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Page 145

Canons of Dordt:
Heads III and IV - Article 10

But that others who are called by the gospel, obey the call, and are converted, is not to be ascribed to the proper exercise of free will, whereby one distinguishes himself above others, equally furnished with grace sufficient for faith and conversion, as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains; but it must be wholly ascribed to God, who as He has chosen His own from eternity in Christ, so He confers upon them faith and repentance, rescues them from the power of darkness, and translates them into the kingdom of His own Son, that they may show forth the praises of Him, who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light; and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord according to the testimony of the apostles in various places.

For additional information regarding the errors and dangers of teaching free will, refer to Chapter 25 on the Five Points of Calvinism.

    Late one evening, two people were finishing a lengthy debate regarding God's salvation - whether it took place by the free will of man or by the free grace of God.

    "If that which you say is true," the one woman concluded, "then I would like you to tell God in your prayers tonight that you spiritually began with Him, before He began with you."

    This remark stunned the other woman. "I do not dare to say that," she replied.

    "Then why do you dare to say to others what you do not dare to say to God?" the first lady asked.

    Which is first in the salvation of a sinner, God's work or man's work? Who first enlivens and turns a sinner's heart - the Holy Spirit or the sinner? Why?

Some churches teach that the internal call always accompanies the external call; that God's saving call always attends the proclamation of the gospel. This is also not true. God's internal call is irresistible and saving. If it always accompanied the external call, people would be saved every time the preaching of the gospel took place. God is sovereign. He has blessed the preaching of His Word that three thousand were savingly called under one sermon, but there are also times in which no one is saved. God's external and internal callings are separate.

 

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

- Acts 2:37,41

When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

- Acts 7:54,57,59

 

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