Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 1 – The Big Picture)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Calvinism’s challenge:

These verses are some of the clearest verses teaching the doctrine of Irresistible Grace. In John 6:44 Jesus makes it clear that no man in all of history can come to Jesus unless the Father personally draws him. And in verse 37 Jesus says plainly that those who have belonged to God from all eternity will most certainly come. The conclusion is inescapable; only those chosen by God will come and those chosen will most certainly come. This is irresistible grace plain and simple!
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Re-thinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 4 – Glorified)

To read the first post in this series click here.

Romans 8:28-30

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

In the last three posts we have looked at the first 5 links in the so-called Golden Chain of Salvation:

1. “Those who love God” – The passage in question is about the saints, those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1 & 27). To ignore that the “Golden Chain” starts here is to willfully ignore the Scripture.

2. “Those whom God foreknew” – God chose to make a covenant with those whom he foreknew would respond to his offer of grace (Rom. 8:28, John 16:27).

3. “He also predestined” – God predetermined what he would do for those who accepted his Son. He planned to adopt them as his children and give them the inheritance of being transformed into the glorified image of his only begotten Son (Eph. 1:5).

4. “He also called” – Though the gospel God invites all men to repent and believe in his Son. Those who respond to that invitation are given the encouraging title “the called” to show that they have been “qualified” to share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ through what he has done for them (Col. 1:12).

5. “He also justified” – Since sinners have no place being called the “children of God,” God sent Jesus to cleanse men of their sins. Through faith in his blood, God justifies all those whom he foreknew. When the book of Romans was written, those who had already believed in the gospel had already been justified by God (Rom. 5:1).
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Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 2)

(This is the second post in the series on Romans 8:28-30, for the first post click here.)

(This is a reworking of a previous post on the so-called Golden Chain of Salvation. Several things have been added and two major things have been completely reinterpreted. Many have found the original version of this post helpful so I have left it up at its original location (click here to view the original version of this post). But I have changed my position on the meaning of “foreknew” in Romans 8:29 and “glorified” in verse 30. Due to these radical changes in perspective I feel compelled to rework this post. I would just start from scratch, but many of the points I made in the original version are still applicable, particularly the points aimed at the Calvinistic errors in interpreting this passage of Scripture. For the sake of those who have read the original version I have put all new paragraphs or sections in italics.)

Romans 8:28-30

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”


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Acts 13:48 – A Calvinist Verse? (Part 3)

(This is part 3 of a series on Acts 13:48. To start at the beginning of this series click here.)

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.

In this verse Luke gives us an outline of the book of Acts. The book is not a general history of the early church, but a specific account about the spread of the gospel to the Gentile world. It starts with the gospel being publically proclaimed to a large crowd of Jews and converts to Judaism on the day of Pentecost. That day a remnant (3,000 people) of the crowd came to faith in Christ. By chapter 8 the gospel has spread into Samaria and once again the crowds are listening to, and responding to, the public proclamation of God’s word. This account is the Samaritan equivalent of what happened to the Jews in Acts 2.
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Five Questions about Predestination – #5 Why?

Question: Why was the biblical doctrine of predestination controversial in New Testament times?

Answer: Because God’s plan of salvation included all people, not just Jews.

The Calvinist concept of predestination is a controversial topic in our day. Its controversy lies in the fact that God has limited the possibility of salvation to a limited number of individuals. This of course means that those who were not predestined to eternal life have no chance of being saved. This limiting of the offer of God’s grace to a relatively few number of elect individuals, while at the same time unconditionally condemning billions of souls to damnation, causes people to reflect poorly on the character of God. For this reason, Calvinistic predestination is at the center of many heated debates in the Church, both now and in history.

One of the most famous passages used to defend Calvinistic predestination is Romans chapter 9. In that chapter the Apostle Paul is obviously in a heated debate about God’s right to choose who will be saved and how. Calvinists imagine that the Paul is arguing with people who just can’t accept the idea that God would limit his salvation to certain individuals. For them, he is defending the sovereign right of God to unconditionally choose some souls for eternal life, and leave the rest to perish in their sins. They would have him say, “God has the right to make salvation exclusive and limit it to those he chooses by his divine and unconditinal choice.”
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