By Keanen Paylor
Psalm 9:16 “The LORD has made himself known…” Psalm 8:4 “What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you care for him?”
This week in the Foundry Bible Immersion we have been studying Soteriology, the study of salvation, led by Ryan Francis. The verses above from our reading plan have really lined up with the class and have been on my heart. Who am I that God would choose me and reveal himself to me? I am just humbled and in awe when I think about how my God chose me before the foundation of the world, elected me, and predestined me to be one of the heirs, a son of God. Before coming here to Immanuel, I had a lot of confused ideas about the sovereignty of God and his election of man. Now, after being here for five weeks, studying God’s word and hearing important core teaching on theology, my eyes have been opened to see more of who God is and how worthy He is of worship.
Monday, we did not have class due to Columbus day, but we spent a good time reading through Nehemiah chapter one to Job chapter four in the morning, and then we had the opportunity to go and tour the capital and the national mall and monuments. We had a great time fellowshipping with each other and ended the day watching a beautiful sunset by the reflecting pool.
Tuesday morning, Ryan Francis led our devotional in Matthew chapter 5:5 about meekness. Meekness is submitting willingly our power, desires, and opinions under the Lordship of Christ and other authorities. After, we read from Job chapter five to chapter twenty four. During class, we went over the “Ordo Salutis,” or the union with Christ in the functional steps of salvation. The first topic from this order was predestination. I’m just amazed as I think through these things, that predestination is good and encouraging to us as believers because we are incapable of acknowledging God because we were blind, enemies of God, children of wrath, and dead. Knowing that I couldn’t have chosen God and that He chose me just gives me a greater heart of worship to Him. Ephesians 1:3-5 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. Then, we had a great time that evening eating dinner with Clint and Tammy Shondelmyer.
What I really liked from Alex Vocature’s devotional Wednesday in James chapter four was the importance of prayer, and how we are to have a heart of humility as we daily draw near God’s throne. We then read from Job 5 to Psalms 17. Reading through Job, I noticed the faithfulness of a man that I hadn’t acknowledged in the past. His name was Elihu, and I really like how even though he was younger than Job and his three friends, he still speaks the truth boldly when he rebukes Job’s three friends, rebukes and condemns Job, asserts Gods justice, and extols God’s greatness in chapters 32-36. Ryan’s topic for Wednesday was conversion. We discussed man’s inability and unwillingness to repent and believe. I loved talking about and really meditating on the fact that God’s calling is an effectual call just as it says in Romans 8:28-30 that no one slips through the cracks. Later that evening we went to NOVA Community College to do some evangelism. I have really been enjoying the opportunities that we have had to go and proclaim the gospel, as it’s helped me develop a deeper view of the gospel and a love for God. Wednesday night we had dinner with Pastor Holley and his family and had great conversations the whole night about the church and the questions we had from evangelizing.
Thursday we read from Psalm 18 to Psalms 50. In class we studied the doctrine of justification. I would have to say that the highlight on Thursday for me was being able to lead worship that night for the college and career group. I’ve been trying to find ways that I can glorify God with my talents that He has given me, and this last year I’ve been learning how to play guitar, and I was blessed with that opportunity even though I was really nervous. It really was an amazing time worshiping God together.
Fridays reading was from psalms 51-92, and we finished up in class with the doctrine of “the union with Christ,” which summed up a lot of the whole week. I’m still blown away by what I learned this week; I can hardly wrap my head around it and I really look forward to studying these truths when I get home. That evening we went to the Azer’s house for dinner. I’m just so impressed by the many families that I’ve gotten to know since I’ve been here, and I am encouraged beyond words by all of them. I see great Christ-like characteristics in each individual, marriage, and family that I want to imitate and live out in my life and future marriage. But above all of these I’m most blessed by Jordan and the six other students. I love their hearts for the Lord and I love seeing what God is doing in each of them. Again I ask myself who am I that God is mindful of me?