Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, April 19, 2013

Question 5: A Short Catechism for Young Churchmen, Chiefly on the Thirty-nine Articles

Q. (5) Why did the Son of God become man, and suffer on the Cross?

A. The Son of God became man, and suffered in order “to reconcile His Father to us, and be a sacrifice for all the sins of men.”— (Art. II; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 9:26; 1 John 2:2.) 

Please note that this question does not say that Jesus died for all the sins of every single individual who has ever lived, including the reprobates and those already in hell at the time of His sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus died for sinful mankind, not for the reprobates among them.  God never desires the salvation of the reprobate, for if He did then no one would be reprobate and hell would be empty.  God has prepared hell for those vessels of destruction which He has predetermined before creation.  (Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:22; Matthew 25:41).

Calvin's commentary on 1 John 2:2 is enlightening here:
2. And not for ours only. He added this for the sake of amplifying, in order that the faithful might be assured that the expiation made by Christ, extends to all who by faith embrace the gospel.

Here a question may be raised, how have the sins of the whole world been expiated? I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretense extend salvation to all the reprobate, and therefore to Satan himself. Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. They who seek to avoid this absurdity, have said that Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect. This solution has commonly prevailed in the schools. Though then I allow that what has been said is true, yet I deny that it is suitable to this passage; for the design of John was no other than to make this benefit common to the whole Church. Then under the word all or whole, he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world. For then is really made evident, as it is meet, the grace of Christ, when it is declared to be the only true salvation of the world.  [Calvin's Commentary on 1 John 2:2].

This commentary demolishes the neo-Calvinist doctrine of common grace as well.  God never intends to extend salvation to the reprobate whatsoever.  Calvin says, "Such a monstrous thing deserves no" response or "refutation".  When the Bible speaks of the sins of the whole world that means the elect, not the reprobate.  Although there is a general call to salvation given to all sinful men, that call is not an expression of God's desire to save the reprobate but only God's desire to save "sinful men".  (Matthew 22:14). 

God knows the elect will be saved and the reprobate will be lost and He knows them all by name.  (John 10:3, 25-27; Romans 9:11-13).  Although we do not know who is elect and who is reprobate, God does.  So those who interpret verses like 2 Peter 3:9 to mean that God desires to save those whom He has determined to reprobation are basically introducing contradictions into the Bible that are not logically justifiable.  Scripture contains no contradictions or errors.  A paradox that has no solution is for all practical purposes still a contradiction.  (1 Peter 2:8).

The doctrine of common grace is irrational, illogical, and unbiblical.  Calvin's Calvinism is another source to refute the doctrine of common grace:

But since, at the present day, certain maddened and exulting spirits strive, after the example of Pighius, with all their might, to destroy all that is contained in the Scriptures, concerning the free election of the godly, and the eternal judgment of the reprobate; I have considered it my duty to prevent this contagion from spreading farther, by collecting and summarily refuting, those frivolous objections, by which such men delude themselves and others.

Calvin, John (2011-11-24). Calvin's Calvinism:  A Treatise on the Eternal Predestination of God.  Translated by Henry Cole. (Kindle Locations 248-251).  . Kindle Edition.
He continues:

I propose, now, to enter into the sacred battle with Pighius, and George, the Sicilian; a pair of unclean beasts (Lev. 11: 3), by no means badly matched. For though I confess that in some things they differ: yet, in hatching enormities of error, in adulterating the Scripture with wicked and revelling audacity, in a proud contempt of the truth, in forward impudence, and in brazen loquacity, the most perfect likeness and sameness will be found to exist between them. Except that, Pighius, by inflating the muddy bombast of his magniloquence, carries himself with greater boast and pomp; while the other fellow, borrows the boots, by which he elevates himself, from his invented revelation. And though both of them, at their commencement, agree in their attempt to overthrow predestination; yet, they afterwards differ in the figments which they advance. An invention of them both is, that it lies in each one's own liberty, whether he will become a partaker of the grace of adoption or not:   and that it does not depend on the counsel and decree of God, who are elect, and who are reprobate; but that each one determines for himself the one state or the other, by his own will; and with respect to the fact, that some believe the Gospel, while others remain in unbelief; --that this difference does not arise, from the free election of God, nor from His secret counsel, but from the will of each individual.

Now Pighius explains his mind on the great matter before us thus: --that God, by His immutable counsel, created all men to salvation without distinction:  but that, as He foresaw the Fall of Adam; in order that His election might nevertheless remain firm and unaltered, He applied a remedy, which might, therefore, be common to all; which remedy was His confirmation of the election of the whole human race, in Christ; so that no one can perish but he who, by his own obstinacy, blots his name out of the book of life. And his view of the other side of the great question is, that, as God foresaw that some would determinately remain unto the last, in malice and a contempt of Divine grace, He by His foreknowledge, reprobated such, unless they should repent. This, with him, is the origin of reprobation:   by which he makes it out, that the wicked deprive themselves of the benefit of universal election, irrespectively and independently of the counsel and will of God altogether. And he moreover declares, that all those who hold and teach, that certain persons are positively and absolutely chosen to salvation, while others are as absolutely appointed to destruction, think unworthily of God;   and impute to Him a severity, utterly foreign to His justice and His goodness. And our human reasoner here condemns the sentiments of Augustine; mentioning him by name.

Calvin, John (2011-11-24). Calvin's Calvinism:  A Treatise on the Eternal Predestination of God.  Translated by Henry Cole. (Kindle Locations 263-282).  . Kindle Edition.
Obviously, for the neo-Calvinists, Van Tilians, and Kuyperians to assert "common grace" and the "free offer" as an expression of God's having an unrequited "desire" to save the reprobate, whom He has determined not to save, is not a paradox.  It is an outright contradiction.  In fact, these dissimulators make no effort to solve the "apparent" paradox because for them it is a genuine contradiction with no solution.  That is because they really do not believe the Scriptures or the Westminster Standards.  Nor do they believe even the more succinct expression of double predestination in Article XVII of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.

May God grant us all the grace to believe the systematic teaching of Scripture and all the propositions of Scripture,


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