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Featured Reformed Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SavedByGrace, Nov 23, 2021 at 11:28 AM.

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  1. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    There have been many false accusations made against myself here in BB, by those who claim to be “Reformed/Calvinists”, who don’t even know what their own “theology” really teaches. Because I insist, in accordance with the Bible’s clear Teachings, that both, REPENTANCE and FAITH (BEIELF), are required before any sinner can be Justified by God, and become a Child of God; it is said that I believe in a “works salvation”.

    I refer to one such baseless [accusation], that has been made, by @AustinC, in a thread, says:
    “Note: In your theology a sinner is not saved by grace alone. In your theology a sinner is saved by these legal actions, that being repentance and man made will in believing.
    In your theology the entire weight is on human will and human action.

    There is the evidence. Please own it.”
    (Did Christ Die For The Sin Of Unbelief?, #32)

    Below I have given some references from what the REFORMED Church, and its main leaders, have said:

    The Heidelberg Catechism - 1563

    Q&A 84

    Q. How does preaching the holy gospel open and close the kingdom of heaven?

    A. According to the command of Christ, The kingdom of heaven is opened by proclaiming and publicly declaring to all believers, each and every one, that, as often as they accept the gospel promise in true faith, God, because of Christ’s merit, truly forgives all their sins.

    The kingdom of heaven is closed, however, by proclaiming and publicly declaring to unbelievers and hypocrites that, as long as they do not repent, the wrath of God and eternal condemnation rest on them. God’s judgment, both in this life and in the life to come, is based on this gospel testimony.

    The Canons of Dort – 1618-1619

    Article 6: Unbelief, a Human Responsibility

    However, that many who have been called through the gospel do not repent or believe in Christ but perish in unbelief is not because the sacrifice of Christ offered on the cross is deficient or insufficient, but because they themselves are at fault.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith 1646

    Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ. By it a sinner, out of sight and sense, not only of danger, but also of filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments (The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XV, Sections I and II. Cited in A.A. Hodge, The Confession of Faith (Edinburgh: Banner, 1958), p. 210)

    John Calvin

    Even though we have taught in part how to possess Christ, and how through it we enjoy his benefits, this would still remain obscure if we did not add an explanation of the effects we feel. With good reason, the sum of the gospel is held to consist in repentance and the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31). Any discussion of faith, therefore, that omitted these two topics would be barren and mutilated and well–nigh useless…Surely no one can embrace the grace of the gospel without betaking himself from the errors of his past life into the right way, and applying his whole effort to the practice of repentance. Can true repentance stand apart from faith? Not at all. But even though they cannot be separated, they ought to be distinguished (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. Found in The Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), Volume XIX, Book III, Chapters 1, 5, pp. 592-593, 597).

    Thomas Watson

    Repentance is of such importance that there is no being saved without it…It is a great duty incumbent upon Christians solemnly to repent and turn unto GodThat religion which is not built upon this foundation must needs fall to the ground. Repentance is a grace required under the gospel. Some think it legal; but the first sermon that Christ preached, indeed, the first word of his sermon, was ‘Repent’ (Matt. 4.17). And his farewell that he left when he was going to ascend was that ‘repentance should be preached in his name’ (Luke 22.47)…Repentance is not arbitrary. It is not left to our choice whether or not we will repent, but it is an indispensable command. God has enacted a law in the High Court of heaven that no sinner shall be saved except the repenting sinner, and he will not break his own law. Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge, but what is knowledge good for without repentance? It is better to mortify one sin than to understand all mysteries. Impure speculatists do but resemble Satan transformed into an angel of light. Learning and a bad heart is like a fair face with a cancer in the breast. Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell (Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance (Edinburgh: Banner, 1987), pp. 12–13, 59, 77).

    Louis Berkhof

    There is no doubt that, logically, repentance and the knowledge of sin precedes the faith that yields to Christ in trusting love (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939), p. 492).

    John Murray

    The question has been discussed: which is prior, faith or repentance? It is an unnecessary question and the insistence that one is prior to the other is futile. There is no priority. The faith that is unto salvation is a penitent faith and the repentance that is unto life is a believing repentance…It is impossible to disentangle faith and repentance. Saving faith is permeated with repentance and repentance is permeated with faith (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), p. 113).

    [Snip]

    I rest my case!
     
    #1 SavedByGrace, Nov 23, 2021 at 11:28 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2021 at 5:00 PM
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Just for the record, I am in full agreement with you that repentance and faith precede justification.
    Where we differ is that I believe that both these graces are gifts of God. I think you will find that all the luminaries you have quoted would agree with me.
     
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  3. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    at the end of the day, our very existence on this earth, is a GIFT of God!

    I do however believe, that when God created humans, He made them with the ability of repenting and believing. This said, no sinner can, in and of themselves, ever decide to give their lives to Jesus Christ. This is impossible. Faith, says the Bible, comes from hearing of the Gospel Message being preached, and this brings "conviction" in the hears, as we see in Acts chapter 2, when those who heard Peter, were "cut to the heart". I am sure that not every single person who was so convicted, said to the Disciples, "what must we do". In this way, I will agree that Saving Faith is a "Gift" from the Lord, because it is the Lord Who sends out those to preach the Gospel for the salvation of sinners. As Paul says in Romans 2:4

    Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
     
  4. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    There is no such thing as Reformed salvation or non-Reformed salvation. There is only salvation by grace alone. Grace alone means no preceding requirements. Preceding requirements means no Grace is given, only God acting because humans met a legal requirement.
    Salvation by grace alone, therefore, means that God chooses whom he will graciously save. It means that God's choosing is the very reason that people repent and believe. Without God extending grace, not one person will ever choose to repent. God, by His grace, by no merit of our own, gives to Jesus the sheep He has chosen to redeem.
    You may harbor emotions that such a choice by God is unfair. However, if you want fairness then know that you want God to execute his fair justice upon all humanity, which means all humanity is damned to eternity in hell.
    What we see, in God's gracious choosing, is mercy abounding to sinners.

    Salvation is by grace alone.
     
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  5. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    So ALL those mentioned in the OP are wrong? You speak of me being prideful :eek:
     
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  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    No, but your comprehension of what the saints of old are saying is wrong.
    Do you imagine I don't acknowledge my pride? God knows my pride. What is amazing is that God has chosen to mercifully be gracious to me though I am a chief of sinners.
    sbg, it is precisely because God has graciously chosen to save me that I can daily repent and believe.
     
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  7. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    so you don't believe in a grace only salvation?

    Why the need to "repent" from your sins daily, if it is grace that is all that we need? As repenting is something that you DO, is this not "works" that you DO daily, so that you can make it to heavan? If, not, then what is the purpose of your "repenting", and what would happen if you did not "DO this WORK"?
     
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  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Here we seem to have focused on a blind spot in the road. Reformed Salvation = Salvation by Grace Alone. But non-Reformed Salvation = Salvation by Grace Alone Through Faith Alone.

    What boggles the mind is that more than half the posters do not see any difference.
     
  9. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    Van. Unpack that. (I have always wanted to say that). But really, explain further please.
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Post #4, I state:
    "Salvation is by grace alone."
    Did you fail to read my post?

    1 John 1:8-9
    If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

    Do you not repent? Are you sinless?
    sbg, see what Paul tells us about abusing grace.

    Romans 6:1-4
    Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

    sbg, repentance is a part of our sanctification. Yet, you demand it as a requirement before salvation. You tell us that God cannot save until we first do something, namely...repent.
    I tell you that God does do something, namely...choose to save a sinner, which causes the one who was blind but now sees, to repent. Repentance is often the very first action in our sanctification. It is something we do daily as we acknowledge what Paul also acknowledged.

    Romans 7:18-25
    And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.


     
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  11. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Is there a difference in your mind, or in God's mind, between salvation and justification?
    According to scripture we see God saves by grace. We also see the people of the promise are justified by faith.
    I believe we are, by grace, saved and by faith, justified. Salvation and justification are not one in the same, but they are both a part in the process of our glorification.
     
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  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    In scripture, salvation includes justification, but salvation is more than just justification. The result of being justified by the washing of regeneration is our being made perfect. But our salvation includes among other things, being united with Christ, eternal life, and our future bodily redemption. Not to mention the rewards we may earn through our faithful service in Christ's Reconciliation Ministry.
     
  13. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Help me out. It seems you are saying that our salvation is not secured until the moment we are glorified. I get this from your comment stating "But our salvation includes among other things, being united with Christ, eternal life, and our future bodily redemption."
    Future bodily redemption is our glorification upon entering heaven.

    From my reading of scripture, I see God's first outreach being his gracious choice to save us.
    God then gives us the gift of faith, which justifies us.
    God then begins his disciplinary process of sanctification, which causes us to repent as God peels away the scales of our sin. This work of sanctification then acts as a refiners fire making us more and more in the image of Christ until the time God glorifies us in his Son when we stand before Him in heaven.
     
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  14. Silverhair

    Silverhair Active Member

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    Austin, that is a most interesting comment you have made. You think your saved before you even believe. So that brings up the question of why do you even need faith or for that matter why do Christ Jesus even need to go to the cross to cover your sin debts. You have a very strange theology.
     
  15. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Here's how I interpret your statement.
    You think it odd that God's gracious choice to save me happened before I believed that he saved me.
    Instead, you seem to think that a person who is dead in trespasses and sins must believe that Jesus saved him, before Jesus actually saves him.

    To answer your second question.
    I don't need faith for God to graciously save me. God gives me faith, once he has saved me, so that by faith I am justified through Christ's atoning payment for my sin.
    The last statement tells you why Jesus went to the cross. He died to atone for my sin.

    It is odd that you think a human must do something before God can do anything to save them. What you believe is not grace in any way, shape or form.
     
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  16. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    It seems like high Calvinists like Owen had no problem in their own minds reconciling the fact that God actively chooses people who would be saved and it would inevitably be so. At the same time they would say that if God decrees something is absolutely necessary like faith, repentance and living a holy life that they could without any reservations claim that these things were indeed necessary for salvation. And they made it clear that these things were actually done by the person - and if not done by the person he would not be saved.

    Take faith for instance. None of them would treat it like some merit that you bring. But some of them don't seem to treat it as a gift in the same ways we do. Edwards especially. I find it confusing sometimes.
     
  17. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    you IGNORE and REJECT the Scriptures that CLEARLY teach, REPENTANCE is BEFORE a sinner can be saved, like Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:37-38, etc, by using some nonsense "covenant theology" arguments; and then you suit your theology, you now argue that repentance is part of "sanctification", but not "salvation"?

    You complain about my theology, when your own is made up as you go along!

    In the OP I quoted you from another thread, where you FALSELY accuse me, and say

    "In your theology a sinner is saved by these legal actions, that being repentance"

    So, according to your theology, the sinner does not need to repent FOR their salvation, because it is a "legal ACTION", which is a "WORK". But, after they are saved, they need to repent, and perform this "legal ACTION of WORK", so that they might make it to heaven??? Can you not see the FOOLISHNESS of what you say?
     
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  18. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    I called this thread "Reformed Salvation", for the purpose of showing those who hold this theology, like @AustinC, that their OWN teachers actually DISAGREE with their personal theology!
     
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  19. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    Reformed/Calvinistic "theology" when it comes to the Doctrine of Salvation, is VERY CONFUSING, because it is mostly man-made NONSENSE, and has ZERO Bible to back it up, except for some odd verses that have been WRESTED out of their normal intended meaning, and FORCED to say something that it does not! A good example is the PERVISION by these groups, when explaining John 3:15-18!
     
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  20. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    What complete unbiblical NONSENSE!"!! God saves a sinner BEFORE they believe???

    This is HERESY!
     
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