Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Living Out the Gospel and the Sovereignty of God

Either God supernaturally intervenes or He does not.  He is both immanent in the world and transcendent above it.  In fact, God existed before all worlds and is the uncaused first cause of the whole creation.  Not only are miracles supernatural interventions by God into the natural creation but salvation itself is a supernatural breaking into the natural, material world.  Since the fall of Adam all human beings have been corrupted in their human nature and all freely and willing sin from the time of their birth.  The whole human race died spiritually in Adam and inherit a total corruption of their human nature or being directly from Adam.  Thus, only the supernatural rebirth or regeneration from above can bring individual men and women and children to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
This difference between the Gospel and salvation by works is so great that only a divine man, Jesus Christ, could live a completely sinless life for us and die for us on the cross and bear the divine wrath of God against us in our place.  Even our sanctification is imperfect because the corruption of Adam remains in our human nature even after we have been justified by faith alone.  So the process of sanctification is as much a supernatural gift of God as is our initial rebirth or regeneration.  God regenerates us and then we believe.  (John 3:3-8;  3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24; 6:44; 6:65).  We should never forget that salvation is all of God and is a monergistic work of God in us and not something we cooperate with as if God does His part and then we do our part.  God is not our co-pilot.  God is our King!   (Philippians 2:11-13).
God supernaturally provides for us through the secondary means of providence in this world.  He gives us all that we have--including our jobs and our homes and our food on the table.  For this we ought to give continual thanks.  Often at meal times we say a perfunctory prayer of thanksgiving, taking for granted that all God gives us is His. 

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (1 Chronicles 29:14 KJV)

I am currently out of work due to the economic down turn.  The home where I was renting burned to the ground and I now find myself with limited options.  Although God continues to provide through unemployment compensation, I am literally at God's mercy.  It is times like these when we learn to trust God completely even when things look impossible.  I even had a job offer which was withdrawn due to problems in my past which occurred more than ten years ago.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away and we must continue in faith without complaining and grumbling.
When I finish the race it will not be because I endured in my own strength but because God Himself gave me everything I needed to get there.  (2 Timothy 4:7).  It is not a matter of cooperation but of trusting God to do it all.  God does not help those who help themselves.  God gives us faith and everything else.  Salvation is truly all of God and we contribute absolutely nothing no matter how holy we think we are.  God could justly cut my life short but I trust in His promises for His eternal salvation through the covenant of grace established in Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 17:1-7.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:28-32 ESV)

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

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