‘Theology Matters’ is a blog series on the Asian American Christian Fellowship at UCLA’s book study of “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris. In this series I will be posting updates, reminders, thoughts, and study questions all about the book.
Chapter 7: Yet another example that theology gets real, that God is indeed working in peoples’ hearts. A compelling chapter interwoven with a biographical story and theological truths, Harris uses a real life example to illustrate how redemption is accomplished in each believer. One part that struck me was where Harris writes, “It’s possible to learn about the events of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection from a distance—to be told of their meaning, their power, and their hope—and yet receive no personal benefit from them” (119). A lot of times, people don’t realize that redemption is an act of God; the fact that a person can come and believe in the gospel is something that God ordained and prepared the person for before it happens. I’m reminded of a friend who recently came to Christ: he had heard the gospel and had even gone to church for a good while before actually accepting the gospel as God’s saving grace for him. It was on God’s timing for him to finally be struck by the gravity of his own sin and the graciousness of God’s mercy on his life. Harris affirms this: “It seems that most Christins think of getting saved as something we do. We drive the action. We do the choosing. We find God. We invite Jesus in. We become Christians. In America, salvation is a lot like shopping for a new flat-screen television…(yet) the Bible insistently denies that we have the spiritual power to save ourselves or even contribute to the process” (124-125). This is good news! No one is beyond hope because it is God who controls all things!
This was a chapter full of good things, but God’s immaculate sovereignty was definitely one of the takeaway points. Just looking at the story of Gregg Eugene Harris clearly shows us that God is not only in control, but desperately cares about each one of us.
Week 6 Study Questions (Chapter 7):
1. Why do many Christians tend to think of the doctrine of salvation in terms of religious cliches? How is salvation as explicated in the Bible? (124)
2. When Gregg Eugene Harris tried to become a “great Christian”, what was the problem in his plan? Can you relate with his experience? (129, 131-132)
3. What is regeneration? (130) What does it mean to repent? (136)
Next Week (Week 7): Chapter 8 – “Changed, Changing, To Be Changed”