Classic elementary grammar. Cause and effect.
Lest we’ve all forgotten, let’s review with a quick mini-lesson:
A cause is something that makes something else happen. In other words, it’s WHY something happens. To determine the cause, we ask ourselves, “Why did it happen?” Of the two events, it’s the event that happens first.
An effect is WHAT happens as a result of the cause. To determine the effect, we ask ourselves, “What happened?” Of the two related events, it’s the event that happens second or last.
Life is full of natural cause and effect relationships.You went to work. As a result, you get paid.
You get paid. Therefore, you get to eat.
You eat, so you live.
As parents, we use the same logical pattern with our children.If you finish your dinner, then you will get dessert.
Because you practiced your spelling words, you earned a good grade on your test.
You chose not to obey. Consequently, you lost your privileges.
You get the picture. Cause and effect. It’s everywhere; we can’t avoid it.
He asks the reader to consider why God formed us the first place, since as a self-sufficient God, He had no unmet need to fulfill. He goes on to explain that according to scripture, we were created by God, in His image, to enjoy His grace. We have the capacity to enjoy God by having a close relationship with Him. And the Bible describes that relationship as a blessing.
The story does not end here.
God follows His blessing with a command.
In Genesis 1, after God blessed Adam and Eve, He tells them to ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth…’ Because we’ve been given His image, He wants us to multiply it throughout the world.
In other words, “He created human beings, not only to enjoy His grace in a relationship with Him, but also to extend His glory to the ends of the earth.” (Radical, p. 65) God pours out His grace on His people for the sake of glory among all peoples.
Mr. Platt gives multiple biblical examples of how God, throughout history, has blessed His people so that salvation would be made known.
Absorbing this scriptural truth, I am also reminded of some other simple, yet profound cause and effect relationships in the Word.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” James 5:16
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, (then) you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
The Bible is filled with cause and effect promises and warnings. Every now and then it may prove beneficial for us to review the most relevant, most truthful words in the greatest text of all. Better yet, we may even consider writing them on the tablets of our hearts and minds. You know, just in case an unexpected, unplanned pop quiz is announced. J
“God blesses His people with extravagant grace so that they might extend His extravagant glory to all peoples on the earth.” (Radical, p. 69)
It’s His global purpose. It’s the great why of God. It’s the ultimate cause and effect relationship.