Thursday, February 11, 2010

Commemorating the anniversary of a miracle

I believe, with all my heart, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Packed into that tiny little phrase is the conviction that everything He said was and is true. Packed into that short little statement is the conviction that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, that He lived a perfectly righteous life before God and man, that He was the focus and fulfillment of all the long ages of prophetic anticipation. It entails the confession that the Gospels — as He predicted — perfectly record His words and deeds. That in turn means that He worked unparalleled, jawdropping miracles, which combined with the fulfillment of prophecy and His perfect teaching to form His résumé, His calling-card, His bona fides.

All that in turn means that I accept Jesus Christ's retrospective affirmation of the Old Testament as the inerrant and abiding Word of God. It means I accept His prospective affirmation of the New Testament as the inerrant and abiding Word of God.

It means I affirm the Bible's teaching that God is the infinite-personal Creator of all, that I affirm His perfection in holiness, righteousness, wisdom, power and knowledge. It also means that I recognize my unholiness, my guilt, my helpless and deserving vulnerability to His eternally damning judgment for the sinner that I am and the sins that I have done.

It involves my affirming Jesus Christ's word as central and foundational to my worldview — which means nothing less than the fact that I try to think the specific thoughts He holds out as true, but means more than that. It means I try to construct my worldview with His truths at the foundation, and forming the very frame, the matrix, the grid for all else. It influences not merely what I think, but also how I think.

...and you're thinking, "Uh, was that title a goof? Was that supposed to be for another post? Here you got Adrian Warnock all excited, and it's just about dumb old doctrine and truth and Bible and stuff."

Read the first sentence one more time.

That's the miracle.

Thirty-seven years ago today I was converted. The day before I went to bed not believing in Jesus, but at the end of February 11, 1973, I was a convinced believer.

It was not a natural progression. You can read the whole tale starting here. I hated Christianity, hated the Biblical Christ, despised Christians. I loved my autonomy. I was arrogant and self-willed, and bowed the knee to none. I was dead to God —not to "god," but to the actual true and living God of Scripture.

But God the Holy Spirit showed me my sin and need, showed me God's greatness and transcendent holiness, and showed me Christ's truth and beauty — and He showed me how much I needed Christ, and led me to grab a hold of Him by faith.

That is a miracle on the scale of the creation of the universe and the resurrection of Christ.

Overstatement? Not to Paul.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:1-10)

What's more, the Lord Jesus has kept me. That's a miracle.

That I would still make the exact same profession I made 37 years ago today, unwavering and with absolute conviction, is a miracle. My conversion so pressed on me my duplicity, my capacity for shallowness and inconstancy, I thought I'd be lost any moment. I was convinced of Christ's truth, but equally convinced of my depravity, and feared I'd fall away in a heartbeat. But He has kept me.

I was singing "Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come" with great feeling not long after my conversion. But then I could also sing, "'Tis grace that brought be safe thus far, And grace will lead me home." That is a miracle.
"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30)
So I write to you today to commemorate a great miracle, the grand miracle of this inter-Advent age: the miracle of regeneration.

And I just cannot praise, glorify, nor credit GOD ALONE enough for His sovereign, redeeming, transforming, keeping grace.


Steven R. Robertson said...

It is always good to hear how the Lord has worked in bringing people to himself and in keeping people in himself.

Thanks, brother.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sending a sanctified "WOO-HOO!" your way,

Happy re-birthday,


GrammaMack said...

Thank you for sharing this in such a beautiful and powerful way so we can rejoice with you. Praise the Lord!

Pooka said...

Amen and AMEN.

The Squirrel said...

w00t! & Amen! :o)


SolaMommy said...


Brad Williams said...

See?! SEE?! Cessationists believe in miracles! (Not that Dan ever said otherwise, I ust get that complaint from time to time.) Praise the Lord. :)

Regeneration is a miracle. It's a miracle on par with physically rotting dead people coming back to life.

I preach and hope for the truly miraculous every Sunday.

NoLongerBlind said...

Thanks for sharing that awesomely well-written retrospective, Dan.

Speaking of being kept by God, having come to repentance and faith much later in life than you did (~42 yrs. of age), it has occurred to me that His elect are, in a sense, immortal at least until the appointed day of their salvation. (I am not suggesting that any unbeliever should be told this!)

In my case, I can look back over the years of my B.C. rebelliousness and see numerous instances where it was only His grace and mercy that kept me from prematurely perishing. Dozing off behind the wheel while driving on the interstate; waking up the next day wondering who drove home the night before, only to find out it was me; I could go on....

What an awesome God we serve!

Nick said...


Happy Birthday, Dan. I am so edified by what God has done in your life.

JackW said...

Glad to see that instead of blowing out the candles, you keep them burning ... how pyro of you.


Stefan said...

Happy pneumogenethlia, Dan, and may you have many more!

Adrian Warnock said...

Hey man, you should know me better than to think that there is ANYTHING that excites me more than celebrating the miracle of regeneration. Glad that the Lord Jesus saved you.

Rachael Starke said...

Happy New Birthday, and many more.

Sir Aaron said...

You've been a believer longer than I've been alive. And you still remember the exact date...


I'm bad with dates having forgotten my firstborns birthdate and my wedding anniversary.

Mesa Mike said...

So... that was the day you made a decision for Christ and asked Him into your heart, and now you're sold out the whole route for Jesus?


Congrats on your anniversary. I can't really point to a specific date that, by His grace alone, I put my faith in Christ. I'm sure that is happened sometime after I started reading the Pyros blog, which has only been a couple years.

DJP said...

Mesa Mike — really? I had no idea. You started reading Pyromaniacs as an unbeliever? What was that like? Did you ever post your testimony at your blog? If so, link to it, please.

Mesa Mike said...

Dan, when I started reading Pyro and other reformed blogs, I was a confused, standard non-denom type "evangelical," wavering between antinomianism and pelagianism, depending on my mood and what kind of day I'd been having.

It wasn't till after I had digested a lot of reformed teaching on the doctrines of Grace that I slowly came around to the idea that it was not really my efforts to follow Jesus that got me into the Kingdom, but despite my efforts.

Testimony? Nothing really dramatic or worthy of writing up. Grew up Methodist, became a United Pentecostal for a while, went to a Calvary Chapel (where I met my wife), dabbled in a Messianic congregation for a while, then an Evangelical Free Church, and now somehow ended up in a loopy Vineyard Fellowship. Can't move from there till the better half decides to, though. She's too attached.

But the blogs of you Pyros and other reformed blogs have been instrumental in the impartation of God's Grace to me.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Susan said...

(My comment got lost in cyberspace--not your fault, Dan. I kinda knew it was a goner the minute I submitted it. Anyway....)

1. Happy Re-birthday!

2. I like the "Through many dangers toils and snares / I have already come". Thursday was such a bad day for me, even though no one else who saw me that day could tell. Thank the Lord for his constant upholding and sovereignty over everything!