Reformed aka Calvinistic Theology Refuted (Compilation)

Calvinism is basically Reformation theology.  Calvinists can sound really good, and like these other theologies and concepts being rebuked, people can get genuinely converted to Christ through their preaching in spite of their error.  Yet at the core of Calvinism is something called Monergism.  Monergism is the concept that spiritual regeneration (and genuine spiritual maintenance and growth too) is exclusively the work of God.  Does that sound spiritual and holy?  It is not true; and no Calvinist really believes in it anyways.  It is a rabbit hole that leads into dark, dark places where, if logically traveled to, makes God out to be the author of sin and essentially leaves God to blame for all spiritual failures.  If every right response of faith is 100 percent the work of God, then logically all spiritual failure can be blamed on God.  But even as the Calvinist attacks you for (allegedly) glorifying man and the other accusations he has learned to hurl when his evil doctrine is exposed, he is betraying his own theology.  Taken logically, no one could believe in Calvinism unless God essentially forced them to.  And opposition then to Calvinism would be happening by God’s own design too.  Label Calvinism then for what it essentially concludes: It makes God out to be the author of evil, it absolves man of responsibility, it justifies both the devil and rebellious mankind in their sins, it makes God out to be a villain by sending these to hell, and it makes God out to be a respecter of persons who unconditionally chooses to save some but not others.  Calvinism also appeals to people who want to believe they are special to God above others, and it appeals to man’s desire to feel safe from God’s wrath without cooperating and striving according to God’s instructions (not out of line with them- Calvinists tend to put all striving in the same category).  A Calvinist may preach one or several messages without expressing their real beliefs, but those beliefs will come out soon enough.  And even if they somehow did not, that is dishonest on the Calvinist preacher’s part and the preaching will have significant Calvinist influence since Calvinist assumptions will at least be implicit in what they say and conclusions will be stated based upon their Calvinist mindset.

Calvinism actually vastly underestimates God’s power and exalts man too highly- the very things that it claims to do the opposite of!  A sovereign king does not control the actions of everyone in his realm nor do the people in his realm necessarily do everything he says.  A sovereign king is one who is powerful enough to make just laws for his kingdom and to deal with his citizens in accordance with their deeds and attitude towards those laws (and by extension, towards himself).  God is powerful enough to allow man’s free will to take course; and yet still fully be in control.  Calvinism basically teaches that God’s sovereignty means everything happens by his decree.  That falsely limits God’s actual power and is also the most man-exalting doctrine that could be conceived because it gives every sinner an excuse to blame their sin on God.  Calvinists will often deny this, but their doctrine logically leads to this conclusion when it is logically followed. 

God’s justification does indeed have terms, as the many “if”s in the Bible in relation to man’s response to the Gospel of Christ prove.  If God worked to irresistibly overpower some to faith and salvation and yet not others (like Calvinism blatantly teaches), then God would be a respecter of persons.  The Bible says over and over though that God is no respecter of persons.

Ask the Calvinist who pushes Calvinism to you if you have free will to believe in Calvinism; and why he/she is so frustrated that you won’t receive it.  Watch how they evaluate you and expect you to respond positively to what they’re saying.  Such a response is the very thing they deny that man is able to do with God’s Truth!  God’s Word is true; Calvinism is not.

Calvinists also love to say how man is nothing- and yet if you call one of their prized, revered teachers anything negative they often take great offense. It is a system filled with false assumptions, faulty logic, gaping holes, bad Bible scholarship, and subtle or blatant hypocrisy.   

The Bible has answers which make God the author of salvation; and also yet leave man with responsibility to cooperate with God’s grace- grace which man did not earn, cannot replicate, and cannot please God without.   This grace necessarily tests and tries man to come into line with his Creator, the One whom heeding and aligning with composes the essence of righteousness.  This heeding and alignment are, when exercised, proper reception of the great moves He has already made to reconcile man to Himself.  There is a Biblical solution that leaves all men with a valid, realistic opportunity to partake of God’s grace which none did earn; and which simultaneously leaves the blame fully upon those who do not enter into this grace, and remain in this grace, by virtue of the fact that they really could have done so.  God made the same offer to them and strove with them to bring them to cooperate with Him to obtain His grace like He did with those who obtained His grace and remained in it.  If this were not the case, then God Himself would be a partial respecter of persons who showed favoritism.  Anyone who ended up condemned to hell on Judgment Day could then call Him out with the just charge that, if He had only done for them what He had done for the saved, then they would not be receiving condemnation to an everlasting lake of fire.  

Calvinism essentially makes God not only the primary obstacle, but in reality the only obstacle, to man getting right with Him and attaining righteousness.  No logical person who fears Him should be comfortable meeting Him on Judgment Day holding to such a dark doctrine which paints the Righteous Judge of all the earth in such a morally ugly, unfavorable way.  And by morally ugly and unfavorable, that is not a reference to the world’s corrupt definition of these things.  If Calvinism were true, then God’s ways would be morally ugly and unfavorable by the definition of His own Law in the Bible!  We know that the devil wants to slander and portray God as a hypocrite, we know that Satan is subtle, and there is no doubt where such insinuations come from.

Calvinists also must face the fact that their theology essentially originated from a Roman Catholic (Augustine, whom John Calvin basically got his theology from).  Augustine was not shy in making known his belief that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church.  That means that if Calvinism came from a man led by God’s Spirit in his theological judgments, most Calvinists would be going to hell anyways.

Yet since Calvinism is not true, I exhort everyone to not abuse the capability which you have and are responsible to use correctly, to walk in the light of God’s Word.  Bow to Jesus Christ and get the sin out of your life completely.  Jesus became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him, as Hebrews 5:9 says.  These are the true elect.  If you don’t get in the Christian faith authentically, and endure to the end therein, you won’t be able to blame a divine lottery that didn’t go in your favor like Calvinism would logically say you should do.  Those who are condemned to hell on Judgment Day will be condemned because they didn’t make use of the grace of God in Christ like they indeed should have and could have.

God has made a way for mankind to be delivered out of sin’s dominion and into the realm of His righteous dominion through Jesus Christ.  When the Bible speaks of people being chosen by God, it is not a reference to an unconditional or a statically fixed thing which cannot be altered.

The Bible so clearly, over and over, emphasizes that there is no such thing as a person who “just belongs to God” and couldn’t ever fall from His grace.  Even the most powerful archangel who was closer to God than any created being was kicked out of heaven for embracing sin and rebellion against God, also taking many other angels along with him into his condemnation.  

Even though many imagine themselves to experience the workings of God when they really aren’t, even if someone were to actually experience God’s work in their life firsthand in an extraordinary way, that would not mean that they are specially chosen by God to salvation.  It would mean that they had a greater opportunity to know God and understand His will, yet such opportunity also brings greater accountability and greater damnation if that opportunity isn’t utilized.  It is obvious then that many whom Jesus did miracles on went to hell (and even at least one person whom Jesus had conferred authority to do miracles on- Judas Iscariot).

God chose Israel as a nation to demonstrate His ways to the world, to establish His proper worship among, and to ultimately bring forth His Messiah through.  Israel typically didn’t live up to this calling very well, and this is proven by how it did not receive its own Messiah when He came, the very incarnation of the God whom they professed to worship.  Nevertheless, God did indeed work through Israel and show Himself in many ways to Israel throughout its history in ways He did not among other nations.  God’s own Word and His prescribed worship were committed to the nation.  There was knowledge of God and experience of Him in Israel unlike there was in any other nation.  An Israelite growing up in this could easily, if he or she wasn’t careful to take heed to the actual instructions of God’s Word, think that they were chosen by God individually since they got to be part of what was happening in Israel.  Many Israelites did come to believe this.  Yet this belief is a false, deadly belief.  And that is why when John the Baptist came preaching repentance and preparing Israel for its Messiah, he attacked this errant and deadly false assumption head on.  And it is no surprise at all that those near the center of Israel’s religious scene were among those deeply affected by this errant and deadly assumption.

Biblical Predestination is not God unconditionally, unavoidably saving some while unavoidably damning others to hell eternally.  Those ideas come from the doctrine of unconditional election, which is a false teaching that is a key tenet of the heretical theology of Calvinism.  Biblical predestination is the Lord’s goal that all who truly do receive Christ run a race whereby they are conformed to His image through Christ’s purifying work in them in the midst of a crooked and perverse world.  If one leaves their house and intends to go to the store, then the store is their “predestined” goal (whether they actually make it to the store or not).  

Reaching God’s predestined goal for us is not automatic, as we can choose to never submit to Him in order to cooperate with that; or we can walk away from the right path in Christ after we’ve entered into it by refusing His chastisement.  Yet if we will run in the right direction in the race of faith, and endure in authentic faith in Christ to the end, this is the direction we must run in.

Hebrews 2:10-12: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” 

1 John 3:2-3: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Many emphasize God’s work in purifying His people to the point of excluding man’s responsibility and need to cooperate in this work (see 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22, considered with the next two verses, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, for an example of how true Christianity doesn’t put man’s need to obey God and man’s need for God to cleanse and sanctify him as opposed to each other- they’re rather complementary to each other).  We need soap and water to purify our bodies since we can’t clean ourselves without them.  Yet we need to apply soap and water in order for them to work on us so that we partake in their benefits.  It is the same with the power of Christ which purifies the soul.  We therefore need to cooperate with Him and fall in line with His purposes; to let go of ourselves in order to let Him do His work unhindered in us (if He did this work against our wills, we’d either be robots or He’d be forcing Himself upon us, which Christ doesn’t do- Luke 24:28-29).  

1 Peter 1:7: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 

2 Corinthians 7:1: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 

Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Whom he foreknew= Those who obey the terms of Christ’s Gospel.  These terms were known to God from the beginning of the world.  The offer of His grace in Christ is to “whomsoever.”  Those who repent and believe enter into the salvation which He planned and truly offers to all people.

Ephesians 5:23-27: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

1 Peter 1:1–5: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1 Peter 1:2: “Elect”= The elect are God’s chosen.  They are chosen conditionally based upon a proper response to His design of salvation in Jesus Christ which is expressed in the call of His authentic Gospel.

“Through sanctification of the Spirit”= God’s seal that He has accepted a person’s repentance and faith in Christ is giving that person the Holy Spirit (which is given to all those that obey Christ’s Gospel- Acts 5:32).  

The aim of true repentance before God is practical obedience to Jesus Christ.  In walking in the light of His Word one is sprinkled or cleansed through His precious blood (1 John 1:7).

1 Peter 1:3: Peter is writing to exhort members of authentic Apostolic Christian churches to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ and not faint nor turn away from the narrow way to eternal life in Him.  Such exhortation is essential for those who have found and entered the narrow gate in Jesus Christ.  And just getting to that point is generally difficult and a great matter in itself.

1 Peter 1:4: The certainty of the faithful obtaining this inheritance is guaranteed by Jesus Christ’s own resurrection already being accomplished.  And those who surrender to Him and call on Him with a willingness to cooperate with Him can be sure of the sufficiency of His grace and keeping power.

1 Peter 1:5: This is a great encouragement indeed, especially considering what we have already considered.  Yet it is surely not teaching Once Saved Always Saved or Calvinistic perseverance. Remember Hebrews 3:12-15: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you (holy Christian brethren- the context of Hebrews makes this clear) an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;  While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (speaking of when Israel would not obey God and go into the Promised Land at His commandment in the Book of Numbers).”

Titus 1:1-2: “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”

Titus 1:1 The faith of God’s elect= The faith of Jesus Christ as it is revealed in Scripture.  God’s elect are those who believe in Jesus Christ by obediently walking in the light of His Word which testifies of that faith.

“Acknowledging” here= epignosis in the Greek text; experiential knowledge.  Walking in the faith of Jesus Christ which is revealed in Scripture makes godliness, as defined by the true God’s Word, a flesh and blood reality.  The practical expression of this is a key theme in the Book of Titus.

1:2: God’s plan of obtaining a special, set apart people for Himself through Jesus Christ is not some novel invention by Christ’s Apostles.  The hope in Jesus Christ is a sure hope, when one really lays hold of it, because this hope is promised and instructed concerning in the Hebrew Scriptures.  It is the one and only plan of redemption from sin unto eternal life which God has been dealing with man since he fell to accomplish.  He has also been simultaneously instructing and persuading man to adhere to and hold to His appointed way to eternal life in Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:6-11: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

2:6: In understanding Biblical election properly, understand that Jesus Christ is the chosen One.  Those who obediently believe in Him are chosen due to their proper relation to Him.  No one is chosen or looked over on an unconditional basis.  True Biblical election is not Calvinistic then.  We must proclaim and uphold true Biblical election lest we give people the false impression that God accepts everyone or that people can come to God in different ways or that God would accept a way which one devises to try to relate to Him.

2:7-8: He is not precious to somebody if they are disobedient to Him and don’t bear fruit according to His Word, even if they profess to love and believe in Him.  He is rather a stumbling block to these.  This is not saying that they were appointed to disobedience; it is saying that the disobedient are appointed to His wrath (like John 3:36 says).

Matthew 21:42-44: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?   Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

In writing these verses in 1 Peter 2, Peter was also implicitly speaking of the coming end of the Jewish nation here (coming in terms of when he wrote this).  The leadership of the nation and the direction of the nation at the time made such a connection obvious.  And the leadership and the direction of modern Israel now make it evident that this nation is not of God and is yet under His wrath.

2:9: This is the Christian calling.  There is no alternative or lower form of Christianity whereby a person can just “accept Jesus” and obtain heaven.

2:10: The Calvinists teach that the elect were God’s people before the foundation of the world and that they were eternal objects of His mercy.  This is a lie which is totally foreign to the Apostolic mindset, as we see Peter teaching the exact opposite of the Calvinists here.  See also our study “Calvinist Strongholds are Built on Sinking Sand” (which is a verse by verse study of Romans chapter 9).

2:11: And this warning is given because a Christian’s perseverance in the faith is not guaranteed, and fleshly lusts will destroy a soul that they conquer and pull them back into the realm of darkness so that they are separated from Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone of God’s house and so that they don’t live in accordance with the (one and only) Christian calling.

In 2 Corinthians 5:10 we read: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

And you can see by looking at the context of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul was speaking about every individual here.  Part of the Christian’s responsibility in preparing for Judgment Day is to warn others about the terror of the Lord and persuade them to be obedient to Jesus Christ, in whom is the only atonement for sin and who is the only Mediator whereby one can be justified before God.  Apart from Him all are dead in sin as God’s enemies; and none can be reconciled and made alive to God without obeying His Gospel and living to righteousness in obedience to His Word.

It is a great delusion to believe, as many do, that Christians will not be judged by the same criteria that everyone else will be judged by.  It is thus a great delusion to believe that works which will send a non-Christian to hell will not send a Christian to hell also who does the same works.  This is a common deception in the realm of professing Christianity.  Though I can see how an argument might be made that the timing of the judgment of those whom God has decided to save might differ from the timing of the judgment of those whom God has decided to condemn to hell, God’s grace before His throne of judgment will only be towards those who repented of their sins and wholeheartedly pursued righteousness through Jesus Christ according to the light they had until the end.  

A faith in Jesus Christ that saves is obedient.  Even the thief on the cross who came to believe in Jesus right before he died still walked in such a faith.  If he had not confessed his just condemnation over his deeds and stood on Jesus’ side publicly and called on Him for mercy like he essentially did, Jesus would not have told him that he would be with Him in paradise that day.  

1 Timothy 1:13-16: “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

1:13a: He was before, not anymore.  Many try to cite what Paul will shortly say to justify their continuation in sin- though Paul is teaching the very opposite.

1:13b: Paul was not fully ignorant in his opposition to Christ.  He still would have gone to hell if he had died in that opposition.  He was nevertheless misled to a notable degree and didn’t fully know what he was doing in opposing Christ.  He was thus a candidate for mercy.  That would surely not have been true anymore if he had not responded in repentance from his sin and obedience to the Lord like he did when Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus.

1:14-15: Chief here is “protos” in the Greek text.  You probably know the word prototype.  Paul is not saying then that he is still living in sin and walking contrary to the Lord.  Go back to verse thirteen.  Paul regarded himself rather as the prototype of one who had been a sinner yet whom Christ saved out of his sins.  Paul was not in a different type of category of sinner than the common person.  The grace which he obtained in Christ Jesus was not a different type of grace than what the common person who turns to Jesus Christ in truth finds.  In turning to Jesus Christ in truth, Paul surely did not retain his insistence of independence from the true God’s authority (which sinners are defined by).

1:16: Why do so many modern evangelicals know 1 Timothy 1:15, and they cite it so often, yet that is not so with 1 Timothy 1:13 and 1 Timothy 1:16 (which really much better show the proper context of 1 Timothy 1:15)?  I’ll let you consider the reasons for this discrepancy.  It seems logical to me that it has much to do with excusing sin and resisting the true God’s authority themselves while assuming an interest in Jesus Christ’s grace and mercy.

The false grace preachers like to quote Ephesians 2:8-9 and, bring up 1 Timothy 1:15, where Paul called himself the chief of sinners.  Yet they neglect the context Paul said this in, evidently describing himself as a prime example of a sinner who obtained mercy and a pattern of how a man actually obtains Christ’s mercy.

Why do they not note the pattern of how Paul diligently turned from his sin and overall opposition to Christ in order to be faithful in line with Christ’s righteous authority?  Paul also clearly connected this to his own salvation.

Acts 9:3-6: “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

1 Corinthians 9:23-27: “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Why do the false preachers who try to tell people not to be troubled if they are sinning, while quoting Ephesians 2:8-9, and talking about Paul saying that he is the chief of sinners, why do they not have these things in their mindset and factored into their message?  And why do they not tell people the many warnings, from the man who called himself the chief of sinners even, to those who remain sinners and those who return to being sinners like the following sample?

Romans 6:19-21: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity (lawless deed unto lawless deed); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?  for the end of those things is death.”

Many wrongly use Scriptures that apply to the wicked who are not reconciled to the Lord and apply these to even the (supposedly) righteous.  One key example of such an error which I’ve done a study on is Isaiah 64:6.  Of course the natural outcome of such an error is to assume that it’s possible to continue at enmity with the Lord in willful sin and nevertheless be righteous before Him.  Those who are guilty of such error assume the Gnostic doctrine that overcoming sin is impossible in this life is actually true. 

Romans 3:9-20 is another key example of a Scripture which many apply to all people in their current spiritual state when it is spoken specifically of the wicked.  The very passages from the Old Testament which are quoted in this passage, if you look at their origin in the Old Testament, prove that it is speaking of the wicked and not of the righteous.  This passage proves that those who are turned from God can’t be righteous and do good in His eyes in their rebellious state; and it shows that they are in that state willfully (not because they can’t help it).  

This passage is also given to illustrate and prove the truth of Isaiah 53:6 “All we (Jews and gentiles) like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all.”  This does not change the truth that we must turn from going our own way- and if we do obey and turn, then it can’t be said that we are still going our own way like sheep.  It can’t be said that we’re still living wickedly in God’s eyes.  We can then rather live for righteousness.  That is what the Gospel of Christ is meant to bring us to and accomplish in us.  That’s why Peter told Christians in 1 Peter 2:24-25: “Who (Christ) his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” 

Those who still aren’t convinced of what was just claimed should contrast those described in Romans 3:9-20 with the descriptions of the righteous in Scripture.  Let’s do that then.

Romans 3:9-10: ‘What then?  are we better than they?  No, in no wise (in no way): for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

Now look at the righteous.

Romans 6:17-20 (later in the very same book): “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity (lawless deed unto lawless deed); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.”

Romans 3:11-12: “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Now look at the righteous.

Philemon 10-11: “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me.”

3 John 11: “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good.  He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” 

Romans 3:13-14: “Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:”

Now consider the righteous.

Matthew 12:33-35: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”

Romans 15:14: “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”

Romans 3:15-17: “Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known:”

Now look at the righteous.

Luke 1:79 (and in its context, this is descriptive of the call to repentance through John the Baptist that we must heed to turn to Jesus Christ in truth): “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 

Romans 14:17-18: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink (food and drink); but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.”

Ephesians 5:8-11: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving (Testing) what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Romans 3:18: “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now look at the righteous.

Proverbs 14:2: “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.” 

Acts 9:31: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” 

And consider the call of the Gospel itself.

Revelation 14:6-7: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

Romans 3:19-20: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Consider then what would be stated by the time this very same chapter ends.

Romans 3:29-31: “Is he the God of the Jews only?  is he not also of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.  Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

Many support their Gnostic-influenced belief that we can’t overcome sin in our mortal bodies by the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans chapter seven.  They say that the following words of Paul describe what his present experience was as a Christian at the time when he wrote them.  But that is a rather ridiculous claim though given the context of the Book of Romans, as we will see and have already seen to a significant extent. 

Romans 7:14-24 says: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” 

Many people read this passage as if there is no deliverance and as if this was Paul’s present state.

But the Apostle Paul had already spoken in Romans chapter five of the truth that those who’ve been reconciled to God through Christ are partakers of a salvation through Christ’s life that is an actual remedy for all the damage caused by sin’s reign in them when they were enemies of God. 

Romans 5:20-21: “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Paul would go on in Romans chapter six to warn that we cannot continue in sin that grace may abound and command that we let not sin reign in our mortal bodies, but instead yield the members of our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:12-13).  This command is given with a promise for those who heed it in Romans 6:14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

If Romans 7:14-24 were Paul’s Christian experience, then it was inferior to what he told others their experience could and should be.  These things need to be kept in mind as we go on.

If you look at Romans chapter seven in your Bible, notice the flashback to the time of bondage to sin “when we were in the flesh…” of Romans 7:5 (Paul grouped himself with other Christians here).  Compare this to the present time of deliverance, the “But now we are delivered…” of Romans 7:6.  Paul would then do an extended flashback of his time in the flesh from 7:7-24, speaking as if he were in the present much of the time to better illustrate the struggle of a man in the flesh to fulfill God’s law when confronted with its demands and recognizing its inherent goodness and excellence.  

In considering what the Apostle Paul had said before in Romans, and by what he would say afterwards in Romans 8 (about the deliverance that is in Christ which the Apostle himself no doubt was walking in as he wrote the book), this proves that the constantly defeated man in Romans 7 was not Paul as he was living by faith in Christ (nor is it anyone who is truly abiding in Jesus Christ).

In relation to this, note also Paul’s own testimony to the Thessalonians about the consistency and victory of his own life as a Christian, along with that of his Apostolic co-workers.  This is so very different from the defeated man of Romans chapter seven- and the same was expected of the Christians whom he oversaw.  It is surely not any different now.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.  Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

The true Christian experience described in Romans chapter eight is the opposite of the powerless, defeated person described in Romans chapter seven.  The glorious victory of deliverance from sin’s death and its effects in Jesus Christ are expounded on in Romans chapter eight.  This obliterates any consideration that Romans chapter seven was Paul’s experience in the present as he wrote Romans.  Paul would return to contrasting the present time of deliverance opposed to the past time in the flesh in Romans 7:25- then move back into the time of deliverance, the “now” of Romans 8:1-4.  Then he would follow this by more contrasts between those in the Spirit compared to those in the flesh (from Romans 8:5-8:15). 

Here we have the present experience of those truly abiding in Jesus Christ, exercising an acceptable living faith in Him.  

Romans 8:1-4: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” 

 We see that the one in Christ Jesus who is now not condemned, walks not after the flesh, but after Christ’s Spirit (Romans 8:1), and is so freed from the law of sin and death by Christ’s Spirit (Romans 8:2).  This is in contrast to the Romans seven man who is carnal, sold under sin (7:14) and is a captive to the law of sin and death.  That captivity is described in Romans 7:15-24. 

The uncondemned man in Romans chapter eight, through Christ’s death for sin on the cross, has sin condemned in his flesh (Romans 8:3) through his genuine faith in the risen Christ (through reckoning himself dead to sin and alive to God with Christ, as Romans 6 has already given instructions by this point in Romans)- and thus by abiding in the risen Christ he walks not after the flesh, but rather after God’s Spirit, which is given to those that obey Christ (Acts 5:32).  And he thus genuinely lives to God and fulfills the righteousness of the law by the Spirit (Romans 8:4).  Think again here of the words of Jesus in the Gospels recorded in Mark 8:34-35: “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

This understanding of this passage from Romans is upheld and further proven by the Apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16-26.  Galatians 5:16: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Jesus certainly does not accept the morally wretched.  He rather calls them to repent that they might live unto Him and be delivered from their morally wretched state.

Revelation 3:14-22: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (that is the arche or foremost of the creation of God; the first in rank- Jesus wasn’t created; He is the Word of God who was there in the beginning); I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (clothing), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

He came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).   To say that the passages about the corruption of the wicked apply even to those who are properly related to Him is really a denial of the victory of Christ’s mission and a denial of the true grace of God in Him. 

And these truths only further prove how absurd and illogical Calvinism is.  It is man who must come into line with God.  Jesus said in John 15:4: “Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”  Calvinism twists this truth to essentially tell a lie, saying that man can’t choose to abide in Jesus like He instructed us to do!  God has graciously made provision in Jesus Christ to rescue us from our unthinkably deep fall into sin and the condemnation of eternal hell which we justly deserve.  God’s Spirit is striving with all men to bring them to the light in Christ and walk therein that they might be saved.  The burden is upon man then to come into line with God and cooperate with the rescue which He has provided in Jesus Christ.  Running, willing, and striving in any other direction won’t cut it.  Calvinists preach that men cannot even cooperate with God’s plan of redemption in Christ without God irresistibly compelling them to do so.  That is not rightly dividing God’s Word, it is false piety, and it essentially justifies man for not executing his own responsibility which God has commanded him to exercise!  

Calvinism justifies sinful, rebellious men by its total depravity doctrine which teaches that man cannot repent and come to the light unless God spiritually regenerates him first.  Total depravity is the doctrine which all of Calvinism hinges upon.  And it is proven false simply because God commands all men to repent and follow Jesus Christ obediently by faith.  It is also proven false by how the Bible is clear that repentance must precede spiritual regeneration.  Don’t believe nor spread the lies of Calvinism which essentially justify man for not doing what God has told him to do.  We cannot save ourselves on our own, but we must heed God and follow His directions to have an interest in Christ and partake of His grace (and in that way, we do indeed need to save ourselves- see Acts 2:40).  Believing in Calvinism is in itself a choice which man makes- a bad choice; a choice to cleave to darkness and refuse the light of God’s truth.

Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and there is no salvation apart from Him.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is utterly holy, loving righteousness and hating lawlessness (Hebrews 1:8-9).  Man cannot bribe God to avoid Him, man cannot work to get around Him, man cannot please God while at enmity with Him, and all who are not under His righteous reign are not eligible to partake of His blood atonement.  And partaking of Christ’s atonement is man’s only hope of obtaining God’s mercy and avoiding God’s just condemnation.  Man is obligated and expected to forsake sin, submit to God’s authority in Christ, and come to (as well as continuously believe in) the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His grace to be saved from the guilt and power of sin.  Don’t let the influence of Calvinism or any other influence tell you that you cannot do this or that you do not need to do this.  Not doing this is choosing spiritual death and inviting the wrath of God.

The first point of Calvinism is the concept of Total Depravity.  This basically claims that man cannot repent towards God unless God regenerates him to new life- which in turn causes him to repent towards God.  This concept is refuted simply by how the Bible teaches that repentance precedes new life- rather than proceeds new life (like Calvinism teaches).

Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 11:18: “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

It is repentance unto life; not life unto repentance.  Every point of Calvinism depends on the other points.  One point falling means that the entire system falls.  We could end here then.

The second point of Calvinism is the concept of unconditional election which teaches that God randomly chose who would go to heaven before the world began (also known as Calvinistic predestination).

Calvinistic unconditional election is proven false by how we see in the Bible that people are commended in comparison to other people for their proper reception of the light of truth in relation to other people who did not repent.

Matthew 12:39-42: “But he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

The third point of Calvinism is the concept of Limited Atonement.  This is the teaching that Christ died only for those who were (supposedly) elected to salvation before the foundation of the world.  This concept is refuted by the Bible’s teaching that Christ died for as many people as have turned from God and sinned.

Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

There are many whom Christ died for who will yet end up lost and go to hell for denying Him.

2 Peter 2:1: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

The fourth point of Calvinism is Irresistible Grace.  This teaches that the allegedly unconditionally elect whom Christ allegedly only died for cannot refuse God’s grace that brings salvation.  The implication of this point is obviously that God’s grace could never be received by anyone else besides the unconditionally elected ones.  However, the Bible teaches that God’s grace that brings salvation is indeed offered conditionally to all people.  We cannot earn God’s grace, yet one actually receiving God’s grace in Jesus Christ is conditional.  It is common sense that something being offered freely does not necessarily mean that it is offered unconditionally.

Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

This is speaking of the Jews’ resistance to come to Him in order to obtain His grace.  It is obvious from Scripture that those who won’t be gathered to Him in that way will be gathered together to judgment anyways.

The fifth point of Calvinism is Perseverance of the Saints.  It teaches that the allegedly unconditionally elect who cannot resist God’s grace God can never fall from grace and have their election reversed.  This could also be called the Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) concept.  However, the Bible teaches that God’s conditional grace must be continued in, after it is received.  Those who obtain grace can fall from it by hardening their hearts to the light of God’s Word.

Acts 13:43: “Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”

Hebrews 3:12-15: “Take heed, brethren (this is holy Christian brethren- the first verse of Hebrews 3 says this directly) , lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (that is, the provocation of God by the Israelites in the wilderness).

Revelation 3:4-6: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments (and only a truly born-again Christian has garments worth keeping); and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Ultimately, Calvinism is one of the most wretched man-centered theologies that ever came from the pit of hell.  These are the things that the Calvinists call “the doctrines of grace.”  Believing these points, and taking them to their logical end, justifies the sinner who justifies his wicked ways (as if he has no choice to be a wicked sinner unless and until God makes a move).  What an evil theology.  

Are those whom God has evidently made examples of and sent to hell in His wrath there because it was inevitable that they would live in sin unless and until God irresistibly caused them to forsake their sins and turn to Him in spirit and in truth that they might obtain his grace and live unto Him?

Luke 13:5: “I tell you, Nay (No): but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]