Roy Ingle, “Arminianism And The Glory of God”
The Church today seems to be caught up with self. Visit your local Christian bookstore and you will find entire sections entitled, “Self Help” filled with books but visit the “Theology” section and you will find it sorely lacking. Prayer has been turned away from “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10) first to “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) as our highest priority. Prayer has become nothing more than self help. Worship of God in singing has become so self oriented with the focus being on the “worshiper” rather than the God we worship (John 4:24). Biblical teaching has become self focused on the “felt needs” of our target audience rather than on pleasing God who wrote this holy book by His own Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We have entire movements devoted to “self recovery” and helping people find their purpose in life rather than on being broken over their selves before a holy God (Romans 3:10). What we so need in this hour is a return to the glory of God! We need to heed Paul’s words in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (ESV). We need to hear the voices of the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4: 11 who cry, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (ESV).
We also need an Arminianism that emphasises the glory of God as our supreme desire. I want to honor God and His Son in all that I say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31). I want my theology, my prayers, my walk with Jesus, my evangelism, my job, my family, my money, all of me to honor this King who left heaven to die for me and set me free from my sins, reconciled me back to God, and has given me His righteousness by faith (Philippians 2:5-11). I don’t want to be focused on my needs or my self but I want to bring glory to God alone.
So how can Arminianism possibly bring complete glory to God? Isn’t Arminianism man-centered theology that allows man to boast in what they have done? By no means! Consider this about Reformed Arminianism:
- We begin with the reality that God is sovereign and He does all things by His own power and goodness (Psalm 147:5; Romans 11:33-36). God reigns over all and He does not react to man but He first draws us unto Himself by His grace (John 6:44; Ephesians 1:3-14). God is completely holy and in complete control of His creation.
- Mankind, however, is corrupt by sin (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12). Man is sinful by nature (Ephesians 2:1-3) and we never seek after God in our own strength but rather we resist God and His righteous requirements (Romans 1:18-32; 3:11). We are not good people getting better but we are sinners in the hands of an angry God (to quote Jonathan Edwards).
- Salvation is only by the grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ and not by our works (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 5:1-11; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7). Obedience flows from our faith (Romans 1:5) and is not the agent of our salvation nor provides our salvation (Romans 4:5). Salvation is not based on our righteousness but the work of Christ Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 2:1-6).
- Salvation only comes through the preaching of the Word of God (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:14-17). Man cannot save himself through self help or self improvement but only by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:22; 10:10-14). We can only enter God’s presence through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).
Arminians do believe that God is to be honored above all. God sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16) and we must hold fast the promise that He will save all who come to the Father through Him (John 6:37-40; 10:1-5). Jesus lives to make intercession for us (Romans 8:34) as our great high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). May I live for His glory alone!
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