Remembrance and its opposite - Ninth in a series
We considered the concept of God's providence and his watch over our lives in the last post. The Lord gives us our daily bread, shelter, our friends, church, and so much else. He is with us. As we recall his loving care moment to moment and in our crises, we remember, too, our miserable behaviors. If we aren't careful we will end up crying over spilt milk rather than praising the Lord for his faithfulness to us.
Yet for those who have walked with God for a time, we will observe that God has established us in the Faith in spite of ourselves. How did this come about? This deserves a careful answer.
Wise men nearly four centuries ago met together, prayed and wrote a "confession" that many churches still look to as a statement of faith. As noted in the previous post, this is where we find the concept of God's works of providence as a way of explaining the Lord's control over all things.
The divines who wrote the Westminster Confession based their insights upon Scripture proofs, and looked to Christians of previous generations who had studied, discussed and continually read the Bible for enlightenment and help.
A succinct paragraph that sums up their understanding of how man is saved follows:
Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process —election, redemption, regeneration— is the work of God and is by grace alone.
Therefore, the greatest work that we remember and thank God for is our salvation. We do not thank ourselves for that, but him. By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any of us should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
When we sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” we know our decision was divinely enabled and ordained; nevertheless actively deciding and making a firm commitment is required and must be carefully maintained over many trials and tests that are supplied to strengthen us.
It is the one who perseveres to the end who will be saved. If you persevere, then you are chosen.
We are to help each other to exercise our free will to serve Christ. The overcomer will live eternally (Rev 2:7, 11), receive rewards from Christ (Rev 2:17), reign with him (Rev 2:26); his name will be confessed to God by Christ (Rev 3:5), and much more (Rev 3:12, 21).