Gods Call


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Status: Active
Isbn: 0883685825
Isbn-13: 9780883685822
Speedy#: 775825
CPC Super: Christian Living
CPC Primary: Practical Life
CPC Sub: General
Author: Finney Charles
Publisher: Whitaker House
On Hand: 72
Case Qty: 1
Weight lbs.: 0.5
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TOC: Contents

1.God¿s Love for a Sinful World 9
2.The Excuses of Sinners Condemn God 31
3.The Sinner¿s Excuses Answered 69
4.On Refuges of Lies 88
5.The Wicked Heart Set to Do Evil 99
6.Moral Insanity 122
7.Conditions of Being Saved 139
8.The Sinner¿s Natural Power and Moral
Weakness 176
Men Often Look Highly upon What
God Abhors 189
10.Death to Sin through Christ 205
Excerpt: Chapter 1 God¿s Love for a Sinful World

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16

Sin is the most expensive thing in the universe; nothing else costs as much as sin. Whether sin is pardoned or unpardoned, its cost is infinitely great. When sin is pardoned, its cost falls chiefly on the great atoning Substitute, Jesus Christ; when unpardoned, it falls on the head of the guilty sinner.
The existence of sin is a fact experienced everywhere, observed everywhere. With increasing heinousness, sin abounds in the human race.
Sin is the violation of an infinitely important law -- God¿s law, which was designed to secure the highest good of the universe. Obedience to this law is essential to the good of all creation. Without obedience, there could be no blessedness even in heaven.
Because sin is a violation of this important law, it cannot be treated lightly. No government can afford to treat disobedience as something trivial, because everything -- the entire welfare of the government and of all the governed -- depends on obedience. The need to guard this law and to punish disobedience is equal to the value of the interests at stake.
The law of God cannot be dishonored by anything He does. However, it has been dishonored by the disobedience of man; thus, God stands by it even more in order to maintain its honor. The greatest dishonor is done to God¿s law by disowning, disobeying, and despising it, and sinful man has done all these things. Hence, because this law is not only good but also intrinsically necessary to the happiness of the governed, it becomes necessary, above all else, for the Lawgiver to vindicate His law.
Hence, sin has involved God¿s government in a matter of great expense. Either the law must be carried out at the expense of the well-being of the whole human race, or God must submit and suffer the worst results of disrespect to His law.
Take, for example, any human government. Suppose the righteous and necessary laws that it imposes are disowned and dishonored. In such a case, the violated law must be honored by carrying out its penalty. Otherwise, something else -- probably something worse -- must be endured. Transgression must be paid for by the loss of happiness, somewhere, and in vast amount.
In the case of God¿s government, it has been deemed advisable to provide a substitute -- one who would save the sinner while still honoring the law. Once this was settled, the next great question was, How will this expense be paid?

Covering the Cost of Sin

The Bible informs us how this question was in fact answered. A voluntary offering was taken up. But who wanted to be the first to pledge a contribution? Who wished to begin where so much was to be raised? Who was willing to make the first sacrifice? Who was willing take the first step in a project so vast? The Bible tells us. It began with the Infinite Father. He made the first great donation. He gave His only begotten Son. Then, having given His Son first, He freely gives all else that the situation can require.
First, He gave His Son to make the atonement for the violated law; then He gave His Holy Spirit to take charge of this work. The Son agreed to stand as the Representative of sinners, so that He might honor the law by suffering in their place. He poured out His blood; He freely offered His whole life of suffering upon the altar; He did not hide His face from those who spat on Him, nor His back from the lashes they gave Him; and He did not shrink from the harshest words that wicked men could heap on Him. Similarly, the Holy Spirit also unceasingly devotes Himself to self-denying efforts, in order to accomplish the great purpose.
If God had wanted an easier method, He could have turned against wicked men and sent them all down to hell, as He did when certain angels "did not keep their proper domain" (Jude 6). Rebellion broke out in heaven, and God did not tolerate it for long around His lofty throne. But in the case of man, God changed His course. He did not send them all to hell, but, to gain men¿s souls back to obedience and heaven, He devised a plan consisting of amazing self-denial and self-sacrifice.

Atonement for All Mankind

For whom was this great donation made? Our text verse says that "God so loved the world," meaning the whole race of men -- not only a particular part, but the whole race. We know that the Atonement must have been made for the whole world; we know this not only from the Bible, but also from the nature of the case. Clearly, if the Atonement had not been made for the entire human race, no individual could ever know that it was made for himself; therefore, no one could believe in Christ and receive by faith the blessings of the Atonement. With such utter uncertainty as to who is included in these limited provisions, the whole donation would fail because no rational faith could accept it.
Suppose a will is made by a rich man bequeathing some property to certain unknown individuals described only as "the elect." They are not described other than by this term. Although the maker of the will knew the individuals in his mind, he left no description of them that anyone -- neither the elect themselves, the courts, or any living mortal -- could understand. Such a will is altogether null and void; no living man can claim anything under it. Even if the elect were described as residents of a particular town, no one would be any better for it. Since the will does not embrace all the residents of that town, nor does it define which residents, all is still lost. No one can make a definite claim.
Now, if the Atonement were made in this way, no living person would have any valid reason for believing himself to be one of the elect before receiving the message of the Gospel. Thus he would have no authority to believe and receive its blessings by faith. In fact, on this supposition, the Atonement would be entirely void -- unless a special revelation is made to the persons for whom it is intended.
As the case is, however, the very fact that a man belongs to the race of Adam -- the fact that he is human, born of woman -- is all-sufficient. It brings him into the domain of Christ¿s sacrifice. He is one of the "world" for whom God gave His Son, "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Love as God¿s Motive

God¿s motive for this great gift was love -- love for the world. "God so loved the world that He gave His¿Son" to die for it. God also loved the universe, but this gift of His Son sprang from love for our world. However, in this great act, He also took pains to provide for the interests of the universe. He was careful to do nothing that could in the least relax the sacredness of His law. He carefully intended to guard against any misunderstanding of His regard for His law and for the high interests of obedience and happiness in His moral universe. He meant to rule out, once and for all, the danger that any moral agent could be tempted to undervalue the moral law.
Furthermore, it was not only out of His love for souls, but also out of respect for the spirit of the law of His own eternal reason, that He gave up His Son to die. The plan to give up His Son originated in this: the law of His own reason would be honored and held sacred. God can do nothing inconsistent with its spirit. He must do everything possible to prevent the commission of sin and to secure the confidence and love of His subjects. These things were so sacred to Him that He would baptize His Son in His own blood sooner than endanger the good of the universe. Beyond question, it was love and regard for the highest good of the universe that led Him to sacrifice His own beloved Son.

The Nature of God¿s Love

Let us consider more carefully the nature of this love. John 3:16 places special stress on this love -- "God so loved" (emphasis added). His love was so wonderful and so unique in its character that it led Him to give up His only Son to die. More is evidently implied in this expression than simply its greatness. Unless we understand this point, we will be in danger of falling into the strange mistake of the Universalists, who are always talking about God¿s love for sinners, but whose ideas of the nature of this love never lead to repentance or to holiness. They seem to think of this love as simply good nature, and they picture God only as a very good-natured being, whom nobody needs to fear. Such ideas do not incline one toward holiness, but in fact the very opposite. Only when we come to understand the true nature of this love can we feel its moral power promoting holiness.
One may reasonably ask, "If God so loved the world with a love characterized by greatness, and by greatness alone, why did He not save the whole world without sacrificing His Son?" This question shows us that there is deep meaning in the word so. Therefore, let us make a careful study of the love God has for the world.
A Love Not Delighting in Man¿s Character
First, this love is not satisfaction with or a delight in the character of the human race. This could not be possible, for there was nothing pleasing in their character. For God to have loved such a race in this way would have been infinitely disgraceful to Himself.

A Paternal Love
Second, His love was not mere emotion or feeling. It was not a blind impulse, though many seem to suppose it was. It is often supposed that God acted as men do when they are carried away by strong emotion. But there could be no virtue in this. A man might give away all he is worth under such a blind impulse of feeling, but be none the more virtuous. Even so, we cannot exclude all emotion from God¿s love for a lost world. He had emotion, but not only emotion. Indeed, the Bible teaches us that God¿s love for man, lost in his sins, was paternal, like the love of a father for his children. In this case, God¿s love was for rebellious, disobedient, prodigal children. Of course, this love contains the deepest compassion.

A Fraternal Love
The third aspect of this love is that it was fraternal on the part of Christ. "He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11). On the one hand, Christ is acting for His siblings; on the other, for His children. The Father gave Him up for this work and of course shares in the love appropriate to the relationship.

A Love Not for God¿s Own Profit
Fourth, this love was altogether disinterested, which is to say that God had nothing to gain for Himself by saving His children. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine God as being selfish, since His love embraces all creatures and all interests according to their real value. There is no doubt He took delight in saving the human race -- why should He not? It is a great salvation in every sense. It increases the bliss of heaven, and it will greatly affect the glory and blessedness of the Infinite God. He will eternally respect Himself for having a love so unmotivated by personal gain. God knows that all His holy creatures will eternally respect Him for this work and for the love that gave it birth. But let it also be said that He knew they would not respect Him for this great work unless they could see that He did it for the good of sinners.

A Zealous Love
Fifth, this love was zealous, not the coldhearted state of mind that some people suppose it was. It was not a mere concept, but a deep, zealous, earnest love, burning in His soul like a fire that nothing can quench.

A Costly Love
Sixth, the sacrifice was a most self-denying one. Did it cost the Father nothing to give up His own beloved Son to suffer and die such a death? If this is not self-denial, what is? To give up His Son to so much suffering -- is this not the noblest self-denial? The universe could never imagine great self-denial without His example.

A Particular yet Universal Love
Seventh, this love was particular because it was universal, and also universal because it was particular. God loved each sinner in particular; therefore, He loved all. Because He loved all impartially, with "no respect of persons" (Rom. 2:11 KJV), He therefore loved each in particular.

A Patient Love
Eighth, this was a most patient love. It is rare to find a parent who so loves his child that he is never impatient. How many of you parents can say that you love all your children so well that you have never felt impatient toward any of them? Can you take them in your arms when they are being disobedient and love them out of their sins, love them into repentance? Of which of your children can you say, "Thank God, I never became impatient with that child"? And if you were to meet him in heaven, could you say, "I never caused that child to become impatient with me"? Often have I heard parents say, "I love my children, but oh, how my patience fails me!" And, after the dear ones are dead, you may hear their bitter moans, "Oh, how could I have caused my child so much stumbling and so much sin?"
But God is never impatient. His love is so deep and so great that He is always patient.
Sometimes, when parents have children who are unfortunate in some way, they can bear with anything from them. But when the children are very wicked, parents seem to feel that their impatience
is quite excusable. In God¿s case, the children are
not unfortunate, but intensely wicked -- knowingly wicked. But oh, His amazing patience! He is so set upon their good, so desirous of their highest welfare, that however they abuse Him, He sets Himself to bless them still, and to melt them into penitence and love, by the death of His Son in their place!

A Jealous Love
Ninth, this is a jealous love, not in a bad sense, but in a good sense. This love is jealous in the sense of being exceedingly careful that nothing will occur to injure those He loves. Similarly, a husband and wife who truly love each other are jealous with ever wakeful jealousy over each other¿s welfare, seeking always to do all they can to promote each other¿s true interests.

Salvation for All Who Believe

This donation of God¿s Son has already been made -- not only promised, but actually made. The promise, given long before, has been fulfilled. The Son has come, has died, has made the ransom, and lives to offer eternal life. This salvation is prepared for all who will embrace it.
The Son of God did not die to appease vengeance, as some seem to understand the matter, but He died under the demands of law. The law had been violated and thereby dishonored. Therefore, Christ accepted the responsibility of honoring it by fulfilling its demands through His suffering life and His atoning death. He did not die to appease a vindictive spirit in God, but to secure the highest good of the universe in a dispensation of mercy.
Since this atonement has been made, all mankind has a right to it. It is open to everyone who will embrace it. Though Jesus remains the Father¿s Son, by gracious right He belongs in an important sense to the human race -- to everyone; every sinner has a share in His blood if he will only come humbly forward and claim it. God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world -- of anyone who would believe and accept this great salvation.
God gives His Spirit in order to apply this salvation to men. He comes to each man¿s door and knocks, to gain admittance, if He can, and to show each sinner that he may now have salvation. Oh, what a labor of love this is!
This salvation must be received by faith, if it is to be received at all. This is the only possible way. God¿s government over sinners is moral, not physical, because the sinner is himself a moral and not a physical agent. Therefore, God cannot influence us in any way unless we will give Him our confidence. He can never save us by merely taking us away to some place called heaven -- as if a change of place would change the human heart. Therefore, there can be no possible way to be saved except by simple faith.

A Living and Reigning Christ

Now, do not suppose that embracing the Gospel is simply to believe these historical facts without truly receiving Christ as your Savior. If this had been the plan, then Christ needed only to come down and die, then go back to heaven and quietly wait to see who would believe the facts. But how different is the real case! Christ comes down to fill the soul with His own life and love. Repentant sinners hear and believe the truth concerning Jesus, and then receive Christ into the soul, so that He may live there and reign supreme forever.
Many people misunderstand this point, saying, "If I believe the facts as matters of history, it is enough." No! No! This is not it by any means. "With the heart one believes unto righteousness" (Rom. 10:10). The Atonement was made to provide the way so that Jesus could come down to human hearts and draw them into union and harmony with Himself; so that God could embrace sinners in the arms of His love; so that law and government would not be dishonored even though God manifested friendship toward sinners. But the Atonement will by no means save sinners just by its having prepared the way for them to come into harmony and fellowship of heart with God.
Now Jesus comes to each sinner¿s door and knocks (Rev. 3:20). Listen! What¿s that knocking? Why did Jesus not go away and stay in heaven, until men would simply believe the historical facts and be baptized, as some suppose, for salvation? But now, see how He comes down, tells the sinner what He has done, reveals all His love, tells him how holy and sacred it is -- so sacred that He cannot act without reference to the holiness of His law and the purity of His government. Thus impressing on the heart the deepest ideas of His holiness and purity, He enforces the need for true repentance and the sacred duty of renouncing all sin.
Blurb: Nothing in this world can hold you back from experiencing the fullness of the marvelous life that God has for you. Let Finney show you how you can "come into such communion with Christ that His power and presence and fullness will flow through your heart fully and freely." Then Christ will be the source of everlasting life and joy within you.


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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 03 September, 2014.


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