Does Salvation Belong to the Free Will of Man?

It is God that chooses His people. He calls them by His grace!

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37

Our opponents say, “Salvation belongs to the free will of man; if not to man’s merit, yet at least to man’s will;” but we hold and teach that salvation from first to last, in every iota of it, belongs to the Most High God. It is God that chooses His people. He calls them by His grace; He quickens them by His Spirit, and keeps them by His power. 

(Spurgeon- Treasury of David, Psalm 2:8.)

John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.  

and that’s a beautiful thing!

Cut Straight The Word

The teacher of God’s word must teach the word consistent with God’s intended meaning and purpose.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

I think this has to be one of the most important verses in the bible on the word of God for the edification of the body of Christ. Straight forward exegesis must be the aim of all teachers of the word of God.

I can remember times before I bring a lesson to my Sunday school class and saying to myself did I dig enough into the text and what I’m teaching,  is it right, is it accurate and did I do proper exegesis? It’s so important to get it right!

Especially in light of James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

There is so many things James could have started out on about our tongue and he chooses teaching… When he writes “Let not many of you become teachers”

James is not trying to discouraged teaching and teachers here, we know that gifted teachers are one of the hardest positions to fill in the Church, but James writes let not many of you become one! Why and why here in this section about the tongues? He could have started out about lying, swearing and gossip or anything our deceiving tongue does, but no, he starts out with “Teaching” Why?

The most serious thing that can flow from our tongue is the distorting and misrepresenting of God’s word, the Word of God is not a bendable kid’s toy to twist and bend, reading into the text or taking the TEXT OUT OF CONTEXT helps no one and will lead to our shame before God if we do so.

Exegesis is the act of critically interpreting a text in an attempt to draw the meaning out of the text, unlike eisegesis, where one reads his own meaning into the text. Paul is telling Timothy to interpret a text in an attempt to draw the exact meaning out of the text ( accurately handling the word of truth), not to insert his own meaning into the text or quarrel about words or godless chatter 2 Timothy 2:14, 16.

Paul says to be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman. A teacher must do his due diligence before bringing us the word of GodWuest says “Do your best, make haste, give diligence, hurry on, be eager to show yourself approved unto God.”

Vincent defines the word orthotomeō (ὀρθοτομεω) (Rightly Dividing or Accurately Handling), “to cut straight,” as paths, “to hold a straight course, to make straight, to handle rightly.” He says: “The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan, not making it a matter of wordy strife (v. 14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner.” 

Paul told Timothy to skillfully, diligently and accurately teach the word of God so he wouldn’t be like those who are worldly chatterers. 2 Timothy 2:14, 16 So the teacher of God’s word must teach the word consistent with God’s intended meaning and purpose, and as my dear Mother said over and over to me “You won’t be popular, but you won’t be ashamed before God.”

and that’s a beautiful thing!

 

kindle Afresh

When I begin to fall back or lose focus on what my purpose is and the gifts God has given me. When my walk with Christ weakens. When I begin to minimize the word of God I remember these words from Paul to Timothy.  2 Timothy 1:6, 7 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Remember Paul wrote this to Timothy while in prison in Rome waiting to be executed. His thoughts were on Timothy to kindle afresh the gifts of God for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love the words kindle afresh. It means to keep in full flame. Literally, blowing up the coals into a flame. Paul is telling Timothy to fan the flame. It’s in the present tense meaning continuous action. Keep kindling the gift afresh or make it your aim to continually keep it at full flame. In 2 Timothy 1:8, 9, 10 Paul urges Timothy and us never to be ashamed, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Then Paul urges Timothy to remain faithful to the gospel and to this treasure which has been entrusted to us 2 Timothy 1:13, 14. 

I have to be like Jeremiah who had fire in his bones and was compelled to get His word out. Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. Then in Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

Kindle Afresh your gift from God!

… and that’s a beautiful thing!