Sunday – July 10, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – July 10, 2022
I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
Have you ever thought through the Bible considering its emphasis on failure in proportion to its emphasis on success? The Bible speaks far more about failure than success. For example, Genesis begins with the failure of man in the Garden of Eden. From this point on, man’s failure is more prominent than man’s success. In reading through the history of Israel in the Old Testament, much more text is given to the description of man’s failures than of man’s faithfulness. In the New Testament, we see the failure of the nation Israel to receive Jesus as the promised Messiah and the failure of the disciples to comprehend what His teaching and ministry were about. Virtually all the churches described in the New Testament have problems and failings.
Why the emphasis on man’s failures rather than on his faithfulness? Simply because this is true to life. There is absolutely nothing we do which is not tainted by sin. I may (someday) preach a message you may think is a masterpiece. But I may very well preach it out of less than perfect motivation. And even if I felt I did well and was rightly motivated, only God knows my heart and its deceitfulness. You may witness to a fellow-worker and that person may come to faith in Christ. But your service is not free from the taint of sin. If your ministry is effective, it is due to the grace of God- not your message or method.
I did not say the Bible has nothing to say about success, and blessing, and fulfillment. When there is success in this life, it is because God has accomplished it by His grace. When the Bible speaks of perfection and freedom from failure, it speaks of heaven. Men and women of faith do not look for perfection here on this earth but in the kingdom of God which is yet to come: And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect (Hebrews 11:39-40).
When you stop to think about it, all through the Bible, from beginning to end, God seems to use people more in their failures than through their faithfulness. Even the great men of the Bible seem to have experienced more failure than success. As I look at my life, the lives of others, and at the Scriptures, I find that when God accomplishes that which is good, it often seems to be almost accidental by those God has used as the instruments of His grace. God will finish what He starts, on the basis of His sovereign grace, achieved through a remnant of those whom He chooses and preserves. Sovereign grace views failure in an entirely new light.