Monday, May 9, 2011

A Brief Outline of an Alternative to Calvinism

God created us in His image. He made us male and female -- and those two became one through love. God created us to be his holy wife and children. Adam severed his intimate relationship with God by sinning. Rather than loving God with all of his heart and his wife as himself, Adam chose self-centered sin. Death came into the world through Adam's sin and was passed on to everyone. And everyone since Adam has affirmed Adam's choice. We have all sinned. God gave us law and conscience to expose universal sin and guilt.


In the fullness of time God revealed his love by sending the sinless God/Man, Jesus, to live, die, and rise for our salvation. In Adam all die. In Christ all live. Now this Gospel is preached everywhere, since all of us are (or at least were) spiritually dead because of sin. But God's grace is drawing all of us to himself. That grace, at times, enables humans the power to freely accept or resist his offer of life. Those who God foreknew would believe and obey the Gospel He predestined to be glorified with Christ. Those who resist the grace of God will be cast into the lake of fire.

Contra T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity -- It is true that we only love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). We cannot come to him unless he draws us (John 6:44). We are totally unable to bear any acceptable fruit without God's enablement (John 15:5).

Unconditional Election
-- Election is primarily corporate. Nations and the church are elected. All of humanity is elect in Christ. Christ is especially the elect. We are elect only by placing ourselves in him by faith, participating in his life, death, burial, and resurrection. Without God's free decision to send his Son for us we could never be saved. Individual election is based on God's foreknowledge. We are also chosen to particular offices (e.g. Paul did not choose to be an Apostle). However, even that sort of election can be rejected. Jesus chose Judas, who betrayed him (John 6:70).

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Limited Atonement
-- There is unlimited power in the blood.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 ¶ Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Irresistible Grace -- Grace can be resisted. If there are indeed rebels then God's will is resisted by some.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

Luke 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Perseverance of the Saints -- The saints must remain faithful until the end.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Ezekiel 18:26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. (see also chapter 33)

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;