Thursday, May 18, 2017


I think that this polarity can be minimized, and it should be. Arminianism can become fearful and self-absorbed. Meanwhile, Calvinism can yield complacency. One woman argued that since it is all about Christ, the Christian life no longer requires obedience and our strenuous labors. Instead, I tried to argue that, although the grace of Christ comes first, this grace also involves our efforts and responsibilities:

"You must not separate our life in Christ from obedience and discipleship:

• No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:27)

We are called to do the Lord's work, and it can be strenuous. However, we give our Lord thanks even for our efforts, knowing that it is by His grace alone that we are enabled to run this race:

• For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

Admittedly, it is a great mystery that our works are actually His, for which He gets all the credit. Nevertheless, it remains true that we reap what we sow. However, we sow by the grace of God, but sow we must!

A true faith cannot be separated from faithful obedience. If we trust our Savior, we will labor to do what He tells us to do. If we don't trust Him, we won't:

• Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24)"

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