“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” – former slave trader saved by Amazing Grace, John Newton
A former and fully recovered Cage-Stage Calvinist, I still like to get a little predestinarian now and then.
I figure if I have been given a little spiritual insight and eternal desperation, I’d better have the scriptural clarity to see God’s merciful hand of grace and be willing to give Him all the glory and praise.
Why some are hardened while others are made tender (and spiritually dependent), only God truly knows; and we mustn’t trifle with such hidden decrees. God has elected a people unto Himself. They are the Jewish people of the Old Testament, and we wretched Gentiles are humbled that such mercy and grace would be extended to such vile sinners. We are the dogs under the master’s table. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am more than willing to wrestle for a few crumbs (and invite others to the table).
“Paul clearly thinks that what is happening to Israel is not an accident but part of God’s predestined plan to bring about not the exclusion of Israel or the nations, but their reconciliation in Christ. So the fullness of the good news of election is that not only are the Gentiles blessed through the Jews, but the Jews are blessed through the Gentiles. Each is blessed only through the other.” – Phillip Cary (on Romans 9)
We are now grafted into the tree of life. We are the beloved of His Beloved. The revealed word of God and the free offer of grace has been bestowed unto all men – the Jew and the Gentile. Pass it on, cherish your privileged state, and live every breath with hope, faith, charity, and gratitude.
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Peace is here, and you can have a piece. The body and blood are precious spiritual morsels for the vitality and sustenance of the tried and weary disciple throughout the centuries. Laying down our burdens and trusting in the revealed word of God, we are covered by the grace of our Dear Lord and Savior!
“You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” – Saint Augustine
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