I am mad as heck! Well mad really isn’t that right word since “mad” is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. I guess a better word would indignant. The Greek word for indignation is αγανακτεω (ag-an-ak-teh’-o) which means “to be indignant, moved with indignation, be very displeased, or to be vexed.” So, you can say I am terribly indignant or I am very displeased. You say, what in the world has gotten you so worked up?
I picked up Charnock’s book again to continue reading on “regeneration.” Charnock’s discourse, “A Discourse of the Efficient of Regeneration” is based on the text of John 1:13;
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
Charnock’s thesis is that the human will is incapable of “renewing” itself or from even participating in the renewal process. In other words, he proposes that renewal, i. e. salvation, is absolutely of God. Charnock purports that man cannot will himself or choose to be renewed because of the soul’s utter incapability. He builds this case under the heading of “Let us now see wherein this weakness of our wills to renew ourselves doth appear. He lists the following reasons: (It = soul)
- It is totally morally unfit for this work
- It is totally unwilling
- It has affections to something contrary to the gospel
- It has a strong aversion and enmity to the tenders of the gospel
- It resists renewal
- It is aided by the power of Satan
You say what has gotten you so worked up and indignant? Please hold on and be patient I will get to it.
But listen to Charnock for a moment, “How great, then, is man’s inability! How unreasonable is it to think that the will of man possessed with such unfitness, unwillingness, affection to other things, aversion to the gospel, resistance of it, and in the devils net, can of itself do anything towards its recovery, from that is counts no disease; or to turn to that which it accounts its burden? If unspotted and sound nature did not preserve Adam in innocency, how can filthy and crazy nature recover us from corruption?
Charnock goes on to prove this paragraph with five (5) bullet point explanation:
- Man cannot prepare himself for grace
- Man cannot produce grace
- Man cannot co-operate with God in the first work
- Man cannot preserve grace
- Man cannot actuate grace
I wish I could either, type all that Charnock had to say about this subject, or explain all of his points. Since I am adverse to lengthy posts over five-hundred (500) words I am going to forgo either choice. Suffice it to say I almost had to take my shoes off as I began to walk on holy or hallowed ground.
So, what made me so indignant? Those folks (you know who I mean) who say that any man who is dead in sin, depraved, and absolutely incapable of renewing himself can exercise his will and believe in order to be regenerated made my blood boil. To deny irresistible grace or to deny that God must first renew or regenerate new life giving this new life the capability to use the gift of faith and believe is to deny the working of the living and true God in the work of regeneration and regeneration. This is what made me so indignant. There is no way that one can represent the living and true God and put forth the idea that man can exercise his “will” and cooperate with God in regeneration.
I will get over this righteous indignation at the despising of the biblical doctrine of grace. I will count those who do so as brothers and love them with a Christ-like love that demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit or give evidence that God has provided redemption in spite of erroneous beliefs.
I am overwhelmed that God worked through His Holy Spirit as a result of accepting the sacrifice of His dear Son to overcome my deadness and resistance and regenerate life in me in order that I might utilize the gift of faith given to me by God in order to repent and trust the finished work of Jesus Christ.