The Death of ‘Mr. I Will’

Aug 13, 2008 By: Pastor William Poss Series: Romans 9 Scripture: Romans 9:16
Modern evangelistic methods are greatly affected by the theological understanding of the role of the will in salvation. Romans 9:16 could make it no clearer – the gracious choice of God to set His mercy on an individual has nothing to do with one’s will or actions. Nevertheless much of the church today has ignored the clear teaching of this and other verses which teach that salvation is of the Lord, and that the unregenerate human will is completely unable to receive the Gospel unless God has quickened it. In the absence of this understanding, the church has turned to methods of evangelism that appeal to dead men in order to get ‘decisions,’ which in the end are not honest and truly penitent. Compare these modern ideas to those of this hymn written over a century and half ago: Not what these hands have done Can save this guilty soul; Not what this toiling flesh has borne, Can make my spirit whole. Not what I feel or do, Can give me peace with God; Not all my prayers, or sighs, or tears, Can ease my awful load. Thy work alone, my Saviour, Can ease this weight of sin; Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, Can give me peace within. Thy love to me, O God, Not mine, O Lord, to Thee, Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free. No other work save Thine, No meaner blood will do; No strength save that which is divine, Can bear me safely through. Thy grace alone, O God, To me can pardon speak; Thy power alone, O Son of God, Can this sore bondage break. I bless the Christ of God, I rest on love divine; And with unfaltering lip and heart I call the Saviour mine. -Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)