Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Who Loved Whom?

by Adam Bailie

I was recently reminded of the powerful narrative of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9. The most striking reality to me is the divine intervention that is so evident in this and every careful story of conversion. Paul was the foremost Christ-hater in his time. He was splattered with blood from the murder of Steven, and he was eager to round up and imprison Christians across the known world.

Paul was not a “seeker.” He wasn’t “open.” He was a scoffer. He was closed.

But God (Eph. 2:4)….

Galatians 1:14-15 holds a special place in my understanding of God’s sovereign grace. Here we have the privilege of reading Paul’s words to the churches of Galatia regarding his confidence in God’s sovereign election and ministry calling in his life. Paul did not give the average testimony around the campfire, where the convert is the center of the story. His story was one consumed with what God had done completely outside of Paul’s control or opinion. God had loved, chosen and called, and Paul was ready and willing to love Christ in return with his allegiance and obedience.

Oh, that we would grasp the miracle of divine intervention! God has crashed through the iron gates of our sinful hearts; He has pried open our blinded and crusted eyes; He has unclogged our deaf ears; He has quite amazingly intervened. 1 John 4:10 states, “ In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God…intervened…for my salvation…for His own praise and magnification. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Brothers and sisters, let’s keep that in the right order.

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