If anything has become clear in the last while, it is that our society does not understand grace. In an age filled to the brim with violence, injustice, anger, confusion, and the like, grace is needed more than ever. But grace is in short supply. Rummage the pages of the newspaper, flip through the news channels, or take a scroll among the Facebook comments – wherever you look you’ll be hard-pressed to find grace.Continue reading “Grace in a Graceless World”
Those who have grown up within the walls of a Reformed church know well that good works do not save and are nothing to boast about. All glory to God! We hear this truth repeatedly from the pulpit, the catechism classroom and around the supper table. And so it should be. If God compares our good works to something worse than filthy rags, then what folly it is to boast in them.Continue reading “Boasting in Our Faith”
In the second chapter of Hosea we read of Israel’s shocking unfaithfulness in allegory form. Meanwhile in Luke 15, Jesus tells a parable about a son who shockingly leaves his family in disgrace. These initial similarities beckon us to camp out in these passages and discover more.Continue reading “The Prodigals”
I will take you to be my wife in faithfulness, and you will know the LORD.
~ Hosea 2:20
Grace is not simply getting what you do not deserve, rather, it is getting the good you do not deserve instead of the bad that you do deserve. It is receiving honour and favour when you deserve shame and disdain. It is receiving freedom and life when you deserve bondage and death. Countless times in the history of God’s people we see this definition of grace being unpacked and put on display. The opening chapters of the prophet Hosea are just one example of this. Continue reading “Grace on Display”
In his sovereign freedom, God chose to love Jacob, but not Shechem. But why Jacob?
Malachi, and later the apostle Paul, make it plain that Jacob attained salvation because of the brute fact of God’s absolute grace and free choice to do so (Malachi 1:3 and Romans 9:13). If we take Scripture seriously, we realize God had chosen to love Jacob from before the foundation of the world. From the perspective of eternity, Jacob was chosen by God simply because of God’s sovereign grace. Nothing in Jacob attracted God to him and there was no spark of potential goodness in Jacob waiting to be stoked by the living breath of God. God makes it clear that we are born dead in our sins and our free-wills are locked in rebellion-against-God mode. God does not give us a helping hand or a boost of grace to get us going on the right track. He takes a pile of dry, decaying bones and breathes life and soul into them. Continue reading “Why Jacob?”