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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves


God helps those who help themselves, but more often God helps those who cannot help themselves, which is what grace is about. (This topic was submitted for comment.)


This is one of the most quoted phrases that’s not actually found in the Bible. Actually, it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney (1698) who originated the now familiar phrase, "God helps those who help themselves.” Benjamin Franklin later used it in his Poor Richard's Almanac (1736). Is there any merit to this often used claim as a prerequisite for God’s help?


Actually, the second part of the submitted topic (“God helps those who cannot help themselves.”) is actually on point. Romans 5:6-8 sums it up quite well. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Could we have helped ourselves? No, Romans 5:6 indicates “we were helpless”!


But, what about “God helps those who help themselves”? While not related to salvation, this phrase does have merit in this sense. Perhaps, you have heard some version of this story before… Caught in the flood waters of an overflowing river, a man made his way to the roof of his house. He prayed in earnest that God would rescue him. A little while later, a rescue helicopter happened upon the stranded man and offered assistance. The man sent them away while explaining that he was waiting for God to rescue him in answer to his prayer.


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