THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

According to the Doctrines of Grace, the salvation of any person is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, and the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to repentance and faith, thereby causing them to willingly believe and obey the gospel. The entire process of salvation (election, redemption, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification) is the work of God and is by grace alone for His glory alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation (John 1:12-13; Romans 9:16). Thus, God, not man, is to receive all the praise and glory for every aspect of a sinner’s salvation. The following points further develop and help explain why this is the case.

(1)Total Depravity or Complete Inability
Because of the Fall and inheritance of original sin, every person ever conceived is utterly unable to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God. The heart is deceitful and corrupt. The will is not free, as most understand that idea, but is in bondage to the sinful nature. Therefore, no one is able to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, much more than the Spirit’s mere assistance to bring a sinner to Christ is required. Regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives a new nature is necessary. Faith is not something human beings contribute to salvation, but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation. Repentance and faith are God’s gifts to the sinner, not the sinner’s gifts to God. (Psalm 51.5, 58.3; Isaiah 53.6, 64.6; Jeremiah 17.9; John 3.3, 6.44, 8.44; Romans 3.10-12, 5.12; Ephesians 2.2-3, 8-9; 1 Corinthians 2.14; 2 Timothy 2.24-26)

(2)Unconditional Election
God’s choice of certain persons for salvation was made before He created the world and rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part to hearing the gospel, such as repentance, faith, etc. On the contrary, God gives repentance and faith to each individual whom He has chosen, solely according to His good pleasure. The acts of repentance, faith, etc., are the result of God’s choice, not the cause of God’s choice. Election, therefore, was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in human beings. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Holy Spirit to a willing and joyful acceptance of Jesus Christ. Thus, God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Jesus Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation. (Deuteronomy 7.6-7; Isaiah 55.11; John 6.44, 6.65;  10.25-28, 15.16; Acts 13.8; Romans 8.28-30; 9.11-16; Ephesians 1.4; 2 Timothy 1.9)

(3) Particular Redemption or Limited Atonement
Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain sinners, not all. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including the faith that unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation. (Matthew 1.21, 20.28; John 10.14-18,26-28; 17.9; Acts 20.28; Romans 5.8-9; Ephesians 2.8; Titus 2.14; Revelation 5.9)

(4)The Efficacious Call of the Spirit or Irresistible Grace
In addition to the outward general call of salvation that 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 (that is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call cannot be ultimately rejected. It always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by the will of the humanity, nor is He dependent upon humanity’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to repent, to believe, to come freely, willingly, and joyfully to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible. It never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is intended to save. (Ezekiel 11.19-20; John 1.12-13, 6.37-44; Acts 16.14; Romans 8.30; Ephesians 2.4-5; Colossians 2.13; James 1.18; Titus 3.5)

(5)Perseverance of the Saints 
All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given repentance and faith by the Holy Spirit are eternally saved.  They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.  At the same time, each individual Christian is to fight to persevere in their faith to the end, either at death or Jesus’ second coming. (Isaiah 43.1-3; Jeremiah 32.40; Matthew 24.13; John 10.28-30; Romans 8.28-39; Ephesians 1.13-14; Philippians 2.12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5.23-24; 1 Peter 1.5; Jude 24-25)

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