“Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
“But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God”
‘The Seventeenth Sermon’, on Deut. 30:15, in The Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 2, p. 369
3. The next thing we exhort you to do, is to make choice for your own souls. That is Moses makes of it: Deut. 30:19, ‘Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ Hearing, believing, considering, are all in order to choice; and without choice, and a determined, fixed, bent of the heart, you will never walk evenly in heaven’s ways. Determine not only that you must, but you will, walk in the way which God has set forth for you. God’s ways must be chosen: Ps. 119:30, ‘I have chosen the way of truth;’ and verse 173, ‘I have chosen your precepts;’ Josh. 24:15, ‘If it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve.’ Not as if it were indifferent, but to set an edge upon their appetite. There is much strength in the bond, when a man binds himself freely, and makes the more inexcusable if he does not observe it. All will choose life before death, but they are out in the means; they do not choose good before evil, the good of holiness before the evil of sin. Every man desires some good. It is as natural for the reasonable creature to desire to be happy, as it is for the fire to bring us to that happiness that we desire. They would be happy, but they choose means quite contrary to happiness. Oh, then, choose the ways of God; let life be your motive, and holiness your choice. This is the way to live forever, to avoid hell beneath. As soon as we come to years of discretion, we should make our choice to go on in the ways of life. To this we are obliged by the most weighty reasons, urged by the enforcements of the word, and by the sad and numerous examples of young people, who make an ill choice in the beginning, and go on, and are hardened therein, and perish forever.
Historical Theology, vol. 2, 1862, reprinted Banner of Truth, 1994, Ch. 25, The Arminian Controversy, Section 6, Efficacious and Irresistible Grace, p. 411-2
It will be seen, then, that the doctrine of the irresistibility, or insuperability, of divine grace in conversion is a necessary consequence of scriptural views of man’s entire depravity, and his inability by nature to will anything spiritually good; and that all that Calvinists intend to set forth in maintaining this doctrine, is declared when they assert that it is necessary that men’s will be renewed, and that, in the commencement of the process by which this renovation is effected, they are wholly passive,—incapable of co-operating with divine grace, or with the Holy Spirit operating upon them, until He has, by His own almighty power, effected an important change upon them. This change is sometimes called regeneration, when that word is taken in its most limited sense, as distinguished from conversion [the exercise of faith in Christ and repentance]; and, in that case, regeneration means the first implantation of spiritual life,—the process of vivification, or making alive,—while conversion describes the process by which men, now quickened and renewed,—no longer passive, but active,—do willingly turn to God, and embrace Jesus Christ as all their salvation and all their desire; and the whole is comprehended under the designation of effectual calling, which includes the whole work of the Spirit, in applying to men the blessings which Christ purchased, and in effecting that important change in their condition and character which is, in every instance, indispensable to salvation.
An essential part of this process is the renovation of the will, or the giving it a new capacity or tendency,—a power of willing what is spiritually good,—whereas before it could will only what was spiritually evil. And it is important to have our attention directed to this feature in the process, as it is that right views of which most directly oppose and exclude Arminian errors upon this subject. In the description of effectual calling, given in the [Westminster] Shorter Catechism, it is said to be “a work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, He does persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the gospel.”
John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan
‘Just a Talker’, p. 10
“When Cesar Malan said to me, on an ever-to-be-remembered day, ‘You have got God’s Word in your mouth’, I felt as if a flash of spiritual electricity had then passed through me.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”