From today’s New Testament reading: “Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone”—This truth is central to our faith and must be strongly guarded and taught.
And from our reading in Psalms: Is there a formula for godly parenting? If we do A + B (meet certain biblical requirements), does God promise us “C” (godly children)?
2 Chronicles 11 & 12
Parenting: Does A + B = C?
The Truth Will Follow Them
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. We are often confused and discouraged, because we saw parenting as something of a formula. If I do “A + B” (take my children to church, teach them biblical truth, send them to church camp, etc.), then God will give me “C” (believing, obedient children).
We back up our belief with verses like Proverbs 22.6:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
But this is not an iron clad guarantee that our children will serve God or that they will never rebel. Remember, God’s children rebel, too, and He’s the perfect parent.
What it means is they will not be able “to depart” from the truth. They won’t be able to escape what they know. They can choose to walk away, but the truth will follow them like their shadow and be there when they come to their senses as the prodigal son did (Lk. 15.11-31) and as the Israelites did on many occasions.
Today’s Other Readings:
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 get 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?
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, then 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.
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’re 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 were determined to clarify is the truth of “salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.” It is a truth 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 (Eph. 2.8-10). Good works have no power to save and can actually keep a person from seeing their need for a Savior.
“There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3.10).
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3.23).
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6.23).
Salvation is a gift, offered to those who believe because of His grace!
Through Faith Alone
But salvation is not automatic. It is for those who believe, those who choose to acknowledge they are sinners in need of a Savior, put their faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, and accept His forgiveness.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2.8-9).
In Christ Alone
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4.12).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jn. 14.6).
It’s not popular or politically correct, but Jesus Christ is the Way, the Only Way!
Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:
Sign up to receive the daily “Bible in a Year” posts in your inbox.