Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christianity with backbone

Charles Spurgeon on faith and election from 2 Timothy with great clarity:
Oh my friend, you will never get faith by trying to make yourself have it. Faith is the gift of Christ! go and find it in his veins. There is a secret spot where faith is treasured up; it is in the heart of Christ; go and catch it sinner as it flows therefrom. Go to your chamber, and sit down and picture Christ in holy vision, dying on the tree, and as your eye sees, your heart shall melt, your soul shall believe, and you shall rise from your knees and cry, "I know whom I may believe, and I am persuaded he is able to save that which I have committed to him until that day." Spurgeon on The Sweet Uses of Adversity

"How can a man be ashamed when he believes that God has given him grace in Christ Jesus before the world was? Suppose the man to be very poor. "Oh," says he, "what matters it? Though I have but a little oil in the cruse, and a little meal in the barrel, yet I have a lot and a portion in everlasting things. My name is not in Doomsday Book nor in Burke's Peerage; but it is in the book of God's election, and was there before the world began... No doctrine like it for putting a backbone into a man." Spurgeon on Salvation altogether by grace
The shockwaves of election are what we need to get a grip upon. Paul writes his last letter to timid Timothy and reminds him afresh of the gospel of grace. Specifically, 1v8-9 how he is saved by God's grace. Not by works but before the purpose and grace of God before time. Before God even said 'let there be light' he was writing a sealed letter with our names in. Not because we're special but because it is in his nature to be overflowingly gracious.

No wonder the application for Timothy is to take a stand, to be unashamed, to face suffering and hardship for testifying about the apostolic gospel of Jesus Christ. Election is a beautiful doctrine that puts backbone into timid-Tim, a doctrine for the Holy Spirit to write on his heart through the Scriptures. Subduing his rebellion, as Calvin says, with the Majesty of God - with this doctrine that magnifies God and silences any contribution to our salvation that we might boldly try to claim. And in the same breath giving us a doctrine worth telling our world about.