"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « John Knox the Preacher | Main | A Sampling of Substantive Lyrics »

    Unconditional Election Quote

    If all of us are so depraved that we cannot come to God without being born again by the irresistible grace of God, then it is clear that the salvation of any of us is owing to God's election. Election refers to God's choosing whom to save. It is unconditional in that there is no condition man must meet before God chooses to save him. Man is dead in trespasses and sins. So there is no condition he can meet before God chooses to save him from his deadness. We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith. - Dr. John Piper, in "What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism"

    Posted by John Samson on November 17, 2006 12:03 PM


    A huge amen to that!

    That ties a lot of stuff together as far as the doctrines of grace and our justification.

    AAAAAMEN!! Too bad most of the churches out there today don't believe this.........

    Regeneration precedes faith. Classic reformed doctrine.


    Yes, certainly it is classic reformed doctrine to say that regeneration precedes faith. A good short article by R. C. Sproul on this is available here:

    What does he mean by,
    "We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life."
    If one is "Elect," there is nothing more to do to inherit eternal life. One may, however, lose rewards. So what is this "condition of faith" one must meet to remain "saved."


    You ask, "If one is "Elect," there is nothing more to do to inherit eternal life. One may, however, lose rewards. So what is this "condition of faith" one must meet to remain "saved.""

    Divine election speaks of God's choice in eternity past of a certain people whom He will save (Ephesians 1:4). Election is unconditional (Romans 9:11-13). However in time, the elect still need to come to faith in Christ in order to be justified ("Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" - Romans 5:1). John 3:16 tells us that all who believe in Christ will not perish but have eternal life, and as Acts 13:48 says "all who were appointed to eternal life believed." We are not justified (put in right standing with God) by merely being elect, but by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.. though of course, it is only the elect who will come to Christ in true saving faith.

    Yes, "regeneration precedes faith" is Reformed doctrine, but it is not biblical doctrine. It was dreamed up by Augustine and Calvin.

    There are many conditions that must be met in order for salvation to be as promised in Scripture. Faith is one of these - endurance is another (Matt 24.13; Mark 13;13). The amazing thing is that we are not left to meet these conditions on our own - we couldn't do it! God, gives to his children those things he requires of them. Here's a great article on this..

    James West,


    You are not asking a question here such as "can you show me where this concept is found in scripture?" Instead, you are making a categorical statement to say that it is not biblical. Excuse me for a moment - I need to try to calm down!!

    (O.K. - help me Lord... Thank you for your peace... I receive your peace in Jesus' name... breathing in deeply..and now breathing out... counting to 10... breathing in again.. and out... Thank you Lord... great peace have they who love your law... O.K. I think I can proceed). :-)

    Jesus made it clear that a man must be regenerated before he can either enter or even see the kingdom of God (John 3). If we enter the kingdom of God by coming to Christ in faith, then what is this except regeneration precedes faith?

    But if all we had was 1 John 5:1, it would be more than enough to warrant this concept as biblical. In fact, I've met more than one Greek student who became reformed in their thinking just because they studied this verse in the original language.

    1 John 5:1 states, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."

    A literal translation reads as follows: "All the ones going on believing (pisteuon, present tense, continuous action) that Jesus is the Christ has been born (gennesanta, perfect tense - an action already complete with abiding effects) of God."

    The verse plainly teaches that if someone is presently going on believing in Christ it shows that they have FIRST been born again. Faith is the EVIDENCE of regeneration, not the cause of it.

    Since both repentance and faith are possible only because of the work of God (regeneration), both are called the gift of God in scripture (Eph. 2:8, 9; Phil. 1:29; 2 Tim 2:24-26).

    There's more I could say.. but its time for me to breathe in and out again to try to calm my racing pulse!!!

    Here's a verse from 1 Peter that reflects it, this "precedent":

    1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    For me this verse just interprets Genesis 1:2

    Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.


    And these THREE are ONE, that is, Our Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Blessed God and Friend, the Blessed Holy Ghost.

    And these THREE are before the heaven and the earth, AND DARKNESS, a fruit, darkness is a fruit.

    I think I am overwhelmed with God, WHO IS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD!


    "Yes, "regeneration precedes faith" is Reformed doctrine, but it is not biblical doctrine. It was dreamed up by Augustine and Calvin."

    Since James West did not back up this claim with an argument, he is a troll. Do not feed the trolls.

    Hi and thanks for responding!

    I visited your website but still have a hard time understanding the doctrine of limited atonement and unconditional election. Sometimes I find it hard to swallow, I was wondering if you can break it down for me.


    Hi Madeline,

    I've written an article on limited atonement you may find useful at

    For unconditional election, I have tried to answer the top 10 questions at the following:

    Of course, there are many articles on these two subjects at the main web site.

    I hope these are helpful to you.

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