CONTENDING EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH [Jude 1:3]
“What the Arminian wants to do is to arouse man’s activity; what we want to do is to KILL IT ONCE FOR ALL, to show him that he is lost and ruined, and that his activities are not now at all equal to the work of conversion; that he must look upward!
THEY seek to make the man stand up; WE seek to bring him down, and make him feel that there he lies in the hand of God, and that his business is to submit himself to God, and cry aloud, “Lord, save, or we perish.” We hold that man is never so near grace as when be begins to feel that he can do nothing at all. When he says, “I can pray, I can believe, I can do this, and I can do the other,” marks of self-sufficiency and arrogance are on his brow. But when he comes to his knees and cries,—
“Oh for this no strength have I,
My strength is at thy feet to lie,”
then we think that God has blessed him, and that the work of grace is in his soul.” [C.H. Spurgeon]
“Man, according to the scriptures is DEAD in sin, Ephesians 2;1. He is spiritually and morally dead, corrupt, and depraved and CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF. Salvation is by grace, a grace that is founded in God’s eternal purpose in Election and Predestination. It is realized according to that purpose and accomplished by Christ on the cross. It is effectually applied by Christ through the Holy Spirit.
EVERY ASPECT OF SALVATION IS OF GRACE ALONE.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8. Salvation is not of the works of man, in any aspect, not in the determination of it, not in the accomplishment of it, nor in the application of it. Being born again or regenerated, being called to faith and conversion, repentance, faith, the Christian life, perseverance unto the end, and final salvation are all works of God, bought for us in Christ crucified and wrought in us by His Spirit. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10. As it is also written, “so then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy,’ Romans 9:16.
To teach that man is saved by his works, also of his willing, choice, or decision as if faith was of man, is the doctrine of salvation by works and is contrary to the word of God in Christ. It is a false gospel. Salvation is by sovereign grace alone. Jesus saves, absolutely.
THE TRUTH OF SALVATION BY GRACE MUST ALSO BE DEFENDED.
It is in defense of the truth of grace that the church of Christ also grows in its understanding. This is the history of the church. The battle to develop the truth of salvation by grace was first joined in Augustine’s defense of this truth against the humanist errors of Pelagius. It is a battle that continues to this day. The church after Augustine did not adopt the complete truth of salvation by grace, but corrupted itself by a doctrine of grace and good works. This semi-Pelagianism plagued the church until the time of the Reformation; it is the doctrine of Rome.
The Reformation restored the truth of salvation by grace alone. But it too was soon under attack, not only by Rome but from within the Reformed churches themselves. Jacob Arminius began to reintroduce the doctrine of salvation by works in another form. He did so by denying that man is truly dead in sins and teaching that faith and repentance are not works of grace but works of man’s free will. This corruption of the gospel was answered by the great Synod of Dordrecht in 1618-1619. It is the only international synod of the Protestant Reformation, and it set forth what are now called the five points of Calvinism in the Canons of Dordt.
The assault on the truth of the gospel continues to this day, not only by Rome but also by the Arminians, their poison permeating most of so-called evangelical Christianity. Sadly, most evangelical are ignorant of the fact that they have more in common today with Rome than the Reformation. Also within the Reformed church world, the heresy of Arminius is rife. To this sad truth is to be added the attempts to introduce, if not open Arminianism, then a hybrid semi-Arminian pseudo-Calvinism, as if it were historic Calvinism or the doctrines of grace. This battle has taken different forms, from assaults on the doctrine of election, to the atonement, to the doctrine of grace in the application of salvation, to corrupting the nature of preaching, and the doctrine of the covenant. This battle invariably takes the form of attempting to introduce some form of false universalism and common grace.”
[Quoted from – Covenant of Grace Church]