in mind.


Anonymous said...

Is it fair to say that the more people He saves, the more glorified He is? Then in the ultimate limit, He ought to save all.

Stan said...

No, He is not most glorified by higher numbers.

David said...

In the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, so He doesn't actually need to save anyone for them to glorify Him.

Bob said...

Romans 8:28
And we know that All things work for the good to those that love God and are called according to this Purposes.

There is a synergy to this message, both the creator and the Elect are engaged in the work of God's purposes. i realize that the point is that God's purpose "supersedes" the importance of man in the equation. so yes it is not about us.. but it is a very stringent point.
why does it strike me so deeply? probably because like a child, i need love, more than i need a clinical explanation for my existence. that i guess is just me thinking about me. as humans we need love or we die. we should acknowledge that God called us to his purposes. but is knowing that he love us, that gives us the hope to face life's trials.

And yes in the end every knee shall bow.. but we will gladly bow with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts, because He is beautiful.