What It Means to "Act the Miracle"

What It Means to "Act the Miracle"

God's grace is catalytic. To truly experience it is to be changed for the better.

The Christian gospel floods our life with God's gracious provision, both outside of us and inside. Sins forgiven. Perfect righteousness provided for us in Jesus. Adopted into God's family. All wonderful. And the grace of God keeps going, freeing us from ongoing sin, making us holy in practice, and humble, and loving toward others.

The grace of God is not only a pardon we receive, but a power we experience. As Jonathan Edwards says, God's grace comes to us passively and makes us active.

In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest. But God does all, and we do all. God produces all, we act all. For that is what he produces, viz. [namely] our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active. (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, p. 557)

John Piper also writes that God's working and ours are not mutually exclusively, but powerfully bound together in sanctification — God's work prompting and empowering ours.

God's work in us does not eliminate our work; it enables it. We work because he is the one at work in us. Therefore, the fight for joy is possible because God is fighting for us and through us. All our efforts are owing to his deeper work in and through our willing and working. (When I Don't Desire God, 41).

"Act the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification" — we're thrilled with this theme, and would love to have you join us for what may be the most practical conference we've ever done.

Plenary speakers include Kevin DeYoung, Russell Moore, Jarvis Williams, Ed Welch, and two sessions from John Piper. Visit the event page to learn more and register.


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David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.