Antidote to Forgetting (whence we came)
Forgetting who we are and where we came from is a deadly and UGLY practice. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians (this seems to be a repeated theme of his letters to these folk…):
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
The psalms are full of reminders of the greatness and majesty of our Lord, the Creator, Provider and King. Really, anyone who reads the Bible honestly and faithfully (is this possible only with the direction of the Holy Spirit?) cannot come away without a sense of the GOD-ness of all of it.
But I certainly need more particular reminders of how small I am and how great HE is, especially when I am tempted to be proud of what I know and “have”. I like these suggested by Theoparadox:
- Never think about the doctrine of Total Depravity without considering your own sins. Especially your recent sins. Let the desperate plight of fallen humanity inspire a fresh compassion for the lost people around you.
- Never think about the doctrine of Unconditional Election without reminding yourself that nothing in you influenced God’s choice. That’s what unconditional means. Know that it was purely of His mercy that He took pity on you and saved you.
- Never think about Christ’s atoning work without thanking Him for what He has done for you at the cross, and in the resurrection, and the way He applies that work to your life now. Be affected by how much you need the cross on a daily and moment-by-moment basis.
- Never think about the doctrine of the Effectual Call without marveling that God miraculously changed your stony heart.
- Never think about the doctrines of the Perseverance and Preservation of the Saints without recognizing that all your godly fruit is an effect of Christ’s unmerited mercy toward you. Remember that a lack of godly fruit is a sign of trouble that must move you to re-examine your heart. Don’t use the doctrine of election to exempt yourself from this.
- Never think about the sovereignty of God without surrendering yourself afresh to His glorious rule.
- Never let logical deductions about the secret will of God lessen your adherence to His revealed will in the Scriptures. Don’t get carried away by speculations.
- Read plenty of Reformed books and blogs if you like, but devote yourself to the study and application of Scripture. Read the whole Bible and spend more effort applying it than thinking philosophically about it.
- Share the Gospel regularly and stay involved in missions. Prove that you believe in the free offer of the Gospel.
- Worship God alone. Don’t let theology become your idol.
- When you speak, boast in the goodness of God rather than just spouting theological facts you have learned.
- Repent thoroughly, earnestly and often. Confess your sins to God daily, and rejoice in His outpoured grace daily. Repent to other people when you sin against them (it’s wonderfully humbling).
- Stay close to your Lord, and tremble if you gain a head full of knowledge without corresponding affections for Him.