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Friday, March 2, 2012

Still Running Against the Wind

I submitted for your consideration yesterday that the weighty topics of foreknowledge, predestination, election, calling, and the choice of God that Paul presents in Romans 8 – 11 serve as anchors for us as we face the continual onslaught of the winds of the culture that are attempting to push us into its mould.  How does that work?
The Sovereign rule of God is our anchor against the winds of difficult times.
Those words, with which there are so many struggles, are descriptive of God’s sovereignty as it is exercised in justification by faith.  The essence of the argument is that it is God who is in control of all aspects of the universe, not us.  On the heels of that section we hit the huge structural marker and pivot in Romans 12:1, “Therefore.”  Because of all that Paul has said in 1 – 11, the result, the effect, the “therefore” follows.  As I read through how Paul begins to unfold what it means to live life as a living sacrifice in Romans 12, I am struck by what an incredible risky proposition he is making, especially in verses 9 – 21.  He is describing a lifestyle that takes no thought of self protection and is completely sold out to the good of others.  There is no safety net.  No fallback position.  It is a life all in.  It flies in the face of all cultural wisdom.

This is exactly what Christ asked the 12 to do.  He asked them to leave everything, take nothing, follow Him, and then go share what they had learned in His presence.  That is scary stuff.  The only way that makes any kind of sense is there is a sovereign God who has called me to do that.  If He is not in control, if He is not about bringing people into His kingdom through sending me to get them with no thought of self protection; I am insane to engage.  On the other hand if God is sovereign and I can trust in His control of the situations and culture, I can boldly engage knowing that my “living sacrifice” serves His purpose.  This seems to me yet another reflection of Hebrews 11:6, we have to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder, a protector, of those who seek Him.


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