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Page 343

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

-Romans 8:1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

-I Peter 1:3-5

    Mrs. Miller is a Calvinist and her neighbor is an Arminian believer. One day when they were speaking together, her neighbor said to Mrs. Miller, "If I could not secure my salvation by choosing to believe and had to trust God to do it, I could never rest!"

    Mrs. Miller thought for a moment, and then replied, "If I had to trust in myself and my choices for salvation, rather than in God and His grace, I could never rest!"

    Which person was trusting in self; which was trusting in God? Which trusting ground is certain and trustworthy? Which is not? Why?

When examining the Five Points of Calvinism, it is also important to limit each point to its biblical extent; to clarify that which it does not mean.

Total depravity does not mean that fallen men are devils. Due to God's grace, there is a possibility for fallen man to be saved. He is restrained from committing various sins by God, he retains a conscience, and he exercises a certain degree of civil (outward) good and kindness toward others. Due to God's common grace, the fallen sinner is not given over totally to himself and sin as the devils are. Notice, however, that this is not due to fallen sinners being better than fallen angels; they also have a devilish heart. The difference is due to God's common grace blessings which limit the degree to which man's depravity is exercised on earth. If this were not true, societal life would not be possible. This life would be hell, and fallen sinners would be devils.

Fallen man is totally depraved in extent, but not in degree in this life. What does this mean?

Both an infant and a hardened criminal are totally depraved in extent. Is there a difference in degree? Why?


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