Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Requirements for Salvation

This is a very good post from the Calvinist Gadfly (I'm pasting the entire thing)

Were I to do a little righteous thing (and I have), it would not be significant. It would not earn the favour or invitation of God. (Titus 3:4-5)

Were I a morally untested foetus like Esau (and I was), it would not keep me from being hated. It would not attract the favour or invitation of God. (Romans 9:10-13)

Were I a whore and rebel against God (and I am), it would not keep me from being loved. It would not negate the favour or invitation of God. (Deuteronomy 9:5)

Were I dead in sin (and I most certainly was), it would not keep me from living with Christ through the ages to come. It would not have any impact whatsoever on the great love, rich mercy, and kindness of God towards me through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-5, 7-9)

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16). You can't achieve it, you can't earn it, you can't deserve it, you can't default into it, and you can do nothing to disqualify yourself from receiving it. For by grace are you saved. How should you then live?

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  1. Yeah, but see, when Paul says "it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God," what he's actually saying is "it depends on human will and exertion, not on God." You're just reading into the text.

    (You laugh - people have argued that way before with me).

    1. *facepalm* Really? Just totally change the verse to suit their fancy?

    2. Generally. Either that or they accuse you of being eisegetical without demonstrating why. I've quoted John 6:44 and explained - in detail - why it teaches total depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints, and seen people just respond in a blanket way "Oh, that's eisegesis."

    3. Or the other reply, "Oh gosh here comes the TULIP thing!" followed by rolling eyes. The reply I get to "the tulip" stuff is "Well God is damning to hell from eternity!" Uh, no. God didn't create fresh evil in the hearts of man. Man put that evil there, God didn't. Now, there are some theologians (the hyper guys - maybe they should switch to decaf?) who do teach that God selected some individuals from eternity to be damned, creating fresh evil in their hearts, but reformed theology doesn't roll that way. Anti-reformed arguments only work against hyper calvinism. Don't you think? Am I correct?

    4. I meant to type that the reply I get is "Well God is damning *people* to hell from eternity! He creates evil in the hearts of man, fattening them up for hell!"

  2. Most anti-Reformed arguments only work with Hyper-Calvinism, for sure. The whole "Why would you evangelize if God predestines people?" argument is something Hyper-Calvinists use, and only a Hyper-Calvinist would probably think God predestines damnation.

    One of the things that led me towards Reformed Theology was every time I read counterarguments against the Reformed position, I saw inconsistency, double standards, and misrepresentations. A person dealing with the truth doesn't have to engage in such tactics.

  3. You're correct sir. You know, honestly, I haven't read Calvin's institutes. I have read many excerpts of his work, but I cannot say I'm a Calvinist. I believe in sovereign grace. So far, all that I've read of reformed theology I agree with (my sources are: Sproul's lectures on reformed theology, tabletalk mag, Sproul's commentaries on Romans, Acts, and Peter's epistles, reformation study bible, esv study bible, and white horse inn podcasts).

    1. Well "Calvinist" tends to just be the historical term for someone who believes in the Doctrines of Grace, it doesn't necessarily mean they agree 100% with everything Calvin wrote. I consider myself a "Calvinistic Baptist," even though Calvin most definitely wasn't a Baptist. When people ask me who the first Calvinist was, I reply Jesus :P

    2. haha! I'll have to remember that one. :) John 6 and 10 are good chapters for that reply too.


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