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Hoeksema: Man’s Coming and God’s Drawing May 21, 2009

Posted by heldveld in Calvinism, Herman Hoeksema.
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I’m currently reading Herman Hoeksema’s “Whosoever Will”. I found this paragraph from his chapter on Man’s Coming and God’s Drawing to be interesting. While there is obviously no guarantee that people do not pray that way, his Arminian prayer definitely doesn’t sound right.

“He that comes to Jesus experiences in this act of coming that drawing of the marvelous and efficacious grace of God, and that, too, in such a way that the latter is first and is the cause of the former. One that is saved will surely acknowledge this. Never will a regenerated child of God present the matter of his salvation as having had its initiative in him. Never will he say that anything on his part preceded the operation of God’s grace in him, that he first willed to come and God’s grace thereupon enabled him to come, that he first accepted Christ and thereupon Christ received him, that he first opened his heart and thereupon Christ entered it. An unmistakable proof of this may be found in the prayer of one that is saved. Here all Arminianism, all boasting of free will in the matter of salvation, is silenced. The reason is that in prayer one speaks to God. Before men one may talk of coming to Jesus as if it were in the power of the sinner to come or to refuse to come. But as soon as one places himself before the face of God all this is changed. Then all is attributed to divine grace. Before the face of God there is no Arminian. Or whoever heard anyone utter an Arminian prayer like this: “I thank thee God that Thou didst wait until it pleased me to come, and that Thou didst knock until I was good enough to open my heart for Thee, and that Thou gavest me grace when I decided to receive it ?” Yet why should not a man express before the face of God what he loudly and boldly proclaims to man? The simple answer is: because before God we cannot lie! Hence, in prayer a saved sinner will attribute all to God and none to self. He will cease speaking about the free will of man, and say: “I thank Thee that Thy irresistible grace overpowered all my resistance, that Thou didst open and enter into my heart, that Thou didst draw me that I might come!” And this is the heart of the assurance and boldness of the sinner as he comes to Jesus. The very fact that in his coming to Jesus the sinner experiences the drawing of the Father is his guarantee that he will surely be received.” (bold mine)

The complete book is available online.