Salvation Views: A Call to Love and Conviction
1 Peter 1:3 "Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… "
I have found that most Christians who deny the doctrines of God's grace do so from relatively pure motives and have come by their views rather innocently and honestly. Many have done deep study of the Scriptures and have just landed with other intelligent thinkers who disagree with a more orthodox understanding. It does not mean that they are deficient in any way nor does it make them right. We should all hold our convictions confidently and not waver. I have also known a good many people who have never taken the time to study these great teachings in the Bible and have shied away from anything to do with them due to thinking that they would cause divisions, distractions, or just weren't germane to the discussion. So they just go off of little bits of information that they have gleaned over the years and a large dose of their own understanding. What God says should matter to us because it matters to God. Sound doctrine only divides if we don't align with it. Inflexible opinions driven on feelings divide.
I liken many Christian's reactions, reticence or refusals to dive deep into the doctrines of grace to misunderstanding, or not knowing what the Scriptures teach. Like we have put blinders on so that we cannot see, thinking that what we will see will not be good, but all the while what we would see is the greatest thing imaginable: the glories of God's grace. It is like a child who knows their father loves them and says that is all they need to know. Sounds noble but in fact is very self-centered. To them it is all about them. The father loves them. But those who truly love their father want to know about his life and more about who he is and what makes him tick. As the child grows up the child expresses their love for the father.
Say the father was a criminal or treated other human beings horribly. It would be understandable that they would not want to look into the father's past actions or present interactions. it causes them shame and embarrassment and humiliation. They might know that the father loves them but they cannot bear to know about their fathers horrendous actions. But say the father was a man of deep integrity who had done many good things to benefit humanity. An Abraham Lincoln sort of guy. And then their insistence on only knowing about the father's love and not learning more about who he is would seen to us quite shallow.
Now shift that thinking to God the Father. It's not enough for us to say I know he loves me and that is all I need to know. Because the Bible teaches that He is an electing, foreknowing, regenerating God among other things. We should want to know who he is. And how he works. And that He does these things because he loves us. Why wouldn't we want to know all about his great works? So I encourage all Christians to dive deep into study and contemplation and application of things like election, foreknowledge, regeneration, and predestination. They are not doctrines meant to stir up controversy but to give great comfort to Christians who are suffering. These truths tell us that God is a saving God and that he saves alone. His salvation work is the work of one, it is monergistic.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and we are taking our rest, what will make any difference, what will be the significance, what will matter most? Not what I have said and done, not what I have determined, not what I have called significant, not what I deemed as matter-some. Because I am a child of the King of the Universe. What will be truly noteworthy is that He, God Almighty, who I do not see but believe in because of His good grace, has acted on my behalf and He has worked for my good and He has done what is possible to rescue my soul from the eternal consequences of my sin. So I will humbly praise the glories of His merciful grace and trust His wisdom over mine; basking in my new identity, resting in my eternal security, and engaging in my God-dependent ministry...because I am saved, and kept, and empowered..in, by, and through The Lord Jesus Christ.