"...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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  • « A Reason for Unbelief | Main | Christ Alone »

    Question for Those Who Teach Universal Prevenient Grace

    If God grants all men a universal grace which precedes, enlightens and enables the first stirrings of a good will or inclination toward God , all the time, (as some erroneously teach) then who are the carnal people described in 1 Cor 2 who have heard the word and do not have the Spirit to understand the word of God? (v. 14) And what of these passages which clearly distinguish between the gospel coming only in word and the gospel which comes in both word AND Spirit (1 Thess 1: 4-5; 1 Cor 1:23)?

    "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." 1 Thess 1:4, 5

    "...we preach Christ crucified [outward call], a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles [universal rejection], but to those who are called [inward call], both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23

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

    Posted by John on October 26, 2013 03:20 PM


    Besides the verses you drew on I'd include these from Colossians 1:

    We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:3-8 ESV)

    1 Cor 1:23 is such a clear text to illustrate the effectual call. Thanks for referencing it, John. You could almost call it "reformed theology in a nutshell."

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