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Response to Calvinism Article

(as published in the Florida Baptist Witness)

by William A. Long, Jr. 

Pastor Roberts article, "Christ's Obedience Made Righteousness Available to All Affected by Adam's Disobedience," takes the path of logic, but the fallacy of his logic hinges on his understanding of the word "foreknew." He treats it as prescience, such as, what man would do. Wuest and especially Colin Brown in his Dictionary of New Testament Theology, both agree this term refers in the New Testament to "God's action toward Christ and men, and witness to his activity as planned and directed." While it includes God's omniscience, it means "to choose beforehand." That God predetermined to set His love on certain individuals to establish a relationship with them, i.e. the elect, in no way presents God as presenting something to Cain for which God made no provision.

God's Word says, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." "Hearing," as fuel to ignite faith, is given by the "rhema" or spoken Word of God. Just as God spoke the world into existence, so He can grant or speak hearing and faith into existence in those He chooses to show mercy toward. The fact is, while Cain heard the "sound" of the words God spoke, he did not hear the spiritual truth. God did not show mercy and grant repentance (Acts 11:18; 13:48). Paul writes, "Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written, God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day" (Romans 11:7-8). While the gift of Christ is available to all in the general call to salvation, it is not an effectual call accept where God shows mercy (hence, God provides Himself with a remnant). Chafer's own words, "if God so wills," is true for He does not "will" the elect to a lost estate (2 Peter 3:9). He has not elected all but all He has elected will be saved. God's Word accomplishes what He sets it to do. In one case it condemns, in another it effectually saves. It is the Sovereign work of God through His Holy Spirit to affect that purpose. It is God's choice not man's. It must be for none seek Him, understand Him or fear Him; they are all gone out of the way (Romans 3:10-23). It is "not of him that wills nor of him that runs but of God that shows mercy " (Romans 9:16). "He that hath ears to hear let him hear."

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