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Election Results In: Gratitude

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True gratitude comes from realizing that all one has is given by God.  Every breath, heartbeat, morsel of food, and thread of clothing is a gift from the God who shows righteous patience despite human rebellion.  The distinction between Creator and creature demands gratitude, because without the Creator’s sustaining and providing for the creature, the creature would vanish from existence.  Therefore, “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds” (Ps 9:1).  Note that the Psalmist gives thanks with his heart.  True gratitude towards God is found first in the heart of the affections, which works outward into our words and deeds.  This means that someone can say and even pretend that they are grateful, but they really are not grateful if their heart is not involved.  In Romans 1, judgment is declared on unbelievers precisely for this reason:  “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him”–that is, even though they know that they are little dependent creatures, they scorn the Creator who gives them life and whose power and glory they have witnessed, leaving them without excuse.  The doctrines of grace in their very essence produce gratitude in the heart of true Christians, as they ascribe unto God all the glory for granting them forgiveness even though they are unworthy sinners.  As outlined by Abraham Booth in The Reign of Grace, the doctrine of election produces holiness in the life of a Christian by cultivating gratitude:

A right understanding of this glorious truth of election also leads the believer to be filled with gratitude to God.  Gratitude is one of those lovely characteristics of the soul.  It burns in the hearts of those in glory and is the reason why the heavenly choirs sing praise to God.  Love and gratitude are the very essence of all religion, the very life and soul of Christianity.  As they are advanced, so the holiness and comfort of mankind are advanced.  A warm sense of the election of grace in the heart is a powerful incentive to overflow with thanksgiving to God.  As Paul thinks about the riches of grace in election he exclaims: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world’ (Eph. 1:3-4).  And again:  ‘But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation’ (2 Thess. 2:13).  This is how the Apostle expresses his thanks, both for himself and other believers, to the Author of all good for his electing love.  Similar expressions of gratitude will be found in every regenerate heart where election is known and embraced.

The intense desire of believers is to honor God in everything.  They are so conscious of how much they owe to God’s grace, they devote themselves to him, longing to please him.  They pray that they may never bring God’s name into disrepute.  If they ever do, it causes them pain and distress.  They must seek the glory of the one who has chosen them to salvation.  So we see that election, when rightly understood and believed, always leads to holy living and consecration to God. (emphasis mine)

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Written by keywoodblog

July 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Bible, Gospel, sermon, theology

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