Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Trampling the Tulips
I'm a fruit and vegetable guy anyway. I like to harvest something. I want to pick it and bring it to the dinner table. So usually every year I plant at least tomatoes and green beans. I'll move out from there to onions and squash. Someone else can plant the flowers. I like looking at them, but could not, at least at this point, find motivation to care for them myself. People starving can't usually enjoy a beautiful flower arrangement. So today I trample the T-U-L-I-P. I'm not going to approach this in any logical order. It's a system. Pull out any letter and humpty dumpty. I'm going to start like I was recently accused: where ever my mind wanders. The I. Irresistible Grace. I evangelize regularly door-to-door and grace actually comes across as quite resistible. People seem to do it with ease. You would never know that when someone finally does stop resisting, it was because they couldn't help stopping. Since I'm yielding to the Spirit and preaching boldly as I ought to speak, I would wonder why the Holy Spirit signals this truth--grace is resistible--if it were not the case.
Scripture backs this up. To start, someone should look up all the usages of "will" in Scripture. Most people haven't. If they did, they would find that at least two Greek words are translated "will" in the New Testament. We know that "will" doesn't mean the same thing in every case. The Bible teaches God's sovereign will (Dan. 4:35; Ps. 115:3), and yet, on the other hand, a lot of times God's will doesn't get accomplished (2 Pet. 3:9). Sometimes God makes something happen or allows it to happen; other times He wishes it. He has boundaries that mark His will, but whether man works within those boundaries depends on his obedience. God's saving grace appears to all men (Titus 2:11). Do they all get saved? No. That would mean what? Uh-huh. What was Stephen thinking when he said, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." I guess he hadn't read the Institutes yet. I know that reformers from Geneva cry: That's not what it is! That's not what it is! Of course, they have a definition that makes rubics cube look like the directions for lemonade. After you've connected all their dots with the "right" meanings of terms, and then divide by the square root of forty-seven, grin like Mona Lisa, you will begin to get it. Hot rocks and ear flaps provide strong incentive.