THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT FAITH AND REPENTANCE ARE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5)
“granted repentance unto life”
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11)
Lydia, dead in sin and unable to respond to the spiritual offer of the Gospel was granted repentance. The revealed word of God demonstrates in Acts 5 that Israel was also “given” repentance. By post #10 it should be apparent that I seek to give a consistent witness to the Doctrines of Grace/Calvinism using both the Old and New Testaments. A consistent doctrine cannot be maintained by the Arminian free will tradition.
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (Acts 16)
Due to sin we are called by Christ and “believed through grace:”
And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: (Acts 18)
Look at any Greek grammar and you’ll find that “grace” and “faith” are summed up by “and that not of yourselves.” Both grace and faith are given by God.
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. (Eph 2)
We are given grace and faith on behalf of Christ and Christ alone.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Phil 1:29)
Repentance is given by God.
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Tim 2)
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLS A SINNER IT IS EFFECTUAL:
Saints are “called” by God.
Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1)
“Predestined” and “called” by God.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Ro 8)
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Ro 9)
A biblical pattern can be established, just as Paul was “called with a purpose,” so are we.
Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
Christ’s sheep hear His voice…
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1)
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (Gal 1)
The Saints are “called by his grace.” Those who are not called are not Christ’s sheep.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (1 Cor 1)
Called by God…
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:4)
Our calling is not based on something within us but “according to his own purpose.”
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (2 Tim 1:9)
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Heb 9:15)
Jude was “called.” Those who are called will believe.
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (Jude 1)
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Peter 1)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; (1 Pet 2:9)
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Pet 5)
The calling is not according to our will power as the free will proponent would have us believe but according to “divine power.”
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (2 Pet 1:3)
Those that are “called, and chosen, and faithful” will overcome in Christ Jesus. Amen.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Rev 17)
One of the errors Arminians cling to is known as “prevenient grace.” This form of grace is thought to prepare the sinner by assisting them to believe binding total libertarian free will with the scriptural idea of salvation by Christ alone through faith, but it creates other problems. The Arminian notion was predated in Romanism and stated at the Council of Trent (session 6, canon 5) as “stimulating” and “assisting” grace. This idea runs contrary to scripture, for example, we read that Lydia’s “heart was opened” (Acts 16) before she could attend unto the things Paul spoke of. The Papist and Arminian believes this is a prime example of God attempting, trying His hardest to offer the Gospel to someone by giving them a measure of “assisting” grace. The person receiving this so-called grace is given the chance to accept or reject the Gospel. Unfortunately not everyone has the chance to even hear the Gospel, let alone reject it, so any idea of God sending preparing grace is not worth debating. It’s a weak attempt to avoid a biblical conclusion. If grace is not given to all equally the free will works religion falls apart, for a mass of humanity has never had a chance to even have the Gospel preached to them. The point is inconsistent with scripture as I have shown above and throughout these posts. I only mention the idea because, I believe, predestination is still contained within the concept for God only gives “prevenient grace” to those who hear the Gospel and the Gospel is not preached to everyone everywhere. The free will notion of prevenient grace is still limited. Clearly, the experience Lydia had was foretold in Eze. 36 and was in reference to the new birth, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (see also Hebrews 8) This is regeneration by the Holy Spirit and not “assisting” grace.
Yours in the Lord,