Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For We are his workmanship...

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4
The existence of God having two distinct wills seems to be clearly portrayed throughout the scriptures. Time and again we see that there appears to be a will of decree and command. (Examples include his desire for all to be saved, yet the election of only some. His desire for Pharoah to let Israel go and his hardening of their hearts. His hardening and blinding of certain Jews that the Gentiles may be grafted in (Romans 11)...etc. So within God's redemptive plan for mankind we see within the fabric the foreordination of sin and its ramifications being used by God to establish his will and good purpose even though his decree stands against sin, the tapestry over which he reigns sovereigns utilizes the means of sin to accomplish the furtherance of his glory.
Clearly the scriptures teach that God is not tempted by sin, nor does he tempt man. But painted beautifully onto our cosmic canvas appears to be the allowance and sovereign commission of sin to accomplish the greater over all purpose of our majestic creator. We see this all throughout the Old and New Testaments beginning with Adam and his fall being ordained by God, to the deceit of Jacob and his mother stealing Esau's birthright, to Joseph's brother selling him into slavery an act that would later save the nation of Israel. But the stories don't stop here, God uses the Persians, the Babylonians, the dispersion of Israel, the Romans destruction of the temple, the Tower of Babel, and dozens of other stories orquestrated by the triune God to fulfill his plan for history. Joseph declared this when his brothers came to him and pleaded for mercy for what they had done. He clearly recognized that God had used their sinful actions to bring about his greater plan stating:"You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today". Gen. 50:20. 
But the apex of sinful foreordination in history, centers entirely around the cross and the brutal murder of the Holy one of God, Jesus the Christ. God foreordained that he was to die, the scriptures even proclaim that it was Gods will to crush him (Isa. 53). And ironically in one fatal swoop the Cross of Christ accomplished the very death of death. The actions of Satan taken to incite the murder of the Messiah would prove to be suicidal on every level. Sin is always irrational, it is the rebellion against a sovereign who by his nature is the pinnacle of life, love, beauty, strength, goodness, and power. Thus Satan an irrational being committed an irrational act and murdered the Son of the Living God, thus rendering him powerless and setting us free from the law of sin and death. By his (Christ's) stripes we are healed and set free. Satan's suicidal and sinful actions were ordained by God and released us from the bondage we have endured since the fall that took place in Genesis 3. 
This topic could be elaborated on much more extensively, but scripture is certainly clear, God has, is, and will continue to permit certain things to transpire in order to fulfill his greater purpose within creation. That purpose being the ever increasing proclamation and propagation of his Glory. 

Father teach us to trust in your divine and exquisite plan for our lives, trusting as Clyde Kilby did in his  resolutions where he resolved as we must that we "shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if we so wish, with worthy potentialities. We shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in our existence but just as likely, ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual maturation". Lord blessed be your name in all things, help me to trust you amidst immense pain, sorrow, and brokenness rejoicing in anything that produces perseverance, character, and a hope that will not put me to shame.
  "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph 3:19-20.

Lord may we not fall prey to the assumption that this world is idiotic, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the great canvas and that in due course I shall understand with joy this as a stroke made by the exuberant Architect who calls himself the Alpha and Omega. 
"For we are his workmanship" Ephesians 2...

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