Sep 20, 2010

Orthodoxy? - John Calvin and Opportunity Redemption

Many consider themselves strict Calvinists in that they strictly follow Calvin's understanding of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Calvin clearly taught a universally sufficient/potential atonement for the reprobate, opportunity redemption/the free offer, and a form of duty-faith. [see the quotes colored below] Calvin clearly held to 2 forms of grace. An open opportunity of a resistible grace intended for everyone and a secret irresistible grace only for the elect, so that the elect will meet the condition to obtain the resistible grace. This is a form of Neonomianism and it is no wonder that the Federal Vision teachers try to use Calvin to support their views of a conditional covenant of resistible grace.

1. On an offer of Redemption for the Reprobate - He invites to himself both the reprobate and the elect in common

"Last of all, David confesses that it was entirely owing to the pure grace of God that he had come to possess so great a good, and that he had been made a partaker of it by faith. It would be of no advantage to us for God to offer himself freely and graciously to us, if we did not receive him by faith, seeing he invites to himself both the reprobate and the elect in common; but the former, by their ingratitude, defraud themselves of this inestimatable blessing." (Calvin, Psalms 16:7)

2. On why the reprobate are not redeemed - Offered to all the world - We can obtain salvation through him - Who deprive themselves - They could share by faith

"That, then, is how our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of many. But in fact, this word “many” is often as good as equivalent to “all“. And indeed, our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son.” But yet we must notice that the Evangelist adds in this passage: “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life.” Our Lord Jesus suffered for all, and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation through him. Unbelievers who turn away from Him and who deprive themselves of him by their malice are today doubly culpable. (guilty, blameworthy) For how will they excuse their ingratitude in not receiving the blessing in which they could share by faith?" (John Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Death and Passion of Christ, 52:12, p., 140-1)

3. On why the reprobate do not benefit from the death of Christ - Their unbelief prevents them

"“To bear,” or, “take away sins”, is to free from guilt by his satisfaction those who have sinned. He says the sins of many, that is, of all, as in Romans 5:15. It is yet certain that not all receive benefit from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief prevents them." (John Calvin, Hebrews 9:28)

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions