Saying it all

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! – Luke 11:13

It is possible to focus on a small part and miss the bigger issue. When I first embraced Reformed theology, I was so psyched to find Calvinism actually in the Bible!! I wondered how I’d missed it all those years. So when I read a verse like this I read the first half and said, “Ah ha! See? Total depravity!” Indeed, there it is. However, why did I stop at the first half of the verse? Was Jesus teaching on total depravity or something else?

Clearly, if you read the rest of the verse Jesus point is not total depravity (though he does teach that) but even greater than that, he’s teaching on God’s grace. Yes, we are evil, but God is greater than that and gives us evil people an even greater gift: His Spirit. The focus isn’t depravity but grace.

I wonder how often I missed that? We can focus on one doctrine so much that we miss the bigger picture. I remember someone saying that once a person becomes a Calvinist, they shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it for a year. Not because they’ll find out it is wrong, but because it will give them time to chill out. I think that is wise advice.

I wonder how many truly incredible doctrines I’m missing right now because I’m overly focused on some pet doctrine? God, give me the gift of your Spirit so that I might be able to see through the theology to glimpse your beauty. Amen.

Print This Post Print This Post

One Comment

  • Thoughtful post, Tim. Thanks.

    This wonderful teaching of our Savior is astounding. In spight of our sin, our Father gives us, not a great gift, but the GREATEST gift; His very self. What gift could be higher, more valuable, more undeserved, more beneficial to us, more condesending of Him, than the person of God with us. He does not give us the best thing in the world, rather, the greatest person beyond creation. And He does this for a filthy band to wicked traitors who only deserve His wrath and punishment. How can we help but love Him?

Join the Discussion

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>