Lent 06: Day 22

Some thoughts at the end of the week.

I wanted to thank those of you who read these meditations this week and especially thank those of you who posted comments.

I knew the Reformed/Arminian post would elicit a comment or two. Let me say that I believe God is in absolute control of all that was, is, and will be as in him we live, and move, and have our being. At the same time, I believe I am completely responsible for every decision I make, every act I perform, even every thought I think and everything I do has meaning and purpose. How do you reconcile those apparent inconsistencies. You don’t, but to take a page from the heart of the reformers, you never attempt to resolve that antinomy ( A contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable; a paradox.) by in any way deminishing the authority and sovereignty of God.

When it comes to God and us, his creation, there are many things that cannot be reconciled. The biggest is how Jesus can be at the same time God and man, fully each. The incarnation is the greatest paradox in all of history. I believe that the antinomy between God’s sovereignty and my choices finds its anwer in the incarnation. What that answer is, is not revealed to us at this time in the redemptive story.

One commenter from England, Jan Mckenzie, said’

I don’t believe God always gets his way. He says he is “not willing that any should perish” but many do.

Let me, in all humility say that I respectfully disagree. God always gets his way and that verse actually proves it.

If you look at the verse, taken from 2 Peter 3:8-9.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

For me, the key to that verse is “but is patient toward your.” Who is Peter addressing when he relates that God does not wish that any of them should perish? The “you” in that verse are the recipients of his epistle.

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Peter is speaking to believers, those of whom Jesus spoke when he said,

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? Luke 15:4

Jesus loses no one, and even if the unfathomable should happen, he pursues that one until he finds them. He is the author and finisher of our faith; and it is he who is faithful to complete what he has begun.

I will not belabor the point, for I do not believe this eternal truth, as I see it, need be grasped for salvation or to love the Lord. We all see through a mirror darkly, but I long for the day when we will see and be seen face to face, clearly, and to the uttermost; when we will have understanding rather than argument (used in the best possible sense).

Having said that, I am back to struggling to meet the Lenten commitments I have made (yes it was I who needs to do what I am responsible for before the Lord). May God richly bless your efforts to think his thoughts after him (one interesting definition of prayer) and may he use it as a vehicle to change you, in your heart of hearts (back to Lewis’ understanding of prayer). And may we, in the end, meet as brothers and sisters in Christ, sharing in the Glory of him who gave his all to save us. May your Lord’s day be filled with joy and bursting out with songs and prayers of thanksgiving. Amen.

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