The Christ of Arminianism

(First posted on Feileadh Mor 6 years ago.)

The Christ of Arminianism

Rev. Steven Houck

1. The Christ of Arminianism – loves every individual person in the world and sincerely desires their salvation.

The Christ of the Bible – earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen to salvation. (Ps. 5:5, Ps. 7:11, Ps. 11:5, Matt. 11:27, John 17:9-10, Acts 2:47, Acts 13:48, Rom. 9:10-13, Rom. 9:21-24, Eph. 1:3-4)

2. The Christ of Arminianism – offers salvation to every sinner and does all in his power to bring them to salvation. His offer and work are often frustrated, for many refuse to come.

The Christ of the Bible – effectually calls to Himself only the elect and sovereignly brings them to salvation. Not one of them will be lost. (Isa. 55:11, John 5:21, John 6:37-40, John 10:25-30, John 17:2, Phil. 2:13)
3. The Christ of Arminianism – can not regenerate and save a sinner who does not first choose Christ with his own “free will.” All men have a “free will” by which they can either accept or reject Christ. That “free will” may not be violated by Christ.

The Christ of the Bible – sovereignly regenerates the elect sinner apart from his choice, for without regeneration the spiritually dead sinner can not choose Christ. Faith is not man’s contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration. (John 3:3, John 6:44 & 65, John 15:16, Acts 11:18, Rom. 9:16, Eph. 2:1,Eph. 2:8-10, Phil. 1:29, Hebr. 12:2)

4. The Christ of Arminianism – died on the cross for every individual person and thereby made it possible for every person to be saved. His death, apart from the choice of man, was not able to actually save anyone for many for whom he died are lost.

The Christ of the Bible – died for only God’s elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died. His death was a substitutionary satisfaction which actually took away the guilt of His chosen people. (Luke 19:10, John 10:14-15 & 26, Acts 20:28, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 5:25, Hebr. 9:12, I Peter 3:18)
5. The Christ of Arminianism – loses many whom he has “saved” because they do not continue in faith. Even if he does give them “eternal security,” as some say, that security is not based upon his will or work but the choice which the sinner made when he accepted Christ.

The Christ of the Bible – preserves His chosen people so that they can not lose their salvation but persevere in the faith to the very end. He preserves them by the sovereign electing will of God, the power of His death, and the mighty working of His Spirit. (John 5:24, John 10:26-29, Rom. 8:29-30, Rom. 8:35-39, I Peter 1:2-5, Jude 24-25)

As you can see, although the Christ of Arminianism and the Christ of the Bible may at first seem to be the same, they are very different. One is a false Christ. The other is the true Christ. One is weak and helpless. He bows before the sovereign “free will” of man. The other is the reigning Lord Who wills what He pleases and sovereignly accomplishes all that He wills.

If you believe and serve the Christ of Arminianism, you must recognize the fact that you do not serve the Christ of the Bible. You have been deceived! Study the Scriptures and learn of the True Christ. Pray for grace to repent and trust Christ as your sovereign Savior.

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The Mystery of Godliness

John Gill’s comments on 1 Timothy 3.16 help to drive home the mystery of the incarnation, of Christ’s holiness and the power of the Gospel to save wretched sinners.

the mystery of godliness,

What follows is so, the incarnation of Christ, his birth of a virgin, the union of the two natures, divine and human, in his person; this is a mystery, which though revealed, and so to be believed, is not to be discerned nor accounted for, nor the modus of it to be comprehended by reason: and it is a great one, next, if not equal, to the doctrine of a trinity of persons in the divine essence; and is a mystery of godliness, which tends to encourage internal and external religion, powerful and practical godliness in all the parts prayerholyand branches of it; and is so beyond all dispute and doubt.

God was manifest in the flesh;

not God essentially considered, or Deity in the abstract, but personally; and not the first nor the third Person; for of neither of them can this or the following things be said; but the second Person, the Word, or Son of God; see ( 1 John 3:8 ) who existed as a divine Person, and as a distinct one from the Father and Spirit, before his incarnation; and which is a proof of his true and proper deity: the Son of God in his divine nature is equally invisible as the Father, but became manifest by the assumption of human nature in a corporeal way, so as to be seen, heard, and felt: and by “flesh” is meant, not that part of the body only, which bears that name, nor the whole body only, but the whole human nature, consisting of a true body and a reasonable soul; so called, partly to denote the frailty of it, and to show that it was not a person, but a nature, Christ assumed; and the clause is added, not so much to distinguish this manifestation of Christ from a spiritual manifestation of him to his people, as in distinction from all other manifestations of him in the Old Testament, in an human form for a time, and in the cloud, both in the tabernacle and temple. This clause is a very apt and full interpretation of the word “Moriah”, the name of the mount in which Jehovah would manifest himself, and be seen, ( Genesis 22:2 Genesis 22:14 ) .

Justified in the Spirit;

either by the Spirit of God, making his human nature pure and holy, and preserving it from original sin and taint; and by descending on him at his baptism, thereby testifying that he was the Son of God; and by the miracles wrought by his power, which proved Jesus to be the Messiah against those that rejected him; and by his coming down upon the apostles at Pentecost; and who in their ministry vindicated him from all the aspersions cast upon him: or else it is to be understood of the divine nature of Christ, in distinction from his flesh or human nature; in the one he was manifest and put to death for the sins of his people, which were put upon him, and bore by him; and by the other he was quickened and declared to be the Son of God; and being raised from the dead, he was justified and acquitted from all the sins of his people, and they were justified in him; he having made full satisfaction to justice for them.

Seen of angels;

meaning not ministers of the Gospel, and pastors of churches, who are sometimes so called; but the blessed spirits, the inhabitants of heaven: by these he was seen at his birth, who then descended and sung praise to God on that account; and in the wilderness, after he had been tempted by Satan, when they ministered unto him; and in the garden upon his agony and sweat there, when one appeared and strengthened him; and at his resurrection from the dead, who rolled away the stone from the sepulchre, and told the women he was risen from the dead; as also at his ascension to heaven, when they attended him thither in triumph; and now in heaven, where they wait upon him, and worship him, and are ministering spirits, sent forth by him to do his pleasure; and he is seen by them the ministry of the Gospel; into the truths of which they look with pleasure, and gaze upon with unutterable delight and admiration; especially those which respect the person and offices of Christ. Some copies read, “seen of men”, but that is implied in the first clause:

preached unto the Gentiles;

the worst of men, and that by the express orders of Christ himself; and which was foretold in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and yet was a mystery, hid from ages and generations past:

believed on in the world;

among the Jews, and in the nations of the world, so that he was preached with success; and faith in Christ is the end of preaching; though this is not of a man’s self, but is the gift of God, and the operation of his power: and it was a marvellous thing, considering the reproach and ignominy Christ lay under, through the scandal of the cross, that he should be believed on as he was. This can be ascribed to nothing else but to the power of God, which went along with the ministry of the word.

Received up into glory;

he was raised from the dead, and had a glory put upon his risen body; he ascended in a glorious manner to heaven, in a cloud, and in chariots of angels, and was received there with a welcome by his Father; and is set down at his right hand, and crowned with glory and honour, and glorified with the glory he had with him before the world was.

The Lord’s Supper

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is preached through the sacraments or ordinances as well as the preaching of the word. Grace is conveyed in the same manner in baptism and the Lord’s Supper as it is conveyed in the preaching of the word of God. Not in the means (like Calvin) or the work performed (Roman Catholic), they convey the Gospel just like preaching of the word conveys the Gospel.

1689leatherFrom the London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689:

“…for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him…” 30.1

“…Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed…”

“…spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers…” 30.7

This is what, if I’m not mistaken, Bullinger taught and has been largely forgotten.

A Baptist Catechism:

Q. 95. What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are His ordinances, especially the Word, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation. (Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; 1 Cor. 3:5; Acts 14:1; 2:41,42)

Q. 98. How do Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them or in him that administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them. (1 Peter 3:21; 1 Cor. 3:6,7; 1 Cor. 12:13)

Q. 107. What is the Lord’s Supper?

A. The Lord’s Supper is a holy ordinance, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, His death is showed forth, and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of His body and blood, with all His benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace. (1 Cor. 11:23-26; 10:16)

Q. 108. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?

A. It is required of them that would worthily (that is, suitably) partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves, of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body; of their faith to feed upon Him; of their repentance, love, and new obedience: lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves. (1 Cor. 11:27-31; 1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 13:5)

May the Lord bless you as you feed, spiritually, upon Him.

jm

The Life of Religion

heartCommunion with Jesus is the life of religion, and indeed without it religion is but an empty name. If without him we can do nothing; if he is our life, our risen covenant Head, our Advocate with the Father, our Husband, our Friend, our Brother, how are we to draw sap out of his fullness, as the branch from the vine, or to know him personally and experimentally in any one of his endearing relationships, unless by continual communion with him on his throne of grace?

In fact, this is the grand distinguishing point between the living and the dead, between the true child of God and the mere professor, that the one has real union and communion with a risen Jesus and the other is satisfied with a form of godliness. Every quickened soul is made to feel after the power of God, after communion from above, after pardon and peace, after visitations of mercy and grace; and when he has had a view of Christ by faith, and some revelation of his Person and work, grace and glory, nothing afterwards can ever really satisfy him but that inward communion of spirit with Jesus whereby the Lord and he become one; “for he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” 1Co 6:17 – J. C. Philpot

Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 11)

 THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT SALVATION IS GIVEN BY OUR SOVEREIGN GOD:

Whatever God commands, wills and ordains will be accomplished. If God seeks to save that which was lost, have faith, He will save them.

So shall my word be that  goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it  shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing  whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11)

The Arminian free will tradition teaches that we are to “get saved” by conceding to the truth of the Gospel which leads to our spiritual regeneration. This is often called “decisional regeneration,” where the creatures faith acts as the key ingredient to kick start our salvation. Salvation is given through Jesus Christ alone, based on the love of God and His mercy toward us, and not gained through our actions. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (Joh 3:27)

The modern Evangelical tradition supporting free will believes that Christ desperately wants to save all of humanity but is not able to do so because of libertarian free will. Christ was sent to “seek and save that which was lost” and will accomplish what He sets out to do for He has “power over all flesh” and will give freely to “as many as” God the Father “hast given him.”

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (John 17:2)

Salvation is freely given and not based on the will of man.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Rom 9:16)

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (1 Cor 3:6-7)

It is God who makes the difference.

For  who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou  didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as  if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor 4)

Even our good works after spiritual regeneration find their beginning in God.

Wherefore,  my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but  now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and  trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil 2:12-13)

We are born again, begat by the word of truth, it is given to us and not gained by our actions.

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (Jam 1:18)

We have an understanding of spiritual things because it was “given” to us.

And  we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an  understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that  is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and  eternal life. (1 Joh 5:20)

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 9)

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT GIVEN TO ALL: 

We fail to recognize the sinfulness of sin if we believe the Gospel is discerned in the flesh and therefore something we can believe in on our own. The Bible teaches us that sin kills, we are dead in sin, can do nothing to be saved and that the Gospel is hidden from us until revealed to us by God.

At  that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of  heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and  prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All  things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son,  but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he  to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matt 11:25-27)

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He  answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the  mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. (Matt 13:10-11, 16)

The Arminian free will tradition gives too much credit to man in the flesh. “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it…”

The truth of the Gospel is revealed to us.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And  Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for  flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is  in heaven. (Matt16)

And  he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of  God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and  hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)

In  that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father,  Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise  and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so  it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10:21)

The Holy Spirit draws sinners to Christ for salvation.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6)

The biblical quotations above demonstrates how the Holy Spirit gives us hearing, learning and an explanation of the parables. Now we read how “every man” “that hath heard” will be “raised” up for salvation.

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It  is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh  unto me. (John 6)

The Bible teaches that only those given the ability by the Holy Spirit will come to faith in Christ.

But  there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the  beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (John 6)

God calls His people, not everyone to believe.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.  (John 10:3-6)

Speaking to national Israel Christ tells them He has other sheep, Gentile sheep, that He will call. God’s calling under the new covenant of grace is not based along ethnic lines.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear  my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10)

You cannot believe unless you are one of Christ’s sheep.

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10)

The Gospel is spiritual. That is why you must be called to believe in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that is the only way to discern the Gospel.

But  the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they  are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are  spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2)

Yours in the Lord,

jm