Jesus takes his stand on the mountain to teach the crowds and his disciples. This should be a sermon that is full of good news. This is expected to be a sermon where Christ promises absolute victory. However, Christ talks about mourning, oppression, and persecution. How can Christ’s message truly offer us hope? Has the kingdom failed in some way?
The Lord’s prayer has a strange request that we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. If the Lord desires us to dwell with Him forever in heaven, then why would the Lord tempt us? What does this request mean for our Christian life? Can we trust our Lord if He is tempting us? So, what does this request mean?
The Lord is sovereign and mighty even during the exile that Israel faces. We affirm that no matter where we walk in life that the Lord will save us and secure us. Why did the Lord send Israel into exile? What does exile do for us that is good? Where are the Israelites to put their faith? Can they be saved even as they march into exile and it seems as if all is finished? What is the assurance even at the time of facing exile?
We might think that this notion of the preservation and perseverance of the saints is unique to the Apostle Paul. We might also think that this is not all that significant in terms of our psychology or encouraging us through difficult times in this life. In fact, we might think that that knowing God will preserver us waters down the struggle or the hardship of this life. It sounds like life is not that challenging because God will just continue to pull the puppet strings. So, what does a Calvinist say about such a claim that Reformed Theology minimizing suffering?
There is no doubt that one would not be saved apart from the grace of God. I think all Christians who have a grasp of Christianity would affirm the necessity of grace for our salvation. We know that we are those who need grace, but how much grace do we need? Is 90 percent enough or do we need more? Is our confidence in that we will not fall away because we love the Lord enough or is it because know that the Lord loves us enough?
The Lord is a God who rules over all things. He is king over the heaven and the earth. He is the one who orders and controls our destiny. So, if this is all true then why pray? It is not like you are going to change the mind of a God whose mind does not change. It is not like you are going to inform Him of something that He does not already know. So, why is prayer so necessary and significant for the Christian life?
The weapons listed for our Christian armor are mostly defensive weapons. If these are defensive weapons what are we defending ourselves from? How hard can it be for us to go about this age if we are grounded in Christ? If we are already called a Christian then why such a struggle? So, why are we called Christians that is anointed by Christ if we are just walking through this world?
The providence of God is something that is magnificent to see that the Lord continues to care for us and watch over us. This almost sounds as if God is meddlesome. Is he? Why would we want this God to interact with our lives? How does His personal involvement improve our lives rather than harm our lives?