About the Author
Joseph A. Franks IV is the pastor of Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He earned his M. Div. from Knox Theological Seminary and Th.M. from Westminster Theological Seminary. Perhaps doctoral work is in his future, but for now he is too busy loving his wife and children, shepherding his church, coaching his varsity men’s soccer team, and penning his devotional thoughts.
Before we were born, the Father showed grace to those of us in his spiritual family. Yes, before the beginning of time, the Father wrote the names of all believers in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Before the horrible fall of Adam and Eve, God determined to show us mercy and grace despite our wretched sinfulness yet to be fully displayed.
Before we were born, the Son showed grace to those of us in his spiritual family. He temporarily set aside the privileges of God and came to earth to live and die for his friends. Incredible grace was shown to us thousands of years before we even arrived on the scene.
Before we were born, the Spirit showed grace to those of us the household of faith. He guided and inspired the holy prophets to pen sacred and authoritative words. He then providentially led the people of faith in discovering, compiling, and preserving those prophetic writings that were for all men, in all lands, in all eras. Yes, before we were conceived, the Holy Spirit showed us grace by providing for us a Bible which feeds our souls and make us wise.
Before we were born again, the Spirit showed grace to those of us now in Christ Jesus. Left in our natural condition, we would have been unimpressed with the decreeing grace of the Father, the redeeming grace of the Son, and the revealing grace of the Spirit. We would have continued to rebel against God. However, the Holy Spirit revived our souls and caused us to believe, repent, confess, and follow Christ. The Holy Spirit graced us, before we were born again, so that when we were born again we might freely choose Christ.
Now that we have been born again, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit long to grace us further. Our justification is complete, and our sanctification is declared, but we are being progressively sanctified and graced for the remainder of our days. And how exactly are we further graced, transformed, improved, encouraged, and spiritually blessed:
- Through participation in corporate worship
- Through relationships with brothers and sisters in the household of faith
- Through much time spent in prayer
- Through many hours of meditation upon the Scripture
Therefore, it is for this reason that I blog. Daily, I long to read the Bible, teach the Bible, and help friends apply the Bible, so that I and them might be further graced. Presenting a sermon on Sunday morning to members of Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church is not enough. I need God’s grace every single day, and I find it my calling to spread abroad God’s grace to as many people as he sovereignly allows.
If you are reading this material, humbly I say “Thank you.” I do not consider myself that wise. I think the Lord has given me enough intelligence to read really intellectual people, but not be one myself. Perhaps my calling in life is to explain, in simpler terms, that which more complex people have stated.
In addition, if I can be of any help to you or your church, please feel free to contact me. My contact information is below.
Sermons can be found at http://www.palmettohills.com. If Joe can visit and be of any encouragement to you or your church, please contact him at the following:
Phone: (864) 963-9600