Now may the Lord reveal his face, And teach our stammering tongues; To make his sovereign reigning grace, The subject of our songs.
No sweeter subject can invite, A sinners' heart to sing; Or more display the glorious right, Of our exalted King.
Grace reigns to pardon crimson sins, To melt the hardest hearts; And from the work it once begins It never once departs.
The world and Satan strive in vain Against the chosen few; Secured by grace's conquering reign, They all shall conquer too.
(Tune of 'Amazing Grace' #236)
I don’t need a God that tries. I need a God that Triumphs.
Lord, command what Thou wilt...the give the will. - Augustine
Let “For Christ’s sake” always be my motive.
God chose the elect and Christ died for them in particularly, but this redemption must be applied to them in order for them to be saved. God issues a general "call" to all who hear the Gospel (Matt. 22:14), all who hear are invited. But because all men are totally depraved they resist this call and the work of the Spirit (Acts 7:51).
God has a particular love for the elect and will do more than simply give an external call. He does something that guarantees that they will hear this call. He overwhelms them with what we call irresistible grace. In addition to the general call to all men, God gives to the elect an effectual call (Rom. 8:28-30), or what Paul describes as a "holy calling." It is a calling which is effectual. God thereby draws the elect irresistibly to Himself with special loving-kindness (Jer. 31:3). He causes the elect to come to Him (Psa. 65:4). This is irresistible, for God "compels" us by divine omnipotence to come. He actually changes our wills so that we come willingly (Psa. 110:3).
There is much mystery in how God works grace in the hearts of the elect, but the Bible tells us some definite things about the process. God sovereignly opens the dead hearts of the elect (Acts 16: 14). It is not that they opened their hearts to receive Christ; Christ opened their hearts that He might enter. He opens our hearts, and with our hearts being opened we can hear His voice (John 10:16). This is not, of course, a literal voice but the effectual call of Christ in Scripture. God sovereignly gives the elect a new birth (John 3:1-8 James 1:18). They did not regenerate themselves; they were regenerated sovereignly by God's free grace. No spiritually dead man can make himself alive any more than a corpse can. Matter cannot create itself, and the new birth is a new creation that is sovereignly given by God's grace (2 Cor. 5:17. It is spiritual resurrection (Eph. 2:1, 5).
The elect are not born again because they believe; rather, they believe because they have been born again (1 John 5:1). The new birth is a sovereign gift, and so is faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Repentance is also a free gift that is sovereignly bestowed (2 Tim. 2:25). Because the elect now have faith, God justifies them and they are saved. "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9) If any man is ever to be saved, it is only by God's free grace from first to last. - Pastor
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Faith is belief, trust and confidence in God and in His Christ. Faith in God (Christ) gives peace, hope, assurance, rest, joy, strength, courage, patience and many more things to the believer. Faith cometh by hearing. In the wisdom and purpose of God, faith cometh by hearing His Word, the gospel, preached. If by His grace we hear it, believe it, and receive it, then all things mentioned will be ours. And all grace, mercy and peace will be multiplied . . . will grow, as we hear and feed upon the "sincere milk of the Word." If we do not hear, the opposite is true. If we do not hear the Word:
- Trust will not grow, but doubt will. - Hope will not grow, but despair will. - Peace will not grow, but turmoil will. - Assurance will not grow, but worry will. - Patience will not grow, but impatience will, impulsiveness will. - Joy will not grow, but sadness will. - Strength will not grow, but weakness will. - Courage will not grow, but fear and cowardice will. - Godliness will not grow, but worldliness will. - Knowledge will not grow, but ignorance will. - Fellowship will not grow, but loneliness will. - Humility will not grow, but pride will. - Selflessness will not grow, but selfishness will. - Kindness will not grow, but meanness will. - Gentleness will not grow, but hardness will. - Righteousness will not grow, but self-righteousness will. - Temperance will not grow, but intemperance will. - Love will not grow, but hate will.
How important then is the hearing of God's Word? We cannot live without it. We cannot cope without It. We cannot please God without It. We cannot be justified without it. We cannot live together without it. We cannot have any rest for our souls without it. Hear it again; “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”