The Sovereignty Of God ~ A.W. Pink

God’s Sovereignty and the Human Will – A.W. Pink

The following is from  A.W. Pink’s book “The Sovereignty of God”   Chapter 7 “God’s Sovereignty and the Human Will”

“It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2: 13).

Concerning the nature and the power of fallen man’s will, the greatest confusion prevails today, and the most erroneous views are held, even by many of God’s children. The popular idea now prevailing, and which is taught from the great majority of pulpits, is that man has a “free will,” and that salvation comes to the sinner through his will co-operating with the Holy Spirit. To deny the “free will” of man, i.e., his power to choose that which is good, his native ability to accept Christ, is to bring one into disfavor at once, even before most of those who profess to be orthodox. And yet Scripture emphatically says, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Which shall we believe: God, or the preachers?

But some one may reply, Did not Joshua say to Israel, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”? Yes, he did; but why not complete his sentence-”whether the gods which your fathers served which were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell” (Josh. 24:15)! But why attempt to pit Scripture against Scripture? The Word of God never contradicts itself, and the Word expressly declares, “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). Did not Christ say to the men of His day “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40)? Yes, but some did “come” to Him, some did receive Him. True and who were they? John 1:12, 13 tells us: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”!

But does not Scripture say, “Whosoever will may come”? It does, but does this signify that everybody has the will to come? What of those who won’t come? “Whosoever will may come” no more implies that fallen man has the power (in himself) to come, than “Stretch forth thine hand” implied that the man with the withered arm had ability (in himself) to comply. In and of himself the natural man has power to reject Christ; but in and of himself he has not the power to receive Christ. And why? Because he has a mind that is “enmity against” Him (Rom. 8:7); because he has a heart that hates Him (John 15:18). Man chooses that which is according to his nature, and therefore before he will ever choose or prefer that which is Divine and spiritual a new nature must be imparted to him; in other words, he must be born again.

Should it be asked, But does not the Holy Spirit overcome a man’s enmity and hatred when He convicts the sinner of his sins and his need of Christ; and does not the Spirit of God produce such conviction in many that perish? Such language betrays confusion of thought: were such a man’s enmity really “overcome,” then he would readily turn to Christ; that he does not come to the Saviour demonstrates that his enmity is not overcome. But that many are, through the preaching of the Word, convicted by the Holy Spirit, who nevertheless die in unbelief, is solemnly true. Yet, it is a fact which must not be lost sight of that the Holy Spirit does something more in each of God’s elect than He does in the non-elect: He works in them “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

In reply to what we have said above, Arminians would answer, No; the Spirit’s work of conviction is the same both in the converted and in unconverted, that which distinguishes the one class from the other is that the former yielded to His strivings whereas the latter resist them. But if this were the case then the Christian would have ground for boasting and self-glorying over his cooperation with the Spirit; but this would flatly contradict Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Let us appeal to the actual experience of the Christian reader. Was there not a time (may the remembrance of it bow each of us into the dust) when you were unwilling to come to Christ? There was. Since then you have come to Him. Are you now prepared to give Him all the glory for that (Psa. 115:1)? Do you not acknowledge you came to Christ because the Holy Spirit brought you from unwillingness to willingness? You do. Then is it not also a patent fact that the Holy Spirit has not done in many others what He has in you! Granting that many others have heard the Gospel, been shown their need of Christ, yet, they are still unwilling to come to Him. Thus He has wrought more in you than in them. Do you answer, Yet I remember well the time when the Great Issue was presented to me, and my consciousness testifies that my will acted and that I yielded to the claims of Christ upon me. Quite true. But before you “yielded” the Holy Spirit overcame the native enmity of your mind against God, and this “enmity” He does not overcome in all. Should it be said, That is because they are unwilling for their enmity to be overcome. Ah! none are thus “‘willing” till He has put forth His all-mighty power and wrought a miracle of grace in the heart.

But let us now inquire, What is the human Will? Is it a self-determining agent, or is it, in turn, determined by something else? Is it Sovereign or servant? Is the will superior to every other faculty of our being so that it governs them, or is it moved by their impulses and subject to their pleasure? Does the will rule the mind, or does the mind control the will? Is the will free to do as it pleases, or is it under the necessity of rendering obedience to something outside of itself? “Does the will stand apart from the other great faculties or powers of the soul, a man within a man, who can reverse the man and fly against the man and split him into segments, as a glass snake breaks in pieces? Or, is the will connected with the other faculties, as the tail of the serpent is with his body, and that again with his head, so that where the head goes, the whole creature goes, and, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he? First thought, then heart (desire or aversion), and then act. Is it this way, the dog wags the tail? Or, is it the will, the tail, wags the dog? Is the will the first and chief thing in man, or is it the last thing-to be kept subordinate, and in its place beneath the other faculties? and, is the true philosophy of moral action and its process that of Genesis 3:6: ‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food’ (sense-perception, intelligence), ‘and a tree to be desired’ (affections), ‘she took and ate thereof’ (the will).” (George S. Bishop). These are questions of more than academical interest. They are of practical importance. We believe that we do not go too far when we affirm that the answer returned to these questions is a fundamental test of doctrinal soundness.

God Is Our Refuge and Strength

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There are times in our lives when we go through very difficult trials and hardships.  Some of these trials can be so hard they knock the breath out of you, cut you off at the knees and just rip your heart out.  Who do we turn to in these times?  Where do we go for help?  How can we ever get through something like this?

For the Christian the answer is simple,  Christ Jesus is who we turn to.  In him we receive strength, grace, mercy, loving kindness, help, peace and shelter.  We are to cast our cares upon him, often the load is too heavy for us to carry but it is never too heavy for him.  Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength a very present help in  trouble therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way.

How do we obtain this help and cast our cares upon the Lord?  We trust him, we put all our trust in him. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me yet will I trust in him

Stay in his word, his word is alive and when we consume his word daily it lives in us, hidden in our hearts and minds, renewing our minds.  We draw near to him in prayer, we make known to him our supplications.  Pray continually.  Let his praise be on your lips, always be thankful to him for his precious son who died to redeem us from our sins. Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  the Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Last night I was reading some of my notes in my little notebook I write in at church.  I came across my notes for a sermon that was preached on my birthday. This was a sermon that was preached during a very difficult time for our church family, as the very next day a dear sister in Christ went home to be with the Lord  after a tragic accident a few days prior.  This message was healing balm for such a difficult time.  Our dear sister is sorely missed by so many, but what a wonderful day it will be when we get to see her again.

My family is facing a very difficult time of our own right now, watching a loved one on the road to destruction, and this message was a great comfort and encouragement to me today.  Please keep us in your prayers, pray for the salvation of our loved one and for God’s guiding hand to be upon them.   Ask the Lord to give us the grace to get through whatever may come and guidance to make the right decisions.

You can listen to the sermon “Formula For Crisis” by Pastor Jeff Arthur here.

Urgent Prayer Request

Dear readers I have some urgent unspoken prayer requests, there are some people who are weighing heavy on my heart this evening and I am asking if you would agree with me in prayer for these people.  The Lord knows every situation and every detail.  Please pray for his mercy, grace and healing.  Thank you so much!

P.S.  Everyone is okay in my house, just some people we know who need the Lord’s touch tonight.

Part 1 of “These Are Not The Reasons Christ Died”

I read a really good article this morning that Jo Bowyer, of The Reformed traveler blog, posted on her facebook page.  This is a two part article, I can’t wait to read part 2!  I will have to remember to check back in and post the link for you.

“These Are Not The Reasons Christ Died” by DR .Paul M. Elliott

 

A Warning About False Teachers

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God’s word has a lot to say about false teachers, there are warnings upon warnings about them throughout scripture.  There have always been false teachers and there will continue to be false teachers until Jesus returns.  That means there are false teachers in our day too, do you know how to recognize them and tell them apart from true teachers of the word?  This really should be Christianity 101 stuff because every believer needs to know how to differentiate between the true and the false and sometimes it can be very difficult.  These false teachers pervert, which means twist God’s word, they bring in damnable heresies, a perverted gospel is a damnable heresy.  We are told in Galations 1:8 “But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”  This warning is repeated in verse 9, that if they preach any other gospel to you let them be accursed.  Accursed, Anathema, damned, that is no soft rebuke, this is the worst punishment to be damned.  God takes his gospel seriously and so should we.

1 Corinthians 1:1-5 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

So what actually is another gospel, one that did not come from Jesus and his disciples?  It is any gospel message that adds to salvation anything other than Christ alone.  Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you can’t add baptism, circumcision, works or any other thing to salvation or it becomes a damnable heresy.  If you are trusting in your baptism to save you, then you are trusting in water that doesn’t wash away sin, only the blood of Christ can wash away sins.  If you are trusting in your works then you are trusting in yourself and no amount of good works will save you or keep you saved, it has to be all Christ’s work on the cross.  Christians do good works because they are filled with the love of Christ, they not only want to please him but they are driven to do these things because of his spirit that is in them.  But if you are doing works out of some requirement that man has taught must be done for you to be saved, stay saved or be under some sort of covering your doing them in vain.  We have to put all our trust in Christ, he is our salvation and nothing else.

Here is a really good sermon from Pastor Jeff Arthur of Elizabeth Baptist Church, just click on the link below.

A Warning About False Teachers

Trust In Jesus

 

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Psalm 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

 

Blog Following

I feel like I need to apologize to all the blogs out there  that I have started following and then un-follow in the same day.  Most of these are gardening, homestead blogs that my husband visits.  Sometimes he uses my computer and forgets that he is not logged into his own google account.  So when he hits the follow button he is following as me.  So please accept my apology if you have been followed and then un-followed.

Hebrews Study ~ Critical Issues Commentary

This is a fantastic study of Hebrews.  I started this study several years ago and got part way through and didn’t finish it so I have started at the beginning and I am determined to finish it this time regardless of how busy I get.  I started studying Hebrews yesterday and thought I would listen to this along with my own study.

Critical Issues Commentary Verse By Verse Study of Hebrews

The Heart Of Christ

 

“Now it is very remarkable that the only passage in the whole New Testament in which the heart of Jesus is distinctly mentioned is the one before us. . . .

“I am gentle and lowly in heart.” Matthew 11:29

The words employed here include, first, a readiness on the part of Christ to pardon all past offenses. ‘Come to me,’ he says, ‘for however much you may have offended in the past, I am meek and easily to be entreated. I am ready to forgive, to forget and cast behind my back all your provocations. I do not say this to cajole you; my very heart says it, for my heart is full of tenderness and compassion for you.’

The words also include a willingness to endure yet further offenses. ‘Not only do I forget the past but I am ready to bear with you still, though you should still offend me. I will endure it all. Come to me, although you cannot hope that your future character will be perfect. I will help you to struggle into holiness and be patient with your failures. As frequently as you shall grieve me, so frequently will I forgive you. I am meek in heart, ready to forgive the past and willing to bear with you in the present and in the future.’

Beloved brethren, what a heart Jesus has to receive sinners in this divine manner!”
– Charles Spurgeon

Wandering Stars: An Examination of the New Apostles and Prophets

Great article and book review from The Reformed Traveler.  I’m going to have to add this book to my reading list!  Wandering Stars by Keith Gibson.  Link below for the article.

Wandering Stars: An Examination of the New Apostles and Prophets.