Article 21

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What we Believe






"The Doctrines of Grace"

In the last article for this publication I wrote of the Sovereignty of God. In this article I want to begin to cover the doctrines of grace for all who profess to believe the gospel in our time. I want to endeavor to do so from a strictly Biblical view and not from the technical arguments of historical theology or arguments founded upon the original languages of the Scriptures. I believe that we need such explanation. The attitude of many should be: "Is this truth plainly taught in the Scriptures?" rather that direct and total opposition based upon prejudice that is promoted by the pride and the ignorance of the natural man. I am not writing about denominational differences of this present day. This has nothing to do with the teachings of the natural man or his prevalent philosophies. My thoughts are directed to the "seeker" of Biblical truth concerning God and man’s relationship to Him so the question come to that which God has revealed in His Word. These truth are revealed sufficiently in the King James Version of the Bible, the version most used Bible study today. This version, essentially, in the believer’s own language, will be revealed to the understanding of each as they yield themselves to the Holy Spirit of God. He is our Teacher, with Him we cannot fail and without Him we can but be subjected to the "doctrines and the commandments of men" (1John 2:20,27). God may use teachers to enlarge our knowledge but the teaching must be from the Word of God, and by the Holy Spirit. Through this God ordained way, the sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd (John 10:4,16,27).

The doctrines of grace are set forth by the old acronym of T-U-L-I-P, referring to

Total Depravity

Unconditional election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible grace

Perseverance of the saints

This has, no doubt, been helpful in many ways, it still creates division and not understanding. It has also been mis-stated which adds to the confusion. I sometimes wonder whether it says what we mean by "the doctrines of grace."

Then you will find the divisions that are present between "the five pointers" and "the four pointers" which does nothing but add to the confusion. The "five points" often take precedence over the Word of God and doctrinal truth.

An alternate suggestion has been made that may help some. If the word GOSPEL

is used to set before us the several doctrines in proper order it is as follows:

Grace abounding, as we see in:

Omnipotent grace (implying human inability)

Sovereign grace (making such grace unconditional.)

Particular grace (making it definite and particular).

Effectual grace (requiring its invincibility).

Lasting grace (sets forth its certainty [persevering].

In today’s religious societies you may deny three or four of these truths and still be counted as orthodox. The reason that such a thing is possible is that teachers and preachers have not preach and taught these truths openly and stand firmly upon them. Soon, in one or two generations, the truth is lost to the "church go’er" and they count such preaching or teaching heresy. We face that situation today. The truth has been lost.

Christ taught these truths to His enemies and to the disciples, who at that time had little knowledge. But now we hear the cry that such teaching leads to "godless" living and causes the weak to stumble. It would seem that we are saying that we have reached that point of greater knowledge that our Lord Jesus Christ!

Truth cannot be propagated by hiding it. Where it has not been preached it ought to be! We need to publish the "glad tidings’ in whatever way, and wherever we can. There are those who would say that it only causes division and trouble. When that is the idea we should look at John 6:22-66; 8:12-59; 12:23-50.

When the apostle Paul looked forward he saw a day of apostasy coming (2Tim 3:1) when many who professed faith would not tolerate sound doctrine of any serious depth (2Tim. 4:3), the apostle admonished that young pastor to "continue... in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (Note the italicized and underline words.)

We need more doctrinal preaching, not less! We need to turn back, seriously, to the Word of God, and to turn away from the humanistic promotional type of shallow ministry which imagines itself to be "evangelistic" simply because it can boast in increasing numbers. Spiritual awakening does not take place apart from Biblical truth.

When such gospel is preached, that is, Scripturally sound doctrine that glorifies the God of heaven and diminishes the imagined glory and power of mankind there will be strong opposition. Those whose ecclesiastical kingdoms seem threatened by the preaching of such doctrine will try, desperately to protect their empires. All of this is but a repetition

of history and confirms that which I have written in this first article.

We must continue to proclaim the truth and not become discourage by our limitations. Pray God that we will not abandon our responsibilities but rather re-emphasize them to the glory of Almighty God. We are not able to count God’s seven thousand" that have not "bowed their knee to Bael" but they are yet here. (More later.) EPC.

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