Part 2: Disturbing Errors on God’s Decrees
Confession: Canons of Dort, The First Main Point of Doctrine, Rejection of the Errors 4-6
Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10 (Read from ESV)
Preacher: Rev. David Inks
II. Several Conditional Elections
III. Some of the Elect Perish
Canons of Dort:
The First Main Point of Doctrine Rejection of the Errors by Which the Dutch Churches Have for Some Time Been Disturbed
Having set forth the orthodox teaching concerning election and reprobation, the Synod rejects the errors of those
Rejection of the Errors 4.
Who teach that in election to faith a prerequisite condition is that man should rightly use the light of nature, be upright, unassuming, humble, and disposed to eternal life, as though election depended to some extent on these factors.
For this smacks of Pelagius, and it clearly calls into question the words of the apostle: “We lived at one time in the passions of our flesh, following the will of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive with Christ, by whose grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with him and seated us with him in heaven in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages we might show the surpassing riches of his grace, according to his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God) not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:3–9).
Rejection of the Errors 5.
Who teach that the incomplete and nonperemptory election of particular persons to salvation occurred on the basis of a foreseen faith, repentance, holiness, and godliness, which has just begun or continued for some time; but that complete and peremptory election occurred on the basis of a foreseen perseverance to the end in faith, repentance, holiness, and godliness. And that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness, on account of which the one who is chosen is more worthy than the one who is not chosen. And therefore that faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness, and perseverance are not fruits or effects of an unchangeable election to glory, but indispensable conditions and causes, which are prerequisite in those who are to be chosen in the complete election, and which are foreseen as achieved in them.
This runs counter to the entire Scripture, which throughout impresses upon our ears and hearts these sayings among others: “Election is not by works, but by him who calls” (Rom. 9:11–12); “All who were appointed for eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48); “He chose us in himself so that we should be holy” (Eph. 1:4); “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16); “If by grace, not by works” (Rom. 11:6); “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10).
Rejection of the Errors 6.
Who teach that not every election to salvation is unchangeable, but that some of the chosen can perish and do in fact perish eternally, with no decision of God to prevent it.
By this gross error they make God changeable, destroy the comfort of the godly concerning the steadfastness of their election, and contradict the Holy Scriptures, which teach that “the elect cannot be led astray” (Matt. 24:24), that “Christ does not lose those given to him by the Father” (John 6:39), and that “those whom God predestined, called, and justified, he also glorifies” (Rom. 8:30).
Ephesians 2:1-10 King James Version (KJV)
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
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