Tuesday, May 02, 2006

E.A.T.S.O.G. - pt. 1

Recently I have been reading and listenting to Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. I have the audio version in my car and the paper version in my office. I have been encouraged by Packer's explanation of this topic. Over the next few days I will post a few of the quotes that I have found helpful as I have listened and read. Hopefully they will be helpful to you as well. The first post is on the topic of how we should pray. The author states that there are two ways in which we acknowledge that God is sovereign in salvation.

In the first place, you give God thanks for your conversion...There is a second way in which you acknowledge that God is sovereign in salvation. You pray for the conversion of others. When you pray for unconverted people, you do so on the assumption that it is in God's power to bring them to faith. You entreat Him to do that very thing, and your confidence in asking rests upon the certainty that He is able to do what you ask...In prayer, then (and the Christian is at his sanest and wisest when he prays), you know that it is God who saves men; you know that what makes men turn to God is God's own gracious work of drawing them to himself; and the content of your prayers is determined by this knowledge. Thus, by your practice of intercession, no less than by giving thanks for your conversion, you acknowledge and confess the sovereignty of God's grace.

J.I. Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1961) pp. 12, 14.


the hamster said...

i think that it is our lack of faith in God, rather than a hatefully judgemental heart, that causes us to shun certain people in society. we honestly do not believe that God could save THAT person. they are too far gone, too wild, too crazy. and so we decide that it is best for us to keep our distance from them lest they drag us down or hinder our ministry or take away from God's pure manifestation in us. if we truly believed that God could save the unsaved we would spend a lot less time rollicking in christian only circles with christian only themes and christian only conversations. we would fearlessly take our church out there, talk about their lives and their interests and their world, listening instead of "fixing" and believing all the time that God is most manifest in Pure Love. but, alas, it is so nice to be safe.

great post, vince. keep the quotes coming, sir.

Todd said...

Vince, I look forward to seeing what excerpts you post. I was recently challenged by that book, not only in my thinking but in my practice as well. It is a good reminder to not only pray for the lost, but to be thankful of our own salvation. Packer is correct - in both acts we acknowledge the sovereignty of God in salvation.