A Gracious and All-Knowing God
by Tyler Blocker
Most of my Christian life I have struggled with the weight of sin and the feeling that God’s view of me depended on my adherence to the law. One would think that type of burden or fear would drive me into a closer relationship with God and a desire to be more faithful to Him. I found that it gave me many years of stagnant faith where I wandered through life. The weight of performance was too heavy a burden to bear, the standard too high that it seemed impossible to meet.
That all changed when I came to an understanding of reformed faith. It answered so many questions I didn’t know were really holding me back from a deeper, more genuine faith in God. Truly understanding that Christ fully paid for my sin and that there was nothing I could do to affect my salvation, good or bad, transformed my relationship with God. No longer did I have to fear that my sin would put my salvation in jeopardy. It put things in the proper perspective that I am a completely broken sinner, Jesus is on the throne as a perfect Savior, and if I had one ounce to do with my salvation, I would fail every time. Immediately I had a much deeper desire to know God and study His word. I read Scripture in a different and more proper context. I now view God more for who He is and me for who I am, a broken sinner in need of a perfect Savior.
A sermon that really hit home when I was struggling with this new theology was on Romans 28:31-39 by Tim Keller. (Click here to listen to "Does God Control Everything?") Keller explains the argument of free will vs predestination and how these two views actually work together. Keller says that we have the freedom to make our own choices, yet the result of our choices will work out according to God’s plan. God fixes and sets His plan through our choices, not despite our choices. This truth freed me from feeling paralyzed that I would make the wrong decision that would affect God’s view of me. God’s love for me does not depend on any choice I make or don’t make, but instead, God loves me simply because He loves me. Keller says, “Not one thing I do can bring me back into condemnation. Nothing can separate me from God, including myself.”
Keller finishes this sermon by describing Jesus’ perfect love for me when He chose to stay on the cross. If Jesus wouldn’t abandon me then, He won’t abandon me now – even when I continually sin and stray from Him. This kind of unconditional and sacrificial love not only freed me from the weight of my choices, but it gave me a desire to know God more deeply and to be made into His image.