“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda
The Empire Strikes Back
This is day 14 of the Write 31 days October challenge. I’m using Five Minute Friday‘s one word prompts this year and tying my posts to a hymn of the Christian faith. For the rest of my posts click on the landing page. Today’s word is try.
The effectual calling of man to salvation by way of the Holy Spirit is somewhat un understandable. Yes. We accept Christ yet there is nothing we can do to save ourselves from the death we live without Him. Seems contradictory doesn’t it? However, we know that the Word of God does not contradict itself.
From our perspective it looks as if we cannot be saved unless we accept; but God is omniscient. He knows everything, he is all seeing and he ordains every step we take. Our very breath only comes only because he gives it. Whether we know him as Savior or not, we can’t even breath without Him. Those of us that are his, he has predestined before time to be his, we must answer. There is no try, there is only do.
Here is how Ligonier ministries explains it.
Part of the problem here is that many Christians fail to distinguish between the external call of the Gospel and the internal call of the Holy Spirit. They say that God calls all men externally, and then when some men repent and believe, God gives them new life. It is true that God calls all men, but it is not true that God gives them new life based on their repentance and faith. Rather, while God calls all men externally, He only calls His own internally. Those who truly respond to the external call are those who have been internally called by God and given new birth. Then they respond in faith to the external call.
Dear friends, we are dead without him. Have you ever seen a dead man try to revive himself? It’s impossible. But we are an arrogant people. Somehow we trick ourselves into believe we have some bit of good within us by which we can be saved. That’s not the way it works. There is nothing we can do to try harder to gain salvation. There is nothing we can do to try harder to be good enough for Jesus. We aren’t good enough except through Jesus who took our sin to the cross.
Today’s hymn. I considered several hymns today but ended up returning to this one. I’ve posted a traditional version and a contemporary version, arranged by Lori Sealy, a former atheist. If you’re not familiar with her story, I encourage you to find out more. She has a fascinating story.
“Lord, ‘Tis Not that I did Choose Thee”
by Josiah Conder, 1789-1855
1. Lord, ’tis not that I did choose Thee;
That, I know, could never be;
For this heart would still refuse Thee
Had Thy grace not chosen me.
Thou hast from the sin that stained me
Washed and cleansed and set me free
And unto this end ordained me,
That I ever live to Thee.
2. ‘Twas Thy grace in Christ that called me,
Taught my darkened heart and mind;
Else the world had yet enthralled me,
To Thy heavenly glories blind.
Now my heart owns none above Thee;
For Thy grace alone I thirst,
Knowing well that, if I love Thee,
Thou, O Lord, didst love me first.
3. Praise the God of all creation;
Praise the Father’s boundless love.
Praise the Lamb, our Expiation,
Priest and King enthroned above.
Praise the Spirit of salvation,
Him by whom our spirits live.
To the great Jehovah give.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: John 15:16
Author: Josiah Conder, 1843, alt.
Tune: “O du Liebe”
1st Published in: _Musikalischer Christenschatz_
Town: Basel, 1745