God Wins

Recently I was listening to an interview of Mark Galli the author of the book “God Wins.” The content of the interview was one that I wanted to pass on to you for your own listening. You can find it here:  http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/08/10/whi-1218-chaos-grace/

 Here are some good quotes from his book that you might find interesting, I know I did.

The good news is that our salvation is not dependent on our success at making right choices—in fact, the Bible regularly reminds us that we cannot consistently make good choices with our corrupt wills. As Paul puts it, “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19, NIV). Instead of relying on an autonomous free will to remind us to make right choices, we can simply trust what Christ has done for us on the cross and through his resurrection. But isn’t that a choice, to trust in Christ? Yes and no. It is not even a possibility—that is, we can’t even recognize what Christ has done and that he invites us to respond in faith—without the work of the Holy Spirit. So the very fact that we can apprehend all this is a gift. Furthermore, to trust in Christ means that it is not my trust that reconciles God to me or me to God. It is the death and resurrection of Christ that reconcile God to me, and the faith empowered by the Holy Spirit that reconciles me to God. This is why the gospel is such good news. There are times when even the most dedicated Christian will recognize that his or her life is still in shambles, still driven by selfishness, still filled with doubt and confusion about God. At such times, panic can set in. Am I really a Christian? Is God working in my life to bring me into deeper fellowship with him? Has God given me the gift of grace? Will I enjoy the fellowship of heaven? Do I believe enough to be saved? The very fact that these sorts of questions bother us at such times shows that the Holy Spirit is, in fact, working in our lives. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convict the world of sin and guilt (see John 16:8). So the paradox is that when we’re troubled like this, it’s the very sign of God working in our lives to bring us into deeper fellowship with him.

In short, the human condition is not full of potential, and it’s not simply up to us to choose the right path. No, without the intervention of God, we have about as much hope as a corpse. And that’s the gospel. Not that we have an innate free will, but that God in his freedom came to us to rescue us from spiritual slavery. Through the work of Jesus on the cross, and through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, our wills are liberated. Then and only then can we actually recognize Christ, his love, his forgiveness, his grace. Then and only then can we finally respond in faith.

the gospel is not that God loves us so much that he gives us what we want—no, indeed. The gospel is that God loves us so much that while we were sinners Christ died for us (see Romans 5:8). The gospel is not that God loves us so much that he gives us freedom to choose; it is that God loves us so much that he draws us to believe in him (see John 6:44).

We assume that faith is simply a matter of choice: we can choose to believe in Jesus or not to believe in Jesus. It’s something we can just decide on anytime we like. According to the Bible, though, it’s not that simple. Sometimes the reality of Jesus is hidden from people for a time, and then at times the presence of Christ literally overwhelms people and they can hardly not believe. But whatever the circumstances, what the Bible plainly teaches is that we come to faith only by the gracious intervention of God.

If you liked these quotes, you can find more here: https://kindle.amazon.com/work/god-wins-heaven-hell-better-ebook/B0051NIJ2W/B0051CC7PI/posts

 

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