“Salvation by grace alone through faith alone”—This truth is central to our faith and must be strongly guarded and taught.
2 Chronicles 11 & 12
2 Chronicles 11 & 12:
Direct your heart
Notice verse 12.14 about Rehoboam, “… he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.” The NASB says, “he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.” Other translations of that word include “to direct” or “to stand upright” or at attention.
Rehoboam was a mediocre king because he had a mediocre relationship with God. He never completely forsook God, he just never sought Him wholeheartedly. He didn’t pray as his father did for the wisdom he needed to rule the kingdom. He didn’t search the Scriptures to know the heart of God and obtain His wisdom. Matthew Henry in his commentary on the Bible says, “… he engaged not, his heart to seek the Lord …”
So how do we prepare our hearts to seek the Lord? We must direct our hearts to seek after the Lord. Our hearts, as the old hymn says, are prone to wander, we don’t automatically seek the Lord. We must purpose to do so. We first need to ask God for His help, we need to read and study “at attention”. And finally, we need to set our minds, be determined, to obey those things He shows us.
The truth will follow us
Verse 19, “Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!”
As I read that verse, my first thought was, even though they constantly wandered away from God, they knew where their salvation could be found.
Many of us have done our best to raise our children “in the discipline and admonition of the Lord,” only to have them wander from the faith or fail to make a personal commitment to the Lord.
Proverbs 22.6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This is not an iron clad guarantee that our children will serve God, but they will not be able “to depart” from the truth. And if they do wander away from the faith it will follow them like a shadow and be there when they come to their senses as the prodigal son did and as the Israelites did on many occasions.
Verse 19, “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.”
Be careful who your friends are. That friend, who flatters you, but gossips about others, is probably doing the same thing when you are not around. Love them; pray for them. Don’t be guilty of the same by gossiping about them, but be wise.
Salvation by grace
The doctrine that these early apostles and elders wrestled with, that is the truth of “salvation by grace alone through faith alone,” is one that is central to our faith and must be strongly guarded and taught. Even today, we must beware of those who would add works to salvation. While we are to do good works, they should flow out of a changed heart and life. Works have no power to save and can actually keep a person from seeing their need for a Savior.
If you’re not sure about your relationship with God. Go to our “free resources page” and read the article posted there.
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