"Live by God's Every Word"  Ma 4.4

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The LINK of the Unfinished Gospel to CALVINISM Return to main page

SOVEREIGNTY: Flowing from God's absolute Sovereignty is the seeming "conflict" of God's Sovereign will to CHOOSE some people to Salvation while those same people in their free-will  CHOOSE to believe the Gospel into Salvation.


"Foundational to the entire system of Calvinism is the doctrine of the sovereignty of God. 'Calvinism asserts that the sovereignty of God is supreme; that He has absolute and undisputable authority over all creation, that nothing can lie outside of or be viewed as not being subject to the sovereignty of His will, that He is not only the Creator and Upholder but the Disposer of all events from the beginning of time to its close.'"

Quoted (McClintock & Stong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, Baker Book House, 1970, 1:513-14) in The Moody Handbook Of Theology, Paul Enns, ed., Moody Press, Chicago, 1989, p. 480.

Although the doctrine of election is beyond human comprehension, it is clearly a doctrine of Scripture... While the working of God in the actual salvation of an individual is inscrutable (impossible to understand or interpret)...the Bible clearly commands man to believe (Acts 16:31)...Scripture clearly emphasizes that some are elected to salvation, and the unsaved ... [freely] chose to be unsaved.

Major Bible Themes, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes,  John F. Walvoord, ed., Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1974, p. 231, 234


Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Ro 11.33)


God's Infinite Wisdom is like the endless Pacific Ocean. Man's understanding is like a cup of water. You cannot pour the Pacific Ocean into a water cup. 

The Divine-paradox (not "contradiction") of the Scripturally coexistent Sovereignty of God and Free-Will of Man will be comprehended when we see the a water cup able to hold the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, "How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"

             Calvin and some "Reformers" saw an apparent problem with the coexistence of God's Sovereign Will and man's Free Will. To reconcile this "contradiction" a mammoth theological system was generated by well-intended men. As right as they were that "the just shall live by faith", they went way beyond the Bible with their Calvinistic theological "Tome". Where is the foundation and the roots of the Lordship-Gospel to be found? Calvinism.

 

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Ro 11.33)

 

God's mind is infinitely greater than man's mind--"unsearchable...unfathomable". God reveals the things He wants man to know. ("...the things revealed belong to us"; De 29.29)  He reveals the fact that Jesus is both God and Man--not half and half, but 100% God, yet 100% Man, a seeming contradiction. God also reveals the fact that He is absolutely Sovereign over all creation; yet Scripture calls for Man to make choices. This human Free Will is seen by some, again, as a contradiction to God's Sovereignty. Another seeming “contradiction”. But a Divine-paradox and a contradiction are not the same.

 

God, as the Sovereign, chooses not to reveal the "how" of these facts, just the facts ("The secret things belong to the LORD...De 29.29) Yet the Calvinists could not accept that the "unsearchable, unfathomable" mystery of how Divine Sovereignty and human Free Will could coexist would remain among "the secret things" within the mind of the Sovereign Himself. So what did they do? They jettisoned Free Will and kept Sovereignty. In the process they defaced Biblical "Love". The result was the emergence of a theological Tome called Calvinism, with the acronym of TULIP, each letter standing for its 5 principals.

As a result, many Bible passages have to be twisted in order for them to fit the TULIP doctrine. The Scripture above is repeated below, its twisting shown in BOLD.

 

Romans 11:33 

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways [except--IF we deny Free Will-- for Divine Sovereignty ]!

 

More examples of this Scripture-twisting, also in BOLD, is keyed to the TULIP acronyms (5 points of Calvinism) below. This pattern of Calvinistic-Scripture twisting IS a "pattern', and it is fundamental because the "Lordship-Gospel" stands on the error of Calvinism. So when the errors of Calvinism are exposed, the errors of the Lordship-Gospel are exposed. This must be done in the Light of Scripture, not philosophical-theology.

 

                       

                        T = TOTAL DEPRAVITY (People are totally corrupted by sin and are spiritually dead to the extent that they have absolutely no ability, or inclination--or FREE WILL-- to respond to God.)

                       

Acts 17:26-29

and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth ... that they should seek God [which is impossible to do], if perhaps they might grope for Him [which is impossible to do] and find Him [which is impossible to do], though He is not far from each one of us [whom He has selected apart from those He has chosen not to be close to]

 

Romans 1:18-20

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [UNKNOWINGLY] suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is [NOT] evident within them; for God [HAS NOT] made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, [because of their Total Depravity, COULD NOT POSSIBLY] have been clearly seen, [NOT] being understood through what has been made, so that they are [NOT] without excuse.

 

2 Peter 3:5

For this they [with NO POSSIBLITY OF WILLFUL UNDERSTANDING] willingly (deliberately, NIV) are ignorant of... [that] by the word of God the heavens were of old...

 

                        U = Unconditional Election (God initiates by His own sovereign choice, or election, SOME people to be saved)                                                                                           

John 3:18

Whoever [God chooses to save] believes in him [and, being selected for salvation] is not condemned, but whoever [God ] does not [elect to] believe stands condemned already because he has not [been selected by God to be one who has] believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

 

John 6:29

Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that [by His Will He will CAUSE SOME of] you [to] believe in Him whom He has sent.

 

 1Timothy 2:4

God...who desires all men [who He selects and elects for salvation] to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth [that there are many more men who could not possibly respond to a John 3:16-witness because God "passed them over" according to Calvinism].

 

                                               

                        L = LIMITED ATONEMENT   (Jesus died only for SOME people--the Elect)

 

(Wouldn't this be Limited Love? Does God not love ALL of the people in the world enough to send His Son to die for them? Wouldn't those who question our Free Will to respond to this invitation "Come...take the water of life WITHOUT COST" (Re 22.17) possess the same perceptiveness to ask these two questions above? How do these warped outcroppings of "God's Word" arise? Could it be related to the Serpent's own question in the Garden of Eden, "Indeed, has God said?" (Ge 3.1) Let us direct our questions where they belong--to the contorted Scriptures emerging from a "system" like a wedding dress from a dumpster!)

 

1 John 2:2

and He Himself is the propitiation for [SOME of us and ] our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of [SOME of] the whole world.

 

John 3:16

"For God so loved  [SOME of] the world, that He gave [to those who He selected to love] His only begotten Son, that whoever [is caused by Him to] believe[s] in Him should not perish [with those who He chose not to love], but have eternal life.

 

 

                        I = Irresistable Grace  (God gives to SOME people the Faith to Believe; they are NOT FREE to choose to believe since faith is not their own; God must FIRST make people born again, regenerated, so that, SECOND, they can now believe)

                          

Acts 13:46

 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; since [God has willed that you not be given faith], you repudiate it, and [since being unelected you] judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles [among whom God has already chosen SOME who MUST believe].

 

John 5:40

(The Sovereign "wept" (Lk 19.41) as He said) "and you [who have NO Free Will] are unwilling to come to Me, that you [If God would WILL you to come to Me] may [then be ABLE to come to Me and] have life."

 

John 8:24

"I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless [God CAUSES and MAKES] you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins [along with those He did not Cause to believe]."

                        P = Perseverance of the Saints  (God will cause the elect to persevere in faith and good works until the day of their death, authenticating their election to salvation)

                       

1 John 5:13

These things I have written to you who [have been CAUSED to] believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know  [IF, by the end of your life, your works are sufficient to legitimize the "believe" part]. that you have [been elected to] eternal life.

 

What is the effect of these TULIP-precepts when imposed upon Scripture?

Here is an example in one verse of the teaching of Lordship-Salvation, as prompted by its reliance on Calvinism,

 

THE BIBLE SAYS

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10

 

THE BIBLE TEACHES

 

1. SALVATION

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

2. DISCIPLESHIP

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

 

 

LORDSHIP-SALVATION TEACHES

 

1. SALVATION dependent on DISCIPLESHIP

 

For by grace you [may] have been saved through faith [which is conditional and contingent upon the FINAL VERDICT of the "good works" of v 10]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God [available to SOME];

not as a result of works [except those "good works" of v 10' and their FINAL VERDICT], that no one should boast [about "grace-alone', "faith-alone"].

 

2.                                               

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [meaning "faith-NOT alone, which must legitimize and render their FINAL VERDICT on the "faith-alone" of v 8] which God prepared beforehand, that we should [and WILL, by Divinely enforced perseverance] walk in them [IF we have been elected to be saved].

(Ephesians 2:8-10)

 

By the simple but seismic removal of #2 above, the demands of discipleship are made a requirement for salvation. You are then left with this reasoning,

 

        1. The "good works" of verse 10 mean "FAITH-NOT ALONE",

 

        2. "FAITH-NOT ALONE" must deliver the end-of-life Final Verdict on the legitimacy of verse 8's FAITH-ALONE.

 

        3. The Salvation of verse 8 is dependent, then, not upon FAITH-ALONE, but upon the Final Verdict of FAITH-NOT ALONE.

 

        4. Therefore, salvation is determined by FAITH-NOT ALONE, that is, FAITH PLUS WORKS.

 

Using the language of “theologicalisms”, Calvinistic-Lordship teaches this:

Discipleship renders the Final Verdict on Salvation; Sanctification renders the Final Verdict on Justification; Works renders the Final Verdict on Faith; Faith that Works renders the Final Verdict  on Grace; My Finished Work at life’s end renders the Final Verdict on Christs' Finished Work in my life.

 

Using plain language, the Bible teaches this:

        Salvation is Final and Forever at the point of one's free will belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Salvation expects and makes possible the outgrowth of         Discipleship and Sanctification with results in ALL believers, but with varying degrees of maturity and growth among believers.

 

Do not let your Bible be subjugated to any man's Tome.                 

 

Lordship Salvation, because of its slippery semantics, and its reliance on Calvinistic-theology, has removed the simple salvation message of John 3:16 and like passages, and superimposed a heavy load of theological-gospel that even its advocates cannot bear ("lest they should boast").

 

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works,

otherwise grace is no longer grace. (Ro 11.16)


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FOOTNOTES HERE