Friday, April 6, 2012

Defining I in TULIP


Let's review the previous ideas a second to see the inevitability of our next point. If all men are total depraved and therefore totally unable to do anything tending to their own salvation, God must elect those who will be saved; otherwise no one would ever be saved. No man who is totally evil and whose heart and imagination is given over to only evil continually will ever, on his own, exercise his will to believe in Christ. Faith and repentance are spiritual acts and thus cannot be done by carnal men. If God elects those who will be saved, and has provided in Christ's death the atonement for their sins, then they must of necessity come to saving faith.

Hence Irresistible Grace is the inevitable and positive response produced by the power of God in the elect to the inward call of the Holy Spirit when the outward call is given by the proclamation of the gospel. Christ Himself teaches that all whom God has elected will come to a sure knowledge of the truth. Individuals always come to Christ for salvation when the Father effectually calls them. The eternal and omnipotent Holy Spirit of Almighty God causes the elect to manifest genuine evangelical repentance. It is a source of great comfort and joy to know that the gospel of redeeming grace will wondrously save as it subdues the most hardened, sinful heart.

Think back to John 10. Jesus tells his disciples that He has are other sheep, referring to those who will come to faith through the Church's obedience to the Great Commission (John 17:22). Throughout the first 30 verses of John 10, Jesus uses some pretty confident language about the future faith of the "other sheep." He says, I MUST bring them," and "They WILL come" (emphasis mine). Jesus entertains no doubt about the future faith of the "other sheep."

Arminians insist that the deciding factor in salvation is man's free-will. Man must be free, they argue, to accept or reject Christ, otherwise salvation is a sham. Since I have dealt with this ridiculousness elsewhere, I won't refute it in great detail here. But let me merely observe that Arminians, for all their extolling of free-will, have no trouble giving God the short end of the stick when it comes to free-will. Everybody seems to have it but Him. The word "Almighty" means nothing if it does not mean "mighty over all." This would include man's will. Scripture does not hide the fact that God controls men's wills, either. And, as we noted previously, Scripture presents a tension between God's sovereignty in salvation and man's responsibility to believe which it does not try to resolve. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility are both true.

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

1 Corinthians 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 to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Note well that these verses do not says, "No one will come to me," or "will not accept," because the passages are not addressing willingness. They both say "can not." this refers to ability. The only person who ever comes to Christ is the one the Father draws, which word in the Greek means literally, "to drag." Men come to Christ when God drags them to Him. And you still want to say that God does not control men's wills?

Note also that only a spiritual person, that is, one who God has made alive in Christ, can understand the things of the Spirit of God. Faith is a gift of God. How can it be a requirement for regeneration when it is the result of it?

1 comment:

  1. Alas, Andy, I must catch up with U and L. Give me few days. Regards.

    ReplyDelete

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