Salvation: Synergism or Sola Gratia?

By Charlie Martin

THUS SAITH THE LORD:
“.….But speak thou the things which become sound
doctrine…..reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine;…..that thou mightest
charge some that they teach no other doctrine that is
contrary to sound doctrine;…..”

For “whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom
shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are
weaned from the milk, and drawn from the
breasts;…..but to this man will I look, even to him that
is humble and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my
word…..for the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine.”
(Titus 2:1; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1Tim. 1:3,10; Isaiah 28:9, 66:2; 2Tim. 4:3)


“For unto you it is *given* in behalf of Christ,…..to believe
on him,”…..“For by grace have you been saved through faith; AND
THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, it [faith] is the gift of God;
[therefore]“.….with gentleness correcting those who are in
opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the
knowledge of the truth.”

(Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:25)

SALVATION: Synergism or Sola Gratia?

In our lifetime, we have been exposed to many different movements within evangelical
Christianity. One such movement is commonly known as the "Seeker Sensitive" movement
found in non reformed bible churches. It depicts countless numbers of people in our society
as actively seeking after spiritual things, and perhaps God specifically, so that the evangelical
Church’s job is to target this group and do whatever it takes to get them into the Church. The
belief is that if we can just get them into the Church, make friends with them, show them
love, etc., then they will be able to “make a decision” for Christ. Therefore, church programs
are designed to "attract" people: worship services are labeled “user friendly”, styles of
worship are altered to be more casual and informal, drama/music/dance dominate the worship
service, and sermons are now “messages,” and "informal talks" given so as not to offend
anyone. All of this is done to funnel a person into a position to “accept Jesus”.
It is a recognized fact that there are many people who are actively seeking God and it is our
desire to tell them the "good news" of the gospel – to announce that no one can be saved from
the judgment of their sin except through the blood of Christ’s atonement -- but that is not the
issue dealt with here. The “Seeker Sensitive” movement is the symptom, not the cause of the
problem.
The foundational issue is how the Church views the unsaved person.
Are they dead in sins and trespasses, or do they possess some spiritual goodness and
ability to seek after God?
So, we must ask the questions: Who initiates and guides the individual to salvation---God,
man, or both? Does the human will cooperate with divine grace in the work of regeneration?
No one will argue that many do think they seek after God, even claim to have faith, and yet
not end up saved (Matt 7:21;25:41-46; James 2:26). So there must be a form of spirituality, a
seeking of sorts, that leads one down to hell itself. On the other hand, there is a seeking after
God, which results in eternal life. This is where we want to focus our attention. Who begins
the search, and what is the actual cause that results in regeneration? For you see, the answer
to that question will determine to whom credit (glory, honor, and praise) is due.
For the sake of clarity and understanding, this paper will be divided into five sections:
    A. Terms and Definitions.
    B. Total Inability vs. Synergism.
    C. Sola Gratia.
    D. Concluding thoughts and statements.
    E. Appendix: Summary of the Atonement, and its connection to the fall of Adam.
Particular emphasis is given especially for the definition of Prevenient Grace and Total
Inability or Total Depravity. “Prevenient Grace” is the view of the majority of churches
today, but is found lacking in scriptural support, which brings us exactly to the reason
why the doctrine of Synergism is taught in the majority of the churches today.
A. Terms and Definitions.
What is synergism? Webster defines it this way:

Synergism – interaction of discrete agencies (as industrial firms) or agents (as drugs) such
that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects”
*Theologically, Synergism is a doctrine that states that the human will cooperates with Divine grace
in the work of regeneration. Can we find scriptural warrant for the doctrine of Synergism? Or, as the
Protestant reformation stated, are we totally unable to come to Christ unless God Himself does a
complete work of regeneration in us by grace alone (Sola Gratia)? “What does the Scripture say?”
(Gal.4: 30) “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which
testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39, 40).

What is Regeneration?
It is the work, or more properly the act, of God (Eph. 2:1-10). The creature has no power in
originating this new life. The creation of new life is called a “new birth” or a “birth from
above” John 3:3; anothen signifies (“from above”), or a birth of the Spirit” (John 3:5). Man is
passive in regeneration. He receives this gracious act of God, but being naturally “dead”
(Eph. 2:1) he cannot contribute to it.
“Regeneration is that act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in
man, and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy…and the first holy exercise of
this new disposition is secured.” (Berkhof) (Dictionary of Theological Terms, Dr. Alan
Cairns, p. 303)

What is Sola Gratia?
The translated Latin into English is: Sola = Alone, Gratia = Grace; hence, (Grace Alone).
Man is so spiritually bankrupt that he can not exercise the slightest approach towards his
salvation. Dead men can’t think, move, crawl, or even lift a finger because there is no life in
them. And so it is in the spiritual realm; God must raise us from the dead in the spiritual
sense, (Regenerate us) in order to be able to comprehend the call of the Gospel. In Eph. 2:12
it states that Gentiles, in the unregenerate state, and which scripturally does include all those
in the unregenerate state today, are all men without Christ,---having no hope,--- and without
God in the world. They have no hope (especially in their will) because they are dead! So,
Sola Gratia means that we are totally unable to come to Christ unless God himself does a
complete work of regeneration in us by grace alone.

What is Prevenient Grace?
Latin pre “before,” and venire, “to come”; grace that must precede certain actions of man to
enable him to perform them. Evangelical Arminians, following John Wesley, hold that
prevenient grace is the grace God gives a sinner to enable him to exercise the faith on the
basis of which he is regenerated. Some evangelicals, who do not think of themselves as
Arminians mainly because they do not believe in Arminianism’s “saved and lost” theory,
have a similar view. They speak of prevenient grace as the ability to exercise saving faith that
God has given to all men through the merits of Christ’s death.They view regeneration as the
result, not the cause, of faith.
In Roman Catholic theology, prevenient grace is grace necessary to receive the benefit of the
grace conveyed by a sacrament. All these theories of prevenient grace are deficient. The
Arminian and the evangelical views appear to be weak attempts to evade the force of the
Reformed doctrine of irresistable grace and effectual calling. They both make saving
faith the action of the unregenerate man. According to scripture, it is the action of the
new man. Faith is the result, not the cause of regeneration. (Rom. 8:7; 1Pet. 1:2)
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject unto the law of
God, neither indeed can be.” Dictionary of theological Terms, Dr. Alan Cairns, p. 277,278)
[emphasis mine]

What is meant by the terms Irresistable Grace or Effectual Calling?
The term used by the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith to cover the subject of regeneration. It
states:
“This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all
foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature coworking with his
special grace, the creature being soley passive therein, being dead in sins and
trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby
enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it,
and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.”
(2 Tim.1: 9, Eph. 2:8, 1 Cor. 2:14, Eph .2:5, Jn 5:25, Eph 1:19,20 ( ch. 10, sec. 2)
[emphasis mine]

What is meant by “Doctrines of Grace?”
A name given to the system usually known as Calvinism, which emphasizes that salvation is
all of grace, by the merit of Christ alone, absolutely without any addition from the works of
man, either in an unregenerate state, or in a regenerate state. (Dictionary of Theological
Terms, Dr. Alan Cairns, p.127)

What is a believer?
Only those who are Christ’s, whom the Father has given him, and those only, come to faith.
Others are so blinded by their sinful prejudice that they refuse to believe. Only the regenerate,
who have been born again, “born from above”(John 3:3,7) believe. In other words, it is given
only for the sheep to believe. Jesus strongly emphasized this when he said: “But you believe
not, because ye are not of my sheep.” (John 10:26) Compare this with those who are “not of
God.” He said to the unbelieving Jews, “He who is of God hears God’s words, therefore you
do not hear, because you are not of God.” (John 8:47 NKJV) (cf. John 6:37,44,65; 17:1,2,9;
Acts 13:48; Eph. 2:8,9)

What is Election?
The words elect and election may be taken actively to denote God’s choice or passively to
denote the privilege of being chosen by him. The verb occurs 29 times in the N.T. God’s
election of men to salvation is His eternal and sovereign choice of them to be His adopted
children (Eph. 1:4; Rom. 8:29), not because of any forseen merit or obedience on their part.
Rather, the faith and obedience by which they, in time, enter into salvation through Christ are
the result of election, not the cause of it (1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Pet. 1:3; 2Tim. 1:9). (Dictionary of
Theological Terms, Dr. Alan Cairns, p.134)

What is meant by the Term Predestinated or Predestination?
In the widest sense, predestination “is the theological doctrine….that from eternity God has
foreordained all things which come to pass” (Boettner). In this sense it is synonymous with
God’s decree. However, it is most frequently used in a narrower sense, “as designating only
the counsel of God concerning fallen men, including the sovereign election of some and the
most righteous reprobation of the rest” (A.A. Hodge). [emphasis mine]
In this sense, predestination is two parts, election and reprobation. (see Westminster and 1689
Baptist Confession chap. 3, sec. 3,7).
Election has no other basis than the good pleasure of God. It is not conditional, it does not
rest upon any foreseen act of faith. Rather, faith is part of the blessing the elect are chosen to
receive (1 Pet. 1:1,2; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 1:29)

Reprobation also has it’s basis in the good pleasure of God (Rom. 9:11-18). However while
election is purely sovereign, taking no account of the personal deserts of the objects of
it, reprobation, while certainly sovereign, is also judicial and does take
account of the guilt of the sinner. The Westminster Confession of faith (chap. 3, sec.7)
states the Reformed position clearly:
“The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of
His own will, whereby He extendeth or witholdeth mercy as He pleaseth, for the
glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them
to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice” (Rom.
9:18-22; 2 Tim. 2:19-20; Jude 4; 1 Pet. 2:8). Dictionary of Theological Terms,
Dr. Alan Cairns, p. 272,273
The thought to remember is that God did not look down through the telescope of time and
foresee that we would choose Him, but rather, we must understand this, that [God] “Who
hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to
his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
(2 Tim. 1:9)

What is Total Inability or Total Depravity?
The following excerpt on the explanation of Total Depravity or Total Inability is
necessary because it seems that many writers who are not of the reformed position
make their first and perhaps most serious error in that they do not give sufficient
importance to the sinful rebellion and spiritual separation of the human race from God
that occurred in the fall of Adam. Some neglect it altogether, while for others it seems to
be a far away event that has little influence in the lives of people today. But unless we
insist on the reality of that spiritual separation from God, and the totally disastrous
effect that it had on the entire human race, we shall never be able properly to appreciate
our real condition or our desperate need of a redeemer.
In the book called “The Five Points Of Calvinism” defined, defended, and documented, The
Authors, David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas give a very accurate and succint description
of Total Depravity or Total Inability.
They state:
“The view one takes concerning salvation will be determined, to a large extent, by the
view one takes concerning sin and its effects on human nature. It is not surprising,
therefore, that the first article dealt with in the Calvinist system is the biblical doctrine of
total inability or total depravity. When Calvinists speak of man as being totally depraved,
they mean that man’s nature is corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout. The adjective
“total” does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions
and thoughts as it is possible for him to be. Instead, the word “total” is used to mean that
the whole of man’s being has been affected by sin. The corruption has extended to every
part of man, his body and soul; sin has affected all (the totality) of man’s faculties---his
mind, his will etc.
As a result of this inborn corruption, the natural man is totally unable to do any thing
spiritually good; thus Calvinists speak of man’s “total inability.” The inability intended
by this terminology is spiritual inability; it means that the sinner is so spiritually
bankrupt that he can do nothing pertaining to his salvation. It is quite evident that many
unsaved people, when judged by man’s standards, do possess admirable qualities and do
perform virtuous acts. But in the spiritual realm, when judged by God’s standards, the
unsaved sinner is incapable of good. The natural man is enslaved to sin; he is a child of
Satan, rebellious toward God, blind to truth, corrupt, and unable to save himself or to
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prepare himself for salvation. In short, the unregenerate man is DEAD IN SIN, and his
WILL IS ENSLAVED to his evil nature.”
The crux of the argument is this: Does man’s faith depend upon regeneration by the Holy
Spirit alone, or does regeneration depend upon man’s faith? To ask the question another
way, can a dead man believe? Scripture emphatically states that we are “dead in trespasses
and sins”(Eph. 2:1). A person is spiritually dead according to many texts such as Jer. 13:23,
17:9, Mk. 7:21-23, Rom. 3:10-19, and (see especially John 3:19-21) to quote a few. Eph. 2:12
states that in the unregenerate state, every person is described as “without Christ--having no
hope--and without God in the world.” The key, is that, in the unregenerate state, the person
has [No Hope] because he is dead!….(solemn thought…..Jesus said: “Follow me; and let
the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:22)
Many today hold the view that Prevenient Grace is the logical conclusion that can be
derived from John 1:9 because it states that “That was the true light, which lighteth
every man that cometh into the world.” Jesus is the light of the world, yet everyone in
the unregenerate state will not come to him. The light given here was manifested to
reveal the Glory of God. Scripture does not permit us to believe that the light given here
is enough to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Christ because there is strong
biblical support for that conclusion found in John 3:19-21.
First---- Christ said: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and
men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” We see that men are
attracted to darkness and the reason is because of their evil nature. And an even more serious
consideration is that they are “condemned already” (John 3:18) and that the “wrath of God”
abides on all unregenerate men now! (John 3:36) The thing that is important to keep in mind
is that all men are given light by this light, and all men will not come to the light in the
unregenerate state. God still holds them to be without excuse (Rom.1:20) because God made
it evident to them. (Rom. 1:19) Even all of creation screams out God’s eternal power and
Godhead, and still they suppress (as if to hold down with extreme force) the truth! (Rom.
1:18) NAS
Second----“For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest
his deeds should be reproved.” Because the unregenerate are evil, they hate the light. Hating
the light is the antithesis of prevenient grace that many today believe that John 1:9 teaches,
even though the light is exposed to all men. Then, finally Jesus said, neither does the
unregenerate person come to him (the light) because he doesn’t want his evil deeds exposed.
Christ reminds us why the unregenerated man does not come to him. Jesus said, “But ye
believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.” (John 10:26) Notice, it is given ONLY for the
sheep to believe. Compare this with those who are “not of God”.--- “He who is of God hears
God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” (John 8:47 NKJV)
(cf. John 6:44,65; Matt. 13:10,11)
Third----“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God.” This is the powerhouse verse! Jesus now says exactly what is
responsible for a person’s true conversion to Christ and the true cause of coming to the light.
He said, “he who comes to the light may know that his deeds (coming to Christ) may be
manifested (revealed or made known) as having been wrought (Spiritually created or worked
out by God alone) in God!” (cf. Mark 10:26, 27; John 628:29; and especially Deuteronomy
30:6)
B. Are people able to come to Christ on their own?-----(Total Inability vs. Synergism).

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Let’s begin by looking at this verse:
Rom. 3:11 “There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.”
If none are seeking after God, who is doing all the seeking, and how do men find God? We
find the answer in Scripture:
Rom. 10:20 [Thus saith the Lord]: “I was found of them that sought me not; I was
made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”
How do we come to God when we are not looking for God or asking for Him? Does not the
Scripture say:
Psa. 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee,
that he may dwell in thy courts…”
Psa. 110:3 “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…”
Phil. 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good
pleasure.”
Rom 11:5 “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a
remnant according to God's gracious choice.” (NASB)
If God is the One who is working in us, then do we have any ability at all? Is the doctrine of
our total inability (as the Reformers taught) scriptural or is there Synergism, that is, does the
human will cooperate with divine grace in the work of regeneration? Let’s see:
Gen. 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
know it?”
Jer. 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye
also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”
Mk 7:21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries,
fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil
eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the
man.”
1 Cor. 2:14 “But the natural man [unsaved person] receiveth not the things of the spirit
of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are
spiritually discerned.”
Eph. 2:12 That at that time----ye were without Christ---having no hope---and without
God in the world.
Rom. 8:7-8 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the
law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Compare these six verses:
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Acts 7:51, John. 10:26 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do
always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. “But ye believe not, because
ye are not of my sheep” ----NOTICE, it is given ONLY for the sheep to believe!
Deut. 30:6 “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to
love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
John 15:5 Jesus said, “...without me ye can do nothing.”
Matt. 11:27 “...and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son
chooses to reveal him.” (NIV)
John 8:36 “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
From these verses, we can see that a heart untouched or uninfluenced by God’s Spirit is
in bondage to evil and is totally unable to pursue the righteousness that leads to eternal
life. Total inability does not mean that all people will live to the maximum extent of
their evil nature, but that each one has the capacity to do evil that has been inherited
and sealed in them from the Fall of Adam. In some sense man has free will, but only
within the “bounds” of his evil nature. Man is “wired” in the Spiritual sense to evil. The
“Fall” completely plunged all mankind into spiritual death which therefore shattered
and destroyed any and all hope whatsoever for all men and therefore all mankind died
spiritually. This eliminates them from God’s approval because they are sinners
deserving judgment. Therefore, God must change our hearts if we are ever to respond
to the gospel. Here are some additional verses supporting total inability:
Tit. 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and
unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (See vs.16)
Eph. 4:17-18 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not
as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened,
being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the
blindness of their heart;”
Eph. 2:1-3 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein
in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of
the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among
whom also we had our conversation in times past in the lusts of out flesh, fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as
others.”
2 Tim. 2:25-26 “In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will
grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to
their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do
his will.” (NKJV)
Ecc. 9:3 “This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one
event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is their
heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”
Rom. 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and
longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
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John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Note: the word draw literally means to drag in
the Greek.)
John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I
will in no wise cast out.”
John 6:64-66 “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the
beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said
therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him
of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with
him.”.… (Jesus warned: “He that is not with me is against me”….Matt. 12:30)
John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:16 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. So then it is not of
him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
Acts13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and glorified the word of
the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
So, according to God’s word, we conclude that the doctrine of Synergism, which teaches that
the human will cooperates with divine grace in the work of regeneration, is false and
unscriptural.
C. Who is responsible for initiating and guiding people to salvation? (Sola Gratia).
If man does not and can not initiate the search for God, who does?
Jesus reminds us:
Matt. 13:10-11 “And the disciples came, and said unto [Jesus], Why speakest thou unto
them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know
the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (cf. Mark. 4:11,12)
John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye
should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall
ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
When did God initiate this “seeking” for Him?
Eph 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him
before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In
love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to
the kind intention of His will,” (NAS)
2 Tim.1:9 [God] “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according
to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ
Jesus before the world began,”
2 Thes. 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved
of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth;”
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Ex. 33:19 “…I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on
whom I will shew mercy.”
John 17:1, 2,5,6,9 “....Glorify thy Son, As thy hast given him power over all flesh, that
he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And now, O Father, I
have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine
they were, and thou gavest them me; I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for
them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
1 Thes. 1:4 “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.”
Job 14:4 “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”
John 6:28, 29 ,Acts 16:14, 2:47b, 2:39b, “…What shall we do, that we might work the
works of God? Jesus answered and said…THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, that you
believe on him whom he hath sent.--And a certain woman named Lydia,…whose heart
the Lord opened…and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved…even
as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Acts 22:14 “And he said, the God of our Fathers hath chosen thee…”
Acts 10:41 “Not to all people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us…”
John 13:18 “I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen” (cf. Rom.16:13)
2 Tim 2:10 “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain
the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
2 Cor. 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the
power may be of God, and not of us.”
Again, we see from scripture that the eternal God, before creation, sovereignly chose those
who were to be saved by His grace and for His glory. We see how Sola Gratia is biblically
supported while Synergism is the antithesis of what God’s word teaches. Here are some
more scriptural references:
1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according
to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (NASB)
Matt. 20:15, 22:14 Jesus said: “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own?”
“…for many are called but few are chosen.”
Matt. 15:13; Jesus said: “Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted,
shall be rooted up”…..(Sola Gratia revealed!….for flesh and blood hath not revealed it
unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 16:17)
Mk 10:26,27 “Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, with men it
is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
John 5: 21 “…even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” (NKJV)
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Acts 2:47,39b “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be
saved……even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Heb. 12:2; Jonah 2:9 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith….
Salvation is of the LORD.”
Matt. 11:25 “….I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast
hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
D. Concluding thoughts and statements.
The subject of God’s Sovereignty is a matter concerning a profound, deep, and humbling
truth. The cause of anyone’s faith is that it is DIVINELY GIVEN unto them to believe it.
That is, the gracious sovereignty of God makes them able and willing to believe it. Scripture
affirms that God “worketh ALL things after the Counsel of HIS OWN will” (Eph. 1:11) and
not after the will of his creatures.
The testimony of all of Scripture is that God is sovereign….“None can stay his hand”….
Consider this:
Prov. 16:4; Rom. 9:13,11 “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea even the
wicked for the day of evil.”…. “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I
hated”… (“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that
the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that
calleth.”)
2 Pet. 2:12 “But these as natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil
of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.”
2 Thess. 2:11,12 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness.” (cf. Rom. 9:18)
1 Pet. 2:8 “They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they were also were
appointed.” (NKJV)
1 Pet. 2:9,10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His
own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of
darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of
God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (cf. Rom. 9:11,15)
Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the
Lord do all these things.” (cf. Rom. 9:15, 16, 18-24)
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Isaiah 14:27 “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his
hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back” (See especially 1 Kings 20:42a)
Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth
according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
none can stay (restrain) his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (cf. Rom. 11:33)
Isaiah 46:9-11; Genesis 14:19 “I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is
none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things
that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure….
I have purposed it, I will also do it.”….[I Am] “the most high God, possessor of
heaven and earth.”
We must ask ourselves this crucial, all important question, are we putting our trust
in a “one time prayer” we prayed, or a “one time decision” that we made to “accept
Jesus;” or, are we saved because of the Regenerating Power of the Holy Spirit
resurrecting us (Spiritually) from the dead; that is, has God given us life? Is Christ
the “object” of our faith? The crucial question must be asked, what is the “object” of
our faith?
Prov. 14:12; 2 Cor. 13:5; Jn. 1:13; 1 Cor. 1:30; Jn. 5:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; “There is a way
that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.”….Test
yourselves to se if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize
this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you---unless indeed you fail the test?
(NAS).… “Not of the will of man” (human decision NIV)….“But by HIS doing you are
in Christ Jesus.”(NAS)… “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and them
that hear shall live.”… “The Spirit giveth life.”
In the introduction to John Owen’s book, The Death Of Death In The Death Of Christ, J. I.
Packer stated:
“The saving power of the Cross does not depend on faith being added to it; its saving power is
such that faith flows from it. The Cross secured the full salvation of all for whom Christ died.
The Cross saves! [emphasis mine] The wooing power of the Holy Spirit QUICKENS our
deadness through REGENERATION drawing us to Jesus Christ to a full acceptance of Him, and
finalizing our salvation with Godly sorrow and true repentance and sincere (faith which is by Him
[Christ] Acts 3:16)……. who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
justification…For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which
are saved it is the POWER OF GOD…… But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross
of our Lord Jesus Christ; …..that according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the
Lord;….that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (The Death Of Death In The Death Of
Christ, J. I. Packer, Introductary Essay)
In a book of sermon quotations preached by Forrest L. Keener, Bethel Baptist Church,
Lawton Oklahoma, pastor Keener defines the term “born again” as follows:
[Gen. 6:5] “…And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. This may be one
of Scriptures very best descriptions of human depravity. Notice also, in the Gospel of
John, chapter 3, and verse 3, that passage of scripture that we are all quite familiar with:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I want you to notice the word see. He does
not say there, merely that he cannot enter. Certainly that is supposed. But the statement is
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more than that. He cannot see the kingdom of God. Now the word see there, does not
simply mean to view it with our eyes, our optical abilities, but it means that he cannot
perceive the kingdom of God. It is not something that is understandable or perceivable to
a man, except he be born again.
Having read these passages, I want to go to the book of Ephesians, chapter 2. “And you
hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past you
walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the
air, the spirit that now that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom
also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as
others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even
when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are
saved;)” The condition of man’s soul necessitates his salvation. Man does not need to
be saved unless he is lost.
He does not need to be regenerated unless he is dead. The condition of his soul
necessitates his salvation.” (Grace not Calvinism, Forrest L. Keener, p.31-32)
[emphasis mine]
Continuing on the subject of the new birth, he states:
“In order to be sure that I am not coming up with a new fangled Keenerized version or
view of this doctrine, I want us to read articles 9 and 12 of our Confession of Faith. In our
Confession of Faith, which is basically the New Hampshire Confession, which of course,
is a takeoff of the Philadelphia Confession, which is a take off of the London Confession,
all of them combined is what Baptists have believed on this subject, all down through the
years. They are essentially the same, just brought up to date in a little more contemporary
language, and these two articles of faith state this: Article 9 says: ‘OF GRACE (that is,
what do we believe of grace?)in the new creation– We believe that in order to be saved,
sinner’s must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is
instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the dead in trespasses and in sins is
made a partaker of the divine nature. (Notice that), is made a partaker of the divine
nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God, that the new creation is brought
about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the
will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with
divine truth, so as to secure, (now, notice that), SO AS TO SECURE our voluntary
obedience to the Gospel; that it’s proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of
repentance and faith and newness of life. You know there are Baptist preachers today,
who think I am a heretic, when I say that the new birth is the cause of repentance and
faith, as opposed to repentance and faith being the cause of the new birth. But the fact is
they do not know up from down about what Baptists have always taught. Baptists have
always believed that it was the new birth that caused repentance and faith, and not vice
versa. I am not telling you that you are born again, and you begin to believe and to repent
later. That is not what I am saying at all, it is instantaneous. But concerning cause and
effect, the fruits of the new birth are repentance and faith. Look then, at article #12. What
we believe of Repentance and Faith - We believe that repentance and faith are solemn
obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of
God.’ What is the work of the quickening Spirit of God called in your Bible? Over, and
over, and over, and over again, it is referred to as calling. The Bible refers to situations
where God called and men did not answer. He said I have stretched out my hand and ye
have not regarded. He had his messengers to go and invite them to the supper and they
would not come. There are places like that in your bible, but there are other places, which
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very clearly indicate that a call is the cause, and regeneration (with faith and repentance
resulting) is the effect. It is called in theological terms of men who study this, the
effectual call. [emphasis mine]
(Grace not Calvinism, Forrest L. Keener, p.204-206)
There is no scriptural warrant for the doctrine of Synergism, and, there is none that
understands and there is none that seeks after God. So, if some are being saved, we come face
to face with this Biblical fact. That is, that there must be a Particular Redemption, a Limited
Atonement, or more specifically, a Definite Atonement, (that is, that Christ died specifically
for His elect) or none would be saved. It is important to remember the word atonement means
that it makes God and the sinner at-one, or at-one-ment with God.
Pastor Keener succinctly brought to light that the doctrine of limited atonement is a biblical
truth when he preached this to his congregation in 1990:
“May I say, that if you believe in hell, there is a clear and unmistakable sense in
which you believe in a limited atonement. [emphasis mine] Many men, if they were
told that they believed in a limited atonement, would fight you from now until doomsday,
swearing they believe no such thing. But when you come to the true definition of what
atonement is, you will understand that atonement means being reconciled to God by the
death of Jesus Christ. And men who believe that there is a hell, and that there are men in
hell, do not actually believe that those men in hell are reconciled to Jesus Christ. They
may seem to say it, but they do not really believe that those men in hell are redeemed.
They do not believe that those men in hell have their sins washed away by the blood of
Christ. Therefore, they believe that the atonement or the reconciliation is, in some sense,
limited.” (Grace not Calvinism, Forrest L. Keener, p.162)
“The word reconciliation in your Bible comes from exactly the same Greek word as the
word atonement. The word atonement appears, in your New Testament, only in the 5th
chapter of the book of Romans and verse 11 KJV. In the verses immediately surrounding
it, we have the word reconciled appearing twice, and it comes from exactly the same
Greek word as the word atonement, not just the same root word, but exactly the same
word. Let me show you what I am talking about by reading Romans, chapter 5 and verse
10 and 11: ’For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his
Son,’ Now, look at that. He says we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Is
everybody reconciled to God by the death of his Son? And you must answer, ‘No, there
are many who are not reconciled to God by anything.’ ‘…We were reconciled to God by
the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life, and not
only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now
received the ATONEMENT.’ As we consider the word reconciled, and the word
reconciliation that goes with it; be informed, the word reconciliation is exactly the same
word as the word atonement in this verse. [emphasis mine] So, we must understand that
these words are synonyms. Now, I ask you, with this in mind, is reconciliation universal?
Is there anybody in hell? Are the people in hell who John described in the book of
Revelation as blaspheming and cursing God, reconciled to God? Are the men who are in
hell tonight reconciled to God? You see, this is a question with which serious and honest
Bible students have to deal.” (Grace not Calvinism, Forrest L. Keener, p.181-182)
The Westminster Confession of the Presbyterians and the 1689 Confession of the Baptists
both describe the new birth as the work of God alone. They state:
“All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His
appointed and accepted time effectually to call, by His word and Spirit, out of that state
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of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ,
“enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking
away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh: renewing their wills, and
by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing
them to Jesus Christ: yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.”
“For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ,…..to believe on him,” (Phil.1:29)
John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”
Some may be thinking: This seems unfair. Why would God provide salvation to some and
not offer it to everyone? In their book, The Five Points Of Calvinism Defined, Defended,
Documented, David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas answer that question:
“It should be kept in mind that if God had not graciously chosen a people for himself and
sovereignly determined to provide salvation for them, NONE would be saved (cf. Rom.
3:11). The fact that he did this for some, to the exclusion of others, is in no way unfair
to the latter group, unless of course one maintains that God was under obligation to
provide salvation for sinners, a position which the Bible utterly rejects. It is not in the
creature’s jurisdiction to call into question the justice of the creator for not choosing
everyone to salvation (cf. Rom. 9:14,20-24). His eternal choice of particular sinners
unto salvation was not based upon any foreseen act or response on the part of those
selected, but was based solely on his own good pleasure and will.”
Jesus raises the question, then, what is the Father’s will?
Matt. 7:21 “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but only he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Jer. 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” (contrast Mt.7:23, “never knew
you”!)
What is the Father’s will, and, what is meant by it?
John 6:39 “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that all of which he hath
given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
Eph. 1:4, 5 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us
unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the goodpleasure of
his will…”
Deut. 7:6; Rom. 9:24; Isa. 43:7; John 13:8 “The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be
a special people unto himself, above all the people that are on the face of the earth….even
us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles…. every one that
is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory,….I speak not of you all: I
know whom I have chosen.”
Rom. 10:20 “I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them
that asked not after me.”
“The will is that faculty of the soul whereby we freely choose or refuse things. It is of the
nature of the will to do freely whatsoever it wills. (But) it is unable, till it be changed by
grace, to move itself toward God; and to will what is good, is of grace; our will being free in
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respect of sinful acts, but bound in respect of good works, till it be made free by Christ.”
(Psalm110:3; John 8:36; John 15:5; Phil. 2:13) (Cruden’s Concordance)
The great reformer Martin Luther strongly reaffirms Cruden and challenges us with this eye
opening statement, when he said:
“I wish my opponents would realize that when they argue for free will they are denying
Christ!”
Someone might say after reading this paper, does this mean that God is turning us into
Robots? Or, is God dragging us to heaven against our wills?
These are very good questions and Charles Haddon Spurgeon answers them succintly in his
sermon called Human Inability which he delivered on March 7,1858 at the Music Hall, Royal
Surrey Gardens. His text was Jn. 6:44;--- “No man can come to me, except the Father which
hath sent me draw him." This is an excerpt from that sermon.
He said:
“Now there is such a thing as being drawn by the gospel, and drawn by the minister,
without being drawn by God. Clearly it is a divine drawing that is meant, a drawing by
the Most High God---the First Person of the most glorious Trinity sending out the third
Person, the Holy Spirit, to induce men to come to Christ.
Another person turns round and says with a sneer, “Then do you think that Christ drags
men to himself, seeing that they are unwilling!” I remember meeting once with a man
who said to me, “Sir, you preach that Christ takes people by the hair of their heads and
drags them to himself” I asked him whether he could refer to the date of the sermon
wherein I preached that extraordinary doctrine, for if he could, I should be very much
obliged. However, he could not. But said I, while Christ does not drag people to himself
by the hair of their heads, I believe that, he draws them by the heart quite as powerfully
as your caricature would suggest. Mark that in the Father’s drawing there is no
compulsion whatever; Christ never compelled any man to come to him against his will.
If a man be unwilling to be saved, Christ does not save him against his will. How, then,
does the Holy Spirit draw him? Why, by making him willing. “It is true he does not
use “moral suasion” he knows a nearer method of reaching the heart. He goes to
the secret fountain of the heart, and he knows how, by some mysterious operation,
to turn the will in an opposite direction, so that, as Ralph Erskine paradoxically
puts it, the man is saved “with full consent against his will;”that is, against his old
will he is saved. But he is saved with full consent, for he is made willing in the day
of God’s power. [emphasis mine]
Do not imagine that any man will go to heaven kicking and struggling all the way
against the hand that draws him. Do not conceive that any man will be plunged in the
bath of the Saviour’s blood while he striving to run away from the Saviour. Oh, no. It is
quite true that first of all man is unwilling to be saved. When the Holy Spirit hath put his
influence into the heart, the text is fulfilled---“draw me and I will run after thee.” We
follow on while he draws us, glad to obey the voice which once we had despised. But
the gist of the matter lies in the turning of the will. How that is done no flesh knoweth; it
is one of those mysteries that is clearly perceived as fact, but the cause of which no
tongue can tell, and no heart can guess.”
Scripture strongly sanctions Spurgeon’s sermon with these verses:
John 3:6,8 (NIV); Psalm110:3; John 8:36, 15:5; Psalm 65:4; Phil. 2:13; Rom.
9:15;18,16; “Flesh gives birth to the flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.---
--The wind blows wherever it pleases, you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where
it comes from or where it is going. So it is with every one born of the Spirit.---Thy
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people shall be willing in the day of thy power.---If the Son therefore shall make
you free, ye shall be free indeed.---for without me ye can do nothing.---Blessed is
the man whom thou choosest, and causeth to approach unto thee,--- For it is God
which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure---For he saith to
Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.---Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have
mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.--- So then it is not of him that willeth, nor
of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
This paper echoes the historical theological reformed position of our Baptist forefathers, all
of which held strongly to the “Doctrines of Grace” such as Fuller, Boyce, Spurgeon, Carroll,
Dagg, Broadus, W. B. Johnson, Manly, R. B. C. Howell, and Bunyan to name a few.
This is an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s autobiography. He was unapologetically
Calvinistic in his convictions and abundantly right when he declared:
“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ
and him crucified, unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a
nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the Gospel, and nothing else. I do not
believe we can preach the Gospel----unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His
dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal,
immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the Gospel
unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and
chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the Cross;” (Spurgeon’s
Autobiography Vol. 1, Ch. XVI, p. 172).
“It is no new new novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to
proclaim these strong old doctrines, that are called by nickname Calvinism, but
which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By
this truth I make a pilgrimage into [the] past, and as I go, I see father after father,
confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with
me. Were I a Pelagian, or a believer in the doctrine of free will, I should have to
walk for centuries all alone. Here and there a heretic of no very honourable
character might rise up and call me brother. But taking these things to be the
standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I
behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the
religion of God’s own church.”(Spurgeon’s Sermon on “Election” Delivered
September 2, 1855 at the New Park Chapel, Southwark)
George Whitefield wrote to John Wesley urging that they seek the truth that
“shall most debase man and exalt the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the doctrines of the
Reformation can do this. All others leave free will in man and make him, in part, at
least, a savior to himself. My soul, come not near the secret of those who teach such
things….I know Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he hath a free will to go to hell,
but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and to do of his good
pleasure.
Oh, the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints’ final
perseverance! I am persuaded, till a man comes to believe and feel these important
truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of
their application to his own heart, he then walks by faith indeed.”
Accordingly then, the will is the extension of the heart, mind, conscience, and
understanding. Scripture confirms that the heart is deceitful above all things, the mind
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and conscience is totally defiled, the understanding darkened and alienated from God,
even at enmity with Him. Therefore, because of mankind’s sinful nature, which was
inherited and sealed in every human being through the “Fall of Adam;” the “Fall”
completely shattered and destroyed any hope whatsoever for all mankind.
We conclude that the erroneous doctrines of Synergism and it’s offshoot of Prevenient
Grace, with their acceptance into Evangelicalism, are the direct result of the majority of
churches making their first, and perhaps most serious error, in that they do not give
sufficient importance to the sinful rebellion and spiritual separation of the human race
from God that occurred in the Fall of Adam. Some neglect it altogether, while for others
it seems to be a far away event that has little influence in the lives of people today.
But unless we insist on the reality of that spiritual separation from God, and the totally
disastrous effect that it had on the entire human race, we shall never be able properly to
appreciate our real condition or our desperate need of a redeemer.
The thing to remember is that the majority of churches today, along with many
Christians, make their first and perhaps most serious error in that they do not give
sufficient importance in how the “Fall” completely plunged all mankind into spiritual
death which therefore shattered and destroyed any and all hope whatsoever for all men
and therefore all mankind died spiritually. The seriousness of this matter cannot be
overstated. If we do not grasp this, then we not only get this wrong, but we also
interpret every other major doctrine in Scripture incorrectly, because these major
doctrines are woven and intertwined tightly together with the utter devastation of the
Fall in it’s condemnation, wrath, and hopelessness on all mankind. Knowing this, let us
humble ourselves before our sovereign God realizing it is impossible for the human will
to cooperate with divine grace in the work of regeneration. (Gen. 2:16,17; Rom. 3:10-19,
5:12; Eph. 2:1-3, 12; Jn. 3:18, 36; Rom. 9:15,16)
Again, the necessity of this statement must be reemphasized; that is:
We must ask ourselves this crucial, all important question, are we putting our trust in a
“one time prayer” we prayed, or a “one time decision” that we made to “accept Jesus;”
or, are we saved because of the Regenerating Power of the Holy Spirit resurrecting us
(Spiritually) from the dead; that is, has God given us life? Is Christ the “object” of our
faith? The crucial question must be asked, what is the “object” of our faith?
Prov. 14:12; 2 Cor. 13:5; Jn. 1:13; 1 Cor. 1:30; Jn. 5:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Jonah 2:9
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of
death.”…. “Test yourselves to se if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you
not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you---unless indeed you fail
the test?” (NAS). “Not of the will of man” (human decision NIV)….“But by HIS doing
you are in Christ Jesus.”(NAS)… “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:
and them that hear shall live.”… “The Spirit giveth life.”… “Salvation is of the Lord.”
Gal. 1:15,16; Colossians 2:13 (NIV); Isa. 14:27 “But when it pleased God.…to reveal
his Son in [you]”…“when you were dead in your sins….in the uncircumcision of your
sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ”..“For the Lord of hosts hath purposed,
and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
Acts 2:47b, 2:39b; 13:48; Rom. 10:20 “And the Lord added to the church daily such
as should be saved,”…“even as many as the Lord our God shall call”… “And as many
as were ordained to eternal life believed.” …[Thus saith the Lord]--“I was found of
them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”
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Let it stand…. In His great mercy,…. and for His glory,
“GOD HATH FROM THE BEGINNI

Charlie Martin

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