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Page 146


 

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

- Romans 2:28-3:2

 




When speaking of God's call, "today" is God's Word; "tomorrow" is Satan's word. What does this statement mean? Whose word are you following - God's or Satan's?


Emphasizing the truth of God's one-sided grace and work in election, atonement, regeneration, and His internal, irresistible, saving call, however, must not produce carelessness or inactivity on man's part. The Holy Spirit's normal manner of accomplishing His inward call is to work through His external call - through God's means of grace.

In exceptional circumstances, the Holy Spirit will accomplish His internal, saving work without using His external call. This happens in cases of infants, young children, mentally-handicapped persons, and others who cannot be meaningfully reached by means of the external call. However, the Holy Spirit's normal manner of working is to savingly apply the external call in the hearts of those who are saved. Therefore, placing ourselves under, and actively using, God's Word is very important. Never ignore, despise, or put off God's gospel call.

What is your response to God's outward call? Have you experienced your deep need for the Holy Spirit's inward call?

    Debra's mother meditated upon her conversation with her fourteen-year-old daughter. After asking her daughter if she desired and prayed for a new heart to love and serve God, Debra had replied, "Yes, someday I want that, Mother; but first I want to have a good time in the world with my friends. But when I'm old - yes, I know - I will need to be born again and serve God."

    Several days later, a box of flowers was delivered to Debra's home. Its attached card read, "To my dear daughter. With love, Mom."

    Excitedly, Debra tore off the wrapping and opened the box. To her shock and disappointment, she found twelve old, wilted roses - the leaves were all drooping and shrivelled and several petals had already fallen off.

    "Mom!" Debra called, running into the kitchen and showing her mom the box. "Thanks for the roses ... but, look! The flower shop must have forgotten to deliver them for a few days!"

    "No, dear, I wanted to give them to you this way. I thought you would like them like this," her mother calmly replied as she continued cutting her carrots.

    Debra was stunned. She felt insulted and angry. "That's nonsense, Mom," she finally blurted. "How could you ever think I would like this gift!"

    Her mother turned and seriously said, "Debra, when we talked together a few days ago, wasn't this the type of gift that you felt the Lord would like, that you told me you wanted to give Him? If God would be pleased with this type of gift, you should be, too, don't you think?"

    "I understand," Debra seriously replied.

    Delaying, despising, and rejecting God's gospel call is most serious. Why?


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