There’s a lot of talk these days about Calvinism and Arminianism. Both grew from the hearts of well-meaning Christians trying to define who they are doctrinally yet both identifying themselves as something other than what Scripture calls believers.
So, I’ll just go ahead and state my own position. I’m neither an Arminianist nor a Calvinist. But I am a born again child of God who is in Christ. I am a daughter of the King. I am a saved, redeemed, forgiven, and justified saint.
The question is not, which camp do we belong to or how we title ourselves as believers… the question should be, “As children of the Most High God who want to live a life that honors the Lord and follow the principles and precepts of Scripture… which doctrinal stance is more biblical?”
Below is a very simplistic chart that provides the basic beliefs of the two.
|1. Depravity yet Free Will|
2. Conditional Election
3. Universal Redemption
4. Resistible Grace
5. Falling from Grace
|1. Total Depravity|
2. Unconditional Election
3. Limited Atonement
4. Irresistible Grace
5. Perseverance of the Saints
To choose one set of beliefs or the other would mean a person would have to disregard or misinterpret many other Scriptures in order to try to validate what they believe.
But we don’t get to pick-and-choose which Scriptures we want to cling to and which ones we don’t believe. God’s Word is God’s Word… the whole of it!
Probably one of the most debated of the beliefs is whether God chooses some for salvation and others for eternal damnation. So, in today’s post, I’ll share Scripture that I hope will shine some biblical light on what God’s Word says rather than what man says.
* Biblically, no one can come to Christ unless God draws them (John 6:44).
* God is the Author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
* He initiates salvation by drawing people to Himself. He also gives us the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8-9)
* And His goodness is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4)
* And since it’s not His will for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)
* And He gave His only begotten so that whoever believes in Him would be saved (John 3:16)
* And God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), so it would be against His character & His Word to pick and choose some for salvation and some for eternal damnation
* And since we know that those who reject Christ are judged for rejecting the only Son of God because they love darkness rather than light (John 12:48) (John 3:19)
* And we know that God gives everyone enough light to be saved and as many as receive Him, to them He gives the right to be children of God – to those who believe in His name (John 1:9-12)
* And even in Revelation, God even gave Jezebel room to repent but she didn’t (Revelation 2:21)
* So, it is God who draws us, gives us the faith to believe, and gives us the gift of repentance, but we must receive what He offers… we must say “yes” to the gift of salvation… we must be willing to have Him reign as Lord of our lives. (Romans 10:9-13)
* And God seals those who willingly receive Him and His gift of salvation by giving us the Holy Spirit, who is the earnest of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14)
It’s the whole gift analogy. If I offer you a gift that I bought and paid for and I knock on your door, hand it out to you, and tell you it’s yours, you have to be willing to reach out and take it. If not, I’ve done everything I could to buy it, wrap it, and give it to you. I even brought it to your house.
If you reject it, then it’s not yours. But if you receive it, it’s yours to keep.
God brings us to the place of salvation – He draws us unto Himself… and He gives us everything we need to be saved (the faith and repentance necessary for salvation), but He won’t drag us across the line of faith if we choose to reject Him and His offer of salvation.
If humans had no choice (free will… whatever you want to call it) to be saved then they would have the best excuse ever… they would be able to say God didn’t choose them.
God is Sovereign, yes. But in His sovereignty, He has given us a choice.
He doesn’t make people puppets. His character, based on Scripture, assures us that He doesn’t choose some for heaven and some for hell. That’s why He tells us we are all without excuse.
He has done everything necessary for all to be saved and for all of us to be one in Christ. Not to be divided but to be united.
So, the question should never are you a Calvinist or Arminianist? The question is, have you truly ever been born again? Have you received Christ and been sealed with the Holy Spirit as your guarantee? Do you know that you know that you are a child of God?
If not, don’t let the sun go down without calling upon Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. It’s why He came to this planet in the first place… so that all who will believe in Him would be saved and enjoy, not only eternal life, but an abundant life filled with an amazing, relentless, passionate, and eternal relationship with the Lord.