Packer delivers a comprehensive, but still brief, explanation of the seemingly incompatible relationship between human responsibility in evangelism and Gods sovereignty in salvation. There are many Christians who say that believers who emphasize the sovereignty of grace and unconditional election do so to the neglect of human responsibility and divine accountability. I used to be one of them! Yet we are still responsible as bearers of this good news!
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Review It was a crisis of faith that ebbed and flowed over three years. Divine sovereignty God as King and human responsibility before him God as Judge can both be equally true.
So what should we do with these seemingly irreconcilable, yet undeniable biblical principles? Divine sovereignty and human responsibility coexist, and we must affirm both truths from Scripture and let them guide and govern our lives Back to my opening question: If God is sovereign, then why do I share the gospel?
The One who saves is the same for all: God. And the means of salvation is the same for all: proclamation of the gospel message. God does the saving Romans 9 , and man does the proclaiming Romans How unsearchable and inscrutable are the ways of God Romans 11!
What a glorious thought! No matter the apparent result of my evangelism means , one definite result is that I am an aroma of Christ to God. He is pleased. He delights in the proclamation. He is glorified in it. He saves his people through it. Packer further explains that evangelism is a message delivered, not an effect produced.
Evangelism is simply preaching the gospel, irrespective of its effect on the hearer What should motivate us for this task? Primarily the love of God and concern for his glory—followed by love of man and concern for his welfare This little book is brimming with pastoral insight and biblical reflection. As such, it has a number of pastoral uses.
You are not wasting either your time or theirs. You have no reason to be ashamed of your message, or half-hearted and apologetic in delivering it.
You have every reason to be bold, and free, and natural, and hopeful of success. For God can give his truth an effectiveness that you and I cannot give it. God can make his truth triumphant to the conversion of the most seemingly hardened unbeliever. You and I will never write off anyone as hopeless and beyond the reach of God if we believe in the sovereignty of his grace For three years, I wrestled with how divine sovereignty and human responsibility could be reconciled.
I feared that the absolute sovereignty of God might, in some way, undermine my faith. This book would have been an enormous help to me in those years of theological searching. The simply explained truths of this book will ignite your desire to pursue the joyful Christian duty of evangelism.
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God
Book Review: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J. I. Packer
Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God