word: ?Man, in conversion, is purely passive? is true only of the first part of the change. By ?conversion,? Luther means ?regeneration.? Melanchthon said better: ?Non est enim coactio, ut voluntas non possit repugnare: trahit Deus, sed volentem trahit.? See Meyer on <450814>Romans 8:14 ? ?led by the Spirit of God?: ?The expression,? Meyer says, ?is passive, though without prejudice to the human will, as verse 13 proves: ?by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body.??
As, by a well known principle of hydrostatics, the water contained in a little tube can balance the water of a whole ocean, so God?s grace can be balanced by man?s will. As sunshine on the sand produces nothing unless man sow the seed and as a fair breeze does not propel the vessel unless man spread the sails, so the influences of God?s Spirit require human agencies and work through them. The Holy Spirit is sovereign, he bloweth where he listeth. Even though there be uniform human conditions, there will not be uniform spiritual results. Results are often independent of human conditions as such. This is the truth emphasized by Andrew Fuller. But this does not prevent us from saying that, whenever God?s Spirit works in regeneration, there is always accompanying it a voluntary change in man, which we call conversion. This change is as free and as really man?s own work, as if there were no divine influence upon him.
Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch forth his hand; it was the man?s duty to stretch it forth, not to wait for strength from God to do it. Jesus told the man sick of the palsy to take up his bed and walk. It was that man?s duty to obey the command, not to pray for power to obey. Depend wholly upon God? Yes, as you depend wholly upon wind when you sail, yet need to keep your sails properly set. ?Work out your own salvation? comes first in the apostle?s exhortation. ?For it is God who worketh in you? follows ( <503512>Philippians 2:12, 13) which means that our first business is to use our wills in obedience then, we shall find that God has gone before us to prepare us to obey.
<401112> Matthew 11:12 ? ?the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it by force.? Conversion is like the invasion of a kingdom. Men are not to wait for God?s time, but to act at once. Not bodily exercises are required, but impassioned earnestness of soul. Wendt. Teaching of Jesus, 2:49-56 ? ?Not injustice and violence, but energetic laying hold of a good to which they can make no claim. It is of no avail to wait idly or to seek laboriously to earn it but it is of avail to lay hold of it and to retain it. It is ready as a gift of God for men, but men must direct their desire and will toward it. The man who put on the wedding garment did not earn his share of the feast thereby, yet he did show the disposition
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