God Loves Sinners
April 30, 2008 1 Comment
Paul wrote to the church in Rome,
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Humbling words to be sure, what is more, the Truth therein is one more glorious testimony of the love of God who sent His Son to die for creatures whose best efforts are, according to Isaiah, like a “filthy garment” (the Hebrew being a bit more specific).
I recently downloaded some of the lectures from the 2008 T4G conference and have been listening to them on the way to work.
Ligon Duncan’s treatise, Sound Doctrine, is not only riveting but much needed salve in an age where it seems that doctrine is deemed a hobby (at best) or irrelevant (at worst).
At around minute 45, Duncan hit a raw nerve. He’s explaining how doctrine is for our assurance. He exposits John 15 and settles on this part of Jesus’ words to His Apostles,
You did not choose Me but I chose you
He expounds on why Jesus thought it necessary to teach the 11 (Judas had left already) about election. Duncan’s conclusion is that because Jesus knew that every last one of them would desert Him later that night. Then Dr. Duncan ties it together with these words,
And if they’re going to have one shred of assurance left in them it is not going to be based on the fact that they have chosen Him because everything about their actions will be screaming to their hearts and consciences that they have no part of Him unless they hear the Master say, “Dear child, dear friend, I knew everything in you and I chose you anyway.”
“I knew everything in you and I chose you anyway”, those words shattered whatever self-righteousness I carried with me this morning. Shattered whatever thoughts I might have had that somehow I had been elected based on something inherently good within. Shattered the illusion that maybe, just maybe, there is some shred of good in me apart from Christ.
My eyes watered in a mix of contrition and gratitude. The former for my arrogance and the latter for the power and extent of God’s love, that even one such as I can be reconciled to Him.