Posts Tagged ‘Predestination’

A.W. Pink: How may I know I have understood the gospel and that I am elect?

November 10, 2007

From time to time I will be posting some of the great quotes from some of the great Bible teachers.  And the most quotable of quotable men is Arthur Walkington Pink.  Here he tells us some things about knowing and having assurance that one is “elect”.  This quote is a perfect capstone to my previous articles “How Does God Save People?” and How Can A Person Know If They Are Saved?“.

“How may I know I have understood the gospel and that I am elect? “First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced. Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition. Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope. Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ. Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it. Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness. Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative.” – A .W. Pink

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Do You Talk Back To God?

October 10, 2007

Romans 9:20 (KJV) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Can you believe it?  Some people actually talk back to God!!  Paul says “who art thou that repliest against God?”.  Talk back to God Himself – can you imagine?

Parents can relate to this act of talking back.  We tell our children to behave, or to do a chore.  “Take out the garbage”.  Then we get that reply, “why do I have to do it?”  You know what that means – what it implies.  The child has stood up to you, challenged your authority, your right to make the rules, to make the decisions, and to rule your house.  

Now imagine the indolence of a puny human being standing up to the Sovereign, Omnipotent, Almighty God, questioning Him and his actions.

“Job 9:12 (KJV) Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?”

“Ecclesiastes 8:4 (KJV) Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?”

“Daniel 4:35 (KJV) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

So we see that man is a heinous usurper and rebel when he says to God, to paraphrase, “Just who do you think you are, and what do you think you’re doing?” 

Yet in Paul’s conversation in Romans 9, he anticipates man’s reaction to the news that God does as He wishes without man’s advice – he talks back.  The news he doesn’t like to hear is that God has mercy on whom ever He chooses to have mercy, and others are prepared for destruction.  He is like a potter that takes a lump of clay and forms it into whatever vessel he desires.  And when God is the potter, there are no mistakes.  Of the same lump He makes some vessels of honor (mercy), and some vessels of dishonor (wrath) – whichever He chooses.  

Those of us whom God has called into sheepfold by the voice of our Shepard Jesus Christ are the vessels of mercy – formed from God’s own hands, for salvation, to his own glory.  Is there any way in which we may say that we have formed ourselves?  Absolutely not!  We can no more form ourselves than we can give birth to ourselves.  This we are glad to accept, that God has chosen us for salvation!

But it is an evil mind that shakes the fist at God and says “who are you?’  Reprobate persons, devoid of God’s mercy and light, engulfed in their depravity and hatred of God’s authority, will accuse Him of injustice, being blind to the rightness of their condemnation.  They will lay the fault at God’s feet if possible.   They will say:   “Why didn’t you give me sign!?”  “Why didn’t you give me more chances!?”  “Why did you let evil into the world!?”  “It’s all your fault!” 

It is sad indeed, but whether we like the teachings of Hell or not, there is such a state, and the reprobate will go there.  The vessels of wrath will know His holy indignation and righteous judgment.  But there will not be one single person in Hell that does not deserve to be there.  They are haters of God, and they hate Him to the end.

Those that go into Hell receive justice – the very thing that they accuse God of NOT having.  God is not obligated to show mercy to anyone.  The real question concerning God’s justice is not “why does he yet find fault?” (see Rom 9:19), but is “why does he NOT yet find fault?”, because the vessels of mercy are born as sinners, just like the vessels of wrath.  But He has mercy on them.  He sends His Spirit into their hearts, shedding His love abroad, whereby they cry “Abba!  Father!”; enabling them to repent and believe in Christ for salvation. 

Why does He do this for undeserving sinners?  It’s unexplainable!  It’s infinite mercy!  It’s glorious grace!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His way past finding out!

This is the truth of scripture.  Now, do you talk back to God?