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H. LaVern Schafer

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                      by Dr. H.L. Schafer

   Baptists of today who think they can pick and Choose what appeals to 
them from Calvin's teaching and yet remain Biblical should take a 
lesson from history. 

   The Anabaptists who were the antecedents of modern Baptists were 
neither Calvinistic, Lutheran nor Armenian in doctrine. 

     ...This group appeared almost immediately after the Reformation 
     started. Many of them at first hailed Luther and Zwingli with 
     great enthusiasm. But they were after all not followers of the 
     Reformers and before long they became their bitter opponents. 

          Who were these Anabaptists? Where did they come from? 
     What explains their changing attitude toward the Reformers? 

     Some think that they were an entirely new sect, which in no way 
     existed before the Reformation. But it is unlikely that an 
     entirely new sect, without any previous background, would 
     suddenly spring into being. Others think that they had already 
     formed their opinions before the time of the Reformation.

     ...So it seems likely that the kind of people who have become 
     known in history as Anabaptists were there when the Reformation 

     ...The reason they changed so soon into strenuous opponents of 
     the Reformers was that they felt sadly disappointed in them...*1

   A. H. Newman, the Baptist church historian says that Thomas 
Munster, with whose excesses the Anabaptists are usually equated, was 
not really an Anabaptist. 

     Thomas Munster was never really an Anabaptist. Though he 
     rejected infant baptism in theory, he held to it in practice, 
     and never seems to have submitted to believers' baptism himself 
     nor to have re-baptized others.*2

   The one thing that marked the Anabaptists was their literal 
hermeneutics of Scripture. Thus they emphasized 'believers' baptism 
and separation of church and state. Another mark was that as a result 
of their literal approach to Scripture they were Chiliastic or 

     Such Anabaptist leaders as had been under the influence of 
     Mediaeval Chiliastic enthusiasm, whether of the Taboritic or the 
     Franciscan type, when encouraged by the Protestant Revolution to 
     come forward boldly with their reformatory schemes, were sure, 
     along with their insistence on believers' baptism as the divinely 
     appointed initiatory rite into churches of the regenerate, to 
     emphasize the eschatological views that had long been normative 
     in their religious thinking.*3

   The excesses of some of the leaders by perverting the Premillennial 
doctrines had caused some to overlook the fact that even the groups of 
Anabaptists who did not carry it to excess were premillennial, and 
thus literal interpreters of the Bible. This fact was the real basic 
and main reason for the differences and conflicts between the 
Anabaptists and the Reformers. 

   It was not until the 17th century that Baptists were divided into, 
“free will" or "general" Baptists, who were Arminian, and "particular” 
or Calvinistic Baptists. This was a real departure from their 
Anabaptistic background. 

     Two Distinct Groups of Baptists Emerged During the Seventeenth 
     century in England, the General Baptists and the Particular 
     Baptists. The General Baptist were the first to arise and had 
     their origin in John Smyth (d 1612) who had strong Puritan 
     leanings... The Particular Baptists, ...arose through out 
     secession from a Calvinistic Independent Church whose theology 
     they retained. This Church was none other than the first 
     Congregational Church founded by Henry Jacob (1553-1624)....*4 

   History then teaches us that there is a middle view between 
Calvinism and Arminianism and that is the Biblical view held by the 
Anabaptist who opposed Luther and Calvin. It was not until the 17th 
century that Baptists began to choose these other non Biblical views.

   Pastor Kenneth H. Good is pastor of a GARBC church in North 
Olmstead, Ohio. In a personal talk with myself and Dr. B.E. Northrup,
pastor Good responded to the question: Why adopt Calvin when he was 
opposed to every- thing the Anabaptists stood for? He answered to the
effect; "We can take the good from Calvin (i.e. what he taught about
salvation) and reject the rest. We don't have to believe everything 
Calvin said.”

   Little did Pastor Good realize that Calvin's doctrine of Salvation
was the result of the rest of his system. The five points of Calvinism
(TULIP) are a result of the whole system of Calvin. The five points 
are dependent on all the rest of his system. To take the five points 
and rejecting the rest of his system is to take the results from the
rest of the system, while rejecting the source of these five points. 
As such, one is left with five points which have no reason to exist 
since they are but an extension of all the rejected sources.

   This tact will be demonstrated by looking at the various parts of the total  system. 


   A.  Hermeneutics

   It is essential to the five points to interpret the words: "world,"
"all men," "whole world," as meaning "the elect." To violate the 
literal meaning of these simple words, the reformed man must resort to
an allegorical form of interpretation or hermeneutics. This form of 
interpretation is basic to every area of the Reformed position. The 
clearest statement as to how "the world” of John 3:16, I John 2:2 and
II Cor. 5:19 means only "the elect" is stated by the Reformed 
theologian Benjamin B. Warfield: 

     In other words the sovereignty of God lays the sole foundation,
     for a living assurance of the salvation of the world ...If you 
     wish, as you lift your eyes to the far horizon of the future, to
     see looming on the edge of time the glory of a saved world,...
     Calvinism thus is the guardian not only of the particularism 
     which assures me that God the Lord is the Savior of my soul, but
     equally of the universalism by which I am assured that he is also
     the true and actual Savior of the World.... It was because God
     loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son; it was for
     the sins of the world that Jesus Christ made propitiation; it was
     the world which he came to save; it is nothing less than the 
     world that shall be saved by him...then we shall see a wholly
     saved world... There is no antinomy, therefore, in saying that 
     Christ died for his people and that Christ died for the world.
     His people may be few today; the world will be His people

     B.  Allegorical Conclusions 

   This bit of allegorical nonsense is absolutely essential to the 
limited atonement view of the five points. By accepting the five 
points one accepts the results of a pseudo-Biblical system. This 
method of interpretation is essential to Calvin's concept of the 
church, sacraments, salvation, covenants, Christology, Pneumatology, 
Satanology, eternal moral law, atonement, decree, grace, 
righteousness, sin, Christian life, social reform, church and state, 
prophecy and Theology proper. All of these areas are reflected in the
five points.

     II.  Theology Proper 


   Reformed theology confuses how God knows with what God knows. God’s
will is then confused with His knowledge. It is true that there is no
succession in how God knows, for He knows all things simultaneously 
and instantaneously. However, there is both succession and sequence in
what God knows. He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-11). It
is true that He knows the end in the same act in which He knows the 
beginning, but He knows the end as the end and the beginning as the 
beginning. Therefore, He must know what comes between the end and the
beginning as sequence, cause, and effect. 

   Reformed theology shows the confusion in this system by the Supra-
lapsarian View. This view has God electing before He has determined to
create or permit the fall. So there is no need to elect. There is 
neither cause and effect nor sequence. There is nothing to select. 

   The word elect in the O.T. is bakhar and in the N.T. is eklegomαi,
both mean to pick out, select or choose out. How could God choose some
when He had not as yet determined to create them? God both determined
to create and to permit the fall and then to choose some out of the 
total fallen group, a group seen as all one in Adam. 

   B.  Decree 

   This confusion carries over to the decree as to what and how God 
knows. It is not too much to say that to many limited atonement people
today believe that God could die and yet the decree would roll merrily
along. Berkhof, in his Systematic Theology, clearly demonstrates this
and adds the concept of immobility to God: 

     The divine decree is eternal in the sense that it lies entirely 
in eternity. In a certain sense it can be said that all the acts of 
God are eternal, since there is no succession of moments in the Divine
Being... The decree, however, while it relates to things outside of 
God, remains in itself an act within the Divine Being, and is 
therefore eternal in the strictest sense of the word.*6

   This concept confuses the mobility of God and His will with what 
and how He knows. Such a concept makes God a slave to His decree, 
since if the decree is as eternal as God is, then how could it be an 
act of His will? But the O.T. word for decree is khouk, which means a
statue or thing determined (Psa. 2:7). The verb to decree is gazar, 
which means to determine. The N.T. boule is the first declension noun
from the verb boulomai, which means to determine.  Thus the noun means
a thing determined--a decree. There can be no beginning until God 
decrees it and there can be no end until God decrees a beginning.

   Therefore, the decree is not the result of God knowing but a result
of the three Persons of the Godhead determining to devise and operate
a plan of action in keeping with the knowledge of deity. The knowledge
is not the decree but the basis of the determined plan--the decree is
the expression of the three Persons determining a plan in keeping with
the omniscience of their one divine nature. Paul expresses it in the 
N.T. language: 

     In whom (Christ) also we were made an inheritance, being marked
     out before hand as measured by the purpose of him who operates 
     all things as measured by that which has been determined (by 
     three persons) concerning the desirous will (Divine nature) of
     him. Eph. 1:11 (by author).

   The decree is not as eternal as God. There was a phase in God’s 
existence when this present decree did not exist. However, the Godhead
knew that at some point in their existence they would determine this 
present decree; God's plan of operation from ages past unto the ages 
of the ages or the future (which is not the same as saying eternally).
After which there will be new determinations. One can understand the 
difference between knowledge of a beginning and the determination as 
an act of the will in human experience. Each year one knows that next
April 15 one must file their income tax return. The knowledge of this
event beforehand is not the same as filing the report. You must 
determine to sit down and do it. This is the beginning. When you file
your report it is a result of an act of the will determining an act 
based on something in your knowledge; thus there is an end. However, 
filing your income tax report does not exhaust all your knowledge, 
only some of your knowledge. The average person knows more than is in
your report. Thus the Trinity knows more than They decreed in the 
present decree.

   The Reformed theologian usually relates the decree to only one 
Person of the Godhead. By inference, this one Person is the Father and
thus the doctrine of the Trinity, Christology and Pneumatology suffer.

   The Westminster shorter statement, which is reformed, reflects this: 

     The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the 
     counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath 
     foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.*7

   How different from the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul 
ascribes praise to the glory of each Person of the Trinity for their 
part. in this decree (Eph. 1:6 (Father) v.12 (Son) v.14 (Holy Spirit)).


   A.  Depravity 

   The first point of the five points of TULIP denotes total depravity.
While all Bible believers who understand Scripture believe in the 
total depravity, the Reformed theologian uses it in a different way 
than Scripture does. Total depravity is the result of Adam eating of 
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. His nature 
became perverted (i.e. body, soul and spirit). By his sin, physical 
death came upon all mankind (Rom. 5:12). This is by immediate seminal
imputation. Moreover, his trespass, or offense to God, brought 
condemnation to all mankind. This is passed on to all men by mediate 
imputation by propagation and imparts the sin principle, or nature, 
which results in spiritual death and condemnation (Rom. 5:18). 
Spiritual death is neither annihilation or cessation, but a separation.
Man is separated from God. However, a spiritually dead man can think,
though not correctly, in spiritual matters. The curse placed on Eve, 
women, and upon creation for Adam's sake is not of total depravity but
the penalty God imposed on Eve and Adam's transgression (Gen. 3:15-19;
Rom. 5:14; I Tim. 2:14). Because mankind was fallen, they came under
the authority of Satan, but this was a result of depravity, not the 
depravity itself. Later God imposes judgments upon man because of his
expressions of depravity, but again these are not depravity, but 
rather the penalties on depravity (Rom. 1:21-28).

   Since depravity is passed on mediately by propagation and is 
realized in the sin nature which brings spiritual death and thus 
condemnation, a man is born condemned (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1). Therefore,
man is condemned by his part in Adam’s sin and trespass (Rom. 5:18; 
3:23; Rom. 6:23). His personal sin, the ones he commits as an 
individual, are simply an expression of his nature and condemnation.  
He sins because he is a condemned sinner.

   B.  Personal Sin 

   After painting a dismal picture of man's depravity by combining 
depravity, the curse and subsequent judgments on man’s depravity, it 
becomes a dead end to the reformed. In other words, it means nothing 
in reference to the work of Christ on the cross. It is a facade, or 
farce, since it has not meaning to the rest of the system. It is used 
as a jumping off point to something entirely different in their idea 
of irresistible grace. This becomes very clear when the following 
statements by reformed men are weighed. James Boyce states: 

     The condemnation for the sins man commits is too plainly taught 
     in the word of God. From this condemnation the Elect are rescued 
     by special grace, the Rejected are left liable to it and 
     consequently suffer from it.*8 

   And in the same vein Warfield says: 

     But what obstacle stands in the way of the salvation of sinners,
     except just their sin? And if this obstacle (their sin) is
     removed are they not saved?*9 

   The reformed doctrine of depravity is a farce used to argue that a
man dead in sins cannot believe so he must have life first (more will 
be said about this later). Then they revert to man's personal sins as 
a means of condemnation so that they can argue for a limited atonement.
It is from the concept of condemnation from personal sins that they 
make a premise for the statement, “If Christ died for the sins of all
men, then all men would be saved."*10 Any thoughtful person can see 
that depravity has no place in this statement. It is the personal sins
of man that are seen to condemn him; remove these and he is saved. So
reformed theology has led one to believe a doctrine of depravity 
simply to form a basis for the statement of irresistible grace. This 
is the "I" of the five points. One would think that depravity would be
made the basis of their limited atonement concept, but it is not. 

   Scripture teaches that man is depraved because of his part in 
Adam's sin and trespass and is born condemned. He is spiritually dead
because of his Adamic sin nature and needs new life to be saved (Titus
3:5; Eph. 2:1; Rom. 6:23). 

      IV.  SOTERIOLOGY--Salvation 

   A.  The Gospel

   The most basic question concerning the proclamation of salvation is
a definition of the gospel. What is the gospel? Paul insists that one
must believe the gospel to be saved. He also states it is God's 
inherent power with reference to salvation. 

     For I am not ashamed of the good news concerning Christ (the 
     risen and glorified one) for it is the inherent power of God unto
     salvation, to the Jew firstly and to the creek. (Rom. 1:16, by

   Therefore the question as to what is the gospel is the difference 
between salvation and condemnation. It is from the human point-of-view
the most important aspect of getting saved. For all their boast of 
preaching the gospel, one would think that the reformed men would 
perfectly know what the gospel is. But their own words inform us that
they do not know. 

   Calvin states his concept of the gospel as: 

     By the Gospel, I understand the clear manifestation of the 
     mystery of Christ. I confess, indeed, that inasmuch as the term
     Gospel is applied by Paul to the doctrine of faith (II Tim. 4:10),
     it includes all the promises by which God reconciles men to 
     himself and which occur throughout the Law...Hence it follows 
     that Gospel, taken in a large sense, comprehends the evidence of
     mercy and paternal favor which God bestowed on the Patriarchs.*11

   Thus to Calvin the gospel meant believing most of the Bible. To 
this agrees Bavinck: 

     Law and gospel are the two component parts of the Word of God. 
     The two are distinguished from each other but they are never
     separated. They accompany each other throughout Scripture, from
     the beginning to the end of revelation....The law really belongs
     to the so called covenant of works...But the gospel is the
     proclamation of the covenant of grace which was made known for 
     the first time after the fall of man, and which gives him eternal
     life by grace, through faith in Christ...The law keeps its place
     in the covenant of order that through it we should
     come to know our sin, our guilt, our misery, and our helplessness,
     and, struck down and stripped by the consciousness of guilt, 
     should take refuge in the grace of God in Christ....*12 

   Thus Bavinck assumes one must know most of the Old Testament and a 
good portion of the New Testament. Berkhof is even more elusive: 

     It is impossible to determine with precision just how much 
     knowledge is absolutely required in saving faith.  If saving 
     faith is the acceptance of Christ as He is offered in the gospel,
     the question naturally arises, How much of the gospel must a man
     know, in order to be saved?...all true saving faith must contain
     at least a minimum of knowledge, not so much of the divine
     revelation in general as of the Mediator and His gracious
     operations. The more real knowledge one has of the truths of
     redemption, the richer and fuller ones faith will be. If all 
     other things are equal.*13 

   Berkhof ends this section with an appeal for churches to 
indoctrinate their youth. 

   It is easy to see how reformed theology can be accused of a 
salvation by education. They do not believe in a church membership 
made up of only believers. So one sees the basis of their catechism 
classes for unbelievers to learn doctrine and to be educated to 
salvation and church membership. The gospel is stated in Scripture in 
I Cor. 15:1-4. It contains the fact that Christ died for our sins, 
that He was buried and that He rose again the third day. Many Baptists
today abuse the gospel by leaving out the resurrection and changing 
the fact Christ died for our sins, to the statement, "Christ died for 
you." Paul insisted that the resurrection must be part of the gospel 
and he gives his motive for preaching that gospel in winning people to 
Christ. As a result, he said that he suffered persecution (II Tim. 

   B.  Christ’s Death 

   A sinner minus his sins is not saved--for he would still be 
condemned because of his sin nature and the spiritual death and 
condemnation that comes from this nature. Scripture states that we are
saved through the intermediate agency of regeneration and washing from
the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit regenerates the elect one
whom He convicts efficaciously which is based on the work Christ 
accomplished on the cross.

   Surprisingly the Reformed men deny that the death of Christ is 
sufficient for the salvation of one of the elect. They divide the 
atonement into two aspects: the active and passive obedience of 
Christ. Berkhof states this clearly: 

     Christ as Mediator entered the federal relation in which Adam
     stood in the state of integrity, in order to merit eternal life 
     for the sinner. This constitutes the active obedience of Christ
     consisting in all that Christ did to observe the law in its
     federal aspect, as the condition for obtaining eternal life. The
     active obedience of Christ was necessary to make His passive
     obedience acceptable with God, that is, to make it an object of
     God's good pleasure. It is only on account of it God's estimate 
     of the sufferings of Christ differs from His estimate of the
     sufferings of the lost...His passive obedience consisted in His
     paying the penalty of sin by His sufferings and death, and thus
     discharging the debt of all His people.*14

   Calvin agrees in detail with Berkhof: 

     That Christ, by his obedience, truly purchased and merited grace
     for us with the Father. I take it for granted, that if Christ
     satisfied for our sins, if he paid the penalty due us, if he
     appeased God by his obedience; in fine, if he suffered the just
     for the unjust, salvation was obtained for us by his
     righteousness; which is just equivalent to meriting.*15

   Christ accomplished 24 distinct things on the cross, three of these
relate as the basis of our salvation. These three are: redemption from
Adamic sin, reconciliation because of personal sin, and propitiation 
in reference to our Adamic sin corruption. When God saves an 
individual the provisions of these three are applied to the one being
saved by the regenerative and baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. 

   The death of Christ, both spiritual and physical, as completed by 
His resurrection is the sole basis of salvation. The application of 
the benefits is by the Holy Spirit. Christ's earthly ministry adds 
nothing to the work of the cross and the resurrection. However, they 
are the basis, or provision, for salvation, not the application. 

   The reformed man makes the passive obedience of Christ acceptable 
because of the active obedience and then makes the obedience of Christ
the instrument of salvation itself.

     ...the precise point at issue comes therefore to be whether the
     redemptive work of Christ actually saves those for whom it is
     wrought, or only opens a possibility of salvation to them...the
     consistent particularist is able to look upon the redemption
     wrought by Christ as actually redemptive, and insist that it is 
     in itself a saving act which actually saves, securing salvation 
     of those for whom it is wrought.*16 

   This statement contains so many Biblical and theological errors 
that it is beyond the scope of this paper to refute them all. But 
first of all, note the lack of exegesis. Second, Warfield assumes 
redemption to be the total work of salvation. Third, he never exegetes
the four words for redemption. Fourth, he assumes redemption is for 
personal sins. Fifth, he assumes that redemption, reconciliation and 
propitiation are all the same. But they are not the same. Sufficient 
to note that Warfield and the Calvinistic view both agree that the 
death of Christ is not sufficient to obtain eternal life for the 
believer, but that His death was both sufficient and effective in 
taking away the sins of those for whom it is wrought. But a sinner 
minus his sin is not a saint; he must have life to be saved. This 
conclusion that redemption is from personal sins, is the other part of
the premise for the famous Calvinistic statement that, "If Christ died
for the sins of all men, then all men would be saved."*17 This same 
conclusion is stated in a little different way: "Calvinism demands a 
really substitutive atonement which actually saves."*18


   A.  Calvinism’s Answer 

   If the cross itself saves, then how does this relate to the 
convicting work of the Holy Spirit and faith on the part of man? It is
at this juncture that the depravity of man becomes important to 
Calvinism. It now becomes clear why so much effort is expended in 
proving the depravity of man, since it is his personal sins that 
condemned him. For without using Scripture, the reformed man reasons,
"How can a dead man believe?"  Their answer, also without any 
Scripture, is: "He must be given life that he may believe."

   Indeed this is what every GARBC member swears to when he embraces 
the GARBC confession of faith according to Kenneth Good. 

     According to the GARBC statement, man does not believe in order
     to be regenerated, but God regenerates man so that he may believe.
     Repentance and faith are not the causes of regeneration, they are
     its fruit...

     The GARBC Confession sees man as a totally undone sinner. "not
     only by constraint, but of choice" (article 6, "The Fall of Man”).
     His only hope lies in God’s gracious act of mercy to bestow life
     upon the spiritually dead, not in response to man's faith 
     (foreseen or existent), but with the purpose of giving faith. The
     Biblical order puts regeneration before faith (John 1:12-13;
     James 1:18).*19 

   This opinion is shared by many modern day Calvinists, though Calvin
himself put faith before regeneration.*20 It should also be noted that
Pastor Good did not exegete, nor tell how John 1:12-13 and James 1:18
prove regeneration is before faith. In fact, a correct exegesis of 
these three verses would prove otherwise. Pastor Good also 
misrepresents the GARBC Confession. Article 6 on the fall of man does
not relate faith or regeneration to the fall. Pastor Good's 
understanding of Article 6 would contradict Article XI, which states,
"We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition
of salvation."*21 

   If language means anything then faith is the condition of salvation
and as such the condition must be met to have salvation. One cannot
have salvation without regeneration according to Scripture. "Not out 
of works of righteousness which we have done, contrary wise according 
to His mercy He saved us through the intermediate agency of a washing 
consisting of regeneration and a renewal from the Holy Spirit (Titus 
3:5, by author).

   Not only does Pastor Good contradict the GARBC Confession but he 
contradicts the Scriptures. 

   A.  The Scriptures 

     1. Those that state you are saved by believing: Acts 16:31; Rom.
        1:16; I Cor. 15:1-2; John 5:24; Acts 10:43; 13:39; Rom. 4:3, 5;
        10:9-10; I Cor. 1:21; Gal. 2:16; 3:6; I Tim. 1:16; James 2:23 

     2. Those that state faith proceeds salvation or parts of
        salvation: Rom. 3:22, 28, 30; 4:5, 9, 11, 16; 5:1; 9:30; Gal. 
        2:16; 3:2, 5, 8, 26; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 3:9    

     3. The Prepositions
        a. ek -- out of
           Rom. 3:30 -- Justified out of faith (Jews)
           Rom. 5:1 -- Having been justified out of faith
           Rom. 9:30 -- the righteousness which is out of faith
           Gal. 3:2 -- Received Spirit out of hearing of faith
           Gal. 3:8 -- God will justify the Gentiles out of faith.

        b. dia -- through (intermediate agency)
           Rom. 3:30 -- Justified through faith (Gentiles)
           Gal. 2:16 -- Justified through faith concerning Jesus Christ
           Gal. 3:26--Sons of God through faith in Christ
           Eph. 2:8 -- Saved, through faith
        c. epi -- upon the occasion or on the basis
           Phil. 3:9 -- the righteous out of God which is (upon the
              occasion or based on) faith.

   In each case, the preposition shows faith must precede 
righteousness, justification or sonship.

   A.  Faith 

     1. Faith is not a work: To him that worketh not but believes on 
        him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for
        righteousness (Rom. 4:5).

     2. Faith is of grace: Therefore it is out of faith in order that
        it may be according to grace...(Rom. 4:16).

     3. Faith is a gift
        a. Eph. 2:8 -- it is a gift -- refers to faith, salvation and 
           grace -- genders are different.
        b. Phil. 1:29 -- Given to believe
        c. I Cor. 3:5 -- ye believed as the Lord gave to each one

   Grace and faith can coexist and cooperate to accomplish the same 
end because neither one is of works. Faith is not a work (Rom. 4:5). 
Grace excludes all works (Rom. 11:5-6). Therefore, there is no 
conflict between grace and faith.

   In the convincing work of the Holy Spirit, the gift of faith is
given with which the one being convicted believes unto salvation.
It is all of grace and is a gift so no work is involved on man’s part 
(John 16:8-11).


   A. Tenses of Salvation

   There are three tenses of salvation: past, present and future. Each
of these tenses are accomplished for the Christian by grace (Eph. 
2:8-9; Titus 2:11-12; II Tim. 2:2; Heb. 7:25).

   Many reformed men place all present tense salvation into the 
future. Thus justification and eternal life are made to be future 
realities by many or most reformed men.

     This is essentially the meaning of "justification" in Paul. It is
     an eschatological word which relates to the verdict of acquittal
     on the day of judgment (Rom. 2:13). Believers have this future
     acquittal in the present by faith (Matt. 12:36, 37; Jn. 5:24).*22

   As to eternal life:

     For when He returns He fulfills all His promises and grants to
     His confessors the perfect salvation and eternal life. Therefore
     they live in hope, and expect continuously the blessed hope...
     And only in the coming age will they receive eternal life
     (Mark 10:30).*23

   Except for minor details, such as, making eternal life the 
perpetual happiness of the final state of the righteous, most reformed
men agree that eternal life is future. 

     Since present tense salvation is all in the future, man is left
     in the present living under law and earning his future tense
     salvation by persevering as a believer.*24

   It is at this point that many Baptists have been misled. 
Perseverance of the saints means just that. The emphasis is on the 
human's persistence in salvation.*25 Many Baptists take this to be the
same as "eternal security" or "security." It is not the same. The 
emphasis of security is God's work in keeping the believer 
(I Cor. 11:30-32; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:31-34).

   The reformed man is in earnest when he speaks of the perseverance 
of the saints. He will modify it by saying one must depend on the 
grace of God.

   The picture of the present life as under law is seen as a 
"struggle" and a "warfare" which by perseverance and the grace of God 
one earns his future blessings. Thus all reformed men are legalistic 
at heart and their perseverance is not the security of the Baptists.

   B. The Sacraments

   Most reformed men agree that in some undefined manner, the Holy 
Spirit works grace in the life of the believer to help him persevere. 
It is not until one sees the sacraments as the reformed man sees them 
that it is clear how the Holy Spirit works this grace.

   Berkhof defines a sacrament:

     A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ, in which
     by sensible signs the grace of God in Christ, and the benefits of
     the covenant of grace are represented, sealed, and applied to the
     believers, and these in turn give expression to their faith and
     allegiance to God.*26

   Thus it should be no surprise that after calling the Lord's Supper
a sacrament, Berkhof quotes the Heidelberg Catechism to define how
the Lord's Supper is a sacrament.

     The Heidelberg Catechism says that Christ intends, "by these
     visible signs and pledges to assure us that we are as really
     partakers of His true body and blood, through the working of the
     Holy Spirit, as we receive by mouth of the body these holy tokens
     in remembrance of Him; and that all His sufferings and obedience
     are as certainly ours as if we ourselves had in our own persons
     suffered and made satisfaction to God for our sins.*27

   Thus it is through the sacraments that the grace of God is applied
to the believer while he struggles under law.

   How refreshing to know one's position in Christ and the empowerment 
that comes as a result. How happy the Christian who is taught by grace 
and has victory over the sin nature by grace (Titus 2:11-12; II Tim. 
2:2; Rom. 6:14).


   A.  Civil Government

   The legalistic reformed professed believer sees that his struggle 
in this life would be eased if he lived in a theocracy. To the end of 
easing this struggle, Calvin had his Geneva and the Puritans their 

   Thus Calvin could conclude:

     God keeps us united in the fellowship of Christ by means of
     Ecclesiastical and Civil government...The Magistrate is God's
     vicegerent (sic), the father of his country, the guardian of the
     laws, the administrator of justice, the defender of the

   John Knox, under the influence of Calvin, brought Scotland to its 
knees and wedded Church and State.

     Maintenance of the true religion was declared to be the prime 
     duty of government. Ministers were paid by the state. The church
     was not to take a hand in politics unless it concerned some 
     matter touching upon religious life or practice.*29
   Calvin's Geneva failed and the Puritans and their Salem failed, for 
the simple reason they tried to make unbelievers live like believers. 
They took the Word of God, which is for the man of God, and tried to 
make it for the ungodly man apart from God. When will Baptists believe 
that the Scriptures are for the man of God (II Tim. 3:16-17)? If we 
make the unsaved live like the saved, the Christian loses his 
uniqueness. We are in the world but not of the world (John 15:17-20; 

   It is simple for the reformed to erase the distinction between the 
world and believers. They have already done it by equating the world 
with the elect.

   Paul said live in society, but stand out from it by your manner of 
life. Paul never advocated changing the slavery of the Roman Empire. 
He did not suggest revolt against the filthy Nero. Rather he said be 
the best slave there is. With respect to Nero, he said be subject to 
the powers that be for he is one who serves God (I Cor. 7:20-24; Eph. 
6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25; Rom. 13:1-7). Peter agrees with this view of 
government and slavery (I Peter 2:13-18).

   Paul -- persecution for being different. In fact, if we live godly 
in Christ Jesus, we shall suffer persecution. (II Tim. 1:8-9; 3:12).

   The Anabaptists, being literal interpreters of the Bible, taught 
separation of Church and State. Today many Baptist have forgotten 
this, as the letters published in the Baptist Bulletin will show.

   B.  A Religious Society

   Now along comes Francis Schaeffer with his "A Christian  

   In it he advocates: 

     Christians must realize, Dr. Schaeffer said, “it is just as 
     important to bring society and law and government under the
     teaching of the word of God as our individual personal lives."

   Sounds like Geneva or Salem all over again. If we cannot learn from 
the Word of God, cannot we Baptists learn from History? Where is 
Calvin's Geneva? Where are the Puritans? They are dead and buried, 
let's leave them there!

   The grace believer can live in an evil world and live above it. His 
testimony will shine greater when he learns he not only is saved by 
grace, but he is taught, disciplined, empowered and victorious by 
grace.  And by the crowning events of grace he will be rewarded and 
have manifestations of grace into the ages of the ages (Eph. 2:5-7).

               Sources Consulted

   *1 B.K. Kuiper, The Church in History (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), pp. 327-328.
   *2 A.H. Newman, A Manual of Church History (Chicago: American Baptist Pub. Society, 1947), Vol. 2, p. 157.
   *3 Newman, p. 150.
   *4 Errol Hulse, An Introduction to the Baptists (Cambridge, England: University Tutorial Press, 1973), p. 17.
   *5 Benjamin B. Warfield, The Plan of Salvation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), pp. 98, 99, 100.
   *6 Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960) p. 104.
   *7 Berkhof, p. 102.
   *8 James P Boyce, Abstract of Systematic Theology (Christian Gospel Foundation, n.d.) p. 362.
   *9 Warfield, p. 95.
   *10 Warfield, p. 95.
   *11 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Trans. by Henry Beveridge, London: Clarke, 1953) Vol. 1, p. 365.
   *12 Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978), pp. 410-411.
   *13 Berkhof, p. 504.
   *14 Berkhof, pp. 380-381.
   *15 Calvin, Vol. 1, p. 455.
   *16 Warfield, p. 24.
   *17 Warfield, p. 96.
   *18 Warfield, p. 96.
   *19 Kenneth H. Good, Are Baptists Calvinists (Oberlin: Reg. Bapt. Heritage Fellowship, 1975), p. 196.
   *20 Calvin, Vol. 1, p. 509.
   *21 GARBC, Constitution and Articles of Faith, p. 7.
   *22 Robert D. Brinsmead, Verdict (Fallbrook: Verdict Pub., June, 1981), p. 19.
   *23 Bavinck, pp. 555, 561; Boyce, pp. 472, 476.
   *24 Bavinck, pp. 505-506.
   *25 Boyce, pp. 425-436; Bavinck, pp. 503-506.
   *26 Berkhof, p. 617.
   *27 Berkhof, p. 651.
   *28 Calvin, Vol. 2, pp. 685, 688.
   *29 Kuiper, p. 273.

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