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Christian Biblical Studies

 

 

SAVING GRACE

 

By A. Prentice

 

I can do everything through him who gives me strength

Philippians 4: 13, New International Version-UK

 

THE UNBELIEVER professes astonishment that anyone in the twenty-first century should still believe in God. Or, more to the point, that they should need to.

The unbeliever cannot imagine living in a world with God in it. The Christian cannot imagine living in this world without God in it. No, more than this, for it would not be enough to have God alone: the Christian must have a Saviour! For to have a Saviour is to have also a God who has anticipated the craving of the sinner’s heart for peace with Him. Such a God is much more than a ‘creator’ or an ‘intelligent designer’. What is the worth of those expressions to the guilty conscience? Should one be brought to tears by God’s intelligence, or consoled by His skilful design? Rather be warmed by the realisation that His far-sightedness, moved by His compassion for the sin-sick, anticipated the sinner’s need long ages ago and sent One to perfectly reflect Himself, the healer of souls. The Christ of the Cross.

 

Do atheists ride so high above the rest of us that they never experience doubt? Are they never visited in the dark of night or when age comes on, with a sense of regret, bitter disappointment, or fear of death? Do they never yearn for Something outside of, and bigger than, themselves? No One to thank for the sunset or the birds? No Benefactor to acknowledge for the kindness and justice that comes to us from the ministry of others?

Yet atheists do claim to hold all these universal joys without the mental burden of theology. Do they never ask how an un-thinking, blind force can produce such an illusion of happiness? Or do they merely thank the ‘Process’? Are they content with the chemical, genetic, habitual responses to mechanical stimuli, this idiosyncratic collection of flesh and bones, mortality, leading to perpetual non-existence?

 

Oh, for the gift to doubt! It is how the Lord draws us to Him. Faith is strengthened by our doubts, for what is a doubt if not a cry for an answer? And by His Word God answers our questions to our satisfaction – about who and what He is, and how we stand with Him. Above all, He gives us the assurance that we are accepted in Christ the Beloved. Forgiven.

 

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Copyright June 2010 UK Bible Students. You are free to reproduce this article, but please let us know if you do.

 

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