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

  • « My Top 5 Books for 2012 | Main | When I read my Bible through »

    Semi-Pelagianism, Arminianism or Grace Alone

    In semi-pelagianism man's will precedes God's grace. In Arminianism God's grace precedes man's will (but still ascribes faith and repentance to each man's personal wisdom, not to Christ ALONE). But in Divine monergism (grace alone) God mercifully gives man a new heart (Ezek. 36:26), renewing his will and affections, which makes his choice certain and effectual (Jn. 6:37).

    It should be noted that Arminians are adamant that they teach salvation by "grace alone" and would take offense if someone were to say otherwise. While I acknowledge that this is what they universally declare, but we are countering this assertion by saying that their theology is not consistent with this declaration. What most Arminians really mean by "grace alone is "faith alone" which is a related concept, but not the same. The problem here is that they rightly affirm the biblical doctrine of salvation "through FAITH alone", but they do not differentiate this concept enough from the biblical doctrine of "GRACE alone", at least in any historical way the Bible or the Reformation speak of this issue. The phrase "grace alone" has always historically signified that Jesus or His grace is not merely necessary for our salvation, but sufficient to save us to the uttermost. Jesus provides everything we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe. In Arminian prevenient grace, on the other hand, Jesus provides no such thing, even by their own reckoning. It claims to lift the natural man out of his depravity, but that man remains unregenerate (has no new heart). In other words it places man (against his will) in some kind of semi-regenerate state, (which the Bible, of course, never speaks of). And then makes the sinner himself the ultimate determining factor in his salvation, which means he ascribes his repenting and believing to his own wisdom or humility and not to Christ alone. Consider, If two persons receive prevenient grace, and one person believes while the other rejects Christ, what makes them to differ that one had faith and not the other? Why did one believe and not the other? It was not grace since they both had grace, so obviously something other than grace made them to differ? Jesus declares another way. He said, "...all that the Father gives to me will come to me" (John 6:37). In other words He ensures that all persons the Father has given to Christ will believe the gospel. Jesus is declaring, in no uncertain terms, that salvation from beginning to end, as the author and finisher, is of the LORD alone, not a cooperation between man and God (Rom 9:15, 16, John 1:13)

    Posted by John on January 3, 2013 02:35 PM

    Comments

    Surely the chances of conversion are greater for me in a country where the Gospel is free to be preached against a country where it isn't.
    To me that made God a respecter of persons and was therefore contrary to the Word of God. There had to be another reason and as I searched God graciously showed me that He alone through grace alone gives the ability to His elect to exercise faith wherever they have been placed in the world. That settled the issue for me !!

    Does the Doctrine of Unconditional election make God a "respecter of persons"?
    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/respecterofpersons.html

    Arminianism teaches that God's grace gives man the ability to respond to God's gracious invitation.It does not force him ,but draws him, even though man can disobey as the Jews in Jerusalem did to Christ-'but you would not'.

    @Drew

    Well this is true... but Arminianism does force a person against their will to be given prevenient grace, no? The sinner does not even want that, yet God forces them to have it.

    Don't you think this argument is a broken one? To say God does not force someone to believe is like arguing that God does not force you to be given physical birth. Fact is, you had no choice in that matter of your physical birth, he gave you life whether you wanted it or not. But we consider that loving even though it was "force". Likewise God giving us the new birth is a great mercy ... like a parent running out into the street to save their disobedient child from oncoming traffic. We do not say the parent forced the child to be saved from the car even if it was against their will at the time. NO ONE WOULD EVER SAY THAT. The parent knows better than the child what is good for him. In fact, we would say this kind of "force" as you put it, is the very definition of love. On the other hand if the parent first gave the child a CONDITION to meet before he would love him and save them from oncoming traffic (as Arminians do) then that is not really love at all. We would never think of a parent as loving if they would only help their child unless they first meet a condition, so this tired old argument of Arminians is rather absurd.

    Next the word "draw" in John 6:44 is parallel to "all the Father gives to me" in verse 37. You see both passages are saying the same thing. Both use "come to me" ... "All that the Father gives to me will come to me" & "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them" --- This passage explicitly teaches that all the father gives or draws will come to faith in Jesus Christ. IN fact with verse 65 it forms a syllogism which does not allow for the arminian view. No one can believe unless God grants it and all that God grants to Christ will believe. Read these "come to me" passages together in John 6 and you will see that the Arminian preveninet grace idea simply does not hold up.

    Jesus meets all the conditions for us. He provides everything we need for salvation, not just some things.

    So well said, John....God does provide everything we need to be saved...And saved we will be...Not by any choice we make; but according to His mercy He saves us.

    Arminianism is a false gospel...Jesus said He chose us, we did not choose Him. We were dead in trespasses and sins..Dead men can't choose anything..We were as dead as Lazuras was in the grave...He didn't choose to come forth; he couldn't...And God chooses us in the same way....We play no part in our salvation; as you so aptly said.

    "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy" God said...If anyone can fault in God for choosing whomsover he wants; then the problem is with them, not with the Almighty.

    "We play no part in our salvation; as you so aptly said."

    Do you know how obtuse your rendition of Sovereignty of God is? A deliberate choice to trust Christ is required. Without conscious choice to practicably Christ, you cannot be justified and saved.

    It just happens that God masterminds, without violating free will (going beneath it) such that our conscious wills do choose Him.

    The "sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so." (Romans 8:7)The mind is not (necessarily) the will. And the will is natively and overwhelmingly enslaved by this sinful mind because the latter is only thing the will knows until it finds another mind which is stronger (Luke 11:21-22).

    It is God's choice alone. It is through God's necessary and overwhelmingly intervention alone. However, conversion and regeneration requires a matching of our will with His will. Our weak our wills are overwhelmingly overpowered by wooing, persuading, threatening and other divine 'methods'. The natural mind which resists that Divine nature and mind is no match for the latter. It defenses are disarmed.

    When God intends a conversion, God will obtain. If God does not intend, God will not obtain. What God does not do is circumvent our conscious will in order to obtain (it violates His own declared ethics).

    John Hutchinson

    obtuse? can you find me your doctrine of free will in Scripture? You have created an entire doctrine by reading your extra-biblical philosophy into Scripture.

    Of course "a deliberate choice to trust Christ is required." No one here ever said otherwise. We declare that fallen man is fully responsible to repent, submit, believe, love, obey, and persevere in holiness. But the problem is that he won't. Rebellious fallen man will never lift a finger to do so ... so he has no hope if left to himself ... No hope, that is, UNLESS Christ gives him ears to hear and eyes to see and mercifully circumcises his heart, turning his heart of stone to a heart of flesh that he might believe and obey (Deut 30: 6; Ezek 36:26; John 6:63, 65, 37). But remember, due to man's willful hatred of God, the Lord is under no obligation to save anyone. If would be perfectly just if he left all men to themselves and their own desires. Yet God still has mercy on many sinners (which is amazing) in spite of themselves ... but He has justice on the others due to their willful sin. so humans either get mercy or justice in this world, but no one gets injustice.

    Jesus himself declares in no uncertain terms that no one can come to faith in him unless God grants it 9john 6:65 and ALL to whom he grants it, will come to faith in Him (John 6:37). It is obvious you need to take some time to wrestle with Jesus own words rather than take it up with me.

    Post a comment

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