Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 23, 2020

“Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

“And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says,

“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”

Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God;  by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report;  regarded as deceivers and yet true;  as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live;  as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.”  2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

—————–

Other doctrine believes that we can receive the grace of God in vain.

But, Reformed Doctrine believes that the grace of God is irresistible.  “Irresistible Grace” is the “I” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt. 

Article 12.  And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation:  a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us without our aid.  But this is in no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed his part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted;  but it is evidently a supernatural work, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable;  not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, as the Scripture inspired by the author of this work declares;  so that all in whose heart God works in this marvelous manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated, and do actually believe.  – Whereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active.  Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received. Canons of Dordt in the section titled THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof.

At first consideration, the quote in verse 2 (“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”) may seem as if God is pleading with man.  But, when we check out this Scripture, we discover that God the Father is talking to God the Son, Christ, and God promised that salvation would come through Christ.

“7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
“Kings will see and arise,
Princes will also bow down,
Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

8 Thus says the Lord,
“In a favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;”  Isaiah 49:7-8.

Thus, Paul’s statement in verse 4 (“in everything commending ourselves as servants of God”) was not an empty boast based on man’s will.  Paul’s statement was a statement in faith based on God’s promise to Christ.  Paul trusted God to cause their work, “as servants of God”, to be successful such that they could endure everything (verses 4-5), they could be everything good in the Holy Spirit (verses 6-7), and they could accomplish God’s purpose no matter how they were received (verses 8-10).

Here is the continuation of the foregoing Isaiah chapter 49 Scripture which provides figurative descriptions of the salvation.

“9 Saying to those who are bound, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
Along the roads they will feed,
And their pasture will be on all bare heights.
10 “They will not hunger or thirst,
Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them
And will guide them to springs of water.
11 “I will make all My mountains a road,
And My highways will be raised up.
12 “Behold, these will come from afar;
And lo, these will come from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”
13 Shout for joy, O heavens!  And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.”  Isaiah 49:9-13.

Here are additional reminders of why we can trust God’s work in His servants.

“9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken;  truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


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