Grace and Sovereignty
I intend not to shake a table but to ask questions that recently bubbled up to the surface.
Let’s start with the question, who is the boss of judgment? Or better yet who has the power in grace?
I have often looked at salvation and judgment from earth’s judicial system. Where you have the lawyers — pro and for; the embodiment of the issue — the accused; and of course the judge — the one who decides.
Except with earthen legal systems, the judge is a slave to the law. The judge MUST rule in alignment with the law.
So when I analyze Jesus, salvation, and grace. I immediately think. God doesn’t have a choice once I choose Jesus.
Grace becomes a very convenient way to worship and adore God but to also bypass God. I know, we are gonna have a whole discourse about who God is. How can I bypass God when Jesus is God? Let’s not get distracted. Whether God is split in two or three; whether my lawyer is God or the judge is God; whether I am bypassing one God with another God; this is not the point.
The point is that the judge God — the just God, the upholder of the law, the Father in Trinity, the bad cop in the heavenly Judicial system. That guy, that non-man, that non-emotive being will be sidestepped by my propitiator, my sacrifice, my replacement!
Never mind the fact this judge created the judgment tax-like loophole in the first place. Not even just created but orchestrated it.
So.. said plainly, I rejoice in Jesus because He is the loophole for me to bypass His Father’s laws and spend eternity with Him — His Father, and His Son.
A quick diversion, it’s almost as if God the father is an African father that tells his son. You must marry a woman from our tribe because the appreciation, upholding, reverence, and transfer of our culture to the next generation is of utmost importance. We must do our part to preserve our culture. In the same way, God told the Israelites not to forget what He has revealed but to teach it to their kids when they sleep, wake, and as often as possible. Then, I go find a white woman that loves our culture more than me. And I go back home and say, dad, I should marry a woman that loves our culture and will preserve it. Here you go. Then my dad says:
Son, you have brought me one who gets to the heart of my heart cry. She is perfect.
Then I become confused. Why did I think my dad will be mad? Did I hear wrong that he wanted me to marry a Yoruba woman? What in the confusion is this?
You see, in my father’s hierarchy of importance, he wants me to find love. He knows that for me to bring a white woman home. Remembering what he said, I must have thought about it many times. I must have counted the cost and found that she is worth the war, the rejection, the abrasion, the journey ahead to acceptance, and even alienation. Instead of rehashing that journey, he knows his son and chooses to extend love to His choice disregarding what her skin color might otherwise assume. Over time, he will observe for himself the qualities that he finds important and make up his own mind about the quality of being that she is and whether or not she is compatible with his son. But that evaluation is not different — white or Yoruba — the woman must pass on her own. An accepted Yoruba woman also goes through orientation and re-orientation around expectation. Her acceptance is in two stages, acceptance of the son’s choice; and then acceptance into the inner circle of the family because she is found worthy of it. This is a character assessment.
Oftentimes, I want to be accepted into heaven because the groom is perfect. Because the groom chose me. I want the grand judge to love me the same way He loves His son. I want Him to see His son’s choice when He sees me.
Yet I do not care to become one who is worthy. Not that my worth is dependent on my choices. My worth is dependent on my willingness to become a vessel of love. Who I was, and what I looked like are irrelevant. What is relevant is what His choice, His love wrought in me. The unlearning of truth and embracing of His way. His culture.
God is a judge that wrote the law but also created the loophole. He is a God that even Jesus was submitting His will to. I don’t know what would have happened in Gethsemane when Jesus wanted the cup to pass from Him. Would His father reject His birthright? Would He still be seated at the right hand of the father? Would He come home to pick up the mantle He left? Would He be looked down upon in heaven or just be a testament to the degree to which men are depraved and unworthy?
I do not know but this one thing I also do not know is whether or not I will be condemned to hell or accepted to eternity with the father.
I do not know because the Judge, who created the loophole through Christ is the Sovereign one. He decides.
In the same way, I do not know that my father will love my white wife the same way I love her just because I chose her. I do not know. He may accept my choice, but will he accept her?
We hold on to the promise that Jesus will be enough. We hold onto the promise that Jesus is the key. We hold on to the promise that Jesus is the substitution. That Jesus is all that God sees when He looks at us.
I think all that could be true but it’s just so much more true that
“Even Jesus chose what pleases the Father”
All we know of Jesus and the Father is even Jesus submitted to His will. The Will of the Father is Sovereign. It is what fuels heaven and earth; and all the Justice that emanates and keeps it wholly intact.
Any confidence that usurps the sovereignty of God is folly at best.
Modern grace is a chief usurper. One we must put in check. Faith that does not make one acceptable to the father is a usurper of the Sovereignty of God if God MUST accept it.