The promise was grounded in the fact that God chose Abram, not that Abram chose God. God cannot change his electing purpose and in any case he knew all along that he was electing scoundrels. That is why it is called grace. (Ch. 6)
I have to admit, I am finding it harder and harder to understand the theology that says that we can do anything that would bring us to God before He draws us to Himself.
What I see in this kind of grace is an amazing God. One who reaches out and grabs a sinner like me and rescues him from certain death. Imagine being in a life or death situation, and someone comes to you. You may or may not have called out for help, it does not matter, because why would anyone want to risk all they have and are to save another? But someone does risk it all. Maybe you are rescued at the cost of their life. It was their choice. You can be grateful, you can give to help cover their burial expenses, their families care, etc., but it does not change what has transpired. Someone chose to save you. It was a gift and nothing you can do will ever repay it. Grace.
It is the Good News that yields good works. Salvation is not the prize for our obedience but the source. (Ch. 6)
You have been saved, and it had nothing to do with your works. It is a done deal. Does that affect you? Does it change how you live your life? Does it alter how you feel about the one who saved you? It should. But it does not have to. You could spit on their grave, or never think of them again and it would not change the fact that they rescued you. The salvation is already yours. But then I question, by rescuing you, did they really save you, or have they just prolonged your miserable life?
We have be saved by grace, which means that salvation is not the prize for a life well lived, but the source of a well lived life. Realizing our salvation is what produces genuine fruit. It provides peace, patience, joy, kindness, gentleness, and more, because those who are rescued have been redeemed from death.
So, why is it that this is not what we hear preached in the church today? Is this not the good news? How is all the talk of striving to be a better person, and the laying out of unattainable goals "good news?"
Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, and renew a right Spirit within me!