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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Remnant Dangers

At the Together for the Gospel Conference, I was greatly encouraged to worship with 3,000 like minded pastors. Yet, at the same time, you can feel isolated that you are only worshipping with 3,000 like minded pastors. Certainly, others were not there who agree with the doctrines that were discussed, but each of us experience times where we feel like we are an insignificant minority. This series will look at the existence of remnants, the dangers of believing you are in a remnant and the rewards of truly being in one.Remnants will exist. Since the world does not desire the things of God, I pray by God's grace, you find yourself within the remnant of God's elect.

But for a member of the remnant, God's grace can be just the thing that is forgotten. My sinful nature wants to join the tax collector in declaring, "Thank you that I am not like the others!" Yet, I am just like everyone else. God revealed His gospel message to me not because I am holier, certainly not because I am smarter, and definitely not because I was seeking Him more than others. He chose to reveal the gospel message to me, for just that reason...because He chose to do it. Therefore, if I am not capable of comprehending the gospel message on my own, doesn't it make sense that I am completely dependant upon Him for any other understanding of Scripture?

Israel struggled with pride as the remnant. In John 8, the pride of the Jewish leaders is revealed. They believe they are set because Abraham is their father. Yet Jesus challenges them that they aren't even members of the remnant that take pride in.

The Corinthian church struggled with seeing itself as full of different remnants. Paul challenges them that such faction forming is not noble or godly, but rather based on pride and condecension.

If a remnant focusses on being a remnant, they then cease to look to God and no longer remain a remnant. Yet, if a person continues to submit himself/herself to the Word of God, they will find himself/herself in a minority. But the pride can not be in their minority standing, the pride and boasting must be in God. In Scripture, we see that God preserves the remnant. We also see that God desires to use the remnant as a change agent. They alone do not create the change, but God creates the change, using them. Therefore, the remnant must acknowledge the work of God in their lives, then must understand the work God desires to use them for in other lives. A remnant kept to itself is worthless, but a remnant focussed on itself is destructive.

So now I find myself scared. As concentric circles get bigger, I find myself feeling more and more like a minority. I praise God that our local fellowship, though far from perfect, seems to have a majority view of the supremacy of Scripture and the sovereignty of God. But as the circles get bigger (our district, national fellowship, evangelical associations, Christendom) I find myself feeling like a smaller and smaller remnant. But aware of my pride, what do I do? I have asked enough questions of others to find that many of my observations are shared, but could I still be wrong? Yet, if we are not wrong, I know myself, and I know my pride. He alone can make me a humble change agent, for left to myself...there would be no humility.

A non-influencing remnant is pointless.
An arrogant remnant is sinful.

My God's grace, I want to be set apart to Him, by Him for His purposes...and that can only happen by His grace.


  • At 3:47 PM, Anonymous mcgriff said…

    I have been struggling with the exact same issue. Especially since I just finished CJ's book on humility.

    I have found in my own life that as I grow in the knowledge of Him and in the doctrines of grace instead of bieng humbled by it, I find myself becoming prideful of it. Why would that be? Doesn't it make sense that the more you understand of the doctrines of grace the less prideful you would be?

    It's good to see that there are others struggling to find the answers to the same questions.

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    well, the answer is in the doctrines of grace. left to myself, i will always choose sin. i have the amazing capacity to even take the glorious doctrines of salvation and seek a chance for personal boasting.

    however, from our conversations, i do not believe the doctrines make you proud. i believe your frustration has been that those who are leadership and instrusted with teaching you do not hold to those doctrines...therefore, you are left to wonder how to respond.

    but humility does not mean a lack of action. i daily must pray that God effectively allows me to preach and teach HIS gospel message...understanding that He is the One Who shed light on my heart. i pray for you, that you would be a gracious, humble agent of change. i appreciate your prayers for me as well.

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    by the way, cj's book on humility is amazing.


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