Free Grace 17

Nothing in man doth precede or prevent the grace of God. The light and beams of grace do dispel the clouds of our sins. Not for our sakes, but for his Name’s sake he covereth our sins. It is God’s prerogative to free us from sin by grace, and to remove them far from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” {Ps.103:12} He only can remove sin against whom it is committed. He only can cast sin into the depths of the sea, who hath an ocean of grace in himself, in which he swalloweth them up. John Simpson {Perfection of Justification, 1648} Obtained from Supralapsarian.com

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

There is a huge difference between the one who preaches free-grace and the one who preaches faith alone in the modern way and sense. The way of faith alone focuses on the sinner and the need of the sinner to have faith, so the Arminian and the Calvinist (in name) can use the same type of preaching and say they have the same Gospel. Perhaps they do, but that is not the same Gospel as the Gospel of free-grace alone. The Gospel of free-grace focuses on the need of the sinner in light of the glory of God, but its real focus is on the God who alone can give a new heart which is a believing heart. The modern focus is on faith and the need of faith, yet the older way focuses on God and His ability to give the faith that is needed. The modern way is really just another man-centered method while the old way is the God-centered Gospel of free-grace. The modern way puts the focus on man and so man focuses on himself to come up with the faith that is needed, the older way focuses on God because He alone can save sinners and He alone can give a new heart. The differences, once again, are huge.

Some people don’t seem to see the huge differences between these two views. One could argue that they are simply blinded by the same language and cannot see beyond the words. On the other hand, it can also be argued that the real issue is the disagreement over the underlying theology. The Arminian is comfortable using words like “faith” and “grace” as long as they are used in a certain way, and for some reason modern Calvinists are comfortable using the same words in much the same way. When a person stresses the sovereignty of God and free-grace, however, the Arminian and the modern Calvinists will stand together against what they perceive as hyper-Calvinism. Without denying that there is such a thing as hyper-Calvinism, it is interesting that the Reformers, the Puritans, and many of the older Baptist writers were quite opposed to Arminianism and would not stand with them in their use of the words “faith” and “grace.” In the older days there were many volumes written specifically against the Arminian teaching. Perhaps, then, we should begin to wonder if modern Arminians and modern Calvinists are really standing together against old Calvinism or against the biblical teaching of free-grace.

Martin Luther wrote that unless a man had been humbled enough to where he denied his own free-will he was not ready to be saved. I would argue that when Luther wrote that a man is saved by grace alone through faith alone he was arguing for free-grace alone. When Luther argued that for grace to be grace it must be sovereign grace, he was arguing for free-grace. When Luther argued for justification by faith alone, he was arguing for free-grace alone. Words are important and even vital, so we must argue for the meaning of words and the concepts behind words in order to use words properly and to be sure we are communicating properly. I would argue that the words or term “faith alone” are being used differently than Luther used them and in fact are being used to set forth heresy in our day. I would also argue the same for “grace alone” as well. Words that were used to set out orthodoxy are being used in our day to set out heresy. We must get to the meanings of concepts that the words either use or even hide.

We must never think of faith as anything less than what God can work in the soul of man and He will only do that by grace. We must never think of grace as anything less than what God sovereignly and freely gives to man apart from anything man can be or do. Our theology and the Gospel that we preach must never contradict or go against the true meaning of faith and grace, but instead our theology and the Gospel we preach must flow in accordance with the true meaning of faith and grace because only then will they be in accordance with the truth of who God is. The Gospel is never contingent upon the response of man, but instead man’s response is always contingent upon God and His glorious grace. The glorious doctrine of God’s sovereign and free-grace will always oppose and militate against any doctrine that makes anything contingent upon man and his response. Men must learn to look to God alone for faith instead of self. Men must learn to look to God for believing hearts that they may believe. Despite using the same words, modern Calvinists (not all, but most) have joined with Arminians against free-grace. Regardless of what language is used, even when the language is biblical, when the content and meaning of what they are saying is not biblical, they are in great error.

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