Monday, June 2, 2008

Thoughts After One Year of Calvinism

I can't pinpoint the date exactly, but it was in late May and early June of 2007 that the Lord brought me around to a more biblical understanding of salvation. It's commonly nicknamed Calvinism, although I prefer to style the soteriology as many others do more accurately as the Doctrines of Grace.

This post, however, is not designed to explore the oft-acronymed five points of TULIP (or as I think I prefer RUPEP), but merely to posit this:

A right understanding of God's grace will cause the Christian to realize a mind-blowing truth.: Every person who trusts in Christ unto salvation is the result of a miracle performed by God himself.

That I am a Christian is a miracle.

It's not because I am smarter than those who reject Christ or more spiritually attuned. It's not because I've dispassionately weighed the options and chosen Christ. It's not because I've chosen Christ or stuck with him after opting to "try Jesus."

No, I'm adopted into God's family not by my initiative but because I've been born again by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. My rebirth spiritually preceded my faith and it made possible and alive my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. [John 3; I Peter 1:3-9]

Before God awakened my heart to believe and trust in him, I was dead in sin. Dead men don't make choices. Dean men don't believe things. Dead men just decay, and so did I, spiritually, until God brought me from death unto life. [John 5:24]

But praise be to God and God alone for [Eph. 2: 8-10; Gal. 3:10-14; Rom. 3:10-12, 21-28; 8:18-30; 10:17; Phil. 1:6]:

  • choosing to save me before the foundation of the world
  • sending Jesus to die for my sins, bearing God's just wrath against them in my place
  • sending faithful messengers to preach the Word of God to me of so great a salvation
  • summoning my heart to new life and faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit
  • preserving me by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to cling to my only hope, Christ Jesus
That's the heart of the Calvinist understanding of predestination. More importantly it's at the heart of the Gospel.

God initiated every facet of my salvation, and He'll complete every facet, and it's all for the praise of His glory. [Heb. 12:1-2; 10:19-39]

Soli Deo gloria! To God alone be the glory.



SolaMommy June 3, 2008 at 10:36 AM  

"That I am a Christian is a miracle."

Amen, brother.

Country June 3, 2008 at 6:42 PM  

And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. For by grace you have been saved through faith; it is the gift of God.-


Ben Lowery June 5, 2008 at 10:53 AM  

"To those who complain about this grace of an undeserved election and about the severity of a just reprobation, we reply with the words of the apostle, Who are you, O man, to talk back to God? (Rom. 9:20), and with the words of our Savior, Have I no right to do what I want with my own? (Matt. 20:15). We, however, with reverent adoration of these secret things, cry out with the apostle: Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways beyond tracing out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has first 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 (Rom. 11:33-36)." Canons of Dordt Article 18 First Head of Doctrine.

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