Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Psalm 119 on Irresistible Grace

Most people hate the doctrine of irresistible grace. And by hate, I mean face turning purple, speechless with outrage kind of hatred. And wrongly so. If a Christian understands the wickedness of his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9), then he should be humbled and gladdened to tears by a love of the doctrine, not the hatred of it.

In Psalm 119, that writer (his name unknown) expresses his love of this truth in several verses:

Verse 49: "Remember Your word to Your servant, in which You have made me to hope."

Verse 73: "Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments."

Verse 93: "I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life."

In all three verses, the Psalmist directs His prayer to God about what He has done, or what he hopes that He will do. The Psalmist repeatedly rejects the opportunity to claim his free will, his merit, his native ability. On the contrary, in each case he does the opposite, expressing his hope in what God has done or will do in him. This is probably the background for the words of Paul (Philippians 2:13): "It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

Neither of these biblical writers felt anything less than gratitude for God's irresistible grace. What is wrong with our age that people hate it instead?

No comments: