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The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two…..eternal death

The third kind of death is the consummation of the other two. It is eternal death. It is the execution of the legal sentence; it is the consummation of the spiritual death. Eternal death is the death of the soul, it takes place after the body has been laid in the grave, after the soul has departed from it. If legal death be terrible, it is because of its consequences; and if spiritual death be dreadful, it is because of that which shall succeed it. The two deaths of which we have spoken are the roots, and that death which is to come is the flower thereof. Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is. The soul has come before its Maker, the book has been opened, the sentence has been uttered; “Depart ye cursed” has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death. Oh! how horrible is its position now. Its bed is a bed of flame, the sights it sees are murdering ones that affright its spirit, the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! it has the possessor of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery. The soul looks up. Hope is extinct-it is gone. It looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul. It looks on the right hand-and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture. It looks on the left-and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the sealing ladder of e’en a dreamy speculation of escape. It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul. It looks about it-it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance. It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be formed again. It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape; it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there, it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation. It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not -it is eternally dead. When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead. For-ever knoweth no end; eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity. Still the soul seeth written o’er its head, “Thou art damned for ever.” It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed-but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity-making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound-”Depart! depart! depart ye cursed!” This is the eternal death.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

Men by nature are spiritually dead

But, besides being legally dead, we are also spiritually dead. For not only did the sentence pass in the book but it passed in the heart; it entered the conscience; it operated on the soul, on the Judgment, on the imagination, and on everything. “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” was not only fulfilled by the sentence recorded, but by something which took place in Adam. Just as, in a certain moment, when this body shall die, the blood stops, the pulse ceases, the breath no longer comes from the lungs, so in the day that Adam did eat that fruit his soul died; his imagination lost its mighty power to climb into celestial things and see heaven his will lost its power always to choose that which is good, his judgment lost all ability to judge between right and wrong decidedly and infallibly, though something was retained in conscience, his memory became tainted, liable to hold evil things, and let righteous things glide away; every power of him ceased as to its moral vitality. Goodness was the vitality of his powers-that departed. Virtue, holiness, integrity, these were the life of man; but when these departed man became dead; and now, every man, so far as spiritual things are concerned, is “dead in trespasses and sins,” spiritually. Nor is the soul less dead in a carnal man, than the body is when committed to the grave, it is actually and positively dead-not by a metaphor, for Paul speaketh not in metaphor when he affirms, “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” But my hearers, again, I would I could preach to your hearts concerning this subject. It was bad enough when I described death as having been recorded; but now I speak of it as having actually taken place in your hearts. Ye are not what ye once were; ye are not what ye were in Adam, not what ye were created. Man was made pure and holy. Ye are not the perfect creatures of which some boast; ye are altogether fallen, ye have gone out of the way, ye have become corrupt and filthy. Oh! listen not to the siren song of those who tell you of your moral dignity, and your mighty elevation in matters of salvation. You are not perfect; that great word, “ruin,” is written on your heart; and death is stamped upon your spirit. Do not conceive. O moral man that thou wilt be able to stand before God in thy morality, for thou art nothing but a carcase embalmed in legality, a corpse arrayed in some fine robes, but still corrupt in God’s sight. And think not, O thou possessor of natural religion! that thou mayest by thine own might and power make thyself acceptable to God. Why, man! thou art dead! and thou mayest array the dead as gloriously as thou pleasest, but still it would be a solemn mockery. There lieth queen Cleopatra-put the crown upon her head, deck her in royal robes, let her sit in state; but what a cold chill runs through you when you pass by her. She is fair now, even in her death-but how horrible it is to stand by the side even of a dead queen, celebrated for her majestic beauty! So you may be glorious in your beauty, hair, and amiable, and lovely, you put the crown of honesty upon your head, and wear about you all the garments of uprightness, but unless God has quickened thee, O man! unless the Spirit has had dealings with thy soul, thou art in God’s sight as obnoxious as the chilly corpse is to thyself: Thou wouldst not choose to live with a corpse sitting at thy table; nor doth God love that thou shouldst be in his sight. He is angry with thee every day, for thou art in sin -thou art in death. Oh! believe this, take it to thy soul, appropriate it, for it is most true that thou art dead, spiritually as well as legally.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

Men by nature are legally dead

I. First, then, our text implies THAT MEN BY NATURE ARE DEAD. NO being needs to go after life if he has life in himself. The text speaks very strongly when it says, “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life,” though it saith it not in words, yet it doth in effect affirm that men need a life more than they have themselves. My hearers, we are all dead unless we have been begotten unto a lively hope. First, we are all of us, by nature, legally dead:-”In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die the death,” said God to Adam; and though Adam did not die in that moment naturally, he died legally; that is to say death was recorded against him. As soon as, at the Old Bailey, the judge puts on the black cap and pronounces the sentence, the man is reckoned to be dead at law. Though perhaps a month may intervene before he is brought on the scaffold to endure the sentence of the law, yet the law looks upon him as a dead man. It is impossible for him to transact anything. He cannot inherit, he cannot bequeath; he is nothing-he is a dead man. The country considers him not as being alive in it at all. There is an election-he is not asked for his vote because he is considered as dead. He is shut up in his condemned cell, and he is dead. Ah! and ye ungodly sinners who have never had life in Christ, ye are alive this morning, by reprieve, but do ye know that ye are legally dead; that God considers you as such, that in the day when your father Adam touched the fruit, and when you yourselves did sin, God, the Eternal Judge, put on the black cap and condemned you? You talk mightily of your own standing, and goodness, and morality:-where is it? Scripture saith, ye are “condemned already.” Ye are not to wait to be condemned at the judgment-day-that will be the execution of the sentence:- “ye are condemned already.” In the moment ye sinned; your names were all written in the black book of justice; every one was then sentenced by God to death, unless he found a substitute, in the person of Christ, for his sins. What would you think if you were to go into the Old Bailey, and see the condemned culprit sitting in his cell, laughing and merry? You would say, “The man is a fool, for he is condemned, and is to be executed, yet how merry he is.” Ah! and how foolish is the worldly man, who, while sentence is recorded against him, lives in merriment and mirth! Do you think the sentence of God is of no effect? Thinkest thou that thy sin which is written with an iron pen on the rocks for ever hath no horrors in it? God hath said thou art condemned already. If thou wouldst but feel this, it would mingle bitters in thy sweet cups of joy; thy dances would be stopped, thy laughter quenched in sighing, if thou wouldst recollect that thou art condemned already. We ought all to weep, if we lay this to our souls: that by nature we have no life in God’s sight; we are actually positively condemned, death is recorded against us, and we are considered in ourselves now, in God’s sight, as much dead as if we were actually cast into hell; we are condemned here by sin, we do not yet suffer the penalty of it, but it is written against us, and we are legally dead, nor can we find life unless we find legal life in the person of Christ, of which more by-and-bye.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

A Text of the Arminian

“And ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” -John 5:40.

THIS is one of the great guns of the Arminians, mounted upon the top of their walls, and often discharged with terrible noise against the poor Christians called Calvinists. I intend to spike the gun this morning, or, rather, to turn it on the enemy, for it was never theirs; it was never cast at their foundry at all, but was intended to teach the very opposite doctrine to that which they assert. Usually, when the text is taken, the divisions are:- First, that man has a will. Secondly, that he is entirely free. Thirdly, that men must make themselves willing to come to Christ, otherwise they will not be saved. Now, we shall have no such divisions; but we will endeavor to take a more calm look at the text, and not, because there happen to be the words; will,” or “will not” in it, run away with the conclusion that it teaches the doctrine of free-will. It has already been proved beyond all controversy that free-will is nonsense. Freedom cannot belong to will any more than ponderability can belong to electricity. They are altogether different things. Free agency we may believe in, but free-will is simply ridiculous. The will is well known by all to be directed by the understanding, to be moved by motives, to be guided by other parts of the soul, and to be a secondary thing. Philosophy and religion both discard at once the very thought of free-will; and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, “If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free-will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.” It may seem a harsh sentiment, but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free-will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that he gives both; that he is “Alpha and Omega “in the salvation of men.

Our four points, this morning, shall be,-First, that every man is dead, because it says, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Secondly, that there is life in Jesus Christ-”Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Thirdly, that there is life in Christ Jesus for every one that comes for it-”Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;” implying that all who go will have life; and fourthly, the gist of the text lies here, that no man by nature ever will come to Christ, for the text says, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” So far from asserting that men of their own wills ever do such a thing, it boldly and flatly denies it, and says, “Ye WILL NOT come unto me that ye might have life.” Why, beloved, I am almost ready to exclaim, Have all free-willers no knowledge that they dare to run in the teeth of inspiration? Have all those that deny the doctrine of grace no sense? Have they so departed from God that they wrest this to prove free-will; whereas the text says, “Ye WILL NOT come unto me that ye might have life.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

The power and office of the intellect and will in man before the fall, this freedom lost by the fall

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The power and office of the intellect and will in man before the fall. Man’s free will. This freedom lost by the fall — a fact unknown to philosophers. The delusion of Pelagians and Papists. Objection as to the fall of man when free, refuted.

8. Therefore, God has provided the soul of man with intellect, by which he might discern good from evil, just from unjust, and might know what to follow or to shun, reason going before with her lamp; whence philosophers, in reference to her directing power, have called her “to hegemonikon”. To this he has joined will, to which choice belongs. Man excelled in these noble endowments in his primitive condition, when reason, intelligence, prudence, and judgment, not only sufficed for the government of his earthly life, but also enabled him to rise up to God and eternal happiness. Thereafter choice was added to direct the appetites, and temper all the organic motions; the will being thus perfectly submissive to the authority of reason. In this upright state, man possessed freedom of will, by which, if he chose, he was able to obtain eternal life. It were here unseasonable to introduce the question concerning the secret predestination of God, because we are not considering what might or might not happen, but what the nature of man truly was. Adam, therefore, might have stood if he chose, since it was only by his own will that he fell; but it was because his will was pliable in either directions and he had not received constancy to persevere, that he so easily fell. Still he had a free choice of good and evil; and not only so, but in the mind and will there was the highest rectitude, and all the organic parts were duly framed to obedience, until man corrupted its good properties, and destroyed himself. Hence the great darkness of philosophers who have looked for a complete building in a ruin, and fit arrangement in disorder. The principle they set out with was, that man could not be a rational animal unless he had a free choice of good and evil. They also imagined that the distinction between virtue and vice was destroyed, if man did not of his own counsel arrange his life. So far well, had there been no change in man. This being unknown to them, it is not surprising that they throw every thing into confusion. But those who, while they profess to be the disciples of Christ, still seek for free-will in man, notwithstanding of his being lost and drowned in spiritual destruction, labor under manifold delusion, making a heterogeneous mixture of inspired doctrine and philosophical opinions, and so erring as to both. But it will be better to leave these things to their own place, (see Book 2 chap. 2) At present it is necessary only to remember, that man, at his first creation, was very different from all his posterity; who, deriving their origin from him after he was corrupted, received a hereditary taint. At first every part of the soul was formed to rectitude. There was soundness of mind and freedom of will to choose the good. If any one objects that it was placed, as it were, in a slippery position, because its power was weak, I answer, that the degree conferred was sufficient to take away every excuse. For surely the Deity could not be tied down to this condition, — to make man such, that he either could not or would not sin. Such a nature might have been more excellent; but to expostulate with God as if he had been bound to confer this nature on man, is more than unjust, seeing he had full right to determine how much or how little He would give. Why He did not sustain him by the virtue of perseverance is hidden in his counsel; it is ours to keep within the bounds of soberness. Man had received the power, if he had the will, but he had not the will which would have given the power; for this will would have been followed by perseverance. Still, after he had received so much, there is no excuse for his having spontaneously brought death upon himself. No necessity was laid upon God to give him more than that intermediate and even transient will, that out of man’s fall he might extract materials for his own glory.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

Free Ebook-Sovereign Grace

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Sovereign Grace
An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism
by Brian Schwertley

Introduction

The modern era is a time of great theological ignorance, indifference, and declension. Most of the denominations and churches which are generally referred to as conservative, Bible-believing and evangelical have in the past few hundred years succumbed to Arminian1 or semi-Pelagian interpretations of the doctrine of salvation. The doctrines of sovereign grace which have been nicknamed “Augustinianism” or “Calvinism” have been abandoned as obsolete, unfair, unbiblical, and irrational. The typical evangelical usually hears the name Calvin or the term Calvinism treated scornfully from the pulpit or at a Bible study. It is even labeled a dangerous heresy by some. People are falsely told that Calvinism destroys personal responsibility; that it teaches that people are little better than robots, etc.

The purpose of this book is to examine the five points of Calvinism in order to prove that they are thoroughly scriptural and to dispel the common misconceptions often heard regarding them. This task will involve refuting some of the typical Arminian doctrines which are so popular today. Many poor souls have been seduced by Arminianism’s appeal to human autonomy. People need to be made aware that Arminianism is a deadly perversion of the gospel of Christ. It implicitly denies the sovereignty of God; it perverts the doctrine of original sin; it turns the doctrine of election upside down and makes the new birth dependent upon man’s will. In the Arminian scheme men are not saved through faith, which is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8), but rather because of faith. Furthermore, Christ’s atoning death is not viewed as securing any person’s salvation, but merely making salvation possible between God and sinful man.

To download the book click here. (Pdf only)

Prevenient Grace and Semi-Pelagianism Pt 8

Conclusion

The Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace is fraught with serious problems. It has a deficient view of human depravity allowing its view of divine grace to mitigate the effects of depravity. It does so by enabling all human beings with an ability to “seek” after God contrary to the Bible’s descriptions of corruption and spiritual inability in the natural man. Subsequently, the doctrine under-girds a deficient view of the natural human will by saying it is freed from the bondage of sin and capable of acting contrary to the unbeliever’s sin nature. It has a deficient view of regeneration by failing to recognize that apart from receiving a new nature the natural man cannot and will not believe upon Christ for salvation. Finally, the doctrine has a deficient view of God’s grace and the unmitigated power it has to transform sinners. Rather, Arminians believe divine grace can and must be resisted placing the final determining power for salvation in the hands of the man who wills not the God who has mercy upon spiritually impotent and recalcitrant creatures. The natural man is depraved, his will enslaved by an unregenerate nature and incapable of exercising faith in Christ apart from the monergistic transforming irresistible grace of God. These conclusions place the Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace under the essential rubric of semi-Pelagianism under which it is difficult for it to escape.

Scott Christensen-Prevenient Grace and Semi-Pelagianism