Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Haughty Rebels

“Nothing more riles the natural man and brings to the surface his innate and inveterate enmity against God than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of Divine grace. That God should have formed His purpose from everlasting without in anywise consulting the creature, is too abasing for the unbroken heart. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man is too self-emptying for self-righteousness. And that grace singles out whom it pleases to be its favored objects, arouses hot protests from haughty rebels. The clay rises up against the Potter and asks, “Why hast Thou made me thus?”A lawless insurrectionist dares to call into question the justice of Divine sovereignty.” —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)


Anonymous said...

You need to post this on facebook. How true it is,o to have a church full of like minded believers.

Greg said...

The Gospel (word of truth/saving faith message) includes Sovereign Election & human responsibility as in commanded Mk 1:15 & Acts 17:30. Pastor John MacArthur gave a great sermon (the link is pasted below) relevant to this vital blog post.
Here's an essential portion now!

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be...what?...lifted up." So what do you do? "Start lifting up the Son of Man. Just start telling the story of Jesus. Just start giving the gospel and exalting Christ. Don't try to manipulate the heart, that's not your work, but lift up Jesus. That's...that's in this same conversation Jesus has with Nicodemus in John 3. And then verse 15 says, "So that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life." All you can do is lift up Christ and call on the person to believe because, as we learned in John 1 and verses 12 and 13, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name who were born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or the will of man but of God." The reason they believed and received is because they were born again, but at the time they were born again, the time they were given life, it was when they were hearing the truth. We'll see that. Lift up Christ, call on people to believe. Tell them John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." This puts the issue of sovereign life, sovereign power grace right up against human responsibility, doesn't it? And it never tries to resolve them. All you can do is lift up Christ. All you can do is cry to the sinner to hear the gospel and believe the gospel and you can tell every Nicodemus you ever meet that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that if you believe in Him you will not perish but you will have eternal life in that Kingdom. That's what we're to do. Tell them, as verse 18 says, he who believes in Him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already because he's not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. That's all you can do is lift up Christ, lift up the Son of God, talk about the cross where He gave His only begotten Son and call on them to believe. That's our part and the Spirit does His part.

So, the nature of regeneration, new life. The source of regeneration, God and God alone. And He gives it to whomever He will. Since we don't know who that is, we continue to give the gospel to everyone lifting up Christ and lifting up Christ and God in His sovereign purposes sends the Spirit to give life to whom He will.