Friday, March 13, 2009

Quotes on the relationship between God's sovereignty and Man's responsibility

from Pentecost - Today? The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival, by Iain H. Murray discussing the question "what is the cause of my salvation? or what is the cause of revival?"

"God gives promises and duties as 
instrumental means to blessing, not as causes, for the grace of God is in the means as well as in the result. God's act does not follow man's, rather the divine and human agency are conjoined so that we find that what is required of man is also attributed to God." (See Ezek 36:26, 18:31; Eph 2:5, 5:14) "In all these things man is active, and conscious of his own responsibility, but at the same time he is dependent upon God 'who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure' (Phil 2:13)." (p. 62)

"That both sovereignty and responsibility coexist without the one destroying the other is unmistakably clear in the words of Christ concerning Judas." (Luke 22:22)

[And we must come to terms with the fact that this coexistence of man's responsibility and God's sovereignty is nowhere explained in the Bible. Spurgeon said of this, "I cannot comprehend it: without hesitation I believe it, and rejoice so to do, I never hope to comprehend it. I worship a God I never expect to comprehend."]

John Owen, "Our duty is to apply ourselves unto his commands and his work is to enable us to perform them." (p. 63) While God has appointed means and promises, such is our spiritual incapacity that if it were not for his enabling grace no good would ever be done by us. To make human action the cause of divine blessing is to overturn the whole nature of salvation. It would be the same as interpreting our Lord's words, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well,' as though he was indeed saying the woman was the author of her own new health. (p. 64)

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