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Calvin: "that we owe everything to God, and that we have nothing that is our own"

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by Mark Quayle, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,599
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    This is brought to mind upon reading Humble_Disciple's submission:
    God chose YOU to bear fruit...

    What the Holy Spirit does in us is something we could never do:

    We do not know what we do when we 'give him our hearts'; we are weak, silly, ignorant of the horror that sin is, ignorant of the holiness of God, emotion driven, and selfish. Our faith is not based on our choice, but on God's choice. By contrast, the Spirit of God is not swayed, is reliable and consistent, able to keep us, KNOWS what is going on, and knows (and loves) all the players intimately —it is the power of God within us. Its motivation is God's eternal will. It does not depend on us to accomplish what God has set out to do.

    We hear that the decision is not real if WE aren't the ones making it! But quite to the contrary it is ONLY IF GOD makes this decision that it can be real! Are we to suppose that God esteems our fortitude of thought and will worthy of his favor? That is not Grace. Our decision can only be a result—not an increase of his power and love.

    No matter how small our faith, if it is the work of the Holy Spirit, it is TRUE faith. It is the real thing, and cannot be undone.

    So it is that when God has begun his work in us, even before we are aware of the difference, we may not know that our first desires for holiness are his work, as are many other changes coming upon us. Though some of us have had watershed moments of change, of the heart's submission, we have no way to mark 'the moment' of regeneration, so tenderly and carefully does he work. Yet we are told that our theology shows a God that FORCES salvation, as though God is a tyrant!

    The enormous little lie of synergism, as though our work increases the value and ability of what God alone can do, is not mere 'cooperation' as they like to call it, but a negation of the power of God, not to mention a diminishing of his love for us. It makes a ruin of the Gospel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  2. Humble_Disciple

    Humble_Disciple Well-Known Member

    +359
    United States
    Protestant
    Divorced
    I think there is a difference between synergism and compatibilism. God is sovereign over salvation, and yet we are responsible for our actions.

     
  3. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,599
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    No doubt there is a difference. But 'free' will does not add to God's work. We are indeed responsible for our actions, because they are our works according to our individual will. If we do not repent, confess our sin, obey, cling to, love and pursue Christ we are none of his. What he has begun he will complete, and that by use of means, no doubt. But the Gospel is the work of God, from first to last. It is not by compatibilism that we are born again, born of the Spirit.
     
  4. Humble_Disciple

    Humble_Disciple Well-Known Member

    +359
    United States
    Protestant
    Divorced
     
  5. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,599
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    Very good. Thank you.
     
  6. Humble_Disciple

    Humble_Disciple Well-Known Member

    +359
    United States
    Protestant
    Divorced
    The joy and beauty of Calvinism is that salvation is of God’s grace from beginning to end. We didn’t initiate saving faith, and therefore we need not fear losing it:

     
  7. Humble_Disciple

    Humble_Disciple Well-Known Member

    +359
    United States
    Protestant
    Divorced
    At the same time, the Bible teaches that we are not chosen to salvation merely as an end unto itself, but also that we may be a blessing to others. (John 15:16, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Peter 1:10) John Calvin and Martin Luther believed wholeheartedly in unconditional election, which motivated them in gratitude to be of service to others.
     
  8. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,599
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    But it is more than just gratitude that motivates us; the Spirit itself, I believe, causes us to will and to do of God's good pleasure; in my opinion, monergism continues throughout life. The believer, naturally, responds to the Spirit's motions.
     
  9. Humble_Disciple

    Humble_Disciple Well-Known Member

    +359
    United States
    Protestant
    Divorced
    For sure, therefore we have nothing to boast about.
     
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