How wrong are twenty-first century Calvinists? They are as wrong as first century Calvinists!
Nearly 2,000 years ago, a man, although being born blind, received his sight by grace through faith in Jesus’ commands was harshly and erroneously told:
The blood of Christ, through the grace of God, deals with the consequences of sin. And hallelujah for this truth!
But many people in the religious world confuse the consequence of sin with the substance of sin when it comes to the blood of Jesus. In other words, there are not a few who teach the blood of Christ changes what is sin when someone is “saved” by Jesus from their sins.
GOD’S GRACIOUS PLAN OF SALVATION
From time to time, at least twice a year, I try to present to my readers God’s gracious plan of salvation as set forth in the New Testament. Since it has been several months since I have posted this, I thought that now, early in the new year, would be a good time to do so. Nothing in this will be new to most of my readers, but I hope that they may use it as an evangelistic tool and forward this edition of “Hugh’s News & Views” to friends, neighbors, and family members who are not New Testament Christians. Think of the joy that would come if just one soul learned the truth, obeyed it, and was saved! We must all be faithful in sharing the gospel and its saving truth with as many as possible. Continue reading
A devotional writer said the following today:
Grace is found in God alone. Therefore, one must relate rightly to the God of all grace in order to receive all that He has for us in fulfilling His purposes and glorifying His name.
He is absolutely right. Only God gives true grace that saves forever. To enter this grace, or to receive it, one must relate rightly to God. Saving grace is not universal. It must be received and it is received by following the divine instructions, the divine will, that is, how God determined in his sovereignty we must establish a relationship with him.
The author of the above quote does not explain how to receive this grace. But he would give an answer, as most religious people would, far removed from what Scripture teaches.
The answer to the question of what to do to receive saving grace is paramount, exactly because of the quote above. Let no one complain that we spend so much time over the answer, attempting to correct people’s wrong notions about it and confront those who teach error.
For a good summary of the biblical answer, see this link.
#grace #relationship-with-God #salvation
If you pay attention to the recorded dialogue of Israel toward God, between the books of Exodus and Numbers, you will eventually notice one thing about their perspective concerning Egypt and the wilderness – they never had anything bad to say about Egypt!
The Israelite generation who wasted away in the wilderness had numerous complaints about their new found freedom from slavery provided by God but seemingly only “fond” memories of the physical nourishment they enjoyed in Egypt. At one point they wanted to choose new leaders to go back to the land from which God had made them free!
People are not able to repent unless the Spirit of God wills their completely depraved heart to do so; thus says Calvinism, but not the Bible.
“Then he began to rebuke the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:”
Matthew 11:20 NKJV
The failure of repentance falls upon the individual, not the Spirit. Why rebuke someone if such is not the case? Indeed, the grace of God leads to repentance (Romans 2:4), but being encouraged to repent is not the same as repentance being enforced upon the individual. The Spirit engages and invites (Revelation 22:17), he does not handcuff and coerce.
If an individual could only repent by the will of the Spirit then why did Jesus, by the Spirit, preach like people had a choice in the matter? The only honest answer is because they did have a choice!
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3 NKJV)
#repentance #salvation #Calvinism
Perhaps it’s due to its birth, but Calvinism likes to play semantics with the sovereignty of God. One moment God is sovereignly controlling all things and the next moment he’s not in control of his own sovereignty.
You see, according to the doctrine of Calvinism, God’s sovereignty controls everything, including whether or not an individual is capable of being unconditionally saved. When God’s sovereign grace, according to the said doctrine, is gifted upon the unconditionally predestined individual by grace alone, only then is he or she capable of producing works of genuine repentance which evidences his or her reception of salvation from God. Therefore the logical end-result of Calvinism’s beginning says a person can only repent and be saved if it’s according to the sovereign will of God.
More books have come out of boxes for my library, after my move to the home office (still without a name). My copy of the first edition of the New International Version (1978) floated to the surface. The glue is dried and sections are all broken, but I still cling to this Bible. Here’s the copyright page: Continue reading
Here’s a little 3×5 card that puts the gospel squarely (or rectangularly) centered in God and his activity.
#gospel #God #salvation
“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1.18
Salvation has three tenses: past, present, and future. Paul says we are being saved. God continues to preserve us and save us from temptation, from the power of sin, from the wiles of Satan.
We have need of constant vigilance. This is not a reason for worry, but for peace of mind, because God’s power is more than sufficient. How am I trusting in God to save today?
#votd #1-Corinthians #salvation
ON DEAD MEN CLIMBING LADDERS
In an effort to downplay the necessity of taking the steps necessary for being saved from sin and becoming a Christian, it has been asserted that “dead men don’t climb ladders.” But what proves too much proves too little! Using that same “logic,” dead men do not go to the mourner’s bench. Dead men do not “pray through.” Dead men do not kneel down by their radio or television set and “receive Jesus into their heart.” Dead men do not walk to the front at a “Crusade for Christ.” Dead men do not “just believe.” Dead men do not say “the sinner’s prayer.” Yet, all of these are taught as things that a person can do to be saved.
It is rather obvious that a person who is literally and physically dead can do nothing. Physically dead men don’t breathe, eat, think, talk, walk, or work! Neither do they read the Bible! And, it is true that the alien sinner (the sinner who has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ and who has not become a child of God) is said to be “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But, the fact that a person may be spiritually dead does not mean that he is physically dead and therefore incapable of doing anything to save himself. A person who is spiritually dead but physically alive is capable of hearing, believing, and obeying the gospel which is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16). Continue reading
“Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ So he said to them, ‘Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.'”
Was it a kind concern for others that motivated the question posed to Jesus? The question seemed to expect a positive answer, based on previous teaching of his.
Jesus often did not answer questions with a direct reply. Here, he directs the person not to numbers, but to self. Make sure you are saved. It reminds one of John 21.21-23.
#votd #Luke #salvation
“But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.”
Saul saw the Lord Jesus on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus. He asked what he should do. The Lord told him. To do for what purpose? To be saved.
Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved in Damascus after he heard what to do to be saved. He was immersed in water and his sins were washed away, Acts 22.16.
#votd #Acts #baptism #salvation
“Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.”
Fleeing from his rebellious son Absalom, King David still believes that God will save him. He has his promise. Circumstances say otherwise, but faith sees beyond them.
What situations threaten my faith in God’s promise of salvation? How to strengthen my faith in God for difficult moments that will come?
#votd #Psalms #salvation
Settling every Bible based question or studying every Bible based topic can hardly be resolved with a single verse every time, but there are times when a single verse is so clear and concise in what is being said, the point cannot be missed by any honest Bible student.
For example, take the question and topic of the necessity of water baptism in relation to salvation. For every verse that reveals the truth about water baptism there are some people who try to raise two verses to teach to the contrary. Often these verses contain the concept of “faith” that stands alone, but never a verse containing the words “faith alone” together – see here. The result is a large number of the religious world promoting a perverted and watered-down view of water baptism such as, “You are baptized to show the world that you are already saved, not to be saved.”
So what is the truth about the necessity of water baptism? Well to be honest there is not a single verse that teaches you about all the details of what happens for us or to us during our submission to God in the waters of baptism, but there are plenty of verses that reveal its necessity; one of these verses being 1 Peter 3:21 which says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,“.
Try as hard they may, to remove the truth about the necessity of water baptism from the Bible would result in individuals removing entire pages from numerous pages in the New Testament and several more from the Old Testament when you include the types and shadows of God’s plan of salvation revealed in the life, the teachings and the last will and testament of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16).