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Irresistible Call in Deuteronomy


In Deuteronomy, Moses also taught the fourth main heading of the doctrines of graceé─ţGodé─˘s irresistible call. Hundreds of years before Moses, God commanded Abraham to circumcise all the males in his household. For Israel, circumcision was a picture of what God must do to the unconverted heart. In the new birth, God must circumcise the sin-hardened heart if sinful man is to love Him with saving faith. By a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, God must cut deeply into the unconverted heart and supernaturally set it apart to Himself. This is the omnipotent work of the Spirit in regeneration. Again, then, we see that God is the sole initiating cause of regeneration. Man is passive while God is active in this vital step in the process of salvation:

é─˙And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.é─¨ é─ţDeuteronomy 30:6

Moses presented Godé─˘s sovereign work of grace as a spiritual circumcision, a cutting away of the foreskin of the unbelieving heart. It is a penetrating work of grace that removes mané─˘s inability to believe and replaces it with true repentance and faith. Regeneration is open-heart surgery, a soul-reviving work of the Spirit that probes to the deepest level of a personé─˘s being. Concerning this work of regeneration, Anthony Hoekema writes, é─˙What does the Bible teach about regeneration? Already in the Old Testament we are taught that only God can bring about the radical change which is necessary to enable fallen human beings again to do what is pleasing in His sight. In Deuteronomy 30:6 we find our spiritual renewal figuratively described as a circumcision of the heart. . . . Since the heart is the inner core of the person, the passage teaches that God must cleanse us within before we can truly love Him.é─¨ Explaining the irresistible nature of this divine work, Craigie writes, é─˙It is seen rather to be an act of God and thus indicates the new covenant, when God would in His grace deal with mané─˘s basic spiritual problem. When God é─˛operatedé─˘ on the heart, then indeed the people would be able to love the Lord and live.

é─ţSteve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 97é─ý98.

Posted 2012·08·10 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Anthony Hoekema · Deuteronomy · Foundations of Grace · Old Testament Gospel · Peter Craigie · Steve Lawson
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#1 || 12·08·10··15:20 || DebbieLynne

That's amazing!

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