Thursday, June 5, 2008
God's grace is necessary, and no one deserves it.
Many people wonder where to start when sharing the doctrines of grace with someone or learning them themselves. Some think they should start with total depravity; others with predestination. No; get this axiom (starting point), and the rest comes naturally.
You may say, "Hey, even Rome believes that grace is necessary!" They do say that, but what they teach is very different. They view grace as something deserved, but the definition of grace excludes any type of merit to the recipient. They teach that if someone does well with the grace that is given to them, they'll earn more. Excuse me; how does one earn something that by definition is not given by merit? They don't. If you start with this axiom and understand that grace/mercy is something that no one deserves, and it is necessary to salvation, the doctrines of grace logically follow. Even Arminianism leaves room for boasting because it holds that man in his natural, fallen, unregenerate, biblically dead state does something in their natural, fallen, unregenerate, biblically dead will to "initiate salvation." Watch James White explain this in the following clip:
If your definition of grace is honest, well, just look at much of professing evangelicalism, Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, and basically any non-Reformed position, and you'll have little trouble understanding what exactly the problem is. For grace is necessary for salvation, but it is not deserved or merited by definition.
END OF POST