April 17, 2006
Al, thanks for reminding us that salvation is all of grace.
We’ve had a great Lord’s Day at CHBC thinking about this. This morning we were in II Cor. 11:1-12:13. This, of course, is that famous passage where Paul "boasts" of his weaknesses that Christ’s power may be made perfect, displayed through Paul’s reliance and Christ’s faithfulness.
It makes me think of one of my all-time favorite Spurgeon quotations. It’s in book 2 of Lectures to My Students, and Spurgeon is talking about the doctine of election. [Spurgeon had such a gift of making pride-destroyng Bible truth winsome. John Piper I think has that gift today in special measure.] Anyway, Spurgeon says, with humor, self-deprecation and sharp theological accuracy
"I believe the doctrine of election, because
I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him;
and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards; and he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me,
for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with special love.
So I am forced to accept that doctrine," (Lectures, book 2, page 47).
I understand that some worry that if we accept the Bible’s teaching on election we will never evangelize. Should we not also be worried that if we reject the Bible’s teaching on election we will never be humbled enough to make Christianity look like anything worth having? I love Spurgeon’s humility. I love his boasting in God. I think it is attractive. I think it is motivating to evangelism. I think it displays God’s love. A biblical doctrine of election highlights our poverty and Christ’s riches, our weakness and Christ’s strength, our need and God’s supply.
It maybe that God will use our weakness and inability to highlight His own strength and grace. He’s done it before.