"...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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  • « Book Review: The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, by Walter Marshall | Main | Word & Spirit by John Calvin »

    This is all my Calvinism...

    In a sermon on Romans 9:16, Charles Simeon declared, "Many there are who cannot see these truths [the doctrines of God's sovereignty], who yet are in a state truly pleasing to God; yea many, at whose feet the best of us may be glad to be found in heaven. It is a great evil, when these doctrines are made a ground of separation one from another, and when the advocates of different systems anathematize each other. . . . In reference to truths which are involved in so much obscurity as those which relate to the sovereignty of God mutual kindness and concession are far better than vehement argumentation and uncharitable discussion" (Horae Homileticae, Vol. 15, p. 357).

    Simeon lived out this counsel is seen in the way he conversed with the elderly John Wesley. He tells the story himself:
    "Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?

    Yes, I do indeed.

    And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?

    Yes, solely through Christ.

    But, Sir, supposing you were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?

    No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.

    Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?


    What then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother's arms?

    Yes, altogether.

    And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?

    Yes, I have no hope but in Him.

    Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree. (Moule, 79f)

    Posted by John Samson on January 12, 2007 03:58 AM


    Wonderful. It reminds me of a similar statement by Spurgeon (perhaps you are more familiar with it than I) where he, in the midst of a discussion with an Arminian, asked the question, "Are you a different creature now than you were before your redemption?"

    The Arminian answered, "Yes."

    Spurgeon continued, "And who wrought the change, you or God?"

    "God," the Arminian replied.

    "This is Calvinism," said Spurgeon.

    Excellent words, something I need to reflect on regularly. Especially as I attend a independent church and most do not know the doctrines of grace.

    That was great. What a statement of faith. I will share this.

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