Monday, November 5, 2007

Knowledge of God's Kindness

How does one acquire knowledge?

Attend a workshop, read a book, go to school, talk to someone who’s an accredited source.

It’s good to know certain things … like … stop when the light is red … too much salt spoils the soup … wash your hands before eating and look both ways before crossing the street. Knowing such things, life is easier and safer.

Faith is knowledge, too … a “sure and certain” knowledge writes our theological granddaddy, John Calvin.

A God-centered, Christ-focused knowledge … acquired much like any form of knowledge: time well spent with a primal source (e.g. the Bible), study in the company of others, conferences, workshops & worship, and lots of conversations with reliable folks.

Through our steady deployment of these resources, faith, like a seed, grows in the deep crevices of the soul, and lo and behold, one day, the little root produces a plant, the plant fruit, and the fruit is good: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Here’s what Calvin wrote: “Now we shall possess a right definition of faith if we call it a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

Look at the anchor words: God’s benevolence, freely given promise, revealed and sealed.

Many years ago, a teacher said to me: “Salvation is too important to be left in our hands. God assumes the burden, the task and the outcome. In Christ, we are utterly saved, once and for all, now and forever more.”

Wow and Amen!

“Thought for the Day” – Nov. 5, ’07 – Pastor Tom

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