“O what efforts Satan puts forth to keep people from this vitally important and all-necessary work of self-examination. He knows full well that if many of his deceived victims set about the task in earnest, they would soon discover that no miracle of Divine grace has been wrought in them, and that this would cause them to seek the Lord with all their hearts.
Arthur Pink 1886-1952, “Studies On Saving Faith”
Not all will “seek the Lord with all their hearts” in such cases… but all of God’s elect will, at His appointed time for them, if found in such a self-deceiving state. There will come a point wherein the emptiness of a vain, heady profession will cause a child of God to flee to Him for grace and mercy. They will eschew what godly men of old called ‘Dead Calvinism,’ and what they viewed as mere Notionalism.
True religion is indeed more than notion, more than mere mental assent; something (experientially) must be known and felt. This isn’t emotionalism, or fancy, this is the heart-felt, God-given revelation/realisation that true religion, true salvation, isn’t about being saved… just to be saved. True religion is about being saved to love, serve, and obey The Lord — all unto His glory.
True religion is to go from bondage to bondage; cursed bondage to blessed bondage; bondage to sin and dead works of the law… to bondage to Christ and all that pertains to Him and His kingdom. True religion, true salvation, is to be set at liberty! Not liberty to indulge ourselves in as much of this fallen world as possible; not liberty to test the limits of ‘what is and isn’t really sin,’ but liberty to serve the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, all as He both promises and enables.
The Christian’s desire should be to be an abundant fruit tree, bearing much fruit of the Spirit, despite knowing how unfruitful we are in this life in comparison to Christ, and to His holy law. Our life should be captivated by the Master, and desirous to serve Him. This is the entirety of the Old and New Testament example. God help us to realise this all the more.
To God be the glory, Amen.