Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sunday Thoughts from Oswald Chambers

Acts 26:12-18 (New International Version)

12“On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[
a] ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Some thoughts from Oswald Chambers’ “Devotions for Morning and Evening” follow for your Sunday edification:

The Opened Sight

“To open their eyes…that they may receive…(Acts 26:18)

This verse is the grandest consideration of the propaganda of a disciple of Jesus Christ in the whole of the New Testament.

The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words – “that they may receive remission of sins.” When a man fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything. The only sign that a man is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion – the effort of a roused human being. I do not think that it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching today. When a man is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and because of his own decision. People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz., remission of sins.

Then there follows the second mighty work of grace – “and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies entirely with God’s interest in other men.”

1 comment:

bob (a.) said...

"People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation"

Since we know from Romans 10:9 that if registering vows means confessing with their lips that Jesus is Lord it would follow that what is missing is a belief in the heart that God raised him from the dead if there is no salvation. Consequently, it would seem that sanctification will flow from believing in the heart in the resurrection. The whole of the academic model flows from Aristoleon thinking and derails many by hollow and deceptive thinking (Colossians 2:8). It does a fine job of calculating trajectories of physical objects but has nothing to do with establishing matters of the heart. Christ must be first in our heart without a jot or tittle of equivacation or academic mumbo jumbo. When he says that something is true, it isn't relative, it isn't optional, it not subject to analysis. It is simply true.