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"...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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    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.

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  • « Book Review: Love, Freedom, and Evil, by Thaddeus J. Williams | Main | Libertarian Freedom and God »

    No Kicking and Screaming...

    "The doctrine of ‘irresistible grace’... is simply the belief that when God chooses to move in the lives of His elect and bring them from spiritual death to spiritual life, no power in heaven or on earth can stop Him from so doing... It is simply the confession that when God chooses to raise His people to spiritual life, He does so without the fulfillment of any conditions on the part of the sinner. Just as Christ had the power and authority to raise Lazarus to life without obtaining his ‘permission’ to do so, He is able to raise His elect to spiritual life with just as certain a result.

    God ordains the ends and the means. The ends is the salvation of God's elect. His decree renders their salvation a certainty... Just as God's grace is irresistible, so the result of that grace (regeneration, the imparting of a heart of flesh after taking out the heart of stone, etc.,) is just as certain. God changes the heart so that my act of faith toward Jesus Christ is the natural result of my changed nature.

    I am a new creature, not because the old rebel decided to become something other, but because of the resurrection power of God by the Spirit. The very idea of someone kicking and screaming seems a bit ironic, in light of the Reformed insistence upon the deadness of man in sin. Surely the heart of stone contains no desire to be changed, but ignoring the impartation of resurrection life as the means by which a radical change in the will of the elect is effected again presents a fundamentally distorted view of the (Reformed) position..." - Dr. James White

    The doctrines of grace are intricately related one to the other. It is easy to see in this case how "irresistible grace" relates also to the "perseverance of the saints." This is because the One who starts the work, finishes it. To quote John Newton's hymn Amazing Grace, "Twas grace that caused my heart to fear... and grace will lead me home."

    "As grace led me to faith in the first place, so grace will keep me believing to the end. Faith, both in its origin and continuance, is a gift of grace." - J.I. Packer

    - JS

    Posted by John Samson on March 3, 2012 12:59 PM

    Comments

    John,
    Did Christ taste death for every man or for the elect only?
    In Christ's person and work, is he consubstantial with all men or with the elect only?
    If "resurrection power" is reserved for those who are new creatures, why do the damned receive it also?

    And seeing that you shut down comments on the other thread...
    You make evil necessary for God's glory because his nature determines his action and he could not choose otherwise, and therefore he could not be as glorious without it. Also, you make creation and redemption necessary for God rather than the free choice of love.

    Will God save me without me?

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