But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…
John 1:12 – Context
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
Jesus Christ came into the world as a light. He came to reveal God to the entire world. He did not merely come for the nation of Israel, but for men from all nations. This is because He is the Creator of all mankind.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
– John 1:3 NKJV
The Gospel of John was written at a time when most Christians were Gentiles. And these Christians (both Jew and Gentile) suffered persecution from unbelieving Jews as well as the Romans. This is one of the reasons John begins His Gospel with this universal perspective. He wants to make it clear that the Jewish Messiah is not merely for Jews, but for all of mankind.
We see evidence for this as we read through John’s Gospel. In chapter 3 we find one of the most famous verses in the Bible. To us it sounds so commonplace. But to a first-century Jew, it would have sounded unthinkable.
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16 NKJV
Continue reading “The Right to Become God’s Children (John 1:12)” →
This is the continuation of my last post. We are still addressing the Calvinist argument that Ephesians 2:5-6 teaches monergistic regeneration because the text does not show any action on the part of man. In the last post we brought our first witness against this argument, namely the immediate context. In verse 5 it includes the phrase “by grace you have been saved.” We noted that Paul expands on this phrase in verses 8. In those verses he teaches that we are saved (i.e. justified) through faith. The grace of God saves us, and we receive that grace through believing. The fact that the same phrase is used in verse 5 and verse 8 shows us that the same topic is being taught in both verses.
But we have another witnesses against the monergistic reading of Ephesians 2:5-6. So without further ado, let’s put our second witness on the stand.
Witness #2 – Colossians 2:11-13
The context of Paul’s letter to the Colossians is very similar to his letter to the Ephesians. There are some slight differences, but the topics he covers are basically the same. What is pertinent for us is the parallel passage to Ephesians 2:5-6 found in Colossians 2:11-13.
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
Continue reading “Are You Sure You Wanna Use That Verse? (Ephesians 2:5-6 – Part 3)” →
They Beleive What?
The condition of the lost sinner is termed “total depravity” by Calvinists; not merely moral depravity, but total constitutional depravity; not merely unwillingness to repent and believe, but inability to repent and believe. The work of grace which they say is required is called “monergistic regeneration.” Monergistic means that this work is done unilaterally by God. God does not wait for the sinner to meet any conditions before transforming him, but God does it unilaterally whenever and to whomever he chooses. And regeneration is an old theological word meaning rebirth, or as moderns usually say, “born again.” So, the conclusion is that because sinners are incapable of repenting of sin and trusting in Christ, God unilaterally causes them to be born again. Only after He does this can the sinner genuinely repent and trust in Christ.
In the next few posts we want to look at the go-to proof-text that Calvinists often cite as biblical evidence of monergistic regeneration. Hopefully we will see very clearly that this is probably not a passage the honest Calvinist will want to use again in the future since it fails on at least 3 major points to confirm their doctrine. The passage we will be considering is found in Ephesians 2:5-6:
5 …even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…
Continue reading “Are You Sure You Wanna Use that Verse? (Eph. 2:5-6 – Part 1)” →