Faith is A Gift From God – Yet Single-Predestination is True

We are saved by grace through faith.  

John 3:16 – ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”

Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5 – “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 12:3 – “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.”

John 1:12-13 – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – ““For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

Romans 9:16 – “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

John 6:28-29 – “Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

We are incapable of deciding to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:3 – “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.”


Ephesians 2:1-5 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved

John 1:12-13 – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

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

1 Corinthians 2:14 – “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth?  None.

Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved. 

This is what scripture teaches in this matter:

God elects/predestines to salvation!

Romans 8:29-30 – “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

2 Timothy 1:8-9 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

Ephesians 1:3-13 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”


It is the will of God that no man should perish!

1 Timothy 2:3-4 – “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

It is never written anywhere in scripture that God predestines people to Hell!  If someone goes to Hell it is because of their sin and their rejection of God.  We do not have the ability to accept God, but we have the ability to reject Him! 

The Following is what we have read in Scripture:

  1. We are saved by grace through faith.
  2. Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.
  3. We are incapable of deciding to have faith.
  4. God elects/predestines to salvation (not damnation)!
  5. It is the will of God that no man should perish!

This is a paradox – Single-Predestination (God only elects to salvation!  Damnation is all on us!)

This is monergism – God alone is the one who works conversion.

If we say that faith is not solely a work of the Spirit, but that we play an active role in our conversion we would ignore parts of scripture.  We would ignore points 2, 3, and 4.

If we say that faith in conversion is solely a work of the Holy Spirit and thus God predestines some to heaven and others to hell, we would ignore parts of scripture.
We would ignore points 4 and 5.

To teach that God predestines to both salvation and damnation is called Double-Predestination and it is taught by Calvinists. This teaching is also called monergism.

Five Points of Calvinism

T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints

Five Points of Arminianism

  1. Free-will, human-ability
  2. Conditional Election (Election is Foreknowledge)
  3. General Atonement (Objective Justification)
  4. The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
  5. Falling from Grace

Lutheranism Rejects

L, I, and P of Calvinism

And

Points 1 and 2 of Arminianism

Does this matter?

Arminianism – Our works are involved in salvation, which can cast uncertainty on our salvation.  Do I believe enough? Do I have too many doubts?  If one work is involved, the tendency is to insert more required works. 

Calvinism – Jesus didn’t die for everyone.  God doesn’t love everyone.  Apathy towards evangelism. And how do I know that I have faith? I can’t just look to Jesus and know that my sins are forgiven, because didn’t die for everyone. I must look to my own works to see if I am bearing the fruit of repentance, but God is to be the judge of that, not me.

Both of these systems of theology point people inward to their work for justification and not outward to Christ.

Proper Application of Election

  1. For our comfort.
  2. God saves us unconditionally.

You are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from any of your works.

74. A Different Kind of Election

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doctrine-of-election-button-300x292

The presidential election for 2016 is over!

So it’s time to talk about a different kind of election, the election of sinners by God to salvation. Andy shares the five points of Calvinism and Arminianism, the two common theological systems that are debated and compared when discussing God’s role in salvation.  But then the curveball comes, the Lutheran position on election is presented, a position which rarely discussed in the predestination debate among Christians.  The Lutheran understanding of single-predestination is by far a different election from Calvin’s double-predestination.

Some show notes:

Five Points of Calvinism

T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints

Five Points of Arminianism

  1. Free-will, human-ability
  2. Conditional Election (Election is Foreknowledge)
  3. General Atonement (Objective Justification)
  4. The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
  5. Falling from Grace

Lutherans hold to 1.5 points of Calvinism and 3 Points of Arminianism

Total Depravity and Predestination for Salvation
General Atonement, Grace is Resistible, and Falling from Faith

We are saved by grace through faith.  

John 3:16
Ephesians 2:8-9
Romans 4:5

Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5

1 Corinthians 12:3
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 2:5 “God makes us alive.”
Romans 9:16
John 6:29

We are incapable of deciding to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Ephesians 2:1 “We are dead in our sins and trespasses.”
John 1:13
John 6:441 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.”

Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth?  None!

Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved.

Here’s what Scripture says on the matter:

God elects/predestines to salvation!

Ephesians 1:3-13, 4:3-5
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:4-5 “God made us alive (spiritually).
Romans 8:29-30
2 Timothy 1:8-9

It is the will of God that no man should perish!

1 Timothy 1:3-4
2 Peter 3:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

49. Is Total Depravity in Scripture Alone?

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Total Depravity
Frank Frazetta Painting – Pretty good depiction of what it means to be enslaved to sin and unable to do anything about it.

Total depravity is a divisive doctrine within the Christian Church. This doctrine teaches that since the Fall of Man, all of mankind is in a state of complete corruption by sin. Our minds, bodies, spirit, emotions, desires, will, relationships – OUR EVERYTHING – is ruined by sin. The wreckage is so great that we can do nothing whatsoever to please God, draw near to him, or to please him. We are truly dead in our sin.

If we can do nothing to accept God, then that must mean our salvation is purely a gift. Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8) Most Christians recognize that grace is pure gift, but total depravity necessitates that the faith of believers must also be solely a gift, the work of God alone.

If faith is a gift of God, then why are some saved and the multitudes damned? Did God not love them? Did Christ not die for them? Did God not choose to save them?

These questions and many more rightly flow from a proper understanding of the doctrine of total depravity. Before addressing these questions, we must ask, “Does the Bible teach total depravity?” If this teaching can’t be found in Scripture alone, we should reject the doctrine. But if total depravity is in Scripture, we must address the questions of predestination, and we must do so from Scripture alone.

Show Links:

Travis Carden’s “Total Depravity Verse List”

Got Questions’ “Total Depravity – Is it Biblical?”

Theopedia’s Total Depravity Entry