Into Thy Word -
Let God remove your pride!
Jesus is to be our center, the reason for our being! And if we keep placing Him first, then we become Gods will!
Have you considered that pride is in the same category as the big sins of homosexuality, adultery and the like? Perhaps you are shocked? Maybe you never thought through how pride impacts others, or its impact on our sanctification, or how God feels about it? Well check our Romans 1: 26-32!
It is because pride is listed in Rom 1 with the other great sins, and in the Greek syntax, it is listed in an imperative, this means God is serious! In conjunction there are scores of other Scriptural references such as in Psalms and Proverbs that gives an extreme case for what God hates, and that is pride. In America we glance over this and do not consider it relevant. Check out these passages we rarely preach on! (Job 41:34; Psalm10: 5; 18:27; 101:5; 131:1; 6:17; Prov. 16:18; 21:4; 30:13)!
The big idea is that pride sets us up as a god when there is only One God. God wants our obedience, love and trust, we cannot do that when we are too full of ourselves! I have struggled with this alot over the years, and God keeps humbling me! Has He humbled you? Or are you too big for God?
Are you grateful for what Christ has done or do you take it for granted (Luke 15:17-19)? To despise God is to refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty and work, as well as His generous gift of grace. Refusing to yield your life over to God's will, will cost you greatly in judgment and in life; as God's ways are better than ours! Do you base your comfort on what you do, your works? Works do not earn, they only prove.
Do you obey God and pursue righteousness? Salvation is a gift, not a reward (2 Cor. 5:10)! As driving a car is a privilege, not a right! Is your heart hard or soft? Do you hide in the comfort of your parent's faith, or in the activity of the church? External worship and faith does not guarantee what is inside! God searches our heart, what will He find in yours? God is more concerned with our obedience than our knowledge! The law comes before grace, for without the law and the righteousness of God we have nothing to be saved from. The bad news of judgment is shadowed by the good news of grace!
Does not the reformed church teach that we do not need to seek Gods will, because no matter what, God will allow things to come to pass no matter what we do?
For the most part this is what the Bible teaches; God is sovereign, and the understanding of His sovereignty is essential in our growth and trust in Him! However, we need to understand human responsibility. We are not robots with preprogrammed parameters. We do not have a specific set of instructions we follow no matter what, so our choices are irrelevant. We have free will and everything that comes to pass is preordained. This may blow your mind, because it is beyond our comprehension.
We have to trust God that His will is set, at the same time, we are to do the best we can in the choices we make. That is why we have the Word and the Holy Spirit. If there were no choices to make, then we do not need to do anything. We do not need to even get out of bed. But this of course is ridiculous. This thinking is called Hyper-Calvinism.
It is a false doctrine that emphasizes divine sovereignty "to the exclusion" of human responsibility (Calvin taught more on our responsibility than any other subject!). To call it "hyper-Calvinism" is something of a misnomer. It is actually a rejection of historic Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism entails a denial of what is taught in both Scripture and the landmark Calvinistic creeds. This is minimizing the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners. It emphasizes irresistible grace to such an extent that there appears to be no real need to evangelize; that Christ may be offered only to the elect. It has 5 aspects associated with it: 1. Denies the call of the gospel "applies" to all who hear, OR 2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR 3. Denies that the gospel makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect, "denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal", OR 4. Denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," OR 5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.
Unfortunately there are people in the church who teach such things, and I believe it is a comfort for them. Because if you really believe in this hyper-Calvinism, then you do not need to evangelize or do anything you are not comfortable with. It is a great excuse to be a club and not the church Christ called and is the head of!
Condensed from the book "Finding God's Will for your Life" by Richard J. Krejcir, Copyright 1997
Richard Joseph Krejcir, is the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a discipleing ministry. He is also a pastor, teacher, speaker is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California and has amounted nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry experience mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church growth consultant.