12 June, 2016

Jeremiah 31:33—“I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts”

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:33 KJV).


John Calvin

[Source: Calvin’s Calvinism, (RFPA, 2009), pp. 88-89]

It is quite certain that men do not “turn from their evil ways” to the Lord of their own accord, nor by any instinct of nature. Equally certain is it that the gift of conversion is not common to all men; because this is that one of the two covenants which God promises that He will not make with any but with His own elect people, concerning whom He has recorded His promise that “He will write His law in their hearts” (Jer. 31:33). Now, a man must be utterly beside himself to assert that this promise is made to all men generally and indiscriminately. [Italics added].



Rev. Herman Hoeksema

[Source: A Power of God Unto Salvation, pp. 21-22]

Calvin refers to this in the quotation which we made above from Calvin’s Calvinism. The entire subjective, internal work of salvation is in fact indicated by that writing of God’s law in the hearts. He does not offer it. This is no offer. Not only is it not a general offer, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit, the irresistible work of God Himself. However, this almighty work of God’s grace indeed occurs in Holy Scripture as a promise which God gives to His people. No offer, but indeed a promise. And the difference between an offer and a promise is clear. An offer presupposes that the person to whom something is offered can accept it; a promise is fulfilled by him who makes the promise. Grace is indeed a promise. God promises salvation. He also promises that He will actually bestow all the blessings in Christ Jesus upon His people. And it is to one of these promises that Calvin points. God promises that He will write His law in our hearts. But, says Calvin, anyone must be beside himself to assert that this promise pertains to all men without distinction. The reason for this declaration of Calvin is plain. That which God promises He also surely fulfils, for He is the faithful and true God. If He promises His salvation to all men without distinction, then He will also certainly bestow it upon all without distinction. The promise is, therefore, truly particular. And of a particular promise of God no one can and may make a general offer.



More to come! (DV)

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