XXII

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. . . . [These] are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the ocean.

Jonathan Edwards

XXI

When a baby is born into the world and God determines that the baby will be endowed with eyesight, is this a violation of the infants’ free will? I mean, what right does God have to give the baby the ability to see? Perhaps the baby had no desire for sight and would have preferred to be left blind. How utterly intrusive of God to so presume on the baby’s freedom. The new baby wasn’t asked if that is what he wanted. Well, you can see where I am going with this. We all know such an argument would be nothing short of ridiculous. This is God’s world which is governed by His rules and persons born into it it have to live with what
God blesses them with. God gives the baby eyes and he/she uses them. May I suggest to you that similar logic plays a role in our new birth in Christ. The moment God opens our spiritual eyes, we see. The moment He unplugs/circumcises our ears, we hear. Likewise, the moment God capacitates us with understanding and illumination, we believe. God isn’t doing the believing for us, He has only restored the spiritual capacity we were meant to have. If God miraculously gives new eyes to a blind man and he sees, it is not God who is doing the seeing but the man, yet all glory goes to God because without this new capacity, sight would not be possible. So it is with new spiritual eyes.

John Hendryx, Does Monergism Rob Humanity of Free Will

XX

Our spiritual life differs from every other kind of life. It does not come to us directly from God, but it is first deposited in all its fullness in Christ our mediator (Col. 1:19). So it is out of his fullness that we receive this life (John 1:16). So Christ is our life (Col 3:4). It is, therefore, not so much we who live but Christ who lives in us (Gal 2:20). We can do nothing of ourselves but only by Christ’s power and virtue (1 Cor 15:10). The origin of this life is in God. The fullness of this life is in Christ. And it is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. We experience it as a new power and ruling principle in us (Rom8:11; Eph 4:15, 16). Christ is our life and without him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

John Owen (The Effectual Operation of the Blessed Spirit in the Regeneration or Conversion of Sinners)

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