Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mystery to men - Normal to God

    Throughout the Gospel of John lies the threads of Divine sovereignty and human responsibility - often in the same verse. Instead of trying to push these statements into boxes of our theology, accept them as truth from a God who is much greater than we.

John 1.12-13   Ours is to receive Jesus as the Son of God from Heaven
                        New birth is not by human will, but be God's
John 5.24,25   Human responsibility is to 'hear and believe'
                       The only means for life now or later is by the Son choosing to 'speak' - His voice
John 6.37        The Father draws
                        The believer comes
John 10.16        The sheep He brings into His fold
                          The sheep follow Him
John 15.16        "I have chosen you"
                           " that you might bear fruit"
John 17.9         "those whom thou hast given Me" - a distinct gift from the Father to the Son!
            20        "them also which shall believe on Me through their word" - the personal responsibility to believe as well as the discipleship task of spreading His word!
John 19.11       Jesus informs Pilate that a greater authority (heavenly)   is involved, greater than Rome!
                        and in the same breath points to the greater sin (responsibility) of those who delivered Him up.

       Often in the miracles of the Lord, He calls for faith, and acknowledges their faith eg 'your faith has saved you, go in peace'. But on at least two occasions, John records a different order ( maybe just to stop us making up formulas!). John 5, the Lord chooses a sick man from the multitude and effects the healing. It is later that the Lord reveals His identity to this man.  Likewise with the blind man of chapter 9.

     John the apostle has no problem letting God be God in His sovereign working, and alongside the full responsibility of mankind to have faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God!  John's letters develop more of this.

    Compass point : let the Bible shape our thinking, rather than we shape it to our thinking !
Like two rails for a train line. The only thing joining the two is the locomotive and carriages.  So it is Christ and we in Him  that brings together grace and faith.

J. McKee

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