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AN

INTRODUCTION

TO THE

DOCTRINES OF GRACE

by

Mark S. Camp
- CONTENTS -

SECTION PAGE

I – INTRODUCTION----------------------------------------------------4

II - STARTING POINTS------------------------------------------------8

III - TOTAL DEPRAVITY--------------------------------------------11

IV - UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION-------------------------------15

V - LIMITED ATONEMENT-----------------------------------------21

VI - IRRESISTIBLE GRACE-----------------------------------------26

VII - PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS-------------------------32

VIII - SOME OBJECTIONS AND ANSWERS--------------------36

IX – CONCLUSION----------------------------------------------------38

X - SUGGESTED BIBLIOGRAPHY--------------------------------39

XI – CHARTS-----------------------------------------------------------40

XII - A PLAN FOR WITNESSING----------------------------------41

XIII - A SERMON ON ELECTION----------------------------------44

XIV - A SERMON ON CHRISTIAN LIBERTY-------------------49


PRELIMINARY REMARKS

The following small work is an effort to help you come to a better understanding of the
glorious grace of our sovereign God. It is hoped that you will carefully and prayerfully consider
what is written herein, keeping in mind that all men are liable to error and varieties of opinion.
My only request is that as you read this you will do so with an open Bible, and, that you will
have the spirit of the Bereans, who diligently searched the Scriptures to see if what the Apostle
Paul taught them was indeed true.

I am deeply indebted to many others who have written on this subject before me. I have
not made footnotes but I feel that my sources will be given proper credit within the text. After
the initial mention of another's work, it will simply be noted thereafter by an abbreviation in
parentheses.

I would like to dedicate this work to my God-given helpmate, my wife, Angie. She has
faithfully stood by me through many trials. Not only is she continually growing in the grace of
God, she is also a continual example of his love and grace.

Mark S. Camp
1985
I - INTRODUCTION separate from Christ, excluded from the
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to
GRACE. What a glorious and humbling the covenants of promise, having no hope
word. It is a word that encompasses all of and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12).
the magnificent attributes of a Holy God.
The definition of grace is simple, and yet, at What a bleak picture of despair! No hope!
the same time it is the deepest of all the Without God! But thanks be to God, for in
doctrines taught in God's divinely inspired 2:13 Paul continues, "But now in Christ
Word. Grace is the unmerited favor and Jesus you who formerly were far off have
spiritual blessing bestowed upon frail been brought near by the blood of Christ."
creatures of dust by a sovereign God. The teaching of Scripture then, is the plan
by which God has purposed to save sinners
Throughout church history, many attempts like you and I. The heart of the gospel
have been made to define the acts of God in message is God's sovereign grace.
connection with this divine bestowal of
grace upon sinful, fallen man. The system The purpose of this work is to introduce you
of thought which this work shall attempt to to these doctrines of grace. Many profound
set forth is commonly known as "The volumes have been written upon grace, and
Doctrines of Grace" or "Calvinism." John it is not my intention to duplicate them. It
Calvin was one of the first men to write a is, however, my attempt to give some basic
comprehensive systematic theology, thus his definitions and introductions to those who
name is attached to this area of Biblical do not possess a great theological
thought as a simple means of identification. background, and who are not acquainted
Do not be alarmed because his name is set with the workings of grace. My prayer is
in conjunction with these truths of grace. that you will pursue these pages with an
These truths are not true because some man open Bible and an open mind. Some of
thought them up. They are true because God these things may sound strange to you.
penned them into the pages of sacred Some may sound as though they contradict
Scripture. things which you may have heard preached
and taught before. I simply ask you to read
One of the most famous Baptist preachers what is before you, search the Scriptures
who has held to these doctrines was Charles diligently to see if they are right or wrong,
Haddon Spurgeon. In his short work and then decide by the aid of the Holy Spirit
entitled "A Defense of Calvinism," he if this is truth or error.
writes, "It is a nickname to call it Calvinism;
Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."

The doctrines of grace relate to the Biblical


teaching concerning salvation. It is the clear
teaching of Scripture that God saves sinners!
The whole theme of the Bible is redemption.
A person who believes these truths is one
who believes that salvation is of the Lord.
Paul, in writing to the Ephesians says,
"Remember that you were at that time
The doctrines of grace can be set forth as both in nature and in grace (p. 5).
five main points.
These are: Packer goes on to say:

1. TOTAL DEPRAVITY - This is the total Sinners do not save themselves in any
spiritual inability of man to save himself. sense at all, but that salvation, first and
last, whole and entire, past, present, and
2. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION - This future, is of the Lord, to whom be glory
means that man is not saved because of his for ever; amen (p. 6).
own merits or good works.
Please, dear reader, do not think that I feel
3. LIMITED ATONEMENT - This means that only Calvinists are ever saved. In a
that Christ died to redeem or save his chosen sermon preached on December 11, 1864,
people, and for them only. Spurgeon said:

4. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE - This means You know, brethren, that there is no


that God's grace is able to overcome man's living soul who holds more firmly to the
rebellious will to draw the sinner unto doctrines of grace than I do, and if any
himself. man asks me whether I am ashamed to
be called a Calvinist, I answer, I wish to
5. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS - be called nothing but a Christian. ...But,
This means that those who are saved will be my dear friends, far be it from me even
kept saved by God's grace. to imagine that Zion contains none
within her walls but Calvinistic
A very simple way to remember these five Christians, or that there are none saved
points is to think of the word "TULIP," each who do not hold our views
letter representing one of the five points. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1864).

In the following pages these five points will The following pages are written out of a
be discussed. A word of caution is due here concern for sound doctrine. May God be
lest you be tempted to think that grace glorified by this endeavor and may it spur
consists only of these five points. In his you on to grow in grace, engage in a deeper
"Introductory Essay to John Owen's Death search of Scripture, and impress upon your
of Death in the Death of Christ," J.I. Packer heart and mind a greater awareness of the
writes: glory, holiness, and majesty of our heavenly
Father.
Calvinism is something much broader than
the five points" indicate. ...Calvinism is the In closing this introductory section, a few
consistent endeavor to acknowledge the words by Mr. Spurgeon are appropriate:
Creator as Lord, working all things after the
counsel of His will. Calvinism is… a way I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if
of thinking about all life under the direction we do not preach justification by faith,
and control of God's own Word. without works; nor unless we preach the
Calvinism… sees the Creator as the source, sovereignty of God in his dispensation of
and means, and end, of everything that is, 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; nor can I
comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall
away after they are called, and suffers the
children of God to be burned in the fires of
damnation after having once believed in
Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor. (Defense, p.
6)
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. A famous English Baptist pastor who believed and preached the doctrines of grace was
___________.

2. What do the following letters stand for?

T - _______________

U - _______________

L - _______________

I - _______________

P - _______________

3. Using a Bible and concordance, look up and read passages which contain the following
words:

Elect (Election)

Redeem (Redemption)

Justified (Justification)

4. Read Daniel 4:28-37. In your own words, what do verses 34 and 35 have to say about God?
II - STARTING POINTS your thoughts, neither are your ways My
ways. ...For as the heavens are higher than
In order to begin this short look into the the earth, so are My ways higher than your
doctrines of grace, there needs to be a ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts"
foundation of some basic presuppositions or (Isaiah 55:8,9).
approaches concerning God and the
Scriptures. It is necessary to have these Thirdly, God's Word must be approached
starting points firmly implanted upon the with a spirit and attitude of humility. One
mind since each point of our study builds must be willing to be taught by God and his
upon the previous one. Spirit. It is a sign of pride and arrogance to
open the Bible with the idea of "I already
First of all, one must believe that God is know most of what is in here," or "Let's see
sovereign. What does this mean? It means, if God's Word agrees with my ideas which
very simply, that God must be are steadfast and unchangeable." On the
acknowledged as the Supreme Ruler, contrary, we must always seek to see if our
Creator, and Judge of all things (Isaiah ideas and traditional beliefs agree with what
46:8-11). God alone is God, there is none is clearly taught in the Scriptures. Jesus
other like him at all. As human beings, said, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn
created in the image of God, we are subject from Me" (Matthew 11:29). Pray for the
to his sovereign rule. As his creation, we attitude which says, "I do not know
have only those rights and privileges which everything there is in Scripture. I am
he, as our Governor, allows. Encompassed desirous to learn deeper truths in God's
in God's sovereignty is his attribute or Word."
characteristic of holiness. God is perfectly
pure and without sin. Therefore, as a Finally, one must believe that this righteous,
sovereign holy God, he must by nature react sovereign God is working out an eternal
against sin. In the prophet Nahum we read, purpose. God is at this very moment
"The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The actively at work carrying out his will and
Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries, purpose and decrees (Ephesians 1:11). He is
and he reserves wrath for his enemies" glorifying himself through his creation
(Nahum 1:2). (Isaiah 43:7). God did not create this world
like a giant pocket-watch, wind it up, throw
Secondly, like the Apostle Paul, one must it into space, and then sit back waiting
believe that there is no injustice with God patiently for it to run down. In the book of
(Romans 9:14). Whatever God in his Proverbs we find a very interesting verse
sovereignty decides to purpose or do must which reads, "The lot is cast into the lap, but
be just. God is not bound to ask our opinion its every decision is from the Lord"
concerning what is right or what is wrong. (Proverbs 16:33). Things do not happen by
Remember, he is sovereign and holy. There chance, luck, accident, or coincidence.
is no sin in him that he should act wrongly. God's eternal plan will not be hindered by
That which from eternity he purposes to do the whims and fancies of mere mortal man
will always be just, although man, with his (Job 42:2, Daniel 4:35).
limited understanding, may not always be
able to comprehend it. God has written These then, are our four starting points:
through Isaiah, "For My thoughts are not
1. God is a sovereign and holy God who
must react against sin.

2. There is no injustice with God.

3. One must have a teachable spirit when


approaching God's Word.

4. God is actively engaged in working


out an eternal purpose.

At this point, before continuing on in this


study, it would be advisable to read the
following passages as background:

Ephesians 1:1-14
Romans 8:28-30
Romans, chapters 9, 10, 11
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. God must be acknowledged as the Supreme ________________, ________________, and


_______________ of all things.

2. One must believe that there is no __________ with God.

3. God's word must always be approached with a spirit and attitude of ____________.

4. God is working out an eternal _____________.

5. In your own words, write the meaning of Romans 9:14-16.


III - TOTAL DEPRAVITY your father" (John 8:44).

The first point in our survey of the doctrines The teaching in most circles today is that
of grace centers around man's total inability man is a free moral agent with a free will.
to save himself. When Adam and Eve ate of There is a bit of truth in this. Scripturally
the fruit of the tree, which God had however, man is a responsible moral agent
commanded them not to eat, they died. with a will that is bound. Man's will is in
Their death was an immediate spiritual the bondage of slavery to one of two
death and then a physical death would masters. Either Satan is the owner of the
follow years later. What does it mean when will, or the person has been set free from the
we say they died spiritually? It means that law of sin and death and is now a
they became separated from God in bond-slave of Jesus Christ. John 8:32 tells
fellowship and communion. It means that us that a knowledge of the truth will set us
they lost their created sinless glory. J.P. free. This implies that unless a man has
Boyce, founder of Southern Seminary, says come to a knowledge of the saving truth of
that "this spiritual death was not only the the gospel he is not free.
death of the soul - as seen in the various
aspects of alienation, loss of God's favor and You see, the real question is not "Does man
of acceptance with him… but it also have a free will?" The real question is
consisted in a corrupt nature" (Abstract of "Why does a person choose what he
Systematic Theology, p. 242). chooses?" (Keep in mind that we are
talking about spiritual matters and spiritual
The wills of Adam and Eve became under choices, not choices about such things as
Satan's dominion. They put themselves into which car to buy or which dress to wear.)
bondage. When Adam sinned he did so The simple answer to the real question is
willingly and under no compulsion. Before that a man chooses to do the desires of his
the fall his will was totally free. However, master.
when he sinned and fell, his will lost its
freedom in the area of spiritual matters. The doctrine of Total Depravity does not
Adam, although no longer free, was still mean that every sinner is a ungodly as he
responsible for his actions. Thus, because can be. Indeed, there are many unsaved
Adam was the representative of all men, people who are fine upstanding moral
men and women today do not have a free people. Loraine Boettner, when writing in
will (in spiritual matters), but they are still his book "The Reformed Doctrine of
responsible for their actions and sins. With Predestination," explains total depravity as
Adam as our representative we all share in follows:
the curse brought upon the creation by his Because of the fall, man is unable of
sin. That curse has made us sinners. The himself to savingly believe the gospel.
responsibility for our sins now lies within us The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the
(Romans 5:12). things of God; his heart is deceitful and
desperately corrupt. His will is not free,
The religious leaders of Jesus' day had the it is in bondage to his evil nature,
notion that they were free, but notice what therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot
Jesus said to them - "You are of your father - choose good over evil in the spiritual
the devil, and you want to do the desires of realm. Consequently, it takes much more
than the Spirit's assistance to bring a
sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by Does the Ephesian passage (read it all in
which the Spirit makes the sinner alive your own Bible) mention anything about a
and gives him a new nature. Faith is not sinner having to exercise his own faith or
something man contributes to salvation power in order to be made alive? No. Does
but is itself a part of God's gift of it tell a sinner, as many modern preachers
salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, do, that he must take the first step and then
not the sinner's gift to God (TRDP, p. God will bring him the rest of the way? No.
433) When man was dead God made him alive!
God must first reach down to the spiritually
In his lost condition man is dead and dead sinner and breathe new life into him.
helpless. He cannot do anything to
reconcile himself unto God. This doctrine Since man is blinded to spiritual goodness,
can be well illustrated by using the example the only thing he can do, spiritually, is evil.
of a corpse lying in a casket. Someone He is never forced by God to commit sin.
approaches the corpse and invites it to He sins because his heart, mind, and will are
church. Will the corpse get up and go? Can in bondage and he is blind to anything
the corpse get up and go? Of course not, it better. In fact, the Bible tells us in John
cannot for it is dead! A brass band could 3:19 that men love darkness. In 1
come in and play loud march music but the Corinthians 2:14, Paul writes that the
corpse will not be aroused. Before the "natural man does not accept the things of
corpse can respond to the invitation it must the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to
first be made alive. Can the corpse give him, and he cannot understand them,
itself life? Can the corpse take the first step because they are spiritually appraised."
and then trust God to take him the rest of the Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every
way? No! Only a power greater than the one who commits sin is the slave of sin"
corpse can give it life. Once the corpse is (John 8:34).
given life it can under its own power get up
and go. Boettner writes pointedly when he says,
"This doctrine of the total inability of man is
This illustration is a perfect picture of the terribly stern, severe, and forbidding"
condition of sinful fallen man. Someone (TRDP, p. 80). He also states that an
may preach or witness to him a thousand examination of the fall of man proves to
sermons or testimonies about the tortures of everyone that man cannot lay claims to
hell, but he cannot and will not respond goodness. Man's only hope of salvation lies
until a power greater than himself bestows in "the sovereign grace of Almighty God"
spiritual life, making his dead soul alive and (TRDP, p. 79).
giving him the desire and ability to trust
Christ as Lord and Savior. In Ephesians The following passages of Scripture will be
2:1-5 we read, "And you were dead in your helpful in understanding the doctrine of total
trespasses and sins. ..But God, being rich in depravity:
mercy, because of his great love with which
he loved us, even when we were dead in our Romans 3:10-12, 5:12
transgressions, made us alive together with Jeremiah 13:23
Christ (by grace you have been saved)." John 3:3, 5:21
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. In your own words define "Total Depravity."

2. Man's only hope of salvation lies in the sovereign ______________ of Almighty God.

3. How would you reply to the person who says that man is basically good?

4. Explain the statement - "Man is a responsible moral agent with a will that is bound."

5. Read John 6:44. What does it mean that "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent
me draws him. ..?"
IV - UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
The doctrine of election means that God
Having seen the doctrine of total depravity, saves in pursuance of an eternal purpose.
it will be realized that if spiritually fallen This includes all the gospel influences,
man is to be saved, God must take the work of the Spirit and so on that leads a
initiative. This initiative is set forth in the man to repent of his sins and accept
doctrine of Unconditional Election. In Christ. So far as man's freedom is
Boettner's book (TRDP), the doctrine is concerned, the doctrine of election does
explained as this: not mean that God decrees to save a man
irrespective of his will. It rather means
God's choice of certain individuals unto that God purposes to lead a man in such
salvation before the foundation of the a way that he will freely accept the
world rested solely in His own sovereign gospel and be saved.
will. His choice of particular sinners was
not based on any foreseen response or First of all, election is not salvation, but is
obedience on their part, such as faith, unto salvation. Romans 11:7 says, "What
repentance, etc. On the contrary, God then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has
gives faith and repentance to each not obtained, but those who were chosen
individual whom he selected. These acts obtained it, and the rest were hardened."
are the result, not the cause of God's Therefore, if the elect obtain salvation, and
choice. Election therefore was not election is unto salvation, then it follows
determined by or conditional upon any that election must come before salvation can
virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. occur.
Those whom God sovereignly elected
He brings through the power of the Election then, is that act (Ephesians 1:4)
Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. whereby God chooses a people for himself
Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the out of the mass of fallen humanity. Notice
sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate in Ephesians 1:4 that Paul says, "He chose
cause of salvation. (p. 434) us in Him before the foundation of the
world." Men and women, boys and girls,
In a sermon on election, Elder C. D. Cole are saved when they believe on the Lord
quotes John A. Broadus as saying, "From Jesus Christ, but they were elected unto
the divine side, we see that the Scriptures salvation before time began. The word used
teach an eternal election of men to eternal in the Greek text for "chose" is a word that
life simply out of God's good pleasure." means "to choose out for Himself"
Cole goes on to quote James P. Boyce as (Expositor's Greek New Testament, Vol. 3,
saying, "God, of His own purpose, has from p. 247-48). If God chose a people out of
eternity determined to save a definite fallen mankind, it follows that there were
number of mankind. .. not for or because of some who were not chosen. Look at
any merit or works of theirs, nor of any Romans 11:7 again. It says that the elect
value of them to Him; but of His own good obtained what Israel was looking for and
pleasure." Going further in the sermon, that the rest were hardened. Friend, if God
Cole quotes from Dr. W. T. Conner, former has elected all men to be saved then he has
professor of theology at Southwestern failed miserably in his purpose because
Seminary: everyone has not been saved. Once the
election of certain sinners takes place, God answer to this railing can be found in 9:21
through the agency of the Holy Spirit calls where it says, "Does not the potter have a
the elect and as Jesus said in John 6:37, "All right over the clay, to make from the same
that the Father gives Me shall come unto lump one vessel for honorable use, and
Me." another for common use?"

Some will object and say that God is unfair Election does not harm anyone. Sinful man
and unjust. What did Paul say in Romans was already on his way to hell and
9? He said that there was no injustice with destruction. Election is God's gracious
God. (You may wish to re-read Romans 9.) choice by which he enables some to escape
If God owed all men salvation, it would be the coming doom. The governor of a state
grossly unfair not to give it to everyone. has the sovereign right to pardon whom he
But, God does not owe man anything except chooses. Picture two men sitting on "death
eternal damnation in the torments of the row." Both men, by willful sinning, are
outer darkness! However, God in his love now awaiting the wrath of the government.
and grace decided to choose to deliver some They deserve their pending punishment.
from that punishment and give unto them But, the governor, for reasons known only
eternal life. The others he passed by and left to himself, decides to pardon one of the
them to suffer the just reward for their sins criminals. The other is left to await his
and iniquities. God was merciful to those sentence. To the one pardoned the governor
chosen and just to those passed by. If this was gracious and merciful. To the one not
sounds harsh, review Romans 9:10-24. That pardoned the governor was fair and just.
passage clearly illustrates the doctrine of When the condemned man is put to death he
unconditional election. In 9:15 God says will have no reason to cry out, "Injustice!"
that he will have mercy and compassion because he is receiving exactly what he
upon whom he wants. He does not ask men deserves. But, the man pardoned will
for their advice! In 9:13 God says, "Jacob I forever be indebted to the kindness and
loved, but Esau I hated" and this even mercy of the one who controlled his destiny.
before they were born! Concerning the ninth He will be humbled by the grace (the
chapter of Romans, Spurgeon says: unmerited favor) which he received.

As long as that remains in the Bible It should be realized that election does not
no man shall be able to prove prohibit anyone from being saved who truly
Arminianism; so long as that is wants to be. This may seem like a
written there, not the most violent contradiction at first glance, but look
contortions of the pass-age will ever further.
be able to exterminate the doctrine
of election from the Scriptures. The great difference needs to be seen
(from a sermon on Election, between those who merely want to be saved
Great Commission Pub., p. 10). from hell and those who truly want to be
saved from sin. A dead sinner will only
Some would rail at God and call him a want to be truly saved from sin after he has
tyrant because he hated Esau. What ought to been given life by the Holy Spirit. The
amaze us even more is how God could love "whosoever" of the gospel means just what
a scheming sinner such as Jacob! The it says. But, the ones who come will only be
those who have first been given life by the Revelation 13:8. "And all who dwell on the
Spirit of God. A young woman once asked earth will worship him (the beast), every
this writer, "What if I want to be saved but one whose name has not been written from
God has not chosen me?" The answer to her the foundation of the world in the book of
question is found in the words of the Savior. life of the Lamb who has been slain." The
Jesus said in John 6:37, "And the one who names of the elect were written in the book
comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." of life in eternity past!
Do you want to be saved? Do you want to
repent and receive Christ? Then flee to him. Turn to Acts 13. Paul is preaching to the
He will not cast you out! Remember, the Gentiles. Look at verse 48. "And when the
desire to be saved comes from God, not Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and
from within your bound will. glorifying the word of the Lord; and as
many as had been appointed to eternal life
The key lies in this: Where does the desire believed." See the grammatical construction
to be saved come from - sinful man or here? They were not appointed (ordained) to
sovereign God? It is a sign of God's grace eternal life because they believed, but they
upon you if you truly have the desire to believed because they had been appointed.
repent of sins, ask forgiveness, acknowledge Sinners are not elected because they repent
Christ as Lord, and show forth your faith by and believe; they repent and believe because
your deeds and words. they were elected! R.C. Reed, in "The
Gospel as Taught by Calvin," writes:
The aspect of unconditional election should
have been seen by now. God elects, or There is scarcely a hint in the Bible that
chooses, out of his mere good pleasure and election is based on God's foresight of
not because he saw anything good or bad on faith and repentance. It is a theory of
the part of the one chosen. Some would say human invention to get around supposed
that God looked out into the future and saw difficulties (p. 70).
who would believe if they heard the gospel,
then, on that basis, he elected them. Paul Man will never fully understand the justice
writes that men are saved by grace, not by of God or the grace of God in having
works (Ephesians 2:8,9). If God looked out elected some and having passed by others.
into time and saw who would believe, then As Spurgeon said in a sermon on election
is that not salvation by merit? Man did many years ago, "I will not attempt to prove
something good so God chose to save him, the justice of God in having thus elected
right? Absolutely wrong! Salvation is all of some and left others. It is not for me to
grace. Man has nothing to boast about vindicate my Master" (Great Commission
except the cross of Jesus Christ his Pub., p. 11).
Redeemer (Galatians 6:14).
Election is a humbling doctrine when
Another prominent argument against understood properly. It should not lead to
unconditional election is this: God has laziness. It calls the elect to the task of
elected all men to be saved but it depends living a devout and holy life, always
upon man's choice whether or not he is indebted to the sovereign Governor of the
saved. Jesus said, "You did not chose Me, Universe. In the words of two great hymns
but I chose you" (John 15:16). Examine of the faith:
longer cavil at the truth that the Lord is
'Nothing in my hand I bring, not bound to save us; we do not murmur
Simply to Thy cross I cling; if He chooses to save others, as though
Naked, flee to Thee for dress, He were doing us an injury, but feel that
Helpless, look to Thee for grace.' if He deigns to look upon us, it will be
'O to grace how great a debtor, His own free act of undeserved
Daily I'm constrained to be.' goodness, for which we shall ever bless
His name. How shall those who are the
In closing this section, I would like to subjects of divine election sufficiently
include some of Spurgeon's thoughts from adore the grace of God? They have no
the devotional book "Morning and Evening" room for boasting, for sovereignty most
(Baker Books). This is from the evening of effectually excludes it. The Lord's will
November 25 (p. 661) and concerns the alone is glorified, and the very notion of
verse, "For He says to Moses, 'I will have human merit is cast out to everlasting
mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will contempt. There is no more humbling
have compassion on whom I have doctrine in Scripture than that of
compassion.' " Hear Spurgeon: election, none more promotive of
gratitude, and, consequently, none more
In these words the Lord in the plainest sanctifying. Believers should not be
manner claims the right to give or to afraid of it, but adoringly rejoice in it.
withhold His mercy according to His
own sovereign will. As the prerogative Some other passages that you might wish to
of life and death is vested in the look at for further study are:
monarch, so the Judge of all the earth
has a right to spare or condemn the 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 5:9
guilty, as may seem best in His sight. 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
Men by their sins have forfeited all Matthew 24:31
claim upon God; they deserve to perish Mark13:20
for their sins - and if they all do so, they John 6:65, 17:9
have no ground for complaint. If the Romans 11:5
Lord steps in to save any, He may do so
if the ends of justice are not thwarted;
but if He judges it best to leave the
condemned to suffer the righteous
sentence, none may arraign Him at the
bar. Foolish and impudent are all those
discourses about the rights of men to be
placed on the same footing; ignorant, if
not worse, are those contentions against
discriminating grace, which are but the
rebellions of proud human nature against
the crown and scepter of Jehovah.
When we are brought to see our own
utter ruin and ill desert, and the justice
of the divine verdict against sin, we no
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. In your own words define "Unconditional Election."

2. Does election harm anyone? Why not?

3. Where does the desire to be saved come from?

4. Explain Acts 13:48 and tell how it describes the doctrine of unconditional election.

5. List some ways that this doctrine should be precious to the believer.
V - LIMITED ATONEMENT 3. Some of the sins of all men.

It naturally follows from God's election of Explaining Owen's logic, we see that if
certain persons unto salvation, that before statement (3) is true, then all men have some
salvation can take place, a price must sins for which they cannot be forgiven and,
somehow be paid for the crimes of the therefore, none will be saved. If statement
chosen ones. It has already been stated that (2) is true, then Christ actually died and paid
a holy God must punish sin. By rights, the the penalty for the elect, or those whom God
guilty party should offer restitution to the had chosen unto salvation. (Remember
offended party. But sinful man has nothing Christ's words, "All that the Father has
to offer God. So, God in his grace provided given to me will come unto me.") If
a sacrifice, or means of restitution, for man. statement (1) is true, that Christ died for all
In due time God sent forth his Son to the sins of all men, then why are not all
redeem the elect from the bondage of sin, saved? Most will answer, "Because they
and at the same time to appease God's wrath rejected Christ and by their free will chose
and vindicate his holiness. This doctrine, not to believe in him." I would ask then, is
known as Limited Atonement, is set forth by not rejection of Christ a sin? Is not unbelief
Boettner as follows: a sin? Obviously, the answer is yes. Well
then, if Christ paid the penalty for all sins
Christ's redeeming work was intended to then he must have paid the price for the sins
save the elect only and actually secured of rejection and unbelief. Therefore, why
salvation for them. His death was a are men punished for sins that have already
substitutionary endurance of the penalty been paid for?
of sin in the place of certain specified
sinners. In addition to putting away the Spurgeon penned these words concerning
sins of His people, Christ's redemption the intent and extent of the atonement:
secured everything necessary for their
salvation, including faith which unites If Christ on His cross intended to save
them to Him. The gift of faith is every man, then He intended to save
infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for those who were lost before He died. If
whom Christ died, therefore the doctrine be true, that He died for all
guaranteeing their salvation (TRDP, p. men, then He died for some who were in
434-35). Hell be-fore He came into this
world. ...If it was Christ's intention to
The argument against this doctrine is that save all men, how deplorably has He
Christ had to die for all men and made been disappointed (Defense of
salvation possible for everyone. John Calvinism, p.10).
Owen, one of the great Puritans, saw a
dilemma in that argument. In "Death of Another point to consider is this: it was only
Death in the Death of Christ," (volume 10 of the extent of the atonement that was limited,
Owen's works), he says: not its value. It was Christ, the Son of God,
who hung on Calvary's cruel cross in the
Christ died for: stead of sinners. The sacrifice on the cross
1. All the sins of all men, or was not a cheap one. Boettner writes:
2. All the sins of some men, or The atonement, therefore, was infinitely
meritorious and might have saved every who has done all that he can do, and now
member of the human race had that been stands by biting his fingernails, hoping that
God's plan. It was limited only in the someone will exercise their free will and
sense that it was intended for, and is choose him. To quote Packer once again:
applied to, particular persons; namely
for those who are actually saved (TRDP, No wonder that our preaching begets so
p. 151). little reverence and humility, and that
our professed converts are so self-
Instead of thinking of a limited atonement, confident and so deficient in
you might feel more comfortable using the self-knowledge, and in the good works
phrase "Particular Redemption," since the which Scripture regards as the fruit of
atonement was intended for particular true repentance (Essay, p. 15).
people, the elect.
Examine the "High Priestly Prayer" found in
The Scriptures attest to the fact that when John 17. Jesus will be going to the cross
Christ died on the cross he actually did shortly, to be crucified and to atone for the
something, more than just making sins of his people (Matthew 1:21). He is
something possible. Revelation 5:9 says praying for strength and guidance for the
that the Lamb purchased; 1 Corinthians 6:20 events which will soon come to pass. In
speaks of being bought with a price. As J. I. 17:2 he prays, "Even as Thou gavest Him
Packer has written, it is obvious that "The authority over all mankind, that to all whom
cross secured the full salvation of all for Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal
whom Christ died" (Essay, p. 13). Packer life." Whom did God give to Christ? He
further states: gave him the elect. What is Christ going to
do for the elect? He is going to die for them,
Our minds have been conditioned to and by doing so, give them eternal life. He
think of the Cross as a redemption which is not just going to make it possible for them
does less than redeem, and of a Christ as to have eternal life, he is actually going to
a Saviour who does less than save, and secure it for them and give it to them. Jesus,
of God's love as a weak affection which as the Good Shepherd, is going to lay down
cannot keep anyone from hell without his life for the sheep (John 10:14,15).
help, and of faith as the human help
which God needs for this purpose There are several passages in which it
(Essay, p. 13). speaks of God wanting all to be saved or
that Christ died for all men. One classic
Dear friend, the Lord Jesus Christ is not a example that is always brought up is 2 Peter
beggar! He is not standing at the door of 3:9. It reads, "The Lord is not slow about
sinners' hearts begging, pleading, and crying his promise as some count slowness, but is
his eyes out hoping that someone will accept patient toward you, not wishing for any to
him and let him in. He is a sovereign perish but for all to come to repentance."
almighty KING, not a helpless street urchin. This verse is often used to "prove" that God
Instead of preaching a Christ that has wants every single person to be saved. But,
actually redeemed and who is actively at a closer examination of the context will
work drawing the elect unto himself, most show who are referred to by Peter's use of
preach a poor, little, bleeding-heart Jesus the word "all." Peter says that God is
patient "toward you" (some translations use function of the High Priest. When he
"us"), and then says that God wishes for all entered the Holy of Holies, it was to make
to repent. Who is the "all?" It is the same atonement for the twelve tribes of Israel, not
ones referred to by the word "you." Context for the Amalekites, Jebusites, Hittites, and
must be stressed. For example, in other nations. He atoned for God's chosen
Colossians 1:28, Paul speaks of people and this is precisely a foreshadowing
"admonishing every man and teaching every of the work which Christ would do on
man." Surely we are not to take this to Calvary - an atonement for God's chosen
mean that Paul admonished and taught every people, the elect.
single man who was alive at that time upon
the face of the earth! He means every man Alas, and did my Savior bleed,
that he came into con- tact with. We must And did my sovereign die?
examine context very carefully. Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Another familiar verse is John 3:16. It
reads, "For God so loved the world...". Was it for crimes that I have done,
What does the word "world" mean here? It He groaned upon the tree?
can mean every single person without Amazing Pity! grace unknown!
exception if we take it out of context, but in And love beyond degree!
context with the preceding verses it takes on
a different meaning. Jesus is talking to Isaac Watts
Nicodemus the Pharisee, a man who
believed that salvation belonged solely to
the Jews. Jesus is explaining to him that
God loved the whole world, meaning all
classes and races of people, not just the
Jews. Therefore, not only can the Jew be
saved, but anyone from any race, nation,
and class of people can also be saved.

One mistake which is made by a majority of


Christians is to pull verses out of context
and make them stand alone. This can be
very dangerous and can lead to gross
misinterpretations of the Bible and its
doctrines.

I am fully aware that this point of the five


points is probably the most difficult to
understand. I know of many who have
grasped four points but disliked this one.
However, a careful and in-depth study of the
Scriptures has led them to accept this point
also. If you are having difficulty here, I
would suggest you study the Old Testament
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. In your own words define "Limited Atonement."

2. Another phrase for limited atonement is ____________.

3. Did Christ's death on Calvary just make salvation possible, or did it actually secure salvation?

4. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. What does this passage mean in your own life? Where do you fit
in?

5. What are some "invitations" which you have heard that show a misunderstanding of Christ's
work? (example - "Christ died for all of you here tonight.")
VI - IRRESISTIBLE GRACE in vain because no one would come to him
on their own. As we said in the last section,
The depraved sinner, having been elected natural man is a slave to sin and desires to
and purchased, must somehow be brought to do the will of his master, Satan. In order to
that point in his life where he will repent ensure that Christ's death would not be
and receive the salvation to which he was fruitless, God, by the agency or means of
elected. This brings in the next point of the the Holy Spirit, effectively calls the chosen
doctrines of grace, which is Irresistible ones to salvation. Jesus told Nicodemus that
Grace. Other titles for this fourth point are in order to gain entrance into the kingdom
"Effectual Calling" or "Efficacious Grace." he would have to be "born again" or "born
Here is the doctrine as quoted from from above" (John 3:3). Paul writes that the
Boettner: dead sinner must receive quickening life
(Eph. 2:4,5). It is the work of the Holy
In addition to the outward general call to Spirit to effectively implant the truth of the
salvation which is made to everyone gospel in such a way so as to set the sinner
who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit free from slavery (John 8:32). Only then
extends to the elect a special inward call can the sinner respond. The elect are saved
that inevitably brings them to salvation. when they trust in the manifold mercies of
The external call (which is to all without Christ.
distinction) can be, and often is,
rejected; whereas the internal call A strong objection to this doctrine is that if
(which is made only to the elect) cannot God's grace is irresistible then it makes man
be rejected; it always results in a robot or puppet, being manipulated by
conversion. By means of this special God without any volitional acts of his own.
call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners In answer to this objection, listen to
to Christ. He is not limited in His work Boettner writing about the raising of
of applying salvation to man's will, nor Lazarus:
is He dependent upon man's cooperation
for success. The Spirit graciously When Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth,"
causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to a mighty power went along with the
believe, to repent, to come freely and command and gave effect to it. Lazarus,
willingly to Christ. God's grace, of course, was not conscious of any
therefore, is invincible; it never fails to other than his own power working in
result in the salvation of those to whom him; but when he later understood the
it is extended (TRDP, p. 435). situation he undoubtedly saw that he had
been called into life wholly by divine
Those who hold to the doctrines of grace as power. God's power was primary, his
being taught in Scripture, believe that sinful was secondary, and would never have
man, left in his dead condition, would been exerted except in response to the
continue in his sins and never come to divine. It is in this manner that every
Christ. The Scriptures state that there is no redeemed soul is brought from spiritual
one who seeks after righteousness (Romans death to spiritual life.And just as the
3:12). Therefore, if acceptance of salvation dead Lazarus was first called back into
was left up to man, Christ would have died life and then breathed and ate, so the
soul dead in sin is first transferred to God's grace, one is humbled at Jesus' feet
spiritual life and then exercises faith and with praise and thanksgiving.
repentance and does good works
(TRDP, p. 166-67). It is the responsibility of every Christian to
freely offer the gospel message to all men.
This illustration graphically depicts the It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to
doctrine of irresistible grace or effectual quicken the sinner so that he may be able to
calling. Christ was standing by the entrance respond to the invitations and commands of
to the tomb, not as a beggar pleading with the gospel. Man is the instrument of the
Lazarus to exercise his free will and come outward call, but, the Spirit is the
alive, but as the sovereign Lord issuing forth administrator of the inward call. "I have
a mighty and powerful command. Had loved you with an everlasting love;
Christ used the techniques of modern Therefore I have drawn you with loving
evangelism, His call might have been kindness" (Jer. 31:3).
something like this: "Lazarus, please come
out of the tomb! If you will just take the "But!" you say, "There are many who reject
first step I'll give you the power to come the the gospel. There are many who will not
rest of the way. God has done all that he choose to come to Christ!" This is quite
can do. Now, Lazarus, it's up to you." true. But remember, it is the outward call
Sound familiar? If Christ had waited for which these people are rejecting. They may
dead Lazarus to take the first step, he would be weeping because of a guilty conscience
still be standing by the tomb today! or because the preacher or evangelist told a
sad story which worked up their emotions.
God is so gracious that he does not force There is a vast difference between wanting
people to act against their will. But he does to ease a guilty conscience and wanting to
so move upon a person that the will is be freed from the power and penalty of sin.
changed. Think of your own salvation. The Holy Spirit works upon each one in a
When you came to Christ you came freely particular way, and in conjunction with
and willingly, did you not? You were not God's timetable. Even the elect may reject
forced at gunpoint by an angel to go to the outward call for a season, but in God's
Christ. There were no strings attached to appointed time (Acts 13:48) they will come.
your arms and legs which lifted you up and As Spurgeon sweetly writes:
placed you at the foot of the cross. You
exercised you will. But! Unless God in his 'The time of figs is not yet.' The
grace and mercy had not acted upon your predestined moment has not struck; but,
will first, you would have never found rest when it comes, they shall obey, for God
in Christ. Once the Spirit gave you spiritual will have his own; they must, for the
life and regenerated your soul, you wanted Spirit is not to be withstood when he
to come to Christ, and you did! cometh forth with fullness of power -
they must become the willing servants of
Most objections to this glorious truth stem the living God (Morning and Evening,
from the sin of man's pride. It hurts one's December 4).
ego to think that he cannot be in charge of
his own salvation. But, when pride is cast
aside and one sees the great expanse of
Listen to Spurgeon as he tells of his gospel.. .for we now have to read them,
own conversion experience: not as expressions of the tender patience
of a mighty sovereign, but as the
Then in the fullness of time He pathetic pleading of impotent desire; and
purchased me with His blood; He let His so the enthroned Lord is suddenly
heart run out in one deep groaning metamorphosed into a weak, futile
wound for me long ere I loved Him. figure tapping forlornly at the door of
Yea, when He first came to me, did I not the human heart, which He is powerless
spurn Him? When He knocked at the to open. This is a shameful dishonor to
door, and asked for entrance, did I not the Christ of the New Testament. The
drive Him away, and do despite to His second implication is equally serious:
grace? Ah! I can remember that I full for this view in effect denies our
often did so until, at last, by the power dependence on God when it comes to
of His effectual grace, He said, "I must, vital decisions, takes us out of His hand,
I will come in"; and then He turned my tells us that we are, after all, what sin
heart, and made me love Him. But even taught us to think we were - masters of
till now I should have resisted Him, had our fate, captain of our souls - and so
it not been for His grace (Defense, p. 5). undermines the very foundation of man's
religious relationship with his Maker
God and Christ are sovereign in salvation. (Essay, p. 20).
The evangelism of today has this fact
clouded over by the preaching of man's will It is a comfort to be able to preach with
as the deciding factor. Friend, if God had freedom from the pressure of trying to get
waited for you to decide for Christ on your results, knowing that God does not measure
own, He would be waiting still! This cannot effective evangelism by numbers, but by the
be stressed enough. It is a disgrace to the degree of faithfulness of his servants to
almighty power of God for preachers and preach, teach, and witness to all men,
pastors to stand in the pulpit and proclaim, offering forgiveness, mercy, and life to all
"God and Jesus have done all they can do, who will come; but then trusting in the
now it's up to you to exercise your free will effective power of Almighty God to draw
and choose Christ. God has cast his vote for the elect unto himself.
you, the devil has cast his vote for you, and
now you must cast the deciding vote!" First I once was given a book to read, authored
of all, the devil is not a registered voter in by a professor at a well-known Baptist
God's kingdom, and secondly, when the Seminary. The book listed several ways to
election took place you were not old enough give a "good invitation." It contained
to vote! Packer has well described the plight nothing but man-centered techniques such as
that modern evangelism puts one in. He playing on the emotions of people, singing
says, concerning the belief that everything the invitation hymn several times until
ultimately rests upon man's choice: someone came forward, etc. One went
something like this - Suppose a young child
This position has two unhappy results. comes forward to receive Christ. The
The first is that it compels us to preacher should then appeal to the parents to
misunderstand the significance of the come forward by saying that it would be
gracious invitations of Christ in the terrible to spend eternity in hell while their
daughter was in heaven. Dad, be a good has all the elements which should secure
example to your child and show her that you its acceptance. God knowing that this is
can be a Christian also. Now, I ask you, true, not only of all mankind in general,
dear reader, where is there any mention of but even of the elect whom he purposes
the fact that the parents must first to save in Christ, gives to these such
acknowledge their sins? Where is the influences of the Spirit as will lead to
command to repent? Do you see what I their acceptance of the call. This is
mean? When a person believes that the called Effectual Calling (Abstract, p.
deciding factor is man's free will, he will do 367-68).
everything he can to appeal to that will to
make the choice. But, when a person It should be noted from Boyce's statement
believes that God must first make the sinner that there is no deficiency in the gospel
able to choose Christ, he will earnestly message when men do not believe. As he
speak the commands of Christ to repent and says, they reject the call because of willful
believe the gospel, to flee from sin and sinfulness. Boyce would consider the
repent, and to flee the wrath of God to inward call by the Spirit as additional grace
come. Then, he must rely upon the work of applied to some people, namely, the elect.
the Spirit. This does not mean that God is insincere in
offering the outward gospel call to everyone
A dear friend of mine was once accused of even though he knows that many will reject
not believing in the Great Commission. He it. The outward call is grace enough for
was accused of believing that it was only men to believe, but because they are prone
necessary to preach or witness to a person to follow the evil nature of their hearts they
one time, and if the person did not accept spurn even this "common grace." The
Christ then he was obviously not one of the inward call is simply more grace applied to
elect. What a ridiculous and ignorant some that sets their hearts, minds, and wills
accusation! It is hoped that this work will free, thereby enabling them to accept the
help clear up some of these false ideas and offer of salvation. Remember, God could
misunderstandings. have simply made the external call and left
all men to perish because of their rejection
Let us close this chapter with a quote from of it. But God, who is more gracious than
Dr. Boyce, and a poem by the poet John finite man can imagine, sends the Spirit to
Donne. Concerning the outward and inward work inwardly on some. There is no way
calls, Boyce writes: around it:

The first step here is to make known to SALVATION IS ALL OF GRACE.


man the gospel, which contains the glad
tidings of this salvation, under such
influences as ought to lead to its
acceptance. ...The Gospel is, therefore,
commanded to be proclaimed to every
creature. ...This is the external call of the
Gospel. This proclamation, however,
meets no success because of the willful
sinfulness of man, although, in itself, it
And now, listen to this doctrine as echoed in the words of the poet:

Batter my heart, three-personed God; for You


As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurped town to another due,


Labor to admit You, but oh! to no end;
Reason, Your viceroy in me, should defend,
But is captived and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love You, and would be loved fain,


But am betrothed unto your enemy.
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to You, imprison me, for I

Except You enthrall me, never shall be free;


Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.

John Donne (1572-1631)


- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. In your own words define "Irresistible Grace."

2. Another term for irresistible grace is ______________.

3. In a brief paragraph, discuss the difference between the outward call of the gospel and the
inward call.

4. What lesson about irresistible grace can be learned from the raising of Lazarus?

5. Read Jeremiah 31:3. What does this verse mean to you?

6. Read Psalm 110:3 and John 5:40. How can you reconcile these two verses?
VII - PERSEVERANCE OF THE much emphasis upon preservation rather
SAINTS than upon perseverance. Because of this,
many have the idea that they can be saved
The concluding point of this study is that yet live a life of sin. If a person is truly
which concerns the continuation of the saved or born again, he will continue in the
believer in grace. This is known as the process of bearing fruit and will live a life
doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. that is proof of his confession (Eph. 1:4, 1
This truth is as follows: Thess. 1:1-4).

All who are chosen by God, redeemed A believer who is sinning can be sure that
by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit he will come under the correction and
are eternally saved. They are kept in discipline of Christ (Hebrews 12:1- 13). So,
faith by the power of Almighty God and this doctrine is more than just "eternal
thus persevere to the end (Boettner, security." It entails a perseverance and
TRDP, p. 435). growth in holiness and righteousness.

One's continuance in the faith is not Questions arise, and rightly so, when a
dependent upon good works or legalistic person professes to be a Christian, but his
rule following. It, like all other points, is life gives no evidence of that profession.
dependent solely upon God's grace. It is true Many people confuse church membership
that a Christian may "backslide" (to use a with being saved. They have a false
familiar term) and commit sin, but the security which allows them to attend church
persevering saint does not continually on Sunday, but live like the devil himself
practice sin (1 John 5:18). He, like Paul, is during the week. I once pastored a rural
ever conscious of his sin and of his need for country church. The church was a meeting
forgiveness (Romans 7:19-25). In the midst place, a central part of the small crossroads
of conflict with the evil one the believer can community. People would show up on
say, "For I know whom I have believed and Sunday, sing the hymns, and some would
I am convinced that He is able to guard what even "amen." But, some of those same
I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 people gave no evidence of having a desire
Tim. 1:12). to grow in a knowledge of the Word, of
ridding themselves of sin, of seeing others
This doctrine has often been labeled "eternal converted and so on. Once again, and I
security" or, "once saved, always saved." cannot stress it enough, this truth
Emphasis is placed on the fact that God's encompasses much more than what is
grace is sufficient and strong enough to keep usually preached today.
a person saved. The notion that a person
can lose his salvation is unscriptural. Paul Let me take a moment and relate a very
writes, "For I am confident of this very personal experience to you. In December of
thing, that He who began a good work in 1980, I was called to pastor a small Baptist
you will perfect it until the day of Christ church. I told the church very plainly what
Jesus" (Phil. 1:6). I believed and what I would preach if they
called me to that place. After being there
Unfortunately, those who usually proclaim about a month, I began to preach what I
"once saved, always saved" have placed too have written in these pages. The people
would express to me their joy at hearing to hit home, when sin was confronted as sin,
these truths. They would weep when rebellion broke out. Now, please do not
hearing about God's sovereignty. One misunderstand me. I am not setting myself
woman said to me one night, "We've waited up as judge and jury over people like this.
for years for someone to come and preach However, if you profess to be a disciple of
the Bible in such depth." The church began Christ, I ought to be able to tell by your life
to grow as others found out that I was that you are. You should be able to examine
preaching these truths. But, this growth me and see whether or not I am persevering
made the older members feel threatened. in grace.
By May of 1981, less than six months later,
the same people who had praised me, turned Jesus said that we would know his disciples
against me. I looked out the parsonage by their fruit (Jn. 15:8, Matt. 7:16). John
window one Saturday and saw two men the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees
putting a huge padlock on the front door of to bring forth fruit in keeping with their
the church to keep me out. One of my repentance (Matt. 3:8). In the parable of the
deacons, the husband of the woman I just vineyard (Lk. 13: 1-9), Jesus issued a call
mentioned and who had been carrying out for immediate and continued repentance
deceitful business dealings in the name of (seen by the use of the Greek verb forms),
the church, called me at 11:30 P.M. one and then a call for fruitfulness as a result of
evening and began to scream, curse, and call repentance.
me names. He even threatened to steal
some of my personal property. In the We all know the story of King David.
course of events I was threatened with a David was a godly man. But, one day he
lawsuit. The treasurer would not pay my fell into adultery and murder. He went for
salary for six weeks. Finally, these folks some time without repenting of these sins.
called a business meeting to vote me out. But, eventually, he did repent and seek
They called all their friends who were on forgiveness from the Lord. God's grace
the roll of the church to come out and vote. caused him to persevere. Had grace not
I had never seen most of them and most of been with him he would have never
them had not been in any church in years. repented. What the Spirit of God begins,
During the meeting, one of these "church the Spirit of God finishes!
members" became violent and raised her
hand ready to slap me in the face. In Romans 8:30, Paul says that those whom
God predestined, "these He also called; and
Why am I saying all this? Because there whom He called, these He also justified; and
was no continuing evidence in their lives whom He justified, these He also glorified."
that they were in fact saved. Their entire There is absolutely no uncertainty
existence as a church was centered not upon whatsoever as to whether or not the elect
Christ and growing in grace and truth, but will ever reach their predetermined
upon keeping a building, an institution destination! (By the way, all of the Greek
functioning. They made verbal professions, verbs in 8:30 denote completed action in
but their faith was not shown by their words past time! In God's mind, the elect are
and deeds. As long as what was preached already glorified!) As Paul stated in
did not threaten their position or status they Philippians 1:6, when God begins a good
would put up with it. But when truth began work he also finishes it.
and seeking his forgiveness, you will find a
When man is converted, the Spirit recreates haven of refuge. For, as he has said,
and restores him so that he is able to reflect "Whoever comes to me I will never drive
the glory of God which was lost in the fall. away."
Part of that glory consists of having a desire
to grow in truth, righteousness and holiness.
Where that desire does not exist neither does
salvation. One of the Puritans has written,
"In the first creation, God made man after
His own image. So in the second creation
or regeneration, God doth create men after
His own image, in knowledge,
righteousness, true holiness, and love"
(Vavasor Powell).

Here then is the fifth point to our TULIP.


When sinful man was estranged from God
and unable to save himself, God chose to
have mercy on whom he would; he sent his
Son to redeem the chosen ones; in due time
he sends the Spirit to open the heart, liberate
the will, and give life; and then, by the
Spirit and the Word, he enables the
recreated man to persevere in a life of
progressive holiness, being changed from
one degree of glory to another, until the day
when time ceases to be, and eternity with
Christ is ushered in.

My friend, I have been writing under the


assumption that you are a Christian. But,
perhaps, I have assumed incorrectly. For
some reason, God has providentially placed
this material into your hands. If you are
without Christ, why not take this moment to
seriously consider what you have read. You
owe loyalty to your Creator. But, in and of
yourself you cannot please him. You cannot
save yourself. You are fastbound in your
sins. Your only hope is in the shed blood of
Christ. You must trust in Christ and in him
alone or else be prepared to face the wrath
and judgment of God which you deserve.
The door of mercy is wide open. If you
will come to Christ, repenting of your sins
- STUDY & REVIEW -

1. In your own words define "Perseverance of the Saints."

2. Do a study of Philippians 2:12,13. How does this relate to perseverance?

3. Read some of the following passages and meditate upon them, looking for personal
applications:

1 Peter 2:1-25

Galatians 5:16-26

Ephesians 5:1-21

Hebrews 12:1-13

1 Corinthians 10:13

Romans 8:18-39
VIII - SOME OBJECTIONS AND cannot decide for Christ on his own, then we
ANSWERS had better pray to the Lord to intervene and
make people willing. Keep in mind that God
Naturally, there are bound to be many has predestined not only the ends
objections to the doctrines of grace. Some (salvation), but he has also predestined the
have already been discussed but I will means (the way in which the elect are
attempt to a few more. called). Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of
the gospel, for it is the power of God for
Some will simply say that they do not salvation to every one who believes, to the
believe that the Bible teaches predestination. Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom.
This is a very shallow objection since the 1:16). "How then shall they call upon Him
Scripture uses the very words, such as in whom they have not believed? And how
election and predestination. Is not all shall they believe in Him whom they have
Scripture given by inspiration of God? I not heard? And how shall they hear without
would encourage you to take a Bible and a a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).
concordance and look up all the references
where such wording occurs. If the Bible Witnessing would be very easy if God had
does not teach predestination, how then can seen fit to give us the names and addresses
the prophets predict a future event? If it of those whom he chose to save. But, he
was not predestined there is the possibility has not considered it fit to do so. He has
that it would not come to pass. A prophet of simply commanded us to be faithful; to be
God was known by the fact that his diligent in being the means of the outward
prophecies came true just as predicted. Let call. Therefore, we offer the gospel freely to
us take a practical example. Suppose you all and allow the Spirit to do his work of the
were to get sick tomorrow. Did God know inward call. Remember, to some the gospel
that you would? Yes, because he knows all will be a word of judgment. Ezekiel was
things. Could he have prevented it? Yes, he commanded to go to the people and preach
well could have. The fact that he did not to them. God told him in advance that they
prevent it means that it was sure to happen. would not listen, yet, because of Ezekiel's
This is predestination. message the rebellious people would be
without excuse.
You should keep in mind that God is not the
author or cause of sin. God often allows Again, concerning prayers for the lost, if
Satan to work, just as he did in the case of man is the one who is ultimately responsible
Job. God may allow sin to take place, but he for a decision about salvation, why even
is not the cause of it. bother to pray to God? I have had many
people tell me that God does not force
Another objection is this, "Well, if God has anyone to be saved. He does not make a
elected, and since only certain people will person willing to be saved. It is, they say, up
be saved, then why witness or preach?" To to man's free will. Yet, when these same
this I say, look at Matthew 28:19,20. people are praying they will say things like,
Christians have been commanded to witness "Dear Lord, please save so and so. Please
and preach. Love ought to compel us to convict her of sin and make her come to
witness and share the gospel. If sinful man Christ." How inconsistent! If man is the
deciding factor, and God has done all that he
can do, then why pray to God for any
further help? Why not go to the person and
pray to them? Someone has said that men
may disagree in theology while standing,
but on their knees in prayer all are
Calvinists!

Finally, as has been previously covered,


there are those who say, "But what about the
'whosoever will' passages?" There is no
contradiction here. It is quite true,
whosoever will may come! If any man
thirsts, let him go to Christ and drink. Once
again, the question is - why do the ones who
come do so? It is because God makes them
able to respond. "As many as had been
ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts
13:48).

IX - CONCLUSION

I have not covered every point which I


would like to in this study. My purpose in it
has been to spark a desire within you to
study the Word of God at a deeper level. I
hope I have raised some questions in your
mind. It is my earnest prayer that each one
who has read these pages will pray for much
grace and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

All the intricacies of God's will cannot be


discerned by finite man. Some things are
known only to God (Deut. 29:29). The
Calvinist is simply determined, as Iain
Murray writes, "to resolve all by Scripture
alone and where Scripture offers no
resolution of difficulties to be silent and
worship a great God" (The Forgotten
Spurgeon, Banner of Truth, p. 8).

A final quote from Boettner will serve as an


adequate summary statement:

Salvation is accomplished by the


Almighty power of the Triune God. The
Father chose a people, the Son died for
them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's
death effective by bringing the elect to
faith and repentance, thereby causing
them to willingly obey the gospel. The
entire process (election, redemption,
regeneration) is the work of God and is
by grace alone. Thus God, not man,
determines who will be the recipient of
the gift of salvation (TRDP,p. 436).
X - SUGGESTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

As I said in my preliminary remarks, volumes have been written on the subject of the doctrines
of grace. Here is a brief listing of some of them should you want to do further and more in-depth
reading. I have simply listed the title, author, and publisher.

For First Readings

"The Practical Implications of Calvinism" by Albert N. Martin (Banner of Truth)

"God's Gracious Purpose" by Kenneth Good (Baker)

"TULIP" by Duane Spencer (Baker)

"Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God" by J. I. Packer (InterVarsity Press)

"Knowing God" by J. I. Packer (InterVarsity Press)

"The Five Points of Calvinism" by W. J. Smeaton (Banner of Truth)

"The Sovereign God" by James M. Boice (InterVarsity Press)

For Advanced Reading

"The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" by Loraine Boettner (Presbyterian & Reformed)

"The Sovereignty of God" by A. W. Pink (Baker)

"The Sovereignty of Grace" by Arthur C. Custance (Baker)

"Definite Atonement" by Gary Long (Presbyterian & Reformed)

NOTE: At the writing of this manuscript, a good place to order sound literature and tracts is the
Berean Bible Bookstore, P.O. Box B, Gravette, Arkansas, 72736.
XI - CHARTS

The following two charts were very helpful to me when I came to understand the doctrines of
grace. I cannot recall where I first saw them, but I am indebted to the one who showed them to
me.

This first chart shows both man's responsibility to God and also his inability to perform his
responsibility. True Calvinism sees God's grace as making man able to be responsible.

-Responsibility- -Inability-

"Seek and find" "None seek"


Jeremiah 29:15 Romans 3:11

"Come unto Me" "No man can come"


Matthew 11:28 John 6:44

"Choose you this day" "Ye have not chosen Me"


Joshua 24:13 John 15:16

"Whosoever will" "Ye will not"


Revelation 22:17 John 5:40

"Believe and be saved" "They could not believe"


Acts 16:31 John 12:31-40

This second chart shows the various stages of grace in relation to a believer's life.

-Doctrine- -Stage-

Total Depravity Grace NEEDED

Unconditional Election Grace PLANNED

Limited Atonement Grace SECURED

Irresistible Grace Grace APPLIED

Perseverance of the Saints Grace VICTORIOUS

I believe you can see from these charts, and from your previous reading that:

SALVATION IS ALL OF GRACE.


XII - A PLAN FOR WITNESSING
Most people who accept the doctrines of his rights as creator, his blessings and his
grace as Scriptural truth will turn away from warnings are all designed to remind us of
man-centered methods of evangelism. They his loving ownership of us, why don't we
see the shallowness of a gospel presentation love him with all our heart, soul, mind and
which does not call for repentance. They see strength?
how easily people can be deceived and
given a false sense of security. Yet, they II. Man is a sinful creature.
may be perplexed as to how they should
present a short, Biblically sound witness A. Man has willfully rebelled
which shows both God's sovereignty and against God and his standards. We are
man's responsibility. One of the finest books self-sufficient, ignoring God, and wanting to
I have read on the subject of evangelism is decide for ourselves what is right and
Will Metzger's book "Tell the Truth," wrong.
published by InterVarsity Press. Metzger's
doctrinal foundation is basically just what I B. This rebellion is sin. This sin
have presented to you in this study. I would forms a barrier which separates us from
encourage you to acquire a copy. God. In order to be right with God this
barrier must be overcome. Since man is a
What I wish to present here is formulated sinner by nature, he cannot do anything that
largely upon principles which Metzger sets would make God want to overlook his sins.
forth. It is also based upon a very excellent
tract which someone gave to me. What I C. The result of sin is death. Since
have learned from others I wish to pass on God is holy, he must react against sin. He
to you. As your conversation with someone cannot tolerate it. And, unless sin is dealt
turns to spiritual matters you can simply with, we must one day face his judgment
take them through the steps below. and condemnation.

I. God is a holy and just Creator. Some key verses: Romans 3:23, Jeremiah
17:9, Hebrews 9:27
A. God is infinite and sovereign;
man is finite and dependent. Out of his good Question: If this is the case, that sinful man
pleasure he creates and sustains. We are is helpless in regards to being reconciled to
totally dependent upon him for our every God, what is the solution?
need. Since he is the creator he sets the
standards of right and wrong. III. Christ is the merciful Redeemer.

B. We were created in God's image, A. Jesus Christ reveals, by his


to bear his likeness and to reflect his glory. words and life, the nature of God
Our absolute loyalty is due unto him. We to us. He communicates to our
are to honor and respect him. conscience by his Word and
Spirit.
Some key verses: Psalm 100:3, Matthew
5:48, Exodus 15:1 B. Jesus Christ, who was sinless and
without guilt, became a
Question: Since God's wonderful character, substitute for sinful man. He
became the sacrifice that would
appease God's wrath. His blood Some key verses: Romans 10:10, Acts 3:19,
poured out on Calvary is able to John 3:16-18
cleanse us from our sin.
Friend, read Psalm 51:1-17, asking God to
C. Jesus Christ is also a King. He create a clean heart within you. Ask him for
arose from the grave and forgiveness and ask Christ to save you and
ascended to the Father's presence give you eternal life. Remember, Jesus said
where he now reigns as Lord. As that whoever would come to him, he would
a King, he commands us to not drive away.
repent of our sins and trust in
him for salvation. He gives his *********************************
grace and mercy to whomever he
wills. There you have it. I am sure that you will
agree that this short plan presents both God's
D. When we trust Christ as our Lord sovereignty and man's responsibility. It is
and Savior, God looks at us simple and straightforward. There are no
through Christ and declares us gimmicks or sad stories.
not guilty.
Plans such as this are not set in concrete. It
Some key verses: Isaiah 53:5, Mark 10:45, is flexible. Having a plan in mind helps you
John 14:6 keep a train of thought. It keeps you from
being flustered and from being a poor
Question: If this is true, what must our representative of the King. You need to be
response be? able to use the Scriptures in dealing with
lost people, for the Word is a two-edged
IV. We are to be united to Christ by faith in sword that is able to cut to the heart.
him.
May the Lord give you all boldness to speak
A. We must agree that we are sinful for him and to freely offer the gospel.
and helpless. We must
acknowledge that Christ is our
only hope.

B. We must repent (turn away from)


our sins and despise them. We
must recognize Christ as the
necessary payment for the sin
penalty.

C. We must acknowledge Christ as


Lord and turn every area of our
lives over to him. We are to
confess him with our hearts and
mouths as Lord and Savior.
XIII - A SERMON ON ELECTION

I have included for your reference and use, notes of a sermon on the doctrine of election. These
are notes and not the entire text of the message, thus they are left in the original format. Feel free
to use this for study, or in presenting a sermon or lesson. I have provided the skeleton, you may
provide the clothing for the bare bones. Forgive my lack of grammatical correctness as to the
form of outlines.

The Doctrine of Election

Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-4

Introduction: The passage before us brings us to consider the doctrine of Divine election. This
is not a new doctrine to the church, but it is one that has been overlooked and put on the back
shelf by many. For believers, it is a doctrine that should cause gratitude and thanksgiving to arise
in our hearts. Election also gives us hope; hope that unsaved friends and loved ones can be
saved. Most of all, it is a precious truth which should humble us before the throne of the
Almighty Sovereign of the universe. In examining out text let us see three aspects of election, or
as Pastor C. H. Spurgeon has so aptly named it, the Doctrine of Distinguishing Grace. We shall
endeavor to see:

I. The DEFINITION of election

II. The EXPLANATION of election

III. The ATTESTATION (proof) of election

I. The DEFINITION of election

A. The Greek word used in verse 4 is "ekloge". It means to choose out; to make a selection;
to pick out.

B. Various definitions of election by other men of God and documents.

Boyce (founder of Southern Seminary) -- "Election is God's eternal choice of some


persons unto everlasting life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere
mercy in Christ - in consequence of which choice they are called, justified, and
glorified."

Kent (President of Grace Theological Seminary) - "God's sovereign choice of certain


individuals...prior to Adam's appearance on the earth."

Ryrie (Dallas Theological Seminary) - "God's unconditioned and pretemporal choice of


those individuals whom he would save."
Scofield (Scofield Reference Bible) - "The sovereign act of God in grace whereby certain
persons are chosen from among mankind for Himself."

1st London Confession (Baptist, 1644) - "God hath before the foundation of the world,
foreordained some men to eternal life."

Broadus (early Southern Baptist Convention president) - "From the divine side, we see
that the Scriptures teach an election of men to eternal life simply out of God's good
pleasure."

Articles of Religion (Church of England) - "Predestination to life is the everlasting


purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath
constantly decreed by his secret counsel to us, to deliver from the curse and damnation
those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to
everlasting salvation."

C. These quotes are from a wide spectrum of the church, and are given to show that this is
not a new or strange teaching.

II. The EXPLANATION of election

A. Election is God's choice of man, not man's choice of God.

1. God chose whom he would save before the foundation of the world.

2. Man's choice of God through repentance and faith is a secondary response to the initial
choice by God.

a. Notice verse 4 of the text - "His choice of you" (NASV). The "you" represents
the object of the choice.

b. We cannot contort the passage to mean "your choice of God."

3. Other Scripture references

a. John 15:16 - "You did not choose Me, but I chose you."

b. Ephesians 1:4 - "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the


world."

c. Romans 9:11 - "God's purpose according to His choice."

d. John 13:18 - "I know the ones I have chosen."


e. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 - "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation."

4. There can be no doubt then, that in the realm of salvation, no man can be saved unless he has
first been chosen by God to be saved.

a. The election took place in eternity past (Eph. 1:4, 2 Thess. 2:13).

b. It took place before man had done anything to merit salvation (Romans
9:11).

Spurgeon - "As long as that [Rom. 9] remains in the Bible. ..not the most violent
contortions of the passage will ever be able to exterminate the doctrine of election from the
Scriptures."

Josiah Conder, the hymnwriter has penned these words:

'Tis not that I did choose Thee,


For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.

Thou from the sin that stained me


Hadst cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.

My heart owns none before Thee,


For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.

A. Some other aspects of election.

1. For God's glory (Eph. 1:6, Rom. 9:21-24)

2. It is not actual salvation, it ensures or is unto salvation (Rom. 11:7, 2 Thess. 2:13)

III. The ATTESTATION (proof) of election

A. The elect are not known unto man prior to salvation.


God has not provided us with a listing of their names.
B. All the elect will come to salvation in God's appointed time (Acts 13:48, John 6:37,
John 10:14, 2 Peter 3:9).

C. A person's election will be proven by outward, visible manifestations (verse 3 of our


text).

1. Work of faith - literally, "work produced by faith." This work refers to general deeds
and activities.

Geoffrey Wilson - "Theirs was no barren assent to a dogma...but the dynamic


outworking of a life-transforming principle."

a. James 2:17
b. Ephesians 2:10

NOTE: When properly understood, the doctrine of election is a life changing doctrine. Those
whose verbal profession of faith is a genuine heart-faith, will be characterized by evangelism,
missionary efforts, deeds of kindness to both saved and lost, and by a visible manifestation of
the fruits of the Spirit.

2. Labor of love - literally, "labor prompted by love." The labor spoken of here refers to
hard, toilsome, exhausting labor. The love mentioned is a sacrificing love that gives itself
unselfishly in the service of others.

Findlay - "Work may be easy and delightful; labor is toilsome; no selfish man will
endure it for another's good. Hence labor is the test of love."
a. Love will prompt the elect to "go the second mile" just as Christ did on behalf of his
people.

b. The elect will have a love that labors to see others come to Christ.

Spurgeon has said concerning the man who properly understands election:

"Such a man will become kind to others. He will hold his opinions, but he will not
hold them savagely, nor will he teach them bitterly, because he will say, 'If I have light
and others have not, my light was given me from God, therefore I have no cause to
plume myself upon it. I will try to spread that light, but not by anger and abuse. For why
should I blame those who cannot see, for could I have seen if God had not opened my
blind eyes?"

NOTE: Some of the most caustic believers are those who claim to understand God's
workings of grace, yet are not gracious themselves. Instead of being patient and considerate of
those who do not hold to these great truths, they often ignore them or jokingly ridicule them. We
often expect others to understand in five minutes what may have taken us months or years to
comprehend.
3. Steadfastness of hope - literally, "steadfastness that is inspired by hope."

a. This is a hope of final victory in the Lord.

b. Calvin - "Intent on the hope of the manifestation of Christ they are to despise all other
things, and armed with patience are to rise superior both to wearisome delay and all the
temptations of the world."

Conclusion:

We have defined and explained election, that pretemporal choice by God of those whom he
would save in Christ. We have also seen that the only way to recognize the elect is by the
outward display of their lives. 2 Peter 1:10 tells us to be all the more diligent to make certain
about his calling and choosing us. Let those who claim to believe the doctrine of election hold an
examination of their lives. Are we gracious?

As I stated, I have given you these notes just as I originally wrote them. Each preacher has
his own style when presenting the Word. I do not ask anyone to copy mine. But, I trust this
outline is helpful and that you are able to use it to enrich yourself and others.
XIV - A SERMON ON CHRISTIAN Christians. Let us examine Peter's words
LIBERTY (the Holy Spirit's words), considering these
two elements:
"Live as free men, but do not use your
freedom as a cover-up for evil" 1 Peter 2:16 1. The Christian as a free man
(NIV) 2. The Christian as a slave of Christ

We have before us in this verse from the pen Let us consider the Christian as a free man.
of Peter, another explanation of the In what respects is he free? First of all, he is
preceding verses. In verse 15, he has said, free in respect to God. The Bible tells us
"For it is God's will that by doing good you that all men are sinners, and in their sinful
should silence the ignorant talk of foolish condition are under the wrath of God. The
men." Verse 16 is an explanation of one wages of sin is death. But, in Christ, men
way believers can so silence ignorant talk. and women are set free from this
The Christian is a person who has been set punishment. Christ has paid the price for sin
at liberty and thus is expected and and has set his people free.
commanded to use this freedom. However,
while being at liberty, the believer is at the The Christian is free from "works" as a
same time under bondage. He is a means of salvation. The natural man feels
bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the need to do good works in order to
using this freedom properly, under the maintain favor with God. He is convinced
authority of God, the Christian will bear that his good works will save him and make
proper witness to the foolish. him acceptable in God's sight. But this
"good works religion" is in reality a form of
In our day and age, the subject of Christian bondage, for how can a person know when
liberty is much discussed. On the positive he has done enough good works to please
side, many have come to see that in Christ God? In Christ, however, we find that
they have been set free from following the salvation is all of grace, that we can do
commandments and traditions of men, and nothing to merit God's favor. Christ sets us
are bound solely to the Scriptures. On the free and allows us to live by faith, and to
negative side, some of these same people have the assurance that we are acceptable in
have used their liberty as a license to sin. God's sight because of Christ's work on the
There are also those who, while professing cross. The believer is able, because of his
to believe in Christian liberty, nevertheless freedom, to rejoice in Christ.
will be very forceful in pushing their
opinions upon the consciences of other Secondly, the Christian is free in respect to
believers. man. The Apostle Paul wrote, "See to it that
no one takes you captive through hollow
I believe that we must seek to maintain a philosophy, which depends on human
constant balance in our lives regarding this tradition and the basic principles of this
doctrine of liberty. We must learn to speak world rather than on Christ" (Col. 2:8). He
where the Bible speaks and to be silent goes on to say, "Therefore do not let anyone
where the Bible is silent. Only in so doing judge you by what you eat or drink, or with
can we avoid extremism in our daily walk regard to a religious festival, a New Moon
and in our communion with other celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a
shadow of the things that were to come; the an appearance of wisdom, with their
reality, however, is found in Christ" (Col. self-imposed worship, their false
2:16,17). humility and their harsh treatment of the
It is the natural tendency of man to body, but they lack any value in
dominate others. We feel that our opinions, restraining sensual indulgence.
our beliefs, our feelings, and our traditions
should be practiced and believed by others. The Judaizers were trying to impose human
This is especially true in regards to spiritual bondage upon the believers in Galatia. In
matters. The old commentator, John Brown, Galatians 5:1, Paul says, "It is for freedom
wrote: that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again
There is a natural tendency in man to by a yoke of slavery."
usurp spiritual authority over man; and
there is a natural tendency, too, to The issue at hand here was that the Judaizers
submit to this usurpation. By far the were trying to put the Galatians back under
greater part of mankind have no better the law as a means of completing their
reason for their religious opinions, salvation. Many pastors and churches today
ordinances, and usages, than that they do something very similar, only in the realm
have 'received them by tradition from of holiness or sanctification. We hear such
their fathers.' What is taught and things as, "No long hair for men! No pants
received, as religious truth and duty, is or make-up for ladies! No card playing! No
nothing more than 'the commandments rock music! No alcohol or tobacco! No
of men.' coffee! No dancing! No bathing suits! No
television on Sunday!" The list could go on
Are not Brown's words quite true? How forever. Why? Because each of these
much of what goes on in our churches is condemnations is not based upon specific
nothing more than the traditions of men? Biblical commandment, but upon opinions
How much of what is forced onto believers and cultural circumstances. PLEASE! Do
from pulpits and classrooms is nothing more not misunderstand me. I am by no means
than the personal like or dislike of the encouraging you to take up drinking alcohol
speaker? Christians are told what to eat and or smoking tobacco or to start playing
what not to eat; what to wear and what not poker. I am simply stating that such things
to wear; what to drink and what not to are not SPECIFICALLY spoken against in
drink; what to watch on television and what the Bible. Neutral or amoral things have no
not to watch. Paul spoke to this very issue. sin in them. Sin lies in man's heart. The
In Colossians 2:20-23 we read: Scripture does not condemn alcohol, BUT it
does forbid drunkenness. The Scripture also
Since you died with Christ to the basic tells us that our body is the temple of the
principles of this world, why, as though Holy Spirit. My other point is that the do's
you still belonged to it, do you submit to and don't's heard from our pulpits vary from
its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! one man to the next. John Eadie has written:
Do not touch!?" These are all destined
to perish with use, because they are Men attach a higher sanctity to abstinence
based on human commands and from certain kinds of food and physical
teachings. Such regulations indeed have refreshment, than to abstinence from sin.
anyone who does not read from the King
We are duty bound to listen to God's men James Version is a heretic. What about the
expound the Word and we are obligated to subject of sending children to private
heed and practice it. But we are not bound Christian schools? Does the Scripture
by their opinions and personal likes or clearly forbid the use of the public school
dislikes. Freedom allows a believer to walk system? Some churches believe that unless
by his own conscience and not by the you were baptized in running water you
conscience of some other human being. were not really baptized at all! Does the
Freedom allows each believer to make Scripture mandate a running water baptism?
applicable use of Scriptural principles.
Concerning the right use of liberty, Paul The practical matter here is this - it is all
wrote, "For why should my freedom be right for each individual to have opinions
judged by another's conscience?" (1 and likes or dislikes pertaining to matters
Corinthians 10:29b). not clearly forbidden or commanded in
Scripture. But, it becomes sin when others
The believer's conscience is to be bound by are pressured into believing likewise. Paul,
the Word and Spirit. He is to be filled in his letter to the Romans, writes:
(continually) with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), he
is to walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), and he is One man's faith allows him to eat
to be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18,25). And, everything, but another man, whose faith
he writes elsewhere, "Where the Spirit of is weak, eats only vegetables. The man
the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Cor. 3:17). who eats everything must not look down
Brown writes once again: on him who does not, and the man who
does not eat everything must not
Christians should act as free, not only in condemn the man who does, for God has
refusing to submit to human authority in accepted him. Who are you to judge
religion themselves, but also in carefully someone else's servant? To his own
abstaining from imposing the yoke of master he stands or falls. ...One man
human authority on others. Their considers one day more sacred than
freedom should be manifested, not only another; another man considers every
in maintaining their own privileges as day alike. Each should be fully
free, but in respecting the privileges of convinced in his own mind. He who
others. regards one day as special, does so to the
Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the
One might say, "I don't force anything you Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he
have mentioned upon others" or "Our who abstains, does so to the Lord and
church doesn't condemn the things you gives thanks to God. ...You, then, why
mentioned." This may well be true. But do you judge your brother? Or why do
what about some things I did not mention. you look down on your brother? For we
How many divisions have occurred in will all stand before God's judgment
churches over whether one cup or many seat. ...So then, each of us will give an
cups should be used in the Lord's Supper? Is account of himself to God. Therefore let
the Scripture clear and commanding on this? us stop passing judgment on one
What about Bible translations? To hear another.
some Christians talk you would think that
I encourage you to read the entirety of him or her to play. The Scriptural position is
Romans 14 and meditate upon the practical that you refrain from looking down on him
implications of it. Christians are free in or her, and that you have an understanding
respect to God, and in respect to man. that they are acting as they feel pleases their
Master. And, while the cards are not sinful
Having looked at the Christian as a free in and of themselves, you would be abusing
man, the second thing I should like to your liberty to foolishly lose all of your
consider is the Christian as a slave to Jesus money in a gambling game, and then not be
Christ. The frequent Greek word for slave is able to pay your bills and provide for the
"doulos." It pictures a permanent needs of your family.
relationship of servitude to another. The
will of the slave is swallowed up by the will The right use of Christian liberty is
of the lord or master. sometimes like walking a tightrope. We
must maintain a proper balance or we will
As a slave to Christ, it is the believer's quickly fall into danger.
constant duty to guard against abusing his
freedom. The word used for "cover-up" (1 We have examined the Christian as a free
Peter 2:16 NIV) is a Greek word which man and as a slave to Christ. Recognize
means a covering or veil. In the Septuagint, your freedom in Christ today. But always be
the word is used in reference to the badger mindful that you are to please your Master
skins which covered the tabernacle (Ex. and you must be prepared to one-day give
26:14). It is very easy for a Christian to an account. Paul's exhortation should be
abuse his liberty and "cover it up" by ever present in our ears, "So whether you
saying, "I'm not sinning! I'm just enjoying eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for
my liberty in Christ." the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

Freedom necessitates discernment and Let us understand what true holiness is and
moderation. Paul tells Timothy to use a little what it is not. Let us stop immediately our
wine for his stomach, but tells the Ephesians judgments of others who do not follow our
not to be drunk with wine. Christian women particular tastes and enjoyments. Let us get
are never told in the Scriptures that they away from binding ourselves to a man-made
cannot wear make-up or pretty clothes, but "checklist" of do's and don't's. Let us realize
they are told to "adorn themselves with our responsibility to keep from being a
proper clothing, modestly and discreetly" (1 stumbling block to someone else, yet let us
Tim. 2:9). also be responsible in showing others the
true freedom that they can have in Christ.
As slaves we will want to be pleasing to our Let us learn that sin does not exist in created
Master, and we should ask ourselves, as the things, but rather that sin exists in human
hymn asks, "Is my master satisfied with beings. Human things which God has made
me?" Paul says that all things are lawful, for man's enjoyment.
but all things are not necessarily expedient
or proper for the moment. Therefore it And, finally, let us have firmly implanted in
might be right for you to enjoy a game of our minds that we ought to speak boldly and
cards. But suppose a brother or sister comes declare what the Bible teaches, but where
to visit whose conscience does not permit the Bible is silent on a matter we must let
each brother and sister stand or fall before
God in his or her own conscience. We are
our brother's keeper, but we are not his
conscience.