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The Five Points of Calvinism By Matt Slick …an introduction.

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1 The Five Points of Calvinism By Matt Slick …an introduction

2 1. We need a course on Calvinism because as Christians we need to be informed concerning the different aspects of theology held by different Christians. Though no man-made system of biblical theology is perfect, each offers insights into God’s word that have value to the Christian body as a whole. 2. There are many denominations that differ in significant areas, but they all hold to the essentials of the Christian faith. Why a course on Calvinism? Page 1 of manual, paragraphs 1-2

3 3. What are the essentials of the Christian faith? They can be summarized here: Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4). Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14). Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4). The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9). There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8) God is a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation) Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6). Essentials of the Faith Page 1 of manual, paragraph 3

4 4. To deviate from the above essentials is to deny the Christian faith. But, to deviate in the non-essentials, i.e., pre-tribulation rapture or post tribulation rapture, worship on Sunday or Saturday, etc., does not affect one’s salvation nor does it deny the Christian faith. Essentials of the Faith Page 1 of manual, paragraph 4

5 “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions…5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind,” (Rom. 14:1,5). 5. We are told by the Apostle Paul to accept fellow Christians and do not pass judgment on them on debatable issues. We are told that each person must be convinced in his own mind. Therefore, we are obligated to consider our brothers in Christ with high regard. Essentials of the Faith Page 2 of manual, paragraph 5

6 6. So, as we look at the doctrines of the Christian Faith known as Calvinism, let’s do so with an open and non-judgmental attitude. It does not mean we are obligated to accept the tenets, but we are obligated to be loving when regarding those who hold to them (or don’t). Okay then, let’s weigh what is taught against Scripture. 7. Calvinists hold to the essentials of the Christian faith but they also hold to more specific areas of theology that other Christians do not. These more specific areas are known as the Five Points of Essentials of the Faith Page 2 of manual, paragraphs 6-7

7 8. Calvinism, also known as Reformed Theology, is named after the French Theologian John Calvin who lived from 1509 to John Calvin was a second generation reformer continuing the work begun by Martin Luther who ignited the Reformation in Germany. 9. Calvin was initially trained as a lawyer and used his skills to systematize biblical theology into what would later become known as Calvinism. He left the Catholic Church around 1533 and eventually fled to Geneva, Switzerland to avoid persecution. After a thorough study of the Bible, Calvin then published the monumental work known as The Institutes of the Christian Religion, one of the most influential books in Western Civilization. Essentials of the Faith Pages 2-3 of manual, paragraphs 8-9

8 10. After being published, the Institutes became a bestseller virtually overnight and pushed Calvin to the forefront of the Protestant Reformation. 11. In the Institutes, Calvin examined the doctrines of Creator/creature distinctive, God and his sovereignty, man’s fallen condition, the doctrine of salvation, election, predestination, the security of the believer, government, private property, problems with the Catholic Church, and much more. 12. In Geneva, Calvin preached, lectured, and continued to write. While there he gained considerable influence. 13. John Calvin lived in Geneva, Switzerland until he died on May 27 th, Essentials of the Faith Page 3 of manual, paragraphs 10-13

9 14. Calvinism is most famously associated with what is called “The Five Points of Calvinism” and are represented by the acronym TULIP. T = Total Depravity: A person is completely touched by sin in all that he is and cannot freely choose God because he is enslaved to sinful desires. U = Unconditional Election: God’s election to salvation is not based on what is in man, but what is in God. L = Limited Atonement: Jesus bore the sins of the elect alone and not every individual who ever lived. I = Irresistible Grace: God’s gracious calling to salvation cannot be resisted but will result in salvation. P = Perseverance of the Saints: The elect are secure in Christ and cannot lose their salvation. The Five Points of Calvinism Summarized Page 4 of manual, paragraph 14

10 15. Before we examine those five points we need to clarify that Hyper Calvinism is sometimes mistaken for Calvinism. Hyper Calvinism is the teaching that rightly affirms God’s sovereignty, but erringly denies man’s responsibility. Generally, it states that God will save a person “no matter what” and that the means of that salvation (preaching, lecturing, teaching, missionary work, etc.) are inconsequential to a person becoming saved. It is like saying that a person will be saved when God wants him saved and our preaching the gospel doesn’t matter. It also denies the necessity of missionary work, evangelism, and prayer for the conversion of the lost. 16. Calvinists consider Hyper Calvinism to be heretical and a violation of scripture. Now, let’s move on to what Calvinism actually teaches in the five points. Hyper Calvinism is not Calvinism Page 4 of manual, paragraphs 15-16

11 17. Total Depravity is the teaching that sin has affected all of the person. The body, heart, emotions, will, and mind are all touched by sin. As a result of this condition, the unbeliever is not capable of freely choosing to receive Christ. He must be enabled by God to do so. 18. We clearly see that sin has affected our bodies because we get sick, grow old, and die. Total Depravity Page 5 of manual, paragraphs 17-18

12 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26). 19. We are made in the image of God. The image is not a physical representation of God because God is spirit (John 4:24) and spirit does not have a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Instead, the image consists of qualities in us that reflect qualities in God such as our ability to reason, love, hate, be compassionate, merciful, etc. Nevertheless, the Image of God in us is affected by our sin. We are now fallen, sinful, and lost -- even though we can still reason, love, be compassionate, and merciful. Total Depravity Page 5 of manual, paragraph 19

13 20. But, this effect of sin upon all of what we are does not mean we are as sinful as we could be. We could be a lot worse. We don’t go around murdering, lying, stealing, etc., on a constant basis. For the most part, people are pretty decent and refrain from such grievous sins. 21. But we are affected by our sinfulness at a very deep level. To repeat, Total Depravity means that we are completely affected by sin in all that we are. This affect is important especially when we examine the issue of a person’s free will. Total Depravity Page 5 of manual, paragraphs 20-21

14 22. Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion. Furthermore, free will means that we act and choose in a manner that is consistent with what we are. Therefore, a choice is free if it is consistent with the person's desires. 23. There are two main views of free will: Libertarian and Compatibilist. Total Depravity Page 6 of manual, paragraphs 22-23

15 24. Compatiblist free will is the position that a person's free will is restricted by his sinful nature and as a result he can choose only what his sinful nature will allow him to choose. In other words, his will must be "compatible" with the condition of his depraved and sinful nature and that he will only choose sinful options. 25. Libertarian free will is the position that a person's free will is not restricted by his sinful nature. It states that the sinner is not enslaved by sin such that he only chooses sinful things. In other words, he is at "liberty" to freely choose what is right as well as what is wrong. Total Depravity Page 6 of manual, paragraphs 24-25

16 26. In light of Libertarian and Compatiblist free will, total depravity can now be more properly examined in regards to the ability of the unbeliever to come to Christ. But to do this, we need to examine what the Bible says about the unbeliever’s condition. 27. The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine." Total Depravity Page 6 of manual, paragraphs 26-27

17 28. Let’s take a look at these scriptures. 29. Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” 30. Jer. 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can understand it?” 31. Rom. 6:20, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” 32. Rom. 3:10-12, “as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.’” Total Depravity Page 7 of manual, paragraphs 28-32

18 33. 1 Cor. 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 34. Eph. 2:15, “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,” 35. Eph. 2:3, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Total Depravity Page 7 of manual, paragraphs 33-35

19 36. Apart from God, man is utterly hopeless. He cannot change what he is nor can undo the offense against God for his sins. Only God can do that. Jer. 13:23, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil." Rom. 5:10, "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.“ Rom. 8:7, "because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so." Man Apart from God Page 8 of manual, paragraph 36

20 37. The unbeliever CAN respond to God. His response will be in accordance with scripture that says he cannot do good, is a hater of God, is full of evil, etc., Therefore, we conclude that his free will response will be to reject God, according to the limits described by scripture itself. Man Apart from God Page 8 of manual, paragraph 37

21 38. Because of man’s fallen condition it is God who appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48), chooses who is to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4), calls according to His purpose (2 Tim. 1:9), chooses us for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14), grants the act of believing (Phil. 1:29), grants repentance (2 Tim. 2:24-26), causes us to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), draws people to Himself (John 6:44,65), predestines us to salvation (Rom. 8:29-30) and adoption (Eph. 1:5) according to His purpose (Eph. 1:11), makes us born again not by our will but by His will (John 1:12-13), and works faith in the believer (John 6:28-29). God’s Work Page 8 of manual, paragraph 38

22 39. Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” 40. Eph. 1:4, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” Tim. 1:9, “who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,” Thess. 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” God’s Work Page 9 of manual, paragraphs 39-42

23 43. Phil. 1:29, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Tim. 2:25, “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,” Pet. 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 46. John 6:44,65, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day…65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” God’s Work Page 9 of manual, paragraphs 43-46

24 47. Rom. 8:29-30, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” 48. Eph. 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,” 49. Eph. 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” God’s Work Page 10 of manual, paragraphs 47-49

25 50. John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” 51. John 6:28-29, “They said therefore to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” God’s Work Page 10 of manual, paragraphs 50-51

26 52. What is election? Election is the act of God’s sovereign will where before the creation of the world he chooses an individual or group of people to accomplish a purpose. 53. In the context of Reformed Theology and Unconditional Election, election is the teaching that God, before the creation of the world, elected some people to be saved and not others. His election was not based on any foreseen decision or quality in these people. Instead, it was based solely on the sovereign will of God. Election is based on what is in God, not what is in man. God chose us for salvation because he decided to bestow his love and grace upon us, not because we are worthy of being saved. Unconditional Election Page 11 of manual, paragraphs 52-53

27 2 Thess. 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.” Matt. 24:22, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Unconditional Election Page 11 of manual, paragraph 53

28 Mark 13:27, “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven.” Rom. 8:32-33, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” Unconditional Election Page 11 of manual, paragraph 53

29 54. Does God elect and choose people and individuals? Yes he does. The Greek word “eklektos” (elect) occurs many times in the N.T. Matt. 24:22, for the sake of the elect, days will be cut short Matt. 24:24, “to mislead if possible, even the elect” Matt. 24:31, “God will gather his elect from the four winds Mark 13:20, for the sake of the elect, days are shortened Mark 13:22, “to lead astray, if possible the elect” Mark 13:27, God will gather his elect Luke 18:7, God will bring justice to the elect Rom. 8:33, who will bring a charge against God’s elect? 1 Tim. 5:21, elect angels, chosen angels Unconditional Election Page 12 of manual, paragraph 54

30 55. The Greek word “eklektos” is also translated as “chosen”. Matt. 22:14, many called, few are chosen Rom. 16:13, Rufus, chosen in the Lord Col. 3:12, those who have been chosen of God 2 Tim. 2:10, Paul endures all things for the sake of the chosen 1 Pet. 1:1, Peter writes to those who are chosen by God 1 Pet. 2:4, Jesus is chosen of God 2 John 1, “the elder to the chosen lady and her children” 2 John 13, “the children of the chosen sister greet you” Rev. 17:14, those with Jesus are the chosen ones Unconditional Election Page 12 of manual, paragraph 55

31 56. The Greek word “eklogay” means to “choose, select, elect.” Acts 9:15, Paul is a chosen vessel. Rom. 9:11, God chose to love Jacob and hate Esau Rom. 11:5, God has remnant of believers due to his choice. Rom. 11:7, Those who were chosen obtained salvation. Rom. 11:28, God chose Israel to love. 1 Thess. 1:4, God chose the brethren. Unconditional Election Page 12 of manual, paragraph 56

32 “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” (Eph. 1:11). 57. Predestine in Greek is προορίζω, “prooridzo”. It means to determine beforehand, to decide. Therefore, God has, from all eternity, determined whatsoever shall come to pass. 58. Predestination and election are interconnected. God predestines events beforehand and he also elects people into salvation. Therefore, God predestines those who have been elected to infallibly obtain salvation. …Predestination Page 13 of manual, paragraphs 57-58

33 Acts 4:28, “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” Rom. 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.” Rom. 8:30, “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” 1 Cor. 2:7, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.” Eph. 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Eph. 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” …Predestination Page 13 of manual, paragraph 58

34 59. Obviously, God predestines and elects individuals to salvation. He does this because he is the sovereign Lord who knows the end from the beginning and also because without his election and predestination, no one would ever be saved. …Predestination Page 13 of manual, paragraph 59

35 60. Doesn’t this mean that God is showing partiality? Partiality, according to the Bible is showing favoritism to a person based on money, status, etc. Answer: If God elected someone based on some quality in the person, then that would be showing partiality. It would mean that God was judging a person worthy of salvation because of some good quality in him. But God does not show such partiality. Objections to Election Answered Page 14 of manual, paragraph 60 “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?” (James 2:2).

36 61. There is no partiality with God (Rom. 2:11; Acts 10:34), so God does choose individuals for salvation “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel,” (Acts 9:15). “Greet Rufus, a chosen man in the Lord, also his mother and mine,” (Rom. 16:13). Objections to Election Answered continued… Page 14 of manual, paragraph 61

37 62. Does God’s election mean that we have no free will? Answer: Free will is the ability to make choices and people are still free to choose what they want. But, without God’s election and work, none will ever come to a saving relationship with Jesus. Objections to Election Answered Page 15 of manual, paragraph 62 “And He was saying, ’For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father,’” (John 6:65).

38 63. God looked into the future to see who would pick him as it says in Romans 8:29 “those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son”? Answer: If God had to look into the future to see who would pick him, this would mean that God had to learn. But God knows all things (1 John 3:20). So, this cannot be the case. Objections to Election Answered Page 15 of manual, paragraph 63

39 63. (continued …) God looked into the future to see who would pick him as it says in Romans 8:29 “those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son”? Answer: When God says that he "knows" someone it means that person is saved. If he says he does not know anyone (Matthew 7:22-23) then it means the person is not saved. The word for "know” in Greek is “ginosko”. The word for "foreknow” in Greek is "proginosko”. Therefore, God is "knowing" those whom he also predestined. Notice that the text says "those whom he foreknew he also predestined.” In other words, the four known ones are also the predestined ones. Objections to Election Answered Page 15 of manual, paragraph 63

40 64. This means that God is not fair because he chooses one person and not another so that the person not chosen does not have a choice on whether not to be saved. Answer: The answer is found in Romans 9:9-23. Objections to Election Answered Page 15 of manual, paragraph 64

41 65. Romans 9:9-23 is a critical area of scripture that demonstrates God’s sovereign act of election. Let’s take a look. Romans 9:9-23 Page 16 of manual, paragraph 65

42 “For this is the word of promise: “ At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “ The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “ Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “ I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy…” (continued..) Romans 9:9-23 (vv. 9-16) Page 16 of manual, paragraph 65

43 “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “ For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “ Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,” (Rom. 9:9-23). Romans 9:9-23 (vv ) Page 16 of manual, paragraph 65

44 66. If you read this text and do not raise the same objections that Paul did, then you do not understand what he said. 67. Romans 9:9-23 clearly tells us that God is the sovereign Lord who does with his creation as he pleases. 68. Our salvation, election, being chosen of God is by His choice not ours. That is why Paul says, “it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy,” (Rom. 9:16). Also, God “has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires,” (Rom. 9:18). Romans 9:9-23 (vv ) Pages of manual, paragraphs 66-68

45 69. The natural objection will be to ask "Why did you make me like this?” (Rom. 9:20). God responds and says that he has the right over the clay to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use. The reason he does this is found in verse 23 where he says that "he did so to make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which you prepared beforehand for glory." Objections Answered Pages 17 of manual, paragraph 69

46 70. Doesn’t this then mean that God is unfair? Answer: No, God is not unfair. He always does w hat is right. All deserve to be damned sin all are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). Answer: The answer to this objection is found in the text in verses 20-23, “who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.” Objections Answered Page 17 of manual, paragraph 70

47 71. Objection: But isn’t Romans 9 really talking about nations and not individuals? Answer: The word "vessel" is never used when speaking of nations. In the context of predestination and election, is always used of individuals. Objections Answered Page 18 of manual, paragraph 71 1 Thess. 4:4, “that each of you know how to possess his own vessel (context is wife) in sanctification and honor." 2 Tim. 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." 1 Pet. 3:7, “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel...”

48 71. (continued…) But isn’t Romans 9 really talking about nations and not individuals? Answer: The text does not speak of groups of people but of individuals. “I will have compassion on whom (singular) I have compassion,” (9:15). “it does not depend on the man who wills…” (9:16). “He has mercy on whom (singular) He desires,” (9:18). “The thing molded will not say to the molder…” (9:20). “one vessel for honorable use and another for common use,” (9:21). Objections Answered Page 18 of manual, paragraph 71

49 72. Because of man’s sinful nature, no one would ever come to God. Remember, it is man who cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14); is full of evil (Mark 7:21-23); does not seek for God (Rom. 3:11); is lawless, rebellious, unholy, and profane (1 Tim. 1:9); and is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). If it were left up to man, no one would ever be saved. God, in His loving predestination, assured to Himself His people, the ones who He called and predestined: “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,” (Eph. 1:4-5). By God’s own words, predestination is a loving doctrine. Unconditional Election Page 18 of manual, paragraph 72

50 73. Limited Atonement is the teaching that Jesus did not pay for everyone’s sins. Instead, Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. This view is also called “Particular Redemption” because the Reformed position is that Jesus bore the sins of a particular group of people. The non-Reformed position is that Jesus bore the sins of everyone who ever lived. 74. The extent of the atonement is debated among Protestants and we must be very careful not to pass judgment on our Christian brothers and sisters who do not share the same opinion in debatable issues. Limited Atonement Page 19 of manual, paragraphs 73-74

51 “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions 2 One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind,” (Romans 4:1-5). Limited Atonement Page 19 of manual, paragraphs Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:35). Let’s make sure that this verse is true of us.

52 76. There are two ways to limit the atonement. We can limit the power and limit the scope. 77. Those who believe that Jesus died for everyone who ever lived, limit the power of the atonement because they do not believe it has the power to automatically save the one’s whose sins are paid for. 78. Those who believe that Jesus died only for the elect, limit the scope of the atonement because they believe that his sacrifice was so powerful that if he died for everyone who ever lived then they would all be saved. Limited Atonement Page 20 of manual, paragraphs 76-78

53 79. So we have to ask the question. “When Jesus died on the cross, did he die for everyone who ever lived or did he only die for the ones God chose to be saved?” Let’s take a look at support for the Reformed Position. Limited Atonement Page 20 of manual, paragraph 79

54 80. Sin is transgression, rebellion, and defiance of God’s Law. More specifically, it is breaking the Law of God. The Law is a reflection of the holy nature of God since it represents his righteousness. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness,” (1 John 3:4). 81. The Law is summarized in the Ten Commandments: Have No Other Gods; Make No Idols; Don’t Use God’s Name In Vain; Sabbath Day; Honor Parents; Do Not Murder; Do Not Commit Adultery; Do Not Steal; Do Not Bear False Witness; Do Not Covet. The Law and Sin Page 20 of manual, paragraphs 80-81

55 82. Now, there is no Law without a punishment. A Law without a punishment is a slogan. When someone sins (breaks the Law of God) there must necessarily be a consequence. If God did not punish the sinner, then God would not be holy and just. 83. The punishment is proportional to severity of the Law that is broken. Different laws have different punishments. But, another aspect of the Law is related to the Law-Giver. When we sin we offend God because it is his Law we are breaking. Therefore when we sin we are offending an infinitely holy God and the punishment is infinite and therefore eternal. This is why Hell is without end. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name,” (Rev. 14:11). The Law and Sin Page 21 of manual, paragraphs 82-83

56 84. Because sin is breaking the Law of God, sin is a legal problem. Of course, sin is not only a legal issue since it affects our heart, mind, emotions, body, etc. Nevertheless, for our discussion of the atonement we need to look at the legal aspect since Jesus “paid for our sins”. The Law and Sin Page 21 of manual, paragraph 84 “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed,” (1 Pet. 2:24).

57 85. Jesus was made under the Law (Gal. 4:4) and never sinned (1 Pet. 2:22). So, his life and work are perfect and because he is both human and divine, his sacrifice on the cross is of infinite value and appeases the infinite Father who sent him (John 6:44). 86. Therefore, what Jesus did on the cross was a legal action. He legally paid the debt for sin. This is why in John 19:30 Jesus said, “It is finished” when was about to die on the cross. The single word in Greek “tetelestai” (“It is finished” in the English) is a reference to a legal transaction. THE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY, VOL. 2, P. 340 "PAPYRI RECEIPTS FOR TAXES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED WITH THE WORD TETELESTAI WRITTEN ACROSS THEM, MEANING “PAID IN FULL.” The Law and Sin Pages of manual, paragraphs 85-86

58 87. So, Jesus made a legal payment for our sins. That is, he legally paid the debt for the sins committed against God. His payment, when applied to the believer, cancels the certificate of debt. “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross,” (Col. 2:14). 88. If Jesus legally paid for the debt of sin, then legally no sin could be held against the one whose debt has been paid. The Law and Sin Page 22 of manual, paragraphs 87-88

59 89. Illustration: Let’s say there is a man who goes to his bank to make a mortgage payment. On the way there he is involved in a car accident and ends up in a coma in a hospital for one month. During that month, someone legally pays off his mortgage. Upon recovering, the man goes to the bank and gives the teller the mortgage check only to find that the debt has been paid. Can the bank legally accept the payment for a debt that has been paid? Of course not. Why? Because the debt does not exist. It has been paid in full. The debt is finished: tetelestai. The Law and Sin Page 22 of manual, paragraph 89

60 90. If Jesus paid the debt in full, then it is paid and the debt can no longer be held against the person; otherwise it has not been paid. This is what Jesus did on the cross. He legally paid for our sins and has cancelled the certificate of debt (Col. 2:14). Therefore, if Jesus bore the sins of everyone who ever lived, then he has paid for the debt of everyone and everyone’s debt is cancelled, paid in full, removed and God could not then accept the payment of eternal punishment -- since the debt of sin is paid. The Law and Sin Page 23 of manual, paragraph 90

61 91. Objection: But the person has to accept the sacrifice of Christ by faith in order for the debt of sins to be removed. Answer: In our illustration of “Coma Man”, did he have to accept the cancellation of the debt in order for it to work? Not at all. When a legal debt is paid, then it does not depend on whether or not someone receives it or even believes it is paid. It is paid; otherwise it is not an actual legal payment. Answer: God will infallibly draw the person and bring him to a faithful trust in Christ so that the cancelled debt can be applied to him when he believes because God has granted he believes (Phil. 1:29) and appointed him to eternal life (Acts 13:48) Objection Page 23 of manual, paragraph 91

62 92. Objection: The Bible says in John 3:16 that Jesus died for the whole world and that means everyone. Answer: …see next section. Objection Page 23 of manual, paragraph 92 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

63 93. Context is hugely important when understanding Scripture. So, let’s look at the context. 94. Contrary to what a lot of Christians believe, Jesus was not sent to the world. He was sent only to Israel. This means that the Jews understood the Messiah to be coming for them, the Israelites, not the whole world. “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” (Matt. 15:24). Jesus died for all Page 24 of manual, paragraphs 93-94

64 95. Furthermore, Jesus told the disciples to avoid going to the Gentiles and Samaritans but only go to Israel. Jesus died for all Page 24 of manual, paragraphs 95 “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,’” (Matt. 10:5).

65 96. But Israel rejected the Messiah so God directed the disciples to them go to the Gentiles. Jesus died for all Page 24 of manual, paragraph 96 “And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles,” (Acts 13:46). See also Romans 11:11.

66 97. So, Jesus said he was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24) and when he sent the disciples out into the world, he told them not go to the Gentiles, but to only go to the people of Israel (Acts 13:46; Rom. 11:11). This is how the Jews thought about the Messiah. He was coming to Israel, not the whole world. Jesus died for all Page 25 of manual, paragraph 97

67 98. But the Gentiles were then grafted in to the “Olive Tree” – a metaphor for being saved (Rom. 11:17-24). Paul speaks of the Gentiles who were then sought out by God which is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed,” (Gen. 12:3). “Again Isaiah says, ‘There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope,” (Rom. 15:12). Jesus died for all Page 25 of manual, paragraph 98

68 99. Therefore, when, for example, John 3:16 says God so loved the world, he is speaking of all the nations, not just Israel. To say, for example, that the word “world” means every person who has ever lived is to read into the text instead of seeing what it means in cultural and theological context. The same would be true of 1 John 2:2 which says, “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but those of the whole world.” “The gospel is preached in the whole world,” (Mark 14:9). “…the nations of the world eagerly seek,” (Luke 12:30). “This One is indeed the Savior of the world,” (John 4:42). Jesus is the Light of the world, (John 8:12). The Father sent Jesus into the world, (John 10:36). Jesus spoke openly in the world, (John 18:20). Paul upset the Jews “throughout the world,” (Acts 24:5). Jesus died for all Page 25 of manual, paragraph 99

69 100. Most Christians hold to the view that Jesus bore the sin of everyone who ever lived. In other words, “he died for all.” The truth is that he did die for all! We need to take a look at the scriptures to see how he did this. But, before we do, we need to ask a question: “Have you died?” Rom. 6:8, "Now if we have died with Christ..." Col. 2:20, "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world..." Col. 3:3, "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” 2 Tim. 2:11, "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.” Have you died? Page 26 of manual, paragraph 100

70 101. The only ones who have died with Christ are the believers, not the unbelievers. You never find anywhere in scripture where it is said that an unbeliever has “died with Christ,” “died to the elementary principles of the world,” “died with him,” etc. It just doesn’t exist Have you died? Page 26 of manual, paragraph 101

71 102. Now, let’s take a look at where it says that Jesus died for all. “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, (2 Cor. 5:14). 2 Corinthians 5:14 Page 26 of manual, paragraph 102

72 103. If Jesus “died for all; therefore all died”, then the “all” can only be the Christians. Think about it this way. If “all” means everyone who ever lived, then it would mean that Jesus “died for everyone who ever lived; therefore, everyone who ever lived, died.” That would make no sense On the other hand, if “all” meant, only the believers, the Christians, the elect, then it would say Jesus “died for the elect; therefore, the elect died.” That would make sense. “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, (2 Cor. 5:14). 2 Corinthians 5:14 Page 27 of manual, paragraphs

73 105. Romans 5:18 is another very interesting verse. It says… “So, as through one offense, there resulted condemnation to all men, so also, through one righteous deed, there resulted justification of life to all men,"(Rom. 5:18) The Literal Greek says, A: so, therefore, as through one offense, into all men into condemnation, B: so, also, through one righteous deed, into all men into justification of life. Romans 5:18 Page 27 of manual, paragraphs

74 107. Notice that the verse references two results, one for each action. The sin of Adam resulted in condemnation to all men (Rom. 5:12). Likewise, the sacrifice of Christ resulted in justification of life to all men. But, of course, the problem is that all are not justified. This is why the NIV adds words to “part B” so that it says, “justification that brings life for all men”. The KJV says, “the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” The underlined words do not exist in the Greek. The NASB attempts to be as literal as possible to the original. The others altered the literalness of the translation. Romans 5:18 Page 27 of manual, paragraph 107

75 108. What is Paul saying? He is saying that “there resulted justification of life to all men”. That is what it actually says. But, the “all” can’t be everyone who ever lived. It can only be the believer, the elect. We have already seen from 2 Cor. 5:14 that when Jesus died for all, the “all” can only be the Christian. Let’s consider another verse. Romans 5:18 Page 28 of manual, paragraph 108

76 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive,"(1 Cor. 15:22) What is Paul saying? He is saying that “there resulted justification of life to all men”. That is what it actually says. But, the “all” can’t be everyone who ever lived. It can only be the believer, the elect. We have already seen from 2 Cor. 5:14 that when Jesus died for all, the “all” can only be the Christian. Let’s consider another verse. Romans 5:18 Page 28 of manual, paragraph 109

77 110. We see a pattern in the Bible that shows Jesus dying for his people, not everyone who ever lived. John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:15, “I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:26, “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.” John 17:20, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.” Romans 5:18 Page 28 of manual, paragraph 110

78 111. A double payment is when something is paid for twice. If we look at the position that Jesus died for everyone, and that those for whom he died still go to hell, then there is a double payment. Jesus paid the debt of sin by bearing our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). He “ suffered the punishment of the Law (“the wages of sin is death,” Rom. 6:23), because he became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). He made a legal payment: “tetelestai” which is translated as “It is finished.” The unbeliever pays the debt of sin in hell. This is a double payment. Double Payment Page 29 of manual, paragraph 111

79 112. Double payment would be wrong because it means sins are paid for two times: once when Jesus cancelled the certificate of debt having nailed it to the cross, (Col. 2:14) and again in eternal hell. But this would be wrong The power and effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice does not depend on our faith. It depends on Jesus’ nature and work. The atonement is powerful because of who made it. Furthermore, Jesus either actually paid for our sins or he did not. He either satisfied the requirement of the Law’s punishment, or he did not. His blood is powerful enough to actually pay the debt of sin (not just make it possible), or it is not. Again, the power of the atonement does not depend on a person’s faith. It depends on Jesus, God in flesh, and it is applied to the person upon believing. Double Payment Page 29 of manual, paragraphs

80 114. Objection: John 1:29 says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” This shows that Jesus died for everyone. Answer: If Jesus took away the sins of the world, then all people would go to heaven because all of their sins would have been taken away. But this is obviously not the case because people will be in hell. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name,” (Rev. 14:11). Answer: Given the earlier information about the word “world” meaning all the nations, this verse can rightly be understood to mean that Jesus takes away the sin of all people groups in all nations. Objection: John 1:29 Page 30 of manual, paragraph 114

81 115. Objection: John 6:33 says, “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Jesus had to give his life for everyone since that is what the word world means. Answer: Again, the word world is dealing with all the nations since not everyone who has ever lived has eternal life. Objection: John 6:33 Page 30 of manual, paragraph 115

82 116. Objection: John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” This means that “whoever” will, can believe which further means that Jesus had to die for everyone. Answer: The “whoever” believe, do so because they are appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48), are granted the act of believing (Phil. 1:29). God knows who are his and who he has elected and predestined. He will not waste his blood. Objection: John 3:16 Page 31 of manual, paragraph 116

83 117. Objection: 2 Pet. 2:1 says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” If Jesus only paid for the Christians, then why does it say that the false teachers denied the Lord who bought them? Objection Page 31 of manual, paragraph 117

84 117. Answer: Peter addressed his epistle to the Jews who were aliens scattered abroad (1 Pet. 1:1). In his two epistles referred to the Old Testament in 1 Pet. 1:22-25; 2:6-9; 2:24; 3:8-12; 2 Pet. 2:5-8; 2:21; 2 Pet. 3:4-6. Therefore, it seems natural to believe that he is probably referring to the Old Testament in Deut. 32:6, “Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.” Moses was addressing the rebellious Israelites who were turning away from God, “Is not He your Father who has bought you?” That is, didn’t God redeem them from the tyranny of Egypt? Yes he did. But not all of them were saved. Peter is probably referring to the false prophets of that time who likewise were false teachers among the people of God. God had “bought” them out of Egypt. Objection: 2 Pet. 2:1 Page 31 of manual, paragraph 117

85 118. The Atoning work of Christ is the single most important event in the history of all creation. By it we are redeemed. This work of redemption was planned from all eternity and originated in the mind of God in the eternal covenant (Heb. 13:20). In it God elected us (Matt. 24:22, 31; Mark 123:22; Luke 18:7; Rom. 8:33; Rom. 9:9-23), chose us (Matt. 22:14; Rom. 16:13; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 1:1; Rev. 17:14), and predestined us (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5,11). God knows those who are his (John 10:14, 27). Therefore, from all eternity, God ordained those who are the called to be atoned for. Therefore, he bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and he died for all (the elect); therefore, all (the elect) died. Objection: 2 Pet. 2:1 Page 32 of manual, paragraph 118

86 119. Irresistible Grace is the teaching that when the Holy Spirit moves on a person in order to effect regeneration the person cannot resist and will infallibly be regenerated Irresistible Grace is also known as Efficacious Grace. “Efficacious” means “having the desired result” and “effective to produce a result”. So, Efficacious Grace is another way of saying that God’s grace, via the movement of the Holy Spirit, will infallibly regenerate a person, enabling that person to believe and receive Jesus as Savior. Irresistible Grace Page 33 of manual, paragraphs

87 121. People need the regenerative work of God because without it none would be saved since none will choose God on their own as the first lesson on Total Depravity taught… Mark 7:21-23, Man’s heart is evil. Jer. 17:9, Man’s heart is desperately sick. Rom. 6:20, Man is a slave of sin. Rom. 3:10-12, He does not seek for God. 1 Cor. 2:14, He cannot understand spiritual things. Eph. 2:15, He is at enmity with God. Eph. 2:3, Man is by nature a child of wrath. Irresistible Grace Page 33 of manual, paragraph 121

88 122. Because of man’s enslavement to his sinful nature he is incapable of truly believing and receiving the truths of God as revealed in the Bible. This is why the Irresistible Grace of God, the Efficacious Grace is necessary in order to regenerate the person so the person can believe and receive Christ by faith Once the person is regenerated he is made capable of believing and he becomes a new creature in Christ. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come,” (2 Cor. 5:17). Irresistible Grace Pages of manual, paragraphs

89 124. Where before regeneration our hearts were evil and desperately sick, now they indwelt by God himself. Where before we were slaves of sin and enemies of God, now we are friends of Christ. Where before we did not seek for God, now we have been found by the one who sought us. Where before we did not understand the things of God, now we are able to see clearly. Where before we were by nature children of wrath, now because of God’s Irresistible Grace we are joint heirs with Christ. Irresistible Grace Page 34 of manual, paragraph 124

90 125. Irresistible Grace originates in the will of God and is completed in the regeneration and salvation of the Christian. Because God knows all things (1 John 3:20), is all powerful (Job 42:2; Luke 1:37), and is everywhere (Jer. 23:24; 1 Kings 8:27), he infallibly and irresistibly accomplishes the work of regeneration This work of God is by God’s choice since it is an act of his grace and is not something we choose to do. Just as we did not choose to be born into this world, we do not choose to be born into the spiritual world when we are regenerated. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” (John 1:12-13). Irresistible Grace Page 34 of manual, paragraphs

91 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,’” (John 3:3) In the Greek, the words “born again” are actually “born from above.” The context is Jesus speaking to Nicodemus the Pharisee about what is necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God, (John 3:1-8). Let’s take a look. You must be born again Page 35 of manual, paragraph 127

92 “N OW there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” You must be born again Page 35 of manual, paragraph 127

93 128. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be "born again” (lit. ‘born from above’) and “that which is born from the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” He says that you must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God; that is, entering into the realm of God’s Lordship and our Salvation Being Born Again is regeneration. Jesus is stating that this precedes our salvation, our being in the Kingdom of God. We know this because if we are not born again we cannot see the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, he says that this regeneration is by the Spirit of God (vv. 5-6). Therefore, it is God’s sovereign work that is accomplished by his merciful and wonderful Irresistible Grace. You must be born again Page 36 of manual, paragraphs

94 “And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul,” (Acts 16:14) God opened the heart of Lydia. She had her heart opened so she could respond. As God did this with Lydia, he does it with others as well so they too might respond. You must be born again Page 36 of manual, paragraph 130

95 131. Regeneration is not a process. It is an instantaneous event that happens only once. If, as we shall see in the next section that our salvation is secure and cannot be lost, then this would make sense that it is a one-time event. If, however, salvation could be lost and regained wouldn’t this imply a cycle of regeneration, non-regeneration, regeneration, etc.? Scriptures never speak of it happening more than once. You must be born again Page 36 of manual, paragraph 131

96 132. The Irresistible Grace of God that results in regeneration is a mysterious work where God gives to the person a new spiritual life. It is a change in the person from being dead in sins (Eph. 2:1) to being alive in Christ (Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). This affects all that a person is and produces such things as… An awareness of God’s presence Desiring to read the Word of God Enjoying and desiring the worship of God Resisting sin Ability to choose to follow God Desire to tell others about the work of Christ Regeneration is mysterious Page 37 of manual, paragraph 132

97 133. The event of regeneration is a mystery in that we cannot always know when it occurs. When some are regenerated, it doesn’t show right away. With others it can be quite dramatic. Also, consider children raised in a Christian home who grow up to be dedicated believers. With some it can be quite difficult to point to a day when they were regenerated while with others, it can be easy. Regeneration is mysterious Page 37 of manual, paragraph 133

98 134. Our regeneration was prophesied in the Old Testament. Notice in the Scripture below that it is God who was performing the action of regeneration. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Regeneration is mysterious Page 37 of manual, paragraph 134

99 135. The New Heart is another way of speaking of regeneration. In this great work of the Lord. We are passive (we receive it) and God is active (he gives it) Regeneration that results from God’s Irresistible Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Father who move in an invisible way to change us. It is a supernatural event. Regeneration is mysterious Page 38 of manual, paragraphs

100 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit,” (John 3:8). “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures,” (James 1:17-18). Regeneration is mysterious Page 38 of manual, paragraph 136

101 137. When God works in us, there is necessarily a change in our attitudes and behavior. We will demonstrate our regeneration by the behaviors that are manifested because we are saved, not to get saved or secure our salvation. This is why we have the “fruit of the Spirit”. Incidentally, in Greek, the word for “fruit” is “karpos”. It is singular: one fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law,” (Gal. 5:22-23). Regeneration produces fruit Page 38 of manual, paragraph 137

102 138. Many verses can be shown to support God’s Irresistible Grace. Here are several of them. John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit,” John 5:21, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.” John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” Verses used to show Irresistible Grace Page 39 of manual, paragraph 138

103 John 10:16, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” John 17:2, “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” Eph. 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” 1 Pet. 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” Verses used to show Irresistible Grace Page 39 of manual, paragraph 138

104 139. Irresistible Grace is not accepted by all Christians because many do not like the idea that God is so sovereign and extends this grace to some and not others. So, let’s take a look at some of the objections and offer some answers. Answers to Objections Page 40 of manual, paragraph 139

105 140. Objection: But people have to believe in order to regenerated. Answer: This deals with the issue of which comes first, regeneration or faith? It would seem from scripture that regeneration comes first because how could anyone first believe when his unregenerated nature is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:14-20), a hater of God (Rom. 3:10-11), and is incapable of understanding and receiving the things of the Lord (1 Cor. 2:14)? It would seem he could not. But it makes sense to say that a person is enabled to believe when God changes him into a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) and is set free from the bondage of sin and deadness. Answers to Objections Page 40 of manual, paragraph 140

106 141. Objection: God’s Irresistible Grace is a violation of Man’s Free Will. Answer: Free will is the ability to make choices that are consistent with what we are. The unbeliever is exercising his free will when he rejects God because he is acting in a manner consistent with what he is. When God sovereignly changes our nature he is not violating our free will. He is altering what we are. He is changing us and enabling us to be able to believe. This change means that we are then able to freely choose to receive him. Therefore, God's irresistible grace does not violate a person's freedom of choice. On the contrary. It enables a true freedom of choice. Answers to Objections Page 40 of manual, paragraph 141

107 142. Objection: People need to repent in order to be saved, so that they can then be regenerated. Answer: If people needed to repent in order to be saved, then this would be salvation by works because it would mean that they would have to stop doing bad and start doing good in order for God to save them. But this would deny the teaching of justification by faith (Rom. 3:28; 4:5; 5:1). Repentance means to change one's mind and attitude about a sin so that the person turned away from that sin. This cannot be done unless a person has been granted repentance by God (2 Tim. 2:25). Answers to Objections Page 41 of manual, paragraph 142

108 143. So, Irresistible Grace is the Biblical teaching that God infallibly moves upon a person and regenerates that person and that is act of God cannot be resisted. Furthermore, this regeneration results in him being “born again”, able to “bear fruit”, and enter into “The Kingdom of God.” All of this is accomplished by God’s great grace and not our wisdom, or ability, or sinful free will. To God be all the glory. Answers to Objections Page 41 of manual, paragraph 143

109 144. Perseverance of the Saints is the teaching that all who are truly regenerated will, by God’s grace, be kept in the faith, will never stop being a Christian, and will persevere until the time that they die. “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’” (Heb. 13:5) This perseverance does not mean that the Christian will be perfect in his life as a Christian. We will struggle and falter, but God is always faithful and will never leave us or forsake us. Perseverance of the Saints Page 42 of manual, paragraphs

110 146. It is absolutely critical that we understand that we are kept by God’s grace and not our ability. If our salvation depended on our faithfulness in any way, then it most certainly would be lost. The standard that God demands is perfection, not imperfection. So, even the slightest imperfection means we are not being good enough. If someone were to say that he needed to be good, keep himself faithful, not do “too much bad”, etc., in order to be saved and keep himself saved, then he is guilty of works righteousness. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all,” (Heb. 13:5) Perseverance of the Saints is also known as Eternal Security. Perseverance of the Saints Page 42 of manual, paragraphs

111 148. There are verses used by people both to support and to refute the idea of Perseverance of the Saints. Let’s take a look at both. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” 149. Notice that Jesus equates eternal life with not perishing. There is no conditional statement here such as “…should not perish but have eternal life if you stay faithful”, or “if you do enough good”, or “unless you do enough bad”. Verses that Demonstrate Perseverance of the Saints Page 43 of manual, paragraphs

112 150. John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Jesus again equates eternal life with never perishing and again there are no conditional statements that make the eternal life temporary or dependent on our actions or faithfulness. Verses that Demonstrate Perseverance of the Saints, continued… Page 43 of manual, paragraph 150

113 150. John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Also notice that Jesus says that no one is able to snatch his sheep out of his hand (v. 28) or the Father’s hand (v. 29). Think of two hands, cupped together, holding fast. It is the Christian who has been chosen “before the foundation of the world,” (Eph. 1:4) having been predestined (Eph. 1:5,11; Rom. 8:29-30). Will God make a mistake and lose those whom he has predestined from all eternity and redeemed by the blood of Christ? Verses that Demonstrate Perseverance of the Saints, continued… Page 43 of manual, paragraph 150

114 151. But some might say that we can snatch ourselves out of God’s hands. But this makes no sense since the verse says “no one”, not “no one except yourself.” Besides, “you” belong to the group called “no one”. Verses that Demonstrate Perseverance of the Saints, continued… Page 44 of manual, paragraph 151

115 152. John 6:38-40, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” Notice what Jesus is saying. In V. 38 he says that he came to do the will of the Father. In verse 39 he says what the will of the Father is, that Jesus was nothing but raise us up on the last day. Then in verse 40 he again says this is the will of the Father that everyone who beholds the Son will have eternal life and then he again says he will raise them up on the last day. So Jesus is saying that the will of the Father is that he lose none of whom the Father has given him. From this it should be clear that none are lost because it is the Father’s will that we are not lost. Verses that Demonstrate Perseverance of the Saints, continued… Page 44 of manual, paragraph 152

116 153. Objection: However, there are those who say that though it may be the will of the Father that none be lost, the will of the Father is not always done. For example, God doesn't want people to sin, but they do. Therefore, they conclude it is possible for people to be lost. Objection Page 44 of manual, paragraph 153

117 Answer: But this cannot work because Jesus says in verse 40 what the will of the Father is, that those who behold, the Son, and believe have eternal life. Since 1 John 5:13 says we can know we have eternal life now, and since we know that we have it upon believing, we realize that the will of the Father is accomplished when we believe – the result being eternal life. If in v. 39 the will of the Father is not always done, then the will of the Father in 40 is not always done when they believe! But this cannot be, since those who believe have eternal life. Therefore, you have to either affirm or deny that the will of the Father is done in both verses since both start with “the will of the Father” and finish with “raise them up on the last day.” Objection Page 45 of manual, paragraph 153

118 153. John 6:38-40 Objection Page 45 of manual, paragraph 153

119 154. John 6:54, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” This verse is reminiscent of John 6:38-40 where Jesus equates eternal life with being raised on the last day. There are no conditionals here, nothing to say that the future resurrection is dependent on the believer staying with Jesus, being good, or not doing bad. Objection Page 46 of manual, paragraph 154

120 155. Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Luke tells us that God appointed people to eternal life. This means that God has appointed people, from all eternity. He does not appoint people based on some quality in them or some knowledge of whether or not they will choose God (which would mean God learns). Also, if he appoints people to eternal life from all eternity, then doesn’t God know if they are going to end up denying him? Why then would he appoint people to eternal life if he knew they were going to lose it? Objection Page 46 of manual, paragraph 155

121 John 2:19, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.” The context mentions antichrists but John is telling us that those who are “of us” will remain in the faith. Antichrists don’t remain in the faith because they are not sheep and real Christians aren’t antichrists. Objection Page 46 of manual, paragraph 156

122 157. There are those who say that a Christian can lose his salvation, by turning his back on God, seeking to do that which is evil, and rejecting the salvation that he has been given. But we have to ask how can someone who is made a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) and is no longer a slave of sin (Rom. 6:6) choose to reject God? After all, doesn’t 1 John 2:19 say “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us…”? Also, consider 1 Pet. 1:5 which says that is the Christians, “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” It is plain and simple. We are secure in Christ. Aren’t there verses that say you can lose your salvation? Page 47 of manual, paragraph 157

123 158. When we have two sets of scriptures on a topic and one set is clear and the other is not, we must interpret the not-so-clear verses so they agree with the clear ones. Let’s take a look. Aren’t there verses that say you can lose your salvation? Page 47 of manual, paragraph 158

124 Heb. 6:4-6, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” These controversial verses are used by people on both sides of the eternal security argument. But to better understand them we need to realize that Hebrews was apparently written to deal with the temptation of the Jews to go back to the OT sacrificial system and thereby commit apostasy (Heb. 2:3,12; 9:9; 10:1,3,5,6,8,11,12,26; 11:4; 13:15,16). So, let’s take a look. Can we lose our salvation? …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 47 of manual, paragraph 159

125 First of all, we can see from the previous verses such as John 6:38-40 (it is the will of God that none be lost), John 10:27-28 (Christ’s sheep will never perish), and 1 John 2:19 (that those who are Christians will remain as Christians) that losing one’s salvation does not seem possible. So, then what is Heb. 6:4-6 telling us? Hebrews is a generic warning against apostasy to the Jews who had outwardly confessed Christ but were in danger of returning, among other things, to the old system of animal sacrifices. Here’s why… …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 48 of manual, paragraph 159

126 Enlightened: The word “enlightened” in Greek is “photizo” and it means to shine light upon, to illuminate, etc., (Luke 11:36; John 1:29). It does not mean that those who are enlightened are saved, but only that they have been exposed to the truth. Tasted the heavenly gift: Tasting is a temporary thing, not permanent. To taste the heavenly gift is not to have it permanently, but to have experienced it. The Jews could taste the heavenly gift of God by seeing the Apostle’s work, maybe even having seen Jesus perform miracles. …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 48 of manual, paragraph 159

127 Partakers of the Holy Spirit: The Greek word for “partake” is ‘metochos’. It can mean “one who partakes in something” and also “partner, companion, fellow worker.” People can partake of the Holy Spirit by seeing the work of God. It does not mean they are saved. See Matt. 7:22-23, (“did we not prophesy in your name…cast out demons… perform miracles in your name…and Jesus says, ’I never knew you. Depart from Me.’”). This is an example of those who claimed to be believers and even performed miracles -- but were never saved. So, the Jews under discussion could simply be those Hebrews who were in close association with Christianity and who had a very deep knowledge of the Old Testament sacrificial system…but were going to abandon the idea of Christ and go back to their old ways. …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 48 of manual, paragraph 159

128 Tasted the good word of God: Again, this is dealing with a temporary thing, something that has been experienced. The Hebrews, as a people, had definitely tasted the truth of Christ and his ministry, but it doesn’t mean they all were believers who were truly saved. Have fallen away: There were Hebrews who may have appeared to be Christians, but have fallen away in that they returned to the Old Sacrificial system. …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 49 of manual, paragraph 159

129 Impossible to renew them again to repentance. Therefore, since they have abandoned the only other option to their O.T. sacrificial system, they have nothing left and cannot repent – since there is nothing to repent to! Also, worth mentioning is that there is a true and false repentance. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death,” (2 Cor. 7:10). Those who repented of their old ways, looked to Christ, and then who returned were guilty of a false repentance because they were never saved to begin with (1 John 2:19; Matt. 7:22-23). …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 49 of manual, paragraph 159

130 These verses are speaking of those who have professed Christ, experienced what God has done, but were never true believers. If they had been, “they would have remained,” (1 John 2:19). The writer of Hebrews is warning them to not go back to a system of sacrifices because if they do, they would abandon the true sacrifice of Christ and would not then be able to turn to the true and living God. There is no place to go other than Christ. …loosing your salvation, Heb. 6:4-6 Page 49 of manual, paragraph 159

131 160. Heb. 10:26, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” This verse is very similar to the passage we just examined. It is dealing with the same people who have rejected the knowledge of the truth; namely, the knowledge of who Jesus really is and what he has done on the cross. By rejecting “the knowledge of the truth”, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins because it would mean they would have to return to their Old Testament system of animal sacrifices. But, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins,” (Heb. 10:4, also, 10:11). By returning to what cannot work, they have no real, effective sacrifice at all! …loosing your salvation, Heb. 10:26 Page 50 of manual, paragraph 160

132 161. Gal. 5:4, “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Severed from Christ: The English words “you have been severed” are a single word in Greek: “katargathete”. It means literally, “to put a stop to”, “to invalidate” 1 “to render inactive, idle, useless.” 2 The word occurs in 1 Cor. 13:11 in “putting an end to” childish things and also in Eph. 2:15 regarding “abolishing the enmity.” It does not mean to be removed from Christ as though someone was already in Christ and was saved. …loosing your salvation, Gal. 5:4 Page 50 of manual, paragraph Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.). New York: United Bible societies, Vol. 2, p Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

133 Paul has just said in Gal. 5:2 that if “you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.” In other words, by receiving circumcision (which represents keeping the Law to be saved), Christ is of no value to you because you have rendered him invalid, useless. This is why Paul says that “every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law,” (5:3) because if you don’t have Christ, then the only thing left is the Law and you must keep all of it, not just part of it. But the problem is that no one can keep the Law since “…by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified,” (Gal. 2:16). Therefore, those who were seeking to be justified by circumcision have been abolished from Christ, severed from him and his way of grace. They have made his work useless. …loosing your salvation, Gal. 5:4 Page 51 of manual, paragraph 161

134 Fallen away from Grace. To say that someone has fallen from grace in the context does not necessitate the idea that a person has fallen from the grace of being saved. Rather, it is falling from the truth that grace is the only means of salvation that is found in Christ’s sacrifice by faith, not by Law as represented by circumcision. Paul is contrasting law and faith and this why Paul goes on to say that “neither circumcision nor circumcision means anything, but faith working through love,” (Gal. 5:6). Those seeking to be justified by keeping the law are fallen from that grace of God that is in Christ. They are without it and never had it because “they never were of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained,” (1 John 2:19). …loosing your salvation, Gal. 5:4 Page 51 of manual, paragraph 161

135 162. Rev. 3:5, “He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” This does not mean that their names “can” be blotted out, but that those who are saved will not have their names blotted out. It is similar to Matt. 22:32 where Jesus says, “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.” Jesus is not saying that such a sin can be forgiven in the age to come, but that it will not be. …loosing your salvation, Rev. 3:5 Page 52 of manual, paragraph 162

136 163. There are other verses that we could examine, but this course has picked a few of the most difficult ones to address. We leave it to you to study more on your own. …loosing your salvation Page 52 of manual, paragraph 163

137 164. Critics of the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints (i.e., Eternal Security) often claim that if we cannot lose our salvation, then it means we can go out and sin all we want and still be saved. They say this is a license to commit sin! Is this true? No it is not. What they fail to consider is that real Christians do not want to go out and sin because they are regenerated and made new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). Christians have been changed from being dead in sins to alive in Christ. Therefore, it is not a license to sin at all. Now, one last thing. Let’s take a look at something the Apostle Paul said. Isn’t eternal security a license to sin? Page 52 of manual, paragraph 164

138 “And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 5:20-6:2). Isn’t eternal security a license to sin? Page 53 of manual, paragraph 165

139 165. Notice that Paul answers an objection related to the idea of eternal life and he asks the very same thing that the critics do regarding a license to sin. Paul says in 6:1, “are we to continue in sin and grace might increase?” Why would Paul ask the question if we could lose our salvation? Instead, he asks because we are eternally secure and is addressing the license-to-sin objection. He answers it by saying Christians have died to sin, (they are regenerated) and that is why we do not still live in sin. Isn’t eternal security a license to sin? Page 53 of manual, paragraph 165

140 166. The goal of understanding the perseverance of the saints is to appreciate the great work of God and understand our security in Christ so we don’t seek to maintain our salvation by our works! We need to know that we are kept by his grace and not by our efforts -- whether they are efforts of faith or of obedience. Isn’t eternal security a license to sin? Page 53 of manual, paragraph 166

141 167. If God predestines us from the foundations of the world (Eph. 1:4-5) and chooses his people for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13), it would make sense to say that he will lose none (John 6:38-40). Remember 1 Pet. 1:5 that says that Christians have an inheritance in heaven and that we, “…are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” We will persevere because of God’s work, not ours! God is the one who keeps us and protects us by his power for salvation. Isn’t eternal security a license to sin? Page 53 of manual, paragraph 167

142 168. Remember, we are to be gracious to those who do not affirm the five points. We are not to judge them nor are they to judge us (Rom. 14:1-12). We are to be gracious. But, Calvinism does seek to bring all the glory to God by acknowledging his great sovereignty. By contrast, when we see our great depravity, we can better understand the grace of God that has condescended to save any of us! Conclusion Page 54 of manual, paragraph 168

143 169. To summarize, the Five points of Calvinism teaches: God is sovereign and can do with his creation as he desires (Rom. 9:9- 23; Prov. 16:4). Sinful man is unable to freely choose God because he is full of evil (Mark 7:21-23), does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10- 12), dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1), cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14), and is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:16-20). It is God who appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48), chooses who is to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4), chooses us for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14), grants the act of believing (Phil. 1:29), works faith in the believer (John 6:28- 29), grants repentance (2 Tim. 2:24-26), predestines us to salvation (Rom. 8:29-30), and that we are protected by the power of God for salvation (1 Pet. 1:5). To Summarize Page 54 of manual, paragraph 169

144 169. To summarize, …continued That Jesus bore the sins of the elect only and removed their debt of sin (John 19:30; 1 Pet. 2:24; Col. 2:14) not making it merely possible depending on “our faith”. That those in Christ are eternally secure because their salvation rests in Christ's work, not man's faithfulness (John 3:16; 6:38-40; 10:27-28) and certainly not in man’s ability to be good (Rom. 3:28-29; 4:1-6; Gal. 2:16) May God Receive ALL The Glory For His Great Mercy! To Summarize Page 54 of manual, paragraphs


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