Harvey and Hank are brothers. Harvey cares for his health; he eats nutritious types and amounts of food, and exercises for thirty to forty-five minutes each day. Hank does not; he eats whatever appeals to him and as much as he likes. He rarely exercises at all.
Both brothers are alive -their state of life is the same; but their condition is not. Harvey is healthy, trim, and vigorous. Hank is severely overweight, sloppy, and lazy. While God graciously provides and maintains our health and all Harvey's carefulness could not produce any degree of health if God did not bless it, yet we observe that Harvey's condition is much healthier than Hank's. Why? Because God delights to bless His means.
How can this example of the differences in physical health of these two brothers be compared to the differences in the spiritual health of spiritual brothers or sisters?
When concentrating upon the Five Points of Calvinism it is crucial to maintain a proper sense of biblical balance between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, between the necessity of the Holy Spirit's work and between God the Son's work for sinners and the Holy Spirit's work within sinners. God's Word avoids two extremes in this regard -fatalism or hyper-Calvinism on the one side and free will or Arminianism on the other. True scriptural balance always maintains a constant sense of tension, of pull, from both sides -the one to counter-balance the other. The charts on the following pages illustrate this truth.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.