Sunday School – 10:00 am
Worship Service – 11:00 am
Bible Study – 12:00 pm
12859 Martin Road Spur
Northport, AL 35473
Watering the Tulips
September 5, 2012
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”– 1 Corinthians 4:7
If somebody asked you, “Why are you saved?” how would you answer? Certainly, the commands to repent and believe are constantly given in the Bible. That is a requirement issued forth from a Sovereign God to a people who are both unable and unwilling to receive it (1 Corinthians 2:14). Nonetheless, here we are – believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our attitude towards our own selves and our own sin is totally opposite than it was naturally. It has well been said that when a person is saved, they take sides with Christ against both the world and themselves! But why?
This question has been argued for centuries. There really are only two possible answers to the question posed in our text. Either you personally have some good in you that the next fellow does not OR God drew you to Christ in spite of your natural inclination to sin. There really are no other alternatives. Either the unbeliever is more hard hearted than you OR God gave you a new heart. These are the two options to “who makes you differ from another?” Which is it?
If the Holy Spirit only left us with the question here, perhaps we’d have a reason to lean one way or another. However, the Scripture has given us clear testimony concerning the state of the natural man. All of us…the entire human race…died in Adam (Romans 5:12). We are declared to be dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). The Fall did not leave us in a state in which we were drowning and all we have to do is grab the life preserver. No, in fact the fall left us in a state where we had drowned and rendered unable to grab the life preserver. We are not naturally sick in sin. Rather, we are naturally dead in our sins.
But, here we are – believers! We responded to the Gospel. We grabbed the great Life Preserver! What in the world happened? That’s the question Paul is asking in our text – “what happened to make you grab the Life Preserver when you had already drowned?” Simply put, we were “made alive” by the life giving Spirit of God (Ephesians 2:5). We, as believers, were drawn to Christ (John 6:44). Though we had drowned in our sins, had died in Adam and were abiding in a state of death without Christ, we were “born again” (a second time) by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3). Here is the answer! This is the reason that you differ from your unbelieving neighbor. You received the gift of faith from God Himself (Ephesians 2:8-9).
But one may say, “Oh no…I desired Christ more than anything else in the world. I fled to Him alone when I saw my sinful state”. To this, we do not disagree. But, why did you feel such a way? That is the question we are pondering. In theological terms, you were converted because you were regenerated. Though these two actions occur simultaneously, one causes the other. When a light switch is flipped, the light immediately turns on. But, nobody would ever suggest that the light caused the switch to flip. Certainly, it was the switch which caused the light to turn on. And, God’s regenerating Spirit causes us to turn to Christ in faith.
Child of God, take this moment to thank God for Him having made you to differ!
Watering the Tulipsis brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available in the iTunes app store as well as Google Play for Android devices. Please download it today!