THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE
These notes were prepared by Sergiy Kutovyy who is training at WEST and he delivered this at the 'Defence of Calvinism' conference in December 2008.
T - total depravity of man
As a consequence of the fall (Genesis 3), man is in a state of spiritual death and thus is unable naturally to appreciate or choose the things of God. Rom 3:9-11; 1 Cor 2:14; Ephes 2:1-3; 2 Tim 2:26; John 6:65.
U - unconditional election
God chose a particular people for Himself and destined them for glory. He chose them not according to their abilities or traits, but solely according to His sovereign will in grace. John 15:19; Acts 13:48; 1 Pet 2:9-10; Rom 9:10-16, 23; 11:2-5; 1 Cor 1:27-30a; Ephes 1:4-6, 11; 2 Thess 2:13.
L - limited atonement
The intention of the death of Christ was to redeem the genuine church of God, which consists of all His elect exclusively. So Jesus stood in their place, bearing the punishment and condemnation which they deserved. His blood atoned for their sins, securing their salvation once for all.
Matt 1:21b; John 10:14-15; Acts 20:28b; Ephes 5:25b; Heb 10:14; Rev 5:9.
I - irresistible grace
All God's elect are converted to Him through the ministry of His word and the inner calling of the Holy Spirit. So having been effectually drawn, they come to Christ for salvation.
John 6:37, 44; John 17:2; Acts 16:14; James 1:18; Gal 1:15; 2 Thess 2:14; 2 Tim 1:9.
P - perseverance of the saints
None whom God has accepted in Christ can either fully or finally fall from the state of grace, being faithfully preserved by His power. Still, they are exhorted to persevere in the faith, and work out their salvation, humbling themselves under the authority of Scripture, exercising the deeds of faith, and mortifying sin in body and spirit.
John 10:27-28; Rom 6:19b; 8:28-39; 1 Cor 10:12-13; Phil 1:6; 2:12-13; Col 2:8; 3:5; Jude 24.
"I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross." Charles H. Spurgeon
"I will go as far as Martin Luther, where he says, "If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly." Charles H. Spurgeon
"All the passages in the Holy Scriptures that mention assistance are they that do away with "free-will", and these are countless... For grace is needed, and the help of grace is given, because "free-will" can do nothing." Martin Luther
"Let all the 'free-will' in the world do all it can with all its strength; it will never give rise to a single instance of ability to avoid being hardened if God does not give the Spirit, or of meriting mercy if it is left to its own strength." Martin Luther
"Rebellion against divine election is often founded on the idea that the sinner has a sort of right to be saved, and this is to deny the full desert of sin." Charles H. Spurgeon
"You must first deny the authenticity and full inspiration of the Holy Scripture before you can legitimately and truly deny election." Charles H. Spurgeon
"A redemption which pays a price, but does not ensure that which is purchased - a redemption which calls Christ a substitute for the sinner, but yet which allows the person to suffer - is altogether unworthy of our apprehensions of Almighty God. It offers no homage to his wisdom, and does despite to his covenant faithfulness. We could not and would not receive such a travesty of divine truth as that would be. There is no ground for any comfort whatever in it." Charles H. Spurgeon
"I would rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of men be added to it." Charles H. Spurgeon
"If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in Hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins... That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Savior died for men who were or are in Hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain." Charles H. Spurgeon
"We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question - Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if"- and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement - Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you... We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it." Charles H. Spurgeon
"When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul - when they were as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron; and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all of a sudden from a babe into a man - that I had made progress in scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God ... I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, I ascribe my change wholly to God." Charles H. Spurgeon
"Repentance is a part of salvation, and when Christ saves us, he saves us by making us repent. But repentance does not save. It is the work of God alone." Charles H. Spurgeon
A genuine desire for salvation in Christ is in fact a mark of election, and therefore none who truly come to Him will be turned away.
"I believe that Christ came into the world not to put men into a salvable state, but into a saved state. Not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and for them, from first to last. If I did not believe that there was might going forth with the word of Jesus which makes men willing, and which turns them from the error of their ways by the mighty, overwhelming, constraining force of divine influence, I should cease to glory in the cross of Christ." Charles H. Spurgeon
"I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will." Charles H. Spurgeon
Rom 8:30. "Not others, therefore, but those whom He predestinated, them He also called; nor others, but those whom He so called, them He also justified; nor others, but those whom He predestinated, called, and justified, them He also glorified; assuredly to that end which has no end. Therefore God elected believers; but He chose them that they might be so, not because they were already so." St. Augustine, A Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints, Ch. 34
"It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are truly and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make my pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me . . . Taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God's own church." Charles H. Spurgeon