Here’s an outline to a helpful article that clearly explains the doctrines of sovereign grace:
‘God and man must both do something before a man can be saved….
1). ‘A man must repent and believe in order to be saved. No one was ever forgiven and made a child of God who did not willingly turn from sin to Christ….
2). ‘Every one who repents and believes the gospel will be saved….
3). ‘Repentance and faith are not vicarious but are the free acts of men. Men, with their own mind, heart, and will must renounce sin and receive Christ. God doesn’t repent and believe for us–we repent and believe….
‘… We have neither proven freewill nor disproved election, since it is impossible to do either….
4). ‘The same Bible that states man must repent and believe in order to be saved, also emphatically states that man, because of his sinful nature, is totally unable to repent and believe….
‘To believe and preach points One, Two, and Three, without also preaching number Four is to grossly misrepresent the gospel of God’s grace. It is to give a totally false picture of the sinner and his true need. It shows only half of the man’s sin….
‘Please note a few texts of Scripture that dogmatically state some things that a lost man cannot do:
- ‘Man cannot see-until he first be born again. (John 3:3)
- ‘Man cannot understand-until he first be given a new nature. (I Cor. 2:14)
- ‘Man cannot come-until he first be effectually called by the Holy Spirit. (John 6:44-45)
‘We do not have space to go into all the “cannots,” but these three are sufficient to show that a sinner absolutely cannot…come to Christ until God first does something in that sinner’s nature. That “something” is what the Bible calls regeneration, or the new birth, and it is the exclusive work of God the Holy Spirit. Man has no part whatever in regeneration.
5). ‘The new birth, or regeneration, is God giving us the spiritual life that enables us to do what we must do (repent and believe), but CANNOT DO because of our bondage to sin…. We indeed need Christ to die and pay the penalty of our sin, but we just as desperately need the Holy Spirit to give us a new nature in regeneration….
‘God is a triune God…. No man can declare the “glorious gospel of grace” and leave out the Father’s sovereign electing love and the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power as essential parts of God’s work in saving sinners…. How dreadful, and ridiculous, to give Christ the glory for His work on the cross, and then give sinners the credit for the Father’s work in eternity (election) and the Spirit’s work in our hearts (regeneration)….
‘The root error of the Arminian’s gospel of freewill is its failure to see that man’s part, repentance and faith, are the fruits and effects of God’s work and not the essential ingredient’s supplied by the sinner as “man’s part of the deal…”.
6). ‘The Scriptures clearly show that faith and repentance are the evidences and not the cause of regeneration…. Just so when a spiritually dead man begins to perform spiritual acts such as repentance and faith-these spiritual “fruits” show that the miracle of the new birth has taken place….
‘… Acts 16:14 is a clear proof of the above…. Arminianism insists that man’s free will must furnish the willingness or power, and the Bible says that the Holy Spirit of God furnishes that power or ability in the new birth….
‘The necessity of the Holy Spirit’s work being thus theologically denied, it will not be long before it is ignored in actual practice. This is the plight of modern day evangelism….’
-John G. Reisinger
(Đoạn 42, GSiV: Ý chí tự do của con người, Xem chi tiết)
(Also see GSiV here)