Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner's heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. It takes more than the Spirit's assistance to bring the sinner to Christ -it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.
Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3, 8:44; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12; Ephesians 2:2-3; I Corinthians 2:14
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause, of God's choice. Election, therefore, was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus, God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
Deuteronomy 7:6-7; Isaiah 55:11; John 6:44, 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28; 9:11-13; II Timothy 1:9
Christ's death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. Christ's redeeming work was intended to save only the elect (those whom the Father had given him) and actually secured salvation for them. Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for the elect's salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The elect are the sole object of God's saving grace.
Matthew 1:21, 20:28; John 10:14-18, 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:8-9; Titus 2:14; Revelation 5:9
In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (made without distinction) can be and is often rejected; whereas the internal call (made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited by man's will or dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinners to cooperate, to believe, to repent, and to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
Ezekiel 11:19-20; John 6:37; Romans 8:30; Colossians 2:13; James 1:18; Titus 3:5
PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS
All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and, thus, persevere to the end. Therefore, salvation is wholly dependent upon the God who has willed to save those whom He gave to His dear Son. Their salvation can never be lost. The elect are kept by God's power through faith, and nothing can separate them from His love. They have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given as the guarantee of their salvation, and they are thus assured of an eternal inheritance. This doctrine does not maintain that all who profess the Christian faith are certain of heaven. Many who profess belief and then “fall away” do not fall from grace; they were never in grace. True believers fall into various temptations and commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ.
Isaiah 43:1-3; Jeremiah 32:40; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; I Thessalonians 5:23-24; Jude 24-25
Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, and the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process of election, redemption, and regeneration is the work of God and is by His grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation
John 1:12-13; John 15:16; Romans 9:14-16; Ephesians 1:2-14
Discuss this article and other topics in our Discussion Board