I am in firm belief that the Evangelical Charismatic and Calvinism will one day merge. It is happening now, I know of a couple of friends from Charismania who are now Calvinist/Calvinistic today. People like Dr. Piper, Dr. Storms i.e. mainly from Baptistic/Charismatic traditions are providing such doctrinal harmony. With Charismania lacking substance and a Confession, thinking Charismatics are migrating to Calvinism helping to bolster their numbers. The thing is that both streams affirm the Sovereignty of God. In the Charismatic stream, they believe God's miraculous powers are still true today, and in the latter, God is Sovereign and can save whomever he wants to save. I can affirm both, in some sense.
But there is still something amiss. How can I know or how do I know that God's Sovereign Power is for me rather than against me?
This is what I observe, when I was in Charismania/ Evangelia, people speak of God's Grace as a separate concept or as an entity on its own. It may be taught as a doctrine that stands out in isolation from other concepts. I heard people preach on Grace and speak of Grace as a stand-alone idea. When they speak of Grace, it is not Grace because it is some kind of infusion of Power that God gives in exchange for some satisfactory action performed. In other cases, it is not a favorable attitude of God towards a sinner as it is just an arbitrary predilection without demonstration.
What is missing? Christ. He is shown not to stand in between the sinner and God's Grace. It seems to me whenever we speak of Grace in isolation from Christ, this is not essentially what the Bible means by Grace. How do I know God has favor for me, since as a sinner I have no claim from God? I am his enemy, I deserve no mercy. I can not know, unless I see Christ, for Christ is the demonstration of that Grace. It is not arbitrary, it is decisive, it is firm and it is for sure, for the sinner. It is not partial.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us--Romans 5:8b..
If I look away from where it is found, in Christ at the Cross, I will live life in wonder, like a sheep without a shepherd, a ship without a rudder. There is just despair with an occasional swing towards self-elation when things are going great.
Today when I get my prayers answered, I tend not to think God has Grace for me as me. Rather, I tend now to think that God answers my prayers because of Christ, because as a sinner, I am one of those Jesus died for. I have no claim, neither a right to approach God, but I do, only because of Christ since he has been provided as my Mediator.
There is no such thing as God's Grace without Christ, Christ is God's Grace for you. A Grace that has no Christ and no Cross in it, is just simply, -- not God's Grace.
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. -- John 1:17b