Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 21, 2015

The Fountain of Grace: “For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Kings 8:22-53.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+8&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.  23 He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24 who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have promised him;  indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day.

46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 if they take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedly’;  48 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name;  49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are Your people and Your inheritance which You have brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace), 52 that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You.  53 For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance, as You spoke through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers forth from Egypt, O Lord God.”  1 Kings Chapter 8:  Verses 22-24 and 46-53.

——————–

Yes, we should walk before the LORD with all our heart.  Yes, we should repent when we sin.  Yes, we should make supplication to the LORD.  Yes, we should return to the LORD with all our heart.  Yes, we should pray to the LORD.

But, the “Fountain of Grace” is not our willingness nor our ability to do so.  The “Fountain of Grace” is not our goodness nor our cuteness.

“Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’”  Ezekiel 20:44.

“For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

The “Fountain of Grace” is revealed in the last verse (Verse 53) of today’s Scripture:  “For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance”.  The “Fountain of Grace” is God’s “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

That election, which is the unconditional and unchangeable decree of God to redeem in Christ a certain number of persons, is the sole cause and fountain of all our salvation, whence flow all the gifts of grace, including faith.  This is the plain teaching of our confessions in the Canons of Dordrecht, I,A,6,7.”  Declaration of Principles of the Protestant Reformed Churches.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-4. 

Consider also the following two sections of Article 7, Article 9, and Article 10 in FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination in Canons of Dordt.  

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.  …”  

Article 9.  … This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended; but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself …”

Article 10.  The good pleasure of God is the sole cause of this gracious election;  which doth not consist herein, that out of all possible qualities and actions of men God has chosen some as a condition of salvation;  but that he was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to himself …”

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

“Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.”  Psalm 28:9.


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