FIFTH PETAL OF CALVINISM: PROOF OF ELECTION

By Dr Dave Reese

Centuries of discussion over what John Calvin taught or did not teach is a wonder to behold. Any attempt to defend or disprove John Calvin is a waste of time. Besides, he was a man who originated nothing; he merely took what other believers had held for centuries before him, added some ideas of his own and put it in his “Institutes”. Due to the hotbed reformation time in which he lived and the fact that printing and publishing was available to him, he put in print what others already agreed or disagreed upon, and got the credit or the blame.

The issues Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Arminius (plus scores of others) dealt with are the same everybody had to deal with after God called “the apostle to the Gentiles”, Paul. His ministry brought the relationship of Law and Grace and the difference between Israel and the Body of Christ to the test.

A consideration that is totally absent from Calvinism is that of the differences between the dispensations of Law and Grace. To my knowledge there has been no consideration by Calvin or anyone else of what effect “rightly dividing the word of truth” has upon the doctrines of election and predestination.

My study that follows takes the mainstream approach of Calvinism under examination in the light of right division and the difference Paul’s revelation of the Grace of God makes on the argument.

Those who read passages like “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) argue that a man is not eternally secure and must do certain work to be saved or remain saved.

On the other hand, passages like Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” are quoted by those who believe work by man does not save or keep you saved.

It is from there the battle of words begin. One group calls the other “Arminians” and that group calls the other “Calvinists”. Each one begins to set forth doctrines to prove their position.

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