Biblical and Historical Defense of the Doctrines of Grace
Pastor David Green
God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things
which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not,
to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his
presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto
us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in
the Lord.” (1Corinthians 1:27-31)
Introduction. By the term doctrines of grace, we mean what is commonly called “The Five Points of Calvinism” in the religious world. They are as follows, with the Biblical definition as given by Brother Tom Ross, in his book Abandoned Truth: The Doctrines of Grace:
Total Depravity – Refers to the fallen state of the natural man who inherits a sin nature at conception. Every sinner is spiritually dead, with no capacity or desire for spiritual things. He is incapable in and of himself to come to a saving knowledge of Christ apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Every faculty of the sinner has been corrupted as a result of the fall of Adam. In short, man has been completely ruined by sin without any hope of restoration apart from the distinguishing grace of God.
Unconditional Election - Refers to the sovereign choice of some men unto salvation by God the Father, before the foundation of the world, not according to any foreseen merit or faith that he saw in the sinner, but according to his own good pleasure and purpose of grace.
Limited Atonement - Refers to the teaching of the specific intent and extent of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. He died only for the elect. He came to redeem and reconcile only those whom God chose. He acted as substitute and surety only for those whom the Father had given Him before the world began. Christ did not shed one drop of blood in vain. He did not die for the devil, reprobate angels, or for any sinner who dies in unbelief and goes to Hell. (Notice: Some folks will call this Particular Redemption)
Irresistible Grace - Refers to the fact that all whom the Father elected and the Son died for will assuredly come to salvation through the power and work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. When the Spirit draws in the effectual call the sinner most willingly comes to Christ, as it is impossible to resist the will and power of God. (Notice: Some folks will call this the Effectual Call)
Preservation and Perseverance of the Saints - Refers to the fact that all the elect are preserved from final apostasy in hell by the power of God, and that all true children of God who have been changed in regeneration will preserver in holiness. Simply stated, it is impossible for one of God's elect to be kicked out of His family, become a child of the devil, lose God's salvation and go to Hell.
Five Points or None. These five points cannot be broken up. You either believe all of them or you really believe none of them. A person cannot break these up just because they do not want to believe in one part or another. Three and four point Calvinists are simply confused Arminians!
The Origin of the Doctrines of Grace. Most folk assume this system originated with John Calvin, that famous reformer who lived from 1509 – 1564, however that is wrong. John Calvin was a French Catholic who was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. He knew some truth about the Doctrines of Grace, and he wrote books about them. He had done so much to expound and defend these views that the term Calvinism has become the common name for this system. However, these truths originated in the Bible. Jesus and the Apostles were preaching and teaching these sacred truths long before the Protestant Reformation. Here is a sampling:
Matthew 1:21 (limited atonement)
John 6:37-40 “All that the Father giveth me (election) shall come to me (irresistible grace); and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing (preservation of the saints), but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:44 (total depravity)
Acts 13:48 (unconditional election)
Romans 8:38-39 (preservation)
Romans 9:11 (election)
James 2:5 (election)
I Peter 1:2
I Peter 2:9 (election)
Ancient Baptists and the Doctrines of Grace. First of all, we need to remember the ancient Baptists were not always known as Baptists. They had other names:
Novations of Italy
Donatists in North Africa
Bogimils and Paterines of Europe.
Albigenses and Waldenses in France
Anabaptists in Germany.
These all were the Lord's true churches who never baptized babies and never identified with Catholicism.
Secondly, we must remember that up until the late Nineteenth Century, it was rare to see anything published by a Baptist because they were poor and persecuted. So, most of what we know about these ancient Baptists was written by the enemies of the truth.
Thirdly, the five points were not put into a concrete systematic form like we know them until the Sixteenth Century.
Peter Allix, in his book entitled; Remarks Upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Albigenses, quotes a Friar Inquisitor who wrote concerning the heresies of the Albigenses in 1461:
"First, They say it is clear, that when God pardons sin, he doth it not with any respect to the merit of any man, but of mere grace; whence it follows evidently, that the remission of sins cannot be attributed to a man's confession of them; for if it were so, we must own that the remission is no longer of free gift, but that it is a recompense given by God to the merit of him that confesseth. Secondly, they say, if it be confession that procures a man the pardon of his sins, what will become of that passage in the third chapter of the Epistle to Titus, where it is expressly declared, that God hath saved us of his mercy, and not according to the works of righteousness that we have done? Or how shall we explain that in the ninth of the Romans, that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy: We know, that the first grace that God works in us is the remission of sins: now if this grace be absolutely the effect of the mercy of God, it cannot be the effect of confession, which by consequence is not necessary to salvation." 5 (The confession he refers to is the Romish practice of auricular confession where the parishioner confesses his sins to the priest.)
W.A. Jarrell wrote in Baptist Church Perpetuity concerning the Paterines;
"They were Baptists on the doctrine of election and appealed to the texts in the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, employed by others also in proof of the doctrine of unconditional predestination."
The Waldenses of France wrote the "Noble Lesson" in 1100 AD. The following quotes are in S. Moreland's book, The Churches of the Valley of Piedmont:
"Now after the Apostles, were certain Teachers, who taught the way of Jesus Christ our Savior. And these are found even at this present day (referring to church perpetuity), But they are known to very few, who have a great desire to teach the way of Jesus Christ, But they are so persecuted, that they are able to do but little, so much are the false Christians blinded with error, and more than the rest they that are Pastors, for they persecute and hate those who are better than themselves, and let those live quietly who are false deceivers... 'And give us to hear that which he shall say to his Elect without delay; Come hither ye blessed of my Father, Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the World, Where you shall have Pleasure, Riches, and Honor. May it please the Lord which formed the World, that we may be of the number of his Elect to dwell in his Court for ever. Praised be God. Amen."
A Waldensian Confession dated 1120 AD states:
"God saves from corruption and damnation those whom he has chosen from the foundations of the world, not for any disposition, faith or holiness he foresaw in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ Jesus, his Son, passing by all the rest according to the irreprehensible reason of his own will and justice."
A Waldensian confession dated 1655 AD states:
"God saved from corruption and damnation those whom he has chosen from the foundations of the world, not for any disposition, faith or holiness he foresaw in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ Jesus, his Son, passing by all the rest according to the irreprehensible reason of his own will and justice."
The London Confession of 1644. Article 3:
"That God hath decreed in himself touching all things, effectually to work and dispose them according to the counsel of his own will, to the glory of his Name...And touching his creature man, God had in Christ before the foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of his will, foreordained some men to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of his grace, leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation to the praise of his Justice." 13
The Second London Confession printed in 1677. Article 9:
"Man by his fall into a state of sin hath wholly lost all ability of Will, to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in Sin is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself; or to prepare himself thereunto."
Selling Out. A multitude of preachers and churches have “sold out” these truths. Not only many Protestants, but some Baptists. Chief among them are the Southern Baptists. Read the writings of J.P. Boyce and B.H. Carroll and compare that with what the Southern Baptists teach today. More recently, compare what some preachers wrote in the Baptist Examiner years ago and compare that with what is today preached and taught. Better yet compare what is preached today to what is found in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. Nowhere will you find such things as invitations, accepting Christ, the sinners prayer, etc. These are all man-made things. Some churches today have a Sovereign Grace Statement of Faith, but an Arminian pastor and Arminian church members because they have sold out to glorify man instead of God.
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
Opposition to the doctrines of grace is opposition to Scripture. The god of Arminianism is not the God of the Bible. Do not sell out, not for ANY reason! The doctrines of grace will stand and long as God is on His throne and His Word is preserved. The question is tonight, where do YOU stand?
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