I have shared with you some thoughts on Woven Theology, today I want to share what I find the most freeing part of this theological system. I get to be involved with God, I am responsible to do my job, but the results are not mine. Let me explain a little further.
The work of Salvation involves us, God and a lost person. I will look at each one of these individuals, and what their responsibility and function is in this process. By the end, I hope you will feel as free and liberated in sharing your faith as I do. It’s not a burden, it’s a joy.
Our first responsibility is to prayer. 1 Timothy, Chapter 2 tells us to pray for all people, because God wants all people to be saved. We often times separate the verse that God wants all people to be saved from the command to pray, but it’s all together in the context for a reason. We pray, and then we share. Romans 10:14 & 15 tells us to preach. So we pray and we share. That’s it. Sometimes people will respond, sometimes they won’t. Paul lead countless to the Lord, was laughed off the Areopagus, was shot down my Herod, beaten and stoned. He had mixed results at best, but he continued to do his job. He preached, and that was all he was responsible to do. Pray and preach.
God is working. He is working on the hearts of people, and when we pray for Him to open the hearts and minds of people, He often does. As a Wovenist, I see how our prayers interact with God all through time. God has predestined some since the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, Titus 1:1-3, Romans 8:29, 2 Peter 1:3). We can’t escape the idea of Predestination and Election in scripture, but how it works together with our calling to pray. This is where God weaves a miracle together. God’s election, which is set at the foundation of the world is influenced by prayer, otherwise we wouldn’t be told to pray. God doesn’t change, He doesn’t change His mind, but He gives us the ability to influence the world through prayer. Prayer doesn’t change God, but prayer changes the world through God. James tells the people to quit fighting over stuff, they don’t have it because they don’t ask (James 4:2). That means the inverse is true, they would have if they ask. Ask, seek and knock, prayer changes things. With prayer, God opens hearts, changes minds and calls the elect. From that point, we share and the Holy Spirit works through us and work on the person. Thy are touched by the spirit and convicted of sin. Once conviction of sin comes, and the Holy Spirit impacts the heart, the lives change.
The lost person, if they are called and elected and touched, do they have a choice? Many argue for Free Will, which is a secular humanist idea. If man is the highest intelligence in existence, then we are only limited by ourselves, and we have the ability to choose whatever we want. Paul says no, you are either a slave to sin or to righteousness. Slaves aren’t free, that’s why we call them slaves. We have limited choice and the ability to make decisions, but it is by no means “free”. The choice, however, comes in dismissal of the spirit. We know from the words of Jesus that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. When the Holy Spirit brings conviction and a person rejects that conviction as being evil, that person is in a bad way. We know from other places in scripture that salvation requires a process of conviction, confession, repentance and giving Christ Lordship. Hebrews 2:1-4 tells us that if we neglect Salvation and drift away we will not escape. In Hebrews 6:4 it says “it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit” These individuals have begun the process, but have turned away from the faith, perhaps to atone by works, perhaps to reject Christ to be their own lord. Whatever the case is, we find in scripture the reality of people tasting of Salvation, yet turn away before they are Born Again and indwelled with the Spirit. 1 John 2:19 tells us that there some are with us, but not of us. They are in the church, they seem to do the right things, but they leave because they are not Born Again, and their departure proves it. They made a choice. So, were these people predestined? I suppose not. You can argue that point if you’d like.
The freedom for us, as preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are just part of the process, and we must pray and preach. We don’t have any control over the result, we only have once responsibility. Share the Word. We don’t need to push, argue, coerce, just pray and preach. Without praying and preaching the word, our part of the weave is missing. We must do our part to weave all the pieces together for the work of Salvation.