Home > False Doctrine > Arminian Errors Pt 4

Arminian Errors Pt 4

(iii) EFFECTUAL CALLING

“All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call by His word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith. Ch. 10, Sec. 1).

“Whom He did predestinate, them He also called” (Rom. 8: 30). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.” (2 Tim. 1: 9).

“Now here is the touchstone by which we may try our calling not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace. This calling forbids all trust in our own doings, and conducts us to Christ alone for salvation, but it afterwards purges us from dead works to serve the living and true God. As He that hath called you is holy, so must ye be holy. If you are living in sin, you are not called, but if you are truly Christ’s, you can say, ‘Nothing pains me more than sin. I desire to be rid of it; Lord help me to be holy.’ Is this the panting of thy heart? Is this the tenor of thy life towards God, and His divine will? Again, in Philippians 3:13,14 we are told of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Is then your calling a high calling? Has it ennobled your heart, and set it upon heavenly things? Has it elevated your hopes, your tastes, your desires? Has it upraised the constant tenor of your life, so that you spend it with God and for God? Another test we find in Hebrews 3:1—”Partakers of the heavenly calling.” Heavenly means a call from heaven. If a man alone call thee, thou art uncalled. Is thy calling of God? Is it a call to heaven as well as from heaven? Unless thou art a stranger here, and heaven thy home, thou hast not been called with a heavenly calling; for those who have been so called declare that they look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they themselves are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. Is thy calling thus holy, high, heavenly? Then beloved, thou hast been called of God, for such is the calling wherewith God doth call His people.”— C.H. Spurgeon.

Arminians on the other hand believe that man has the natural power of will to exercise faith on Christ. Sinners are therefore urged to make decisions for Christ. On this foundation of sand multitudes build their hope for eternity. The decisionist conversion is but the exercise of the unrenewed will. The faith in Christ professed is not the gift of God. The joy experienced is the joy of the stony-ground hearers. The hope cherished is not the good hope through grace, but the hope of the hypocrite that shall perish. All the religious activity which follows, is not of the Spirit but of the flesh. “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:22,25).

Saving Faith

The faith which is saving, which is the fruit of effectual calling or of the new birth is the gift of God. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8,9).

“Faith looks to Christ as holding the office of a Saviour. The command is given, and observe it is given to all as blind and guilty and helpless to look to Christ that they might be saved; and the first decisive and satisfactory evidence of a change of heart is to get a sight of Christ as the Saviour. We may even before this, have good hope concerning you, that the Spirit of grace has begun to deal with you: but we dare not, as we value the souls of men, and tender the glory of God, we dare not say, that any man is born of God, in other words truly converted, till he sees Christ.

“Many of you say you have faith in Christ. Can you tell us anything about Him in whom you say you believe? Were your souls ever ready to sink into hell? Did they ever stick fast in the miry clay of corruption? Locked up in the prison of unbelief? Icebound by impenitence? Laid lower than the beasts with lusts? Tormented as beset by devils? Did any one come to rescue you in that state? Who is He? Is He a Saviour? Mary saw the Lord; she could tell something about it. And so the two disciples going to Emmaus. Can you this day condescend upon a single incident, even to the extent of the twinkling of an eye? Any condition of body or soul in which you saw the Lord by faith? Can you tell what passed between Him and you. (Rev. Jonathan R. Anderson, Glasgow, Died 1859).

While Arminian converts usually manifest a strict and praise-worthy abstention in the life they lead from drink, smoking, gambling, cinemas, etc., and a self-denying zeal for propagating their gospel and winning converts, their attitude to the Lord’s day is not one of tenderness and love. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace,” is the Scripture which they wrest in order to justify themselves. True believers in Christ are not under the condemnation of the law—”for there is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” but they are ‘under the law to Christ’ as their rule of life. This the apostle states in 1 Cor. 9:21. Love to Christ is manifested and proved by love to His commandments. “If you love Me keep My commandments.” “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4). All who have no love for God’s holy day, who are not grieved over how far short they come in keeping the Sabbath holy to the Lord and who are not wounded and grieved in soul when they see the Lord’s day desecrated, whatever their profession, and whatever name they may have, they have but a name to live: they are still in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. “This is the love of God that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3). When the Lord writes His law in the heart in regeneration there is love for the Fourth Commandment, as surely as for the other commandments. Love to the Lord, to His Word, to His Cause, to His people and to His commandments, the holy Sabbath included, cannot be separated.

Arminian church bodies of our day have removed the ancient landmarks set by the godly fathers in the past as safeguards and bulwarks of the sanctity of the sabbath. The result is obvious. The curse of the Popish or “continental Sunday” has overspread the land like a flood. Is it any wonder that Dr. Kennedy of Dingwall said that Voluntaryism and Arminianism must be pioneers of Rationalism, for they are both the off-spring of unbelief?

Man’s Inability and Responsibility

Arminians hold that responsibility infers ability, and therefore maintain that when sinners are called upon to believe and to repent, that they have the power to do so. Such teaching is false to the core. The call given in the gospel, and given by all who preach the gospel in its fullness, to believe and repent is the outward call. It is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit alone in His internal and regenerating work to make the outward call effectual. ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’

Although man through the fall lost his ability, he is still responsible and accountable to God, and because responsible he is duty bound to make use of the outward means and ordinances appointed by God, and the efficiency of which is dependent alone on His power. God has established a connection between the means and the end desired. He commands us to use them, and He has promised to bless them. To separate the means from the end, which the Lord has ordained for the salvation of sinners is to be guilty of separating what the Lord has joined. A despising and a neglecting of the means is a despising of the salvation the means bring before us. ‘And how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?’

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

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