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"John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.'" 
-- John 3:27

Doctrines of Grace ("Calvinism")

In the words of Charles Spurgeon:

"I would propose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ.  I am never ashamed to avow myself a 'Calvinist'; I do not hesitate to take the name of 'Baptist'; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, "It is Jesus Christ."  My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a body of divinity, admirable and excellent in its way; but the Body of Divinity to which I would pin and bind myself for ever, God helping me, is not his system, or any other human treatise; but Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the gospel, who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious person embodiment of the Way, the Truth, and the Life."


Total Depravity of Man

Foreword:
Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall (Adam's sin), is total. He does not possess "free will" because he is bound to Satan who takes man captive at his will. All men are born into this world spiritually dead in trespasses and sins so that their dead human spirits are irresistibly drawn to the god of the dead. Man is depraved in the sense that he is dead, blind, deaf, unteachable in the things of God and ruled by Satan through his perverse heart and corrupt soul. 
 
 
The Common Belief: (Arminian)
"Free Will" or "Human Ability" 
The Biblical View: (Grace)
"Free Grace" or "Total Inability" or "Total Depravity" 
Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness.  God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does so in such a manner as not to interfere with man's freedom.  Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it.  Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature.  The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God's Spirit and be regenerated or resist God's grace and perish.  The lost sinner needs the Spirit's assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth.  Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation.Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel.  The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desparately corrupt.  His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not -- he cannot -- choose good over evil in the spiritual realm.  To bring a sinner to Christ, it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature.  Faith is not something man contributes to salvation, but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation -- it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

1.  In the garden of Eden, Adam was warned not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil on the threat of death:

Genesis 2:16-17
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ""From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.''

2.  When Adam disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit, he brough death upon himself and upon the race:

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned 

Ephesians 2:1-10
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest

Colossians 2:13
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

3. David confessed that he, like all men, was born in sin:

Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me 

Psalm 58:3
The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.

4.  As a result of the Fall, all men are blind and deaf to spiritual truth --  their minds are darkened by sin; their hearts are evil and corrupt:

Genesis 6:5
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 8:21
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ""I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done

Ecclesiastes 9:3
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Mark 7:21-23
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.''

John 3:19
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 

Romans 8:7-8
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 

Ephesians 4:17-19
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Ephesians 5:8
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Titus 1:15
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

5. Before sinners are saved, they are children of the devil and under his control; they are slaves to sin.

John 8:34
Jesus answered them, ""Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 6:20
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Ephesians 2:1-2
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

2 Timothy 2:25-26
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

1 John 3:10
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Titus 3:3
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

6.  The reign of sin is universal; all men are under its power.  No one is righteous--not even one!

2 Chronicles 6:36
""When they sin against You ( for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near,

Job 15:14-16
""What is man, that he should be pure, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? ""Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, And the heavens are not pure in His sight; How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water! 

Psalm 130:3
If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

Psalm 143:2
And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous.

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, ""I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin''?

Ecclesiastes 7:20
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:29
""Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.'' 

Isaiah 53:6
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 

Isaiah 64:6
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Romans 3:9-12
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, "" THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.''

James 3:2,8
For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

1 John 1:8,10
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 

7.  Men left in their dead state are unable of themselves to repent, come to Christ and to believe the gospel  They have no power within themselves to change their natures or even prepare themselves for salvation:

Job 14:4
Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!

Jeremiah 13:23
Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

Matthew 7:16-18
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

Matthew 12:33
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

John 6:44
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day

John 6:65
And He was saying, ""For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.''

Romans 11:35-36
Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

1 Corinthians 4:7
For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

Note:  also see verses listed for "Irresistible Grace"

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Unconditional Election

Foreword:
Election is grounded entirely in the free will of God and in His purpose for those whom He chose "in Christ Jesus" before the foundation of the world. His foreknowledge is based upon His purpose, for His purpose is the manifestation of His sovereign will. Since man is incapable of giving himself life, opening his own eyes, or teaching himself spiritual trust, God must elect to act on man's behalf. The work of Regeneration, therefore, must precede Faith and Repentance, and is the work of God. God must "open the heart" and cause His elect "to will and do" that which is pleasing to Him, otherwise none would believe. 
 
The Common Belief: (Arminian)
"Conditional Election" 
The Biblical View: (Grace)
"Unconditional Election" 
God's choice of certain individuals until salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call.  He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel.  Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do.  The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man's will.  It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation.  God chose those whom He knew, of their own free will, choose Christ.  Thus, the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will.  His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc.  On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected.  These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice.  Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man.  Those whom God sovereignty elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ.  Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

A.  God has an elect people.  He predestined them to salvation, and thus eternal life.

Deuteronomy 10:14-15
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today

Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.

Psalm 65:4
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 

Psalm 106:5
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.

Haggai 2:23
"`On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, `I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, `and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Matthew 11:27
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Matthew 22:14
"For many are invited, but few are chosen."

Matthew 24:22,24,31
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Luke 18:7
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:33
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Romans 11:28
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,

Colossians 3:12 
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:1
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to
godliness--

1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 

1 Peter 2:8-9
and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Revelation 17:14
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

B. Before the foundation of the world, God chose particular individuals unto salvation.  His selection was not based upon any foreseen response or act performed by those chosen.  Faith and good works are the result, not the cause of God's choice.

1. God is the one who chooses

Mark 13:20
If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

2.  God's choice was made before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:4
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

3. God chose particular individuals unto salvation -- their names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:8
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. 

Revelation 17:8
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

4. God's choice was not based upon any foreseen merit residing in those whom He chose, nor was it based on any foreseen good works performed by them.

Romans 9:11-13
Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger."  Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 

Romans 9:16
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

Romans 10:20
And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me." 

1 Corinthians 1:27-29
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

5. Good works are the result, not the ground, of predestination

Ephesians 1:12
in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

6.  God's choice was not based on "foreseen" faith.  Faith is the result and evidence of God's election, not the cause or ground of His choice.

Acts 13:48
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Acts 18:27
When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

Philippians 1:19
for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 

Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

James 2:5,7
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? It is by faith and good works that one confirms his calling and election

2 Peter 1:5-11
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

C.  Election is not salvation but it is the engine of salvation.  Just as the president-elect does not become the president of the USA until he is inaugurated, those chosen unto salvation are not saved until they are drawn by the Spirit and justified by faith in Christ.

Romans 11:7
What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,

2 Timothy 2:10
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

D.  Election was based on the sovereign, distinguishing mercy of Almighty God.  It was not man's will but God's will that determined which sinners would be shown mercy and saved

Exodus 33:19
And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Deuteronomy 7:6-7
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.

Matthew 20:15
Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

Romans 9:10-24
Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger."  Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."  What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."  It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."  Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'"  Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Romans 11:4-6
And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 

Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"  "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--

E.  The doctrine of election is but a part of the much broader Biblical doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty.  The scriptures not only teach that God predestined certain individuals unto eternal life, but that all events, both small and great, come about as the result of God's eternal decree.  The Lord God rules over heaven and earth with absolute control; nothing comes to pass apart from His eternal purpose.

1 Chronicles 29:10-12
David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, "Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

Job 42:1-2
Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Psalm 135:6
The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

Isaiah 14:24,27
The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

Isaiah 46:9-11
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.

Isaiah 55:11
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose  for which I sent it.

Jeremiah 32:17
"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"

Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
 
 

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Limited Atonement

Foreword:
Atonement is for the Elect only, since Christ died only for those whom the Father gave Him to be His Bride. Only the saints or elect ones are ever said to be "beloved of God," for they alone are the objects of His saving grace. The calvinist reasons that if Christ died for all, then all will be saved. If only the elect are saved, then Christ died for them and them alone. Although it is true that the blood of Christ is surely sufficient in value to atone for all, still it is obviously efficient only for those who are saved by His unmerited favor. 
 
The Common Belief: (Arminian)
"Universal Redemption" or 
"General Atonement" 
"Christ died for every single person ever"
The Biblical View: (Grace)
"Particular Redemption" or "Limited Atonement" 
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone.  Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who choose to believe in Him are saved.  His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins.  Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them.  His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners.   In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him.  The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

A.  The scriptures describe the end intended and accomplished by Christ's work as the full salvation of His people (actual reconciliation, justification, and sanctification):

1.  The scriptures state that Christ came to save sinners, not to enable men to save themselves.

Matthew 1:21
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 1:3-4
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.

Titus 2:14
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

2.  The scriptures declare that, as the result Christ's suffering on the cross, His people are reconciled to God, justified, and given the Holy Spirit who regenerates and sanctifies them.  All these blessings were secured by Christ for His people

a. Christ secured reconciliation for His people with His redeeming work

Romans 5:10
For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Ephesians 2:15-16
by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Colossians 1:21-22
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--

b.  Christ secured the righteousness and pardon needed by His people for their justification

Romans 3:24-25
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

Romans 5:8-9
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!

1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Galatians 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." 

Colossians 1:13-14
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:12
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

c.  Christ secured the work/gift of the Holy Spirit which includes regeneration and sanctification and all that is involved in them

Ephesians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,

Acts 5:31
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Titus 2:14
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 3:5-6
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Ephesians 5:25-26
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Hebrews 13:12
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

B.  Passages which represent the Lord Jesus Christ, in all that He did and suffered for his people, as fulfilling the terms of a gracious compact or arrangement which He had entered into with His heavenly Father before the foundation of the world

1.  Jesus was sent into the world by the Father to save the people which the Father had given to Him.  Those given to Him by the Father come to Him (see and believe Him) and none shall be lost.

John 6:33-40
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

2.  Jesus, as the good shepard, lays down His life for His sheep.  All who are "His sheep" are brought to Him into the fold and are made to hear His voice and follow Him.  Notice that the Father had given the sheep to Christ!

John 10:11-18
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

John 10:24-29
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

3.  Jesus, in His high priestly prayer, prays not for the world but for those given to Him by the Father.  In fulfillment of the Father's charge Jesus had accomplished the work the Father had sent Him to do -- to make God known to His people and to give them eternal life

John 17:1-11,20,24-26
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." 

4.  Paul declares that all of the "spiritual blessings" which the saints inherit such as sonship, redemption, the forgiveness of sin, etc... result from their being "in Christ," and he traces blessings back to their ultimate source in the eternal counsel of God -- to that great blessing of their having been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and destined to be God's sons through Him.

Ephesians 1:3-12
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

5.  The parallel which Paul draws between the condemning work of Adam and the saving work of Jesus Christ the "second man," the "last Adam," can be best explained on the principle that both stood in covenant relation to "their people" (Adam stood as the federal head of the race, and Christ stood as the federal head of the elect).  As Adam involved his people in death and condemnation by his sin, even so Christ brought justification and life to His people through His righteousness.

Romans 5:12,17-19
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

C.  Some passages speak of Christ's dying for "all" men and of His death as saving the "world", yet others speak of His death as being definite in design and of His dying for particular people and securing salvation for them.

1.  There are two classes of texts that speak of Christ's saving work in general terms:  (a) Those containing the word "world" -- e.g. Jogn 1:9,29; 3:16,17; 4:42; II Corinthians 5:19; I John 2:1,2 and (b) Those containing the word "all" -- e.g. Romans 5:18; II Corinthians 5:14,15; I Timothy 2:4-6; Hebrews 2:9; II Peter 3:9

One reason for the use of these expressions was to correct the false notion that salvation was for the Jews alone.  Such phrases as "the world,"  "all men," "all nations," and "every creature" were used by the New Testament writers to emphatically correct this mistake.  These expressions are intended to show that Christ died for all men without distinction  (i.e., He died for Jews and Gentiles alike) but they are not intended to indicate that Christ died for all men without exception (i.e., He did not die for the purpose of saving each and every lost sinner).

2.  There are other passages which speak of His saving work in definite terms and show that it was intended to infallibly save a particular people, namely those given to Him by the Father

Matthew 1:21
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Matthew 26:28 [or Mark 14:24]
for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 

Matthew 26:28
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 11:50-53
You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Romans 8:32-34
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Hebrews 2:17
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Hebrews 9:15
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:28
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Revelation 5:9
And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Note:  Review also verses quoted above under B, 1, 2, 3
 

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Irresistible or Effectual Grace

Foreword:
Since it is the will of God that those whom He gave to His dear Son in eternity past should be saved, He will surely act in sovereign grace in such a way that the elect will find Christ irresistible. God does not force the elect to trust in His Son but rather, gives them life. The dead human spirit finds the dead spirit of Satan irresistible, and all living human spirits find the God of the living irresistible. Regeneration (the work of God) must precede true repentance and faith. 
 
The Common Belief: (Arminian)
"The Holy Spirit can be effectually resisted" 
The Biblical View: (Grace)
"The Efficacious Call of the Spirit or Irresistible Grace" 
The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation.  But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit's call.  The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man's contribution) precedes and makes possible the new birth.  Thus, man's free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ's saving work.  The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them.  Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life.  God's grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man.In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the Gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation.  The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected, whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion.  By means of this special call the Spirit irresistible draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's  will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success.  The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ.  God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

A. General statements showing that salvation is the work of the Spirit as well as that of the Father

Romans 8:14
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-14
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 6:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:6
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

1 Peter 1:2
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 

B. Through regeneration or the new birth sinners are given spiritual life and made God's children.  The Bible describes this process as a spiritual resurrection, a creation, the giving of a new heart, etc.  The inward change, which is thus wrought through in Holy Spirit, results from God's power and grace, and in no way is He dependent upon man's help for success in this work

1. Sinners, through regeneration, are brought into God's kingdom and are made His children.  The author of this "second" birth is the Holy Spirit; the instrument which He uses is the word of God.

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

John 3:3-8
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. " "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 John 5:4
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

2.  Through the Spirit's work in the dead sinner is given a new heart (nature) and made to walk in God's law.  In Christ he becomes a new creation.

Deuteronomy 30:6
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Galatians 6:15
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

3.  The Holy Spirit raises the sinner from his state of spiritual death and makes him alive

John 5:21
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

Ephesians 2:1,5
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

Colossians 2:13
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

C.  God makes known to His chosen ones the secrets of the kingdom through the inward personal revelation given by the Spirit.

Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Matthew 13:10-16
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "`You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'  But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

Luke 8:10
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "`though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.' 

Matthew 16:15-17
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

John 6:37,44-45,64-65
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Ephesians 1:17-18
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Note:  See also John 10:3-6, 16, 26-29

D.  Faith and Repentance are divine gifts and are wrought in the soul through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:31
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

Acts 13:48
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Acts 16:14
One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God.  The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.

Acts 18:27
When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,

2 Timothy 2:25-26
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

E.  The gospel invitation extends a general outward call to salvation to all who hear the message.  In addition to this external call, the Holy Spirit extends a special inward call to the elect only.  The general call of the gospel can be, and often is, rejected... but the special call of the Spirit cannot be rejected; it always results in the conversion of those to whom it was made.

Romans 1:6-7
And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:30
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 9:23-24
What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

1 Corinthians 1:1-2,9,23-31
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,  To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours: 
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 

Galatians 1:15-16
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,

Ephesians 4:2
There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--

2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

Hebrews 9:15
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Jude 1:1
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: 

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 1:15
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Revelation 17:14
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

F.  The application of salvation is all of grace and is accomplished solely through the almightly power of God.

Isaiah 55:11
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

John 3:27
To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.

John 17:2
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

Romans 9:16
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

1 Corinthians 4:7
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

1 John 5:20
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
 
 

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Perseverance of the Saints

Foreword:
The logical conclusion of calvinism is that since "salvation is of the LORD," and absolutely no part of it is dependent upon any condition found in the elect, but is wholly dependent upon the God who was willed to save those whom He gave to His dear Son, salvation can never be lost. The saints of God will surely persevere because He has given them His promise that no creature can take them away from Him (including themselves). We shall persevere because He wills to persevere! 
 
The Common Belief: (Arminian)
"Falling from Grace" 
The Biblical View: (Grace)
"Perseverance of the Saints" 
Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc.All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved.  They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

Comments:
The elect are not only redeemed by Christ, and renewed by the Spirit ; they are also kept in faith by the almighty power of God.  All those ho are spiritually united in Christ through regeneration are eternally secure to Him.  Nothing can separate them from the eternal and unchangeable love of God.  They have been predestined unto eternal glory and are therefore assured of heaven.

This doctrine does not maintain that all who profess the Christian faith are certain of heaven.  It is saints -- those who are set apart by the Spirit -- who persevere to the end.  It is believers -- those who are given true, living faith in Christ (as opposed to somebody just hum-drumingly saying... "oh yea I believe") -- who are secure and safe with HIm.  Many who profess to believe fall away, but they do not fall from grace for they were never in grace.  True believers do fall into temptations, and they do commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ.

Isaiah 43:1-3
But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

Isaiah 54:10
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

Jeremiah 32:40
I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me

Matthew 18:12-14
"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

John 3:16
 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." 

John 5:24
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:35-40

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:47
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

John 10:27-30
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

John 17:11,12,15
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

Romans 5:8-10
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 

Romans 8:29-30
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:7-9
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

2 Corinthians 4:14-17
because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Ephesians 1:5,13-14
he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were  marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Colossians 3:3-4
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 

2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

Hebrews 9:12,15
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 10:14
because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

1 Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 John 2:19,25
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. And this is what he promised us--even eternal life.

1 John 5:4,11-13,20
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Jude 1:1
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by  Jesus Christ: 

Jude 1:24-25
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and  forevermore! Amen. 

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All we like sheep have gone astray;  We have turned, every one, to his own way;  And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6
 Serving the Lord for over 74 years
Last Updated:  December 12, 2002