Question 24: Did God leave all mankind to perish in the condition of sin and misery?

Question 24: Did God leave all mankind to perish in the condition of sin and misery?

Answer: God, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, having chosen a people to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the condition of sin and misery, and to bring them into a condition of salvation, by a Redeemer.

Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 5:21; 8:29-30; 9:11-12; 11:5-7; Acts 13:48; Jeremiah 31:33.

Comment: The term “covenant of grace” is filled with sweet and precious hope. It refers to the free decision, commitment and oath of God to employ all his omnipotence and wisdom and love to rescue and glorify his people from sin and misery. It is wholly initiated and carried through by God. It cannot fail.

It is valid for all who believe. WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME AND ENJOY THIS GRACE! And, since this “believing” and this “willing” is a work of God’s sovereign grace, those who believe and come are the elect, “chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). Thus the covenant was sealed in the heart of God before the world was.

This “covenant of grace” is the cry of victory over all the battle strife in missions. THE GRACE OF GOD WILL TRIUMPH! He is covenant-bound, oath-bound to save all those who are foreordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48)! “Jesus died for the nation (of Jews), and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:52).

The battle cry of missions is, “The Lord has other sheep that are not of this fold: He MUST (covenant-bound!!) bring them also. They WILL (sovereign grace!!) heed his voice!” John 10:16.

Source: A Baptist Catechism (Adapted by John Piper)

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2 Responses to Question 24: Did God leave all mankind to perish in the condition of sin and misery?

  1. “It is valid for all who believe. WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME AND ENJOY THIS GRACE!”

    I don’t want to pick a theological fight, but, how is this genuinely true in Calvinism? It sounds and reads nice, but it’s not genuine, is it? The only ones who “will come and enjoy this grace” are the ones whom God has pre-selected to come.

    To say that “whosoever will may come” appears all-encompassing, but is it, really? What are your thoughts?

    Billy

    Like

  2. Tom says:

    Billy,

    I believe it is genuine. Here is why. Lets start with Romans 10:5-13. It says

    Romans 10:5-13 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) (7) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (8) But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); (9) because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. (13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    So far, I think we can agree that if someone calls on the name of the Lord, they will be saved. So, we must now determine how a person calls on the name of the Lord. For this we must go to John 6.

    John 6:35-47 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (38) For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. (39) And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. (40) For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (41) So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” (42) They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (43) Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. (44) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (45) It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me– (46) not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. (47) Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

    Some who heard these things were still confused so Jesus clarified it in:

    John 6:63-65 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (64) But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) (65) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    I know these are the standard verses used by Calvinists but they are powerful. Calvinists truly believe that whoever believes will receive salvation. The difference in Calvinism is our understanding of how they come to belief. No one can believe (come to Christ) unless God draws him. God must grant the person the ability to come. That only happens after the Holy Spirit gives them life (regeneration).

    When God gives a person life, He changes their desires. A person not given life only desires the world and will not (and could not) choose to come to God. If that person were given an opportunity to come to God they would not choose God they would always choose the world. A person that has been given life will always choose God because they have an understanding of what they have been freed from and who it was that freed them.

    With this perspective it is easy to see how Calvinists genuinely believe that whoever comes will be saved. Only those who have been granted new life and drawn by the Father will want to come. Everyone else wants to remain in their sin and would not come to God even if they were given the opportunity.

    Does that answer your question? If not, I am happy to try again.

    By the way, how are things going at Seminary? Also, have you made a decision about your future in the SBC? I have been meaning to ask you but have not gotten around to it.

    Talk to you later,

    Tom

    Like

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