Someone asked: Pastor Robert, Could you please explain the conversion process and how the Holy Spirit draws the sinner to Himself? Thank you. I have thoroughly enjoyed your writings. I know what Thomas Hooker and Thomas Shepard and the Puritans believed but I would like to know what you believe.
God in Christ before the foundation of the world predestined the elect of His people (a singular, chosen line) unto salvation.
At the time of conversion, in each elect believer’s life, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin and imparts faith whereby the individual believes unto salvation and cries out in repentance.
HOW, the Holy Spirit draws is different in each case, but the Word of God is the seed and the Holy Spirit waters it and gives understanding of not mere words, information, or content—but Truth. The Holy Spirit works through the mind. The will and the emotions are not absent; but they are not indepdenent of God’s Sovereignty and Determinism. God controls the will of each individual and turns it the direction that He wants. Emotions may accompany the intellectual understanding of spiritual truth, such as fear and dread of Judgment and love and appreciation for Mercy—but they don’t contribute to it; they don’t preceded it and they don’t operate without it and they don’t usurp the authority of the mind in the act of regeneration (though the will and emotions may interfere with faith and regeneration if God has ordained the person unto Wrath, for then God uses the will and the emotions to accomplish His Purpose).
This is all simple to understand based upon a harmonious interpretation of the Word of God. What is difficult is to comprehend WHY God so ordained. But that’s one of the reasons that He is God and we are not. Because He is in control and does all things after the Counsel of His Own Will and for His Own Good Pleasure and none can resist Him. If any reject sound doctrine, it is only because God has hardened their hearts and sent them delusion to believe a lie. His Thoughts and Ways are as far above ours as the Heavens are above the earth. Just because sinful humans with limited and damaged minds, with learning that is incomplete as well as corrupt, cannot comprehend or “agree with” what God ordained in Eternity past (before a speck of matter or energy ever existed that would become “them”) does not change reality. “It is in Him that we live and breathe and have our being.” He created all things—including the path that we take. “As I have thought it so shall it come to pass; as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” Newborn infants thinking that they know better than their father (who has two Ph.D.s) is what “Christians” are like, who think that they are holier than God and that the reality that they want to believe is true, even though it contradicts the Word of God.