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Posts Tagged ‘Prejudice’

General Remarks to Disarm Prejudice

September 12, 2014 1 comment

There is no doctrine so grossly misrepresented. Brother A.S. Pettie’s complaint against the enemies of total depravity is equally applicable here, when he says, “From hostile lips a fair and correct statement of the doctrine is never heard”. The treatment that the doctrine of election receives from the hands of its enemies is very much like that received by the primitive Christians from pagan Roman Emperors. The ancient Christians were often clothed in the skins of slain animals and then subjected to attack by ferocious wild beasts. So the doctrine of election is clothed in an ugly garb and held up to ridicule and sport. We will now try to strip this glorious truth of its false and vicious garment with which enemy hands have robed it, and put upon it the garments of holiness and wisdom.

1. Election is not salvation but is unto salvation. “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (elect) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” (#Ro 11:7). “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation” (#2Th 2:13). Now then, if the elect obtain salvation, and if election is to salvation, election must precede salvation. Men are saved when they believe on Christ not when they are elected. Roosevelt was not president when he was elected, but when he was inaugurated. There was not only an election to, but an induction into the office. God’s elect are inducted into the position of saintship by the effectual call, (the quickening work of the Holy Spirit) through which they become believers in the Gospel. See: #1Co 1:29 2Th 2:13,14

2. Election is not the cause of anybody going to hell, for election is unto salvation. Neither is non-election responsible for the damnation of sinners. SIN is the thing that sends men to hell, and all men are sinners by nature and practice—sinners altogether apart from election and non-election. It does not follow that because election is unto salvation that non-election is unto damnation. SIN is the damning element in human life. ELECTION HARMS NOBODY.

3. Election belongs to the system of grace. In Paul’s day there was a remnant among the Jews who were saved according to the election of grace (#Ro 11:5). The attitude of men towards election is the acid test of their belief in grace. Those who oppose election cannot consistently claim to believe in salvation by grace. This is seen in the creeds of Christendom. Those denominations that believe in salvation by works have no place for the doctrine of election in their confessions of faith; those that believe in salvation by grace, apart from human merit, have not failed to include election in their written creed. One group is headed by the Roman Catholics, the other group is headed by the Baptists.

4. Election does not prevent the salvation of anybody who wants to be saved. But the distinction needs to be made between a mere desire to escape hell and the desire to be saved from sin. The desire to be saved from hell is a natural desire—nobody wants to burn. The desire to be saved from sin is a spiritual desire resulting from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, and God’s electing grace is the very mother of this desire. To represent election by saying that God has spread the Gospel feast, and a man comes to the table hungering for the bread of life; but God says “No, this is not for you, you are not one of my elect,” is to misrepresent the Holy Doctrine. Here is the truth—God has spread the feast but the fact is nobody wants to come to the table. “They all with one consent began to make excuse”. God knew just how fallen nature would act, and He took no chance on His table being filled, so, He tells His servant to go out and compel them to come (#Lu 14:23). Were it not for the redemptive work of Christ there would be no Gospel feast; were it not for the compelling work of the Holy Spirit there would be no guests at the table. A mere invitation brings nobody to the table.

5. Election means that the destiny of men is in the hands of God. Many of us have regarded as an axiom the statement that every man’s destiny is in his own hands. But this is to deny the whole tenor of Scripture. At no time is the destiny of the saint in his own hands, either before or after he is saved. Was my destiny in my own hands before I was saved? If so, I regenerated myself; I resurrected, by my own power, myself out of a state of sin and death; I am my own benefactor and have nobody to thank but myself for being alive and saved. Perish such a thought! By the grace of God I am what I am. #Joh 1:13 Eph 2:1-10 2Ti 1:9 Jas 1:18

Is my destiny in my own hands now? Then I will either keep myself saved or I will lose my salvation. The Bible says we are kept by the power of God through Faith. #1Pe 1:15 Ps 37:28 Joh 10:27-29 Php 1:6 Heb 13:5

If my destiny is not safe in my own hands after I am saved then how could it be thought to be safe in my own hands before my conversion?

The saint dies, his body is consigned to the grave and becomes a dust-heap. Is his destiny in his own hands then? If so, what hope has he of ever coming out of the grave with an immortal and incorruptible body? None at all if his destiny is in his own hands.

Such a theory, that the destiny of the saint is or ever has been in his own hands, reverses the very laws of nature and implies that water can rise above the level of its source; that man can lift himself into the attic by his boot-straps; that the Ethiopian can change his colour, and the leopard can remove his spots; that death can beget life; that evolution is true and God is a liar. The theory that one’s destiny is in his own hands begets self-confidence and self-righteousness; the belief that destiny is in the hands of God begets SELF-ABNEGATION AND FAITH IN GOD.

6. Election stands or falls with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and man’s depravity. If God is sovereign and man is depraved, then it follows as a natural consequence that some will be saved, none will be saved or, all will be saved. The practical results of election are that some, yea many, will be saved. Election is not a plan to save a mere handful of folk. Christ gave Himself a ransom for many. #Mt 20:28 Re 5:9 God’s sovereignty involves His pleasure #Joh 5:21 Mt 11:25-27 His power #Job 23:13 Jer 32:17 Mt 19:26 and His mercy. #Ro 9:18

7. The elect are manifested in repentance and faith and good works. These graces, being God-wrought in man, are not the cause but the evidences of election. #1Th 1:3-10 2Pe 1:5-10 Php 2:12,13 Lu 18:7 The man who doesn’t pray, who has not repented of his sins and trusted Christ, and who does not engage in good works has no right to claim that he is one of God’s elect.

 

Dr. C. D. Cole-The Bible Doctrine of Election-Part I-Bible Doctrine of Election

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Can you subscribe to this great truth?

April 1, 2013 1 comment

fullerConcerning the Gospel, Andrew Fuller asked:

Can you subscribe to this great truth, in all its hearings, and rest the salvation of your soul upon it; or do you doubt whether you be so guilty, so helpless, or in so dangerous a state as this doctrine supposes? Is it as one of the chief of sinners that you view yourself; or does it grate upon our feelings to receive forgiveness in that humble character? In suing for mercy, are you content to stand on the same low ground as if you were a convict actually going to be executed; or does your heart secretly pine after salvation less humiliating, in which some account might be made of that difference of character by which you may have been distinguished from the vilest of men, and in which you might be in some degree a co-operator with God? Does that which pleases God, please you; or does your mind revolt at it? It meets all your wants, but none of your prejudices, and proud thoughts, or vicious propensities; all these must come down and be made to sacrifice to it. Can you subscribe to it on these terms?

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Concerning Believing the Gospel

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

 Saint Augustine (354-430)