Some cooks are reluctant to share the exact ingredients found in their prized recipes. Their thinking is that the person asking what these components are, may, then, duplicate their recipe and produce the dish without any credit given to them as the originator of the culinary delight. They also may feel that if others produce the dish then the uniqueness of it will be diminished and become commonplace. Yet others delight in sharing their recipes because their delight is in seeing their creation enjoyed by many. Still others share such things gladly because they realize that they were just the recipients of good fortune in the discovery of the recipe.
All of man’s creative ability is but a testament to the wisdom and purpose of HIM who is the actual CREATOR of all things. We possess nothing of value nor any productive thought which has not been given to us by an all wise and faithful GOD. Jeremiah said it well, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer 10:23) Solomon said, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecc 1:9) The LORD instructed HIS disciples about their provision, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Mat 6:25-30)
The scriptures are a continual testimony to the outworking of the unalterable purpose of a Sovereign GOD. Few would outright deny that GOD is sovereign but multitudes of religious men effectively deny HIS sovereignty by telling us that HE can only act in concert with the free-will of men in HIS dealings with them.
They would attempt to rob HIM of the glory which is revealed in HIS determined purpose to redeem that people which HE has loved with an everlasting love. They do so by making up a recipe for salvation which is very palatable to the religious flesh of the creature.
They measure out the ingredients of chance (i.e.; everybody has a chance to be saved), throw in some natural ability (i.e., you’ve got to have faith), and add a dash of responsibility (GOD only helps those that help themselves). Then they cook it on a high heat (i.e.; reminding men of the fires of hell in order to scare them into making a decision) in an expensive pan (i.e.; GOD needs your money in order to finance HIS attempts to save as many as HE can before its too late).
Once it’s out of the oven, (i.e.; they persuade some to make a decision and thus pronounce them “saved”) they then add the icing of keeping the law (i.e.; tithing, Sabbath keeping, general morality according to their definition) and doing good deeds in order that such things can be seen of men and surely appreciated by the LORD who is so proud of them. They put their elaborate dish on display and often seek to outdo one another to see how many folks they can get to eat their concoction. Advertising, building elaborate meeting houses, and instituting various programs and jived up music, designed to keep them coming (and of course tithing).
Sadly, because this dish tastes so good they never have any shortage of those that gather around their table. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14) “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” (Ecc 7:2-5)
The declaration of the gospel of the glory of the blessed GOD centers upon one SUBJECT and needs no one to devise various means and methods in order for it to be heard. The LORD has written the recipe, provided the necessary ingredients, sent HIS messengers and caused those for whom salvation is designed to hear, receive, and believe it according to HIS Sovereign purpose. Those whom HE calls, gladly eat at HIS table and rejoice to be delivered from the wrath to come and from the tables of those who would spread their feasts of dainties which appeal to the flesh but grieve the spirit of those who are taught their own depravity, lost condition, and inability to deliver themselves out of it.
The SOURCE of true SALVATION is the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who clearly declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”(John 10:7-11)
Before there was ever a sinner, CHRIST was the SAVIOR. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1Pet 1:18-20)
Thus HE is not only the SOURCE of SALVATION, but HE is the SUBSTANCE of it as well. The gospel is not simply a remedy which the LORD arrived at to fix a broken cosmos. Rather the unfolding of the grace of GOD in the redemption of HIS people is the very purpose for which the world was created. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:6-12)
No man can take credit for any aspect of his salvation, for HE is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Cor 1:31) The LAMB is all the GLORY in EMMANUEL’s land. May HE alone be praised.mam