Saturday, 3 April 2010

by grace through faith: part 9

Let’s take another look at synergy in action. 1Chron 28 & 29 tell the story of transition from the rule of David to that of Solomon. If you are unfamiliar with this story I do recommend that you read it before you read this! 1Chron 29:1-5 is David’s personal testimony to what he has done. This is followed by the response of the leaders of Israel in 1Chron 29:6-9 and then we have the record of David’s prayer in 1 Chron 29:10-17 and finally David’s exhortation to the people to “bless the LORD your God” and their response in 1Chron 29:20-25. It is an exciting passage and one easy to see in the imagination. It was the culminating act of David’s reign. Let’s work our way through these sections...

1Chron 29:1-5 is David’s personal testimony to what he has done. The focus of this passage is on David’s own effort and contribution. They had been collecting resources for the building of the temple and all is now ready. In addition to the official funds David added an enormous contribution from his own personal funds; 1Chron 29:3. That contribution alone is mind-blowing. In gold alone he contributed almost 4000 tons; 1Chron 29:4. (many years ago in the 1970s I commented on this in a meeting which included a gold bullion dealer. He whipped out his calculator and announced that David’s contribution exceeded the gold reserves of Germany; the richest european country at that time.) David is not shy to list his own decisions in this; “I have prepared with all my might”, “I have set my affection to the house of my God”, “I have given to the house of my God”. This is David’s personal contribution to the building of the Temple.

1Chron 29:6-9 is the response of the leaders of Israel. The leaders responded in the same spirit as David and gave lavishly to the work; “Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly.” 1Chron 29:9.

1Chron 29:10-17 is David’s prayer. The mood of this passage is very different. He gives all the glory to God. Both the materials and the willingness of the offerers is ascribed to God’s hand. It contains the classic sentence “But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.” 1Chron 29:13. and furthermore...”"O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.” 1Chron 29:16. That all sounds like a clear conversion to monergism but we need to read on...

Right on the heels of this absolute recognition that God has made all this possible we have one of David’s profound insights; “I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.” 1Chron 29:17. That is a priceless insight. Although he recognises that all has been made possible by God he sees that he is personally accountable for the stewardship of what God has entrusted to him. God puts the hearts of men to the test.

We shall not be judged on what we received but on what we did with what we received. It is God’s gift put into men’s hands. David is absolutely clear as to the enabling source of all he has but he is equally clear that he will be held accountable for what he has received. It will be the grace of God and the faith of David expressed in active response that see the Temple built; this is synergy.


Fred said...

Amen to these 9 articles on " by grace through faith ". As music to my ears! A much needed insight to help unlock to peoples hearts the unsearchable riches of Christ. I had wanted to leave a comment ever since the first one, but didn't find time to do so other then read them.

What comes to mind is Ehesians 3:7 " I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things."

In light of your observations on synergism the word administration is of particular interest, the King James uses fellowship. The greek word is Strong's 3622 'Oikonomia' which can mean administration ( of a household or estate ); specially, a ( religious ) "economy" - dispensation, stewardship. From this it sounds more like Paul was given grace by God, enabling him to administer this 'fellowship'to the gentiles through the preaching of the gospel. The King James brings this out in Ephesians 3:2 where it uses the words dispensation of the grace given to Paul for us.

I can't help thinking of your quotation of Isaiah chapter one, where the whole head is sick, and the heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and petrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.

The language Paul uses in Ephesians fits in beatifully with that. God has the only solution to the human problem. It is like he alone has the medicine to make us better, which he dispenses through the church his chemist on earth. So thats why its not without grace, we couldn't make this soothing ointment ourselves which will save us. But as fellow workmen with God we are asked to take part in dispensing of it and learn how to administer it to those that need healing. As with all medicines it is important how you administer it. Your observation that 'faith is right response to the word of God', hits it on the head. For no medicine dispensed is of any use unless the patient receives it and administers it to himself as the doctor ordered. Therefore, what we do with God's gift to us plays no small part in God strenghtening us with power through his Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, ( Ephesians 3:16 ).

明宏明宏 said...

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩