Packer: heralds of the Sovereign
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107
[Jesus:] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
—John 10:27-29 (NIV)
There is abroad today a widespread suspicion that a robust faith in the absolute sovereignty of God is bound to undermine any adequate sense of human responsibility. Such a faith is thought to be dangerous to spiritual health because it breeds a habit of complacent inertia. In particular, it is thought to paralyse evangelism by robbing one both of the motive to evangelize and of the message to evangelize with. The supposition seems to be that you cannot evangelize effectively unless you are prepared to pretend while you are doing it, that the doctrine of divine sovereignty is not true. I shall try to make it evident that this is nonsense. I shall try to show further that, so far from inhibiting evangelism, faith in the sovereignty of God’s government and grace is the only thing that can sustain it, for it is the only thing that can give us the resilience that we need if we are to evangelize boldly and persistently, and not be daunted by temporary setbacks. So far from being weakened by this faith, therefore, evangelism will inevitably be weak and lack staying power without it.
... James I. Packer (b. 1926), Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God , Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1991, p. 10 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, You are Your people's eternal shepherd.
BDTC search script mobile
sub fb twt