What is the Gospel? : Track #12

A Series of Studies on the foundational Doctrines of the Gospel

Part IV He made us Alive (Ephesians 2:4)

IV.2 True Conversion

Romans 8:28-31 - “The Golden Chain of Salvation”: Election, redemption, calling, justification, sanctification, glorification - and all described as actions He did!

What is our part? Faith - but we are saved “through” faith, not “by” faith. Grace is the effective agent; faith is merely the channel through which it flows.

1. Faith: a Gift and a Duty?

a) The ambiguity

“How can God hold us accountable for that which only he can give?”

b) The alternative

Any rejection of the Gospel of Grace leaves us in a place where salvation stands or falls ultimately on man’s choices: “All unregenerate men have, by virtue of their free will, a power of resisting the Holy Spirit, of rejecting the offered grace of God, of refusing the gospel of grace...” Arminius

c) The answer

Man’s freedom is real even if it is not supreme, limitless or a primary cause: “Give us, O Lord, what you command, and command us what you will.” St. Augustine.

2. Faith: A Gift

a) Needed because of depravity

b) Provided because of grace

“It is certain that when we do anything, we do it; but it is God that causes us to do it.” St. Augustine

3. Faith: A Duty

Faith is essentially a matter of trust, not of will. Arminianism sees faith as volitional, making a decision. But faith is not something we will to do; it is trusting what we now see he has done.

“I found out that I could not be saved by good works for two very important reasons: first, I had not got any, and secondly, if I had any, they could not save me.” C.H.Spurgeon: The Early Years

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.
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