I just had one of those "wow" moments studying the Bible, and I had to share what hit me. I'm sure, like most things I post, this is something most of you have realized before. For some reason lately, I seem to be relearning a lot of "basics" of the Christian faith! Perhaps, as I often learn, it's because I never really understood them in the first place . . . !
Anyway, I was looking at the idea that God's effectual calling overcomes our resistance to the Gospel (a point made by John Piper - and others, I'm sure!). As a reference, he provided 1 Cor. 1:22-24, which talks about how Christ's crucifiction is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but TO THOSE WHOM GOD HAS CALLED it is the power and wisdom of God. So that got me thinking - who does God "call"? And that's where I stumbled on this little gem - God calls all those He predestined to call (Rom. 8:30). Put another way, I was created so that God could call me to Himself. The whole purpose of my existence is to glorify God (hmm, I think I've heard that before!) BECAUSE that's the purpose I was created for. Eph. 2:10 says: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." In the previous two verses, Paul points out that we are saved by grace through faith, a gift of God and the result of no works on our behalf. We are saved BECAUSE we were made to be saved. Why did God make us as His creatures? To do the good works he prepared in advance for us to do. Here's the kicker - I am not saved so that I can be happy or fulfilled or at peace with my circumstances (although these are certainly beneficial "side-effects" of salvation!). I AM saved so that God can use me to do the things He needs accomplished on this earth. Wow. That is both humbling and awe-inspiring.