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Page 346

  • Capriciously - Impulsively; without any pattern or predictability; arbitrarily


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    Ask, and it shall be given! you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;

    For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he i give him a serpent?

    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

    -Matthew 7:7-11

    If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    -II Chronicles 7:14

    But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

    -Deuteronomy 4:29

     

    Unconditional election does not mean that since salvation is all from God's free grace that a sinner is to do nothing. Sinners are called to use God's means of grace and to ask Him to graciously bless their use to their hearts. While God works unconditionally (in the sense that all persons who are saved do not meet any spiritual conditions of true faith or good works which might obligate God to save them), yet God does not elect capriciously. God's sovereignty should never be separated from His good pleasure -He performs His sovereign good pleasure. If we could examine all the number of saved, we would discover that a vast majority, nearly all, were regenerated under the preaching or personal reading of God's Word. God graciously elects certain sinners to salvation, but He has chosen to do so by blessing His means of grace.

    God is under no obligation to bless His means of grace, as far as man is concerned. Since no fallen, depraved sinner ever uses God's means of grace with perfect earnestness, sincerity, or prayerfulness, God could justly pass by everyone with His saving application. However, God has obligated Himself. He has bound Himself by His own Word of promise to bless His Word, His means of grace, to sinners. "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10-11).

    The following example illustrates both man's responsibility in using, and God's sovereign grace in blessing, the means of grace provided.

      Imagine Farmer Tanner thinking, "Everything regarding my life is determined in God's plan. Nothing I do or do not do will alter God's plan. It is already determined in God's plan if my family and I will be provided for at the end of this year. Therefore I will not plow and plant this year. If God has determined to provide food, shelter, and clothing for us, He will; and if not, we won't have it no matter how hard we work. Besides, I am unable to make one seed to grow. I cannot even understand how a complete corn plant can grow from a seed I bury in the ground."


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