Monday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Because God Chose You

There is only one remedy for sinful men described in the preceding passage, only one way to release him from his bondage unto sin, only one means of saving men from eternal damnation, and that is “to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”  But how does this come about?  Of course, God provides the means through the blood of his dear Son shed on the cross for our sins, and His Son’s resurrection which is the means of our justification.  But none of this matters if sinful men do not embrace this gracious Lord in repentance and obedience unto salvation. 

So how do men embrace this God and His work for them on the cross?  Do they will themselves to believe?  But then why do not all men believe?  Why do we see men like Pharaoh only repenting until the judgment passes away?  Or men in the book of Revelation cursing God for His judgments rather than turning from their sin?  Why do men love their sin more than they love God?  Why are they so enslaved, so unable to break their chains?  Simply put, because it is their nature to be so.  We see this in ourselves in our most honest moments.  I love me more than anyone else in the world—which is why I hate me more than anyone else in the world.  And this is the bottomless pit, a ceaseless spiral that leads to the very pit of hell that I can no more escape by the exertion of my own will than I can my own sinful and brutal nature.  This is who I am, who we are, and it is my own sin—in conjunction with the world and the devil—that blinds me to this reality—a reality that I can only see in the light of God’s word revealed by the Holy Spirit speaking to me through it.

But back to my question: Why is it that some men believe and others do not?  Because the Spirit so sanctifies some to believe.  And why are they so sanctified to be saved?  The very beginning of the passage tells us: “Because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved.”  It is God’s sovereign choice and effectual calling of sinful men that renders them able to believe and breaks the chains which bind them fast to their love of sin.  The Father chose a people from eternity out of love, provided the remedy for their bitter hatred of him by sending His Son whose grace is manifest on the cross and victory in his resurrection from the dead, who then sends His Spirit to apply this grace and victory in power through rebirth by that same Spirit and sanctification unto the truth by faith.  There is no other way for sinful man.  Therefore, beloved, stand firm, be encouraged, be comforted by the love of the Father who establishes our hearts in every good work and word.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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