Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Recently, I have been involved in a quasi-debate with a Christian brother over Calvin's T.U.L.I.P., and I have found that our views are not that far apart. We do agree that Natural Revelation (that which may be known of God from our universe - Rom. 1:18-21), and Supernatural Revelation (the Bible - Rom. 10:8-18) are necessary for salvation to occur.  And, we both agree that because it is the will of God that a man be saved, and not the will of a lost individual (Jn. 1:11-13; 3:3-8), salvation requires both God's mercy and His grace.  Where we differ is, he believes man cannot reject salvation (Irresistible Grace), while I believe the Word clearly teaches that a man has the responsibility to accept God's offer.  That can be seen in John 1:11-12; 3:18; Rom. 1:21; etc.

This morning, while looking at the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, I came across this statement (#35), which may help to reconcile both of our views:  "Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God.  But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with Him (be born again as a child of God), God willed both to reveal Himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. So the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason."

The Word says that the Jews required a sign, and the Gentiles require wisdom to believe (1 Cor. 1:22), so God provided many signs through His Son (Acts 2:22), and He provided the Gentiles with a reasonable explanation of the Gospel through the Apostle Paul (Rom. 1:1 - 2:16).  Also, Matthew 13:54 says, "And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

It is true that, while knowing about God is possible, knowing Him as our Father requires God to give us His grace so that we might have faith in Christ.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says:  "For 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."  The Father draws man (Jn. 6:44), the Son died for man (Jn. 3:13-18), and the Spirit convinces man of the truth of the Gospel (Jn. 16:13); what we do with "God's tug," with the sign of Christ's Resurrection, and the Spirit's revelation of the truth to us, is up to us; we are free to either trust Him or reject Him.  That point is clear from the reaction of majority of the Jews to Jesus, and the reaction of the majority of the Gentiles to the Gospel.

He has "opened the door"; it is up to you to enter in!    

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