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Featured Grace of Reformed Theology/R.C. Sproul

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Quantrill, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    This thread is a response to post #(143) by @SavedByGrace in the 'Could Christ have sinned' thread. I had stated that I had observed that those who hold to Christ being able to sin are more likely to hold to grace/works salvation. And, those who hold that Christ could not have sinned are more likely to hold to grace only salvation. SavedByGrace presented R.C. Sproul as an example of one who holds to Christ being able to sin, but who also holds to grace only salvation, and not grace/works.

    I have not read much on Sproul and his doctrine, but I do see he is Reformed in his doctrine. Therefore I assume he must hold to the Reformed understanding of Grace. Now, just because the term 'grace' is used, doesn't mean all are talking about the same thing. You can see it with the Roman Catholic's understanding of grace. They call it grace, but it isn't the grace that Protestants recognize.

    It's my opinion that the grace of Reformed theology is the same. By that I don't mean it is exactly as Roman Catholic's understanding of grace. I mean, though it uses the term 'grace', it is not always the grace I recognize or understand in the Bible. That certainly doesn't mean that everything Reformed believes about grace is wrong. Most of what they believe about grace is correct. But, there is certain leaning towards works that i am not comfortable with.

    And, understand, this will never be admitted by the Reformed believers. It is all about grace alone, they will say. But that grace alone that they preach has an air of legalism about it.

    So, to answer you, @SavedByGrace, if Sproul is Reformed in his doctrine, I do not believe he meets your example. It is like John McArthur with his radio program, 'Grace to You',. It is called 'grace' but It, in my opinion, leans toward legalism, or a grace/works theology.

    Quantrill
     
  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Seems like the OP needs to define what he means by the word, grace.
    I would ask the OP to define the word, grace, for us.
     
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  3. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    Romans 11:6 gives the Bible meaning of Grace:

    "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace"

    Simple and to the point!
     
  4. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    Indeed it is. And I'm sure all agree on the basic definitions given of 'grace'. I agree with you concerning (Romans 11:6). Another well known definition is 'unmerited favor'. I agree with that also. As I believe you would too.

    But, even though we may agree on the definition of grace, how it is viewed as worked out in the life of the believer differs and leads to a form of legalism in the Reformed camp. In my view.

    Quantrill
     
  5. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    What kind of legalism do you see regarding grace in the Reformed camp? I lean towards the Reformed view, and I believe I have the traditional view of grace that most Christians do, which @SavedByGrace shared above.
     
  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Neither of these two comments defines grace. Even Romans 11:6 does not define grace. It simply states that works salvation is not grace.

    Q, you are OP, please give your specific definition of the word "grace."
     
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  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think that he might be referring to so called Lordship salvation, but the question of Jesus could really sin comes down to me"can God sin?"
     
  8. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    Never heard of "Lordship salvation". I believe that just as Adam was created a perfect, sinless man who was able to sin, so also Jesus came as the 2nd Adam - perfect and sinless. Where the 1st Adam gave in to temptation, the 2nd Adam did not. If Jesus was not capable of sin while He was a man, He could not have served as the 2nd Adam. But I digress. Still not connecting the dot regarding grace. I probably shouldn't burn brain cells trying to figure it out - I have so few, and I need to use them sparingly.
     
  9. utilyan

    utilyan Well-Known Member
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    For Catholics. God's Grace is his Love.

    1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.46

    1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.

    1998 This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God's gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.47

    1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:48
    Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.49
    2000 Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God's call, is distinguished from actual graces which refer to God's interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.

    2001 The preparation of man for the reception of grace is already a work of grace. This latter is needed to arouse and sustain our collaboration in justification through faith, and in sanctification through charity. God brings to completion in us what he has begun, "since he who completes his work by cooperating with our will began by working so that we might will it:"50
    Indeed we also work, but we are only collaborating with God who works, for his mercy has gone before us. It has gone before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that once healed, we may be given life; it goes before us so that we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified; it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows us so that we may always live with God: for without him we can do nothing.51
    2002 God's free initiative demands man's free response, for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. The promises of "eternal life" respond, beyond all hope, to this desire:



    If at the end of your very good works . . ., you rested on the seventh day, it was to foretell by the voice of your book that at the end of our works, which are indeed "very good" since you have given them to us, we shall also rest in you on the sabbath of eternal life.52
    2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning "favor," "gratuitous gift," "benefit."53 Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.54

    2004 Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:

    Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.55
    2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.56 However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"57 - reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.

    A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: "Asked if she knew that she was in God's grace, she replied: 'If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.'"58
     
  10. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    As with any legalism, it will place some emphasis on law keeping. That can be the Ten Commandments. Or it can be making a law out of New Testament obedience.

    Quantrill
     
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  11. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    I just did. I said I agree with (Rom. 11:6). And I said I agree with 'unmerited favor'. You don't like them. So, give your definition.

    Quantrill
     
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  12. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    Where is it established that because Christ could not sin, He could not serve as the Last Adam? Also, you really should call Christ the Last Adam as that is what He is. (1 Cor. 15:45-47) He was the Second Man, but the Last Adam.

    You could google pretty quickly and find out what Lordship salvation is. I disagree with it also.

    Quantrill
     
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  13. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    Technically, you are right in that the passage above refers to Christ as the "last Adam" and the "second Man", but that doesn't change anything. I believe that Christ had to be capable of sin in order to serve as the Last Adam.

    Per your suggestion, I researched Lordship salvation, and found some information on CARM.org. From what I read, the issue seems to be whether repentance is required before salvation. If that is the case, I agree with you that Lordship salvation is a false teaching.
     
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  14. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    You have not defined grace.
    Define unmerited favor for us then. It is important to understand terms so we don't talk past each other.
    You are the OP. You define the terms.
     
  15. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    The only emphasis I would place on "law keeping" is that Christians should live according to the faith they profess per James 2:14-26. This is not legalism, just a call for us to "walk our talk".
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    John MacArthur has been a big proponent of it and Im quite sure he doesnt hold to the repentance thing him being reformed
     
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  17. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    That's fine. You believe Christ had to be capable of sinning to be the Last Adam. I disagree as there is nothing to base it on.

    Quantrill
     
  18. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    I have defined grace. Unmerited favor. And I agree with (Rom. 11:6). Now you want me to define the definition.

    If you're scared to give your definition I understand. Don't worry, I may agree with it

    Quantrill
     
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  19. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

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    Always a good exhortation.

    Quantrill
     
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  20. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    What does unmerited favor mean to you?
     
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