Friday, April 12, 2013

Apart From New Birth, We are Unable to Come to Christ or Embrace him as Lord

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.  (Joh 6:44-45 ESV)
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. (1Co 12:3 ESV)

In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul declares, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” He doesn’t mean that an actor on a stage, or a hypocrite in a church, cannot say the words “Jesus is Lord” without the Holy Spirit. He means that no one can say it and mean it without being born of the Spirit. It is morally impossible for the dead, dark, hard, resistant heart to celebrate the Lordship of Jesus over his life without being born again.  Or, as Jesus says three times in John 6, no one can come to him unless the Father draws him. And when that drawing brings a person into living connection with Jesus, we call it the new birth. Verse 37: “All that the Father gives me will come to me.” Verse 44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” Verse 65: “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” All of these wonderful works of drawing, granting, and giving are the work of God in regeneration. Without them we do not come to Christ, because we don’t prefer to come. We so strongly prefer self-reliance that we cannot come. That is what has to be changed in the new birth. A new preference, a new ability, is given. - John Piper, Finally Alive, p. 52

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