condemns the view that before, in and after conversion, the will only resists the Holy Spirit, for this, it declares, is the very nature of conversion that out of the non-willing, God makes willing persons (F. C., 60, 581, 582, 673).
<280416> Hosea 4:16 ? ?Israel hath behaved himself stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer,? or ?or as a heifer that slideth back? = when the sacrificial offering is brought forward to be slain, it holds back, settling on its haunches so that it has to be pushed and forced before it can be brought to the altar. These are not ?the sacrifices of God? which are ?a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart? ( <195117>Psalm 51:17). E. H. Johnson, Theology, 2d ed., 250 ? ?The N. T. nowhere declares, or even intimates...that the general call of the holy Spirit is insufficient. And furthermore it never states that the efficient call is irresistible. Psychologically, to speak of irresistible influence upon the faculty of self-determination in man is express contradiction in terms. No harm can come from acknowledging that we do not know God?s unrevealed reasons for electing one individual rather than another to eternal life.? Dr. Johnson goes on to argue that if, without disparagement to grace, faith can be a condition of justification and faith might also be a condition of election. Inasmuch as salvation is received as a gift only on condition of faith exercised, it is in purpose a gift, even if only on condition of faith foreseen. This seems to us to ignore the abundant Scripture testimony that faith itself is God?s gift, and therefore the initiative must be wholly with God.
(b) That the operation of God is the originating cause of that new disposition of the affections, and that new activity of the will, by which the sinner accepts Christ. The cause is not in the response of the will to the presentation by God of motives nor is it in any mere cooperation of the will of man with the will of God. It is an almighty act of God in the will of man, by which its freedom to choose God as its end is restored and rightly exercised ( <430112>John 1:12, 13). For further discussion of the subject, see, in the next section, the remarks on Regeneration, with which this efficacious call is identical.
<430112> John 1:12, 13 ? ?But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God.? God?s saving grace and effectual calling are irresistible, not in the sense that they are never resisted, but in the sense that they are
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?