Banner

"...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)

Contributors

  • Rev. John Samson
  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
  • Marco Gonzalez

    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

    top250.jpg

    Community Websites

    Monergism Books on Facebook

    Blogroll

    Latest Posts

    Categories

    Archives

    Ministry Links

  • « Sound Advice for Studying Theology at Home | Main | Scratching the surface »

    Choosing to Believe and Luther's Bondage of the Will

    Visitor:

    Hi, I just came across your site, after trying to understand Luther and his ideologies, and something about these quotes confuses me: [after reading this article] If he is saying that accepting Christ as your savior is sufficient to receive God's grace, does he not discount the fact that CHOOSING to accept the sacrifice of Jesus is in and of itself, an action?

    Response:

    Hi Mike ... Yes, choosing Christ is an action but faith and choice do not spring from an unrenewed heart. God must renew the heart if we are to believe and obey the gospel. Apart from the Holy Spirit no one natually comes to faith in Christ.

    The new birth is not a decision you make. Whoever you are, however you came to Jesus Christ, is because God has done a supernatural work of grace in your heart. That is why we pray for unbelievers because they would never come on their own.

    Notice the order of grace in the following passage:
    Ezekiel 36:25-27 says 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

    Likewise Jesus teaches that no one can believe in him unless first God grants it (John 6:65) and ALL that God grants will believe (John 6:37). Luther's wrote Bondage of the Will to point out that the Bible teaches that we are morally unable to obey any of God's commands, including the command to believe, apart from a supernatural work of grace in the heart of the unregenerate.

    Hope this helps
    J.W.H

    Posted by John on November 6, 2007 11:01 AM

    Comments

    Your first sentence:::>""Hi Mike ... Yes, choosing Christ is an action but faith and choice do not spring from an unrenewed heart.""

    The other day something came to me when reading Scripture that puts that response to the visitor into perspective for me and maybe you as well?

    Rev 7:14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    Rev 7:15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
    Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
    Rev 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

    FIRST GOD RENEWS MY HEART WITH FAITH THROUGH GRACE AS HIS GIFT TO ME INDICATING HIS WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT ME TO AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM NOW.

    Then I "dirty" my Robes of Righteousness and the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost now becomes a WALK OF FAITH that I have a Robe to dirty and cleanse!

    I say it like this:

    IF YOU DO NOT REALIZE WHAT GOD WANTS YOU DOING AFTER YOU DIE BEFORE HIS THRONE OF GRACE AND START DOING IT NOW BEFORE HIS THRONE OF GRACE BEFORE YOU DIE, WHY DO YOU THINK THINGS WILL BE ANY DIFFERENT IN YOUR LIFE AFTER YOU DIE?

    Paul the Apostle writes to the Holy Christian Church about being blinded by the god of this world.

    Now that my eyes are opened by no choice of my own, He chose me, I did not choose Him, it's now a necessary death life Cross walk for me so that I pass savely to the other side.

    God, by means of Grace and the Holy Christian Church under the direction of the Power of the Holy Ghost keeps washing and washing my eyes CLEAR and opening and opening my ears CLEAR so that now I can safely see and hear where I am going hearing clearly that Heavenly SOUND as we read there being seen and heard by John at Revelation 7.

    That first "Sacrament" dinner was an indicator of what the "Ministry" is all about, washing feet continually!

    A question then:

    WITHOUT CLEAN HANDS AND FEET, HOW WOULD ANYONE OF US CHOSEN BY GOD FIND OURSELVES IN REVELATION 7?

    Post a comment

    Please enter the letter "g" in the field below: