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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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  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
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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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  • « If People Do Not Have Free Will, How Do You Explain Adam? | Main | “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Jn 14:15 »

    Man's Natural Inability

    no-ability

    John 3:

    Nicodemus:2 'We know that you are a teacher having come from God. For no one is able [dunatai] to do these signs that you do unless God is with him.'

    Jesus:3 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot [dunatai] see the kingdom of God.'

    Nicodemus:4 'How can [dunatai] a man be born when he is old old? Can [dunatai] he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?'

    Jesus:5 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot [dunatai] enter the kingdom of God. . . . The wind blows where it wishes...'

    Nicodemus:9 'How can [dunatai] these things be?”

    * * * * *

    John 6:44
    Jesus: No one can [dunatai] come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

    65 Jesus: And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can [dunatai] come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    * * * * *

    Romans 8:
    Paul: 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot [dunatai]. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot [dunatai] please God.

    * * * * *

    1 Cor 2:
    14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able [dunatai] to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

    * * * * *

    In contrast:

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

    Comment: In the original Greek, the verb tenses in this verse are very revealing. A literal translation reads as follows: "All the ones going on believing (pisteuon, a 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 fact that someone is presently going on believing in Christ 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).

    Posted by John Samson on August 5, 2013 01:17 PM

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