header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Is The Sinner Saved Contrary To His Will
Is The Sinner Saved Contrary To His Will PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lee Hanks   

Primitive Monitor---January 16, 1887

“So, then, it is not of him that willeth, nor him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy;” Rom., ix.

IT IS AGREED by the world that we hold to a doctrine that God takes sinners by the hair of the head and takes them to heaven contrary to their will. I may differ from my brethren here. God does not take them by the hair of the head, but he takes them by the heart. I do contend, without the fear of successful contradiction that God does save sinners contrary to their will. It will be well enough for all who feel interested in this all important subject to first examine man and see what his will would be. The whole head is sick, the heart is faint, from the sole of the feet even unto the head are wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores, which have never been bound up, nor mollified with ointment. Can such a creature exercise a will that God will accept? Nay. Yet I often hear good brethren say that God does not save contrary to our will. Now is it in accordance with this corrupt “will” that we are saved? Surely not. Such a “will” is enmity against God, it is not subject to his laws, neither indeed can be.

This “will” receiveth not the things of the Spirit, because they are foolishness unto it, neither can it know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Again, we are taught that man at his best estate is vanity, and if vanity at his best, how can he exercise a “will” that God will accept? Impossible. This “will” is so far to the reverse of the “will” of Jesus that it has no desire to seek him. If the sinner was left to his own “will” he never, no never would choose Jesus, for he has no will to choose him. The Savior said, “Ye will not come unto me.” Seeing the foregoing alone condemns the “free will” idea, I deem it unnecessary to bring the abundant proof that might be brought to substantiate this subject, but will notice a few instances. The Lord told Abraham to get out of the land of his nativity and go unto a land that he would show him. Do you not imagine that was contrary to Abraham’s natural “will” to leave his father and mother, brothers and sisters, and his own country, to go into a strange land? Was it not contrary to the natural “will” of Joseph’s brethren to have to leave their country to go down into Egypt to buy corn? Yes, they would have remained with their father in the land of their nativity if they could have done so. They went from necessity.

It was contrary to the natural “will” of Jacob to let Benjamin go into Egypt, for it was a heart-rending time with poor old Jacob, but that was the only resort; that or die. Was it not contrary to the natural “will” of Paul that he was converted? Most assuredly it was. He started with murder in heart desiring to bind and imprison those who called upon the name of the Lord. But the Lord called him contrary to his “will” or desires and revealed unto him the way of life and salvation. Hence he could say, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” All the will the dead sinner has, is a wicked perverse “will.” God gives him a will and makes him willing in the day of his power. When he gives them the will, he says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.” Hence instead of their coming according to their former will, God works the will in them and that is why they are made willing to follow him. The Christian is in possession of two wills. One is fleshly and the other spiritual.

Paul says, “I delight in the law,” (will,) “of God after the inward man: but I see another law,” (will,) “in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin;” Rom, vii, 22—25. Paul says, “If ye live after the flesh,” (carnal will) “ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit,” (will,) “do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” All of our troubles come upon us by following the fleshly will. When we walk according to the spiritual will we have peace one with another. Well might the apostle say, “it is not of him that willeth.” But it is of God that willeth. This God has compassion on whom HE will, and whom he will he hardeneth. He bestows his mercy upon his creatures and regenerates them, and renews them according to his own will and. pleasure. I rejoice tonight to have the assurance that I am in the hands of such a blessed Savior who will be with me alway even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Yours in gospel bonds,

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 October 2006 )
< Previous   Next >


The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.