DEAD MEN TALKING – Part 3

2. Dead guys remind us how God can take the most hardened sinner and transform him into a trophy of God’s grace

AugustineIn 354 a baby was born.  His name – Aurelius Augustine.  The young boy who was a sinner by birth (Ps. 51:5).  As he grew older, became increasingly comfortable with his status as a sinner.  As a young adult, Augustine engaged in consistent carnality.  He admitted, “The evil in me was foul, but I loved it.”  This young sinner fell under the spell of Ambrose – a man who faithfully proclaimed the Word of God.  When Augustine heard the voice of a child say, “Take up and read,” he immediately turned to the book of Romans.  He read the words of the apostle Paul: “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom. 13:13-14, ESV).  Augustine notes, “For in an instant, as I came to the end of the sentence, it was through the light of confidence flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled.”  One sinner that was miraculously transformed by God’s grace.  Dead guys remind us how God can take the most hardened sinner and transform him into a trophy of God’s grace.

3. The dead guys remind us that God has the power to change our warped theology

Jonathan_Edwards_engravingJonathan Edwards is the last person most people consider when they think of warped theology.  Yet Jonathan Edwards demonstrated from an early age that his theological framework was in desperate need of help.  You see, Jonathan Edwards battled with God and especially resisted his sovereign control over all things.  When he came across a passage like Psalm 115:3, he winced; he reacted negatively.  To confess with the psalmist that “God is in the heavens.  He does whatever he pleases” was offensive to Edwards.  Notice how the battle ensues and how God triumphs, however, in his affections: “From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty … It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me.  But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God … And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, in respect to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty … The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet …”  And then in a moment that captures Edwards at his best, he adds, “Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God.”  The dead guys teach remind us that God has the power to change our warped theology.

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