Salvation is divine

More from Iain H. Murray: “… the salvation of souls … is not finally determined by our efforts.” (Pentecost – Today? p. 11)

Yes, Murray is a Calvinist, but he’s not a hyper one. He recognizes that Scripture clearly says followers of Christ have a responsibility to share the good news. But while hyper-Calvinists make one mistake, others, let’s call them hyper-evangelists, make another. They basically reduce the salvation of souls to a rote process of cause and effect — if believers do this and that, then revival will invariably come. It doesn’t. Murray deals with this well, citing both Scripture and general experience.

Murray quotes Theodore L. Cuyler: “God always means to be God. He bestows spiritual blessings when he pleases, how he pleases, and where he pleases. We may labour, we may pray, we may ‘plant’, but we must not dictate.” (p. 12)

I’m not a Calvinist, but I sure love the importance they place on the sovereignty of God.

We should work, pray and plant; but we should always remember that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to save. There is no magic formula that we can concoct to produce one salvation, much less a revival.

In short, salvation is divine, in more ways than one.

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The mystery of the Spirit

“The operation of the Spirit in believers … is a great mystery. He works more on them than they feel or know; and they feel more than they can express in words; and they express more than any who have not received ‘the same Spirit of faith’ (2 Cor. 4:13) can understand.”

Those are the words of Puritan Robert Traill. I read them this morning in Iain H. Murray’s book, Pentecost – Today? The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival (Banner of Truth, 1998, p. 5)

I love to read something that resonates with your own thoughts or experience even though you have not been able to articulate it as such. This was such a reading.

Here are a couple of other quotes from Murray’s opening pages:

“If we could understand revivals they would not be the astonishing things which they are.” (p. 5)

“Our thoughts are not to be left hanging loose like clothes impeding one who must run. We must earnestly desire to understand.” (p. 6)

A start

Ever since leaving my job as editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper, I’ve missed having an audience for my personal ramblings. So I will try this and see what happens.

Here’s what I’m interested in: Almost everything. But if I have to get specific, mostly I’ll be writing about religion, politics, music, the country life and my favorite subject — my family.

My goal: To share personal thoughts that might enrich the lives of others or generate responses that will enrich all of us.