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Page 345

Arminius introduced "free will" or "decisional regeneration" in place of "free grace" or "Spirit-worked regeneration" as the manner of salvation. The term "free will" refers to the will of natural man having both the freedom and ability to choose the good or bad, God or self, love or sin. Salvation depends upon natural man's decision for God, his acceptance of Christ, his turning to God.




"Free will" denies the scriptural truth, however, that due to man's fallen condition and his totally sinful and depraved heart, he will only choose for self, sin, world, and Satan. If salvation depended upon natural man's "choices ... .. decisions," "repentance," or "faith," no sinner would ever be saved, for his will is perverse - against God and for self. God needs to first plant new spiritual life in a spiritually dead sinner, to give him a new heart. Upon receiving spiritual gifts of God's free grace, sinners will be made willing to repent from sin, believe in God, and choose for Christ.




Arminius' covenant teaching is directly related to his view of man and the plan of salvation. Notice, from the previous sketch, that Arminius believed that Jesus Christ died for all mankind in the same manner in the Covenant of Redemption. He taught that Christ removed everyone's original sin - not just the elect's. On this basis, salvation is offered to mankind and all have the ability of themselves, to repent, believe, and make a decision for Christ. Those that accept Christ's offer enter into a Covenant of Grace with God. This covenant is made directly with them. Man is again his own agreeing party with God in Arminius' covenant presentation. God did His part by giving Christ, removing man's original sin, and offering salvation. Man now must do his part by accepting this teaching, turning from sin, and believing on God. Those that make this "decision" enter into a Covenant of Grace with God. Those that faithfully continue to "choose for God" and remain in the covenant will be saved.




Arminius' teaching was and remains very popular. Many present-day churches follow his covenant and salvation view. Many large, modern evangelistic crusades use approaches which are based upon this covenant and decisional regeneration view.

 

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

- Romans 3:10-11

Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and I ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.

- John 15:16

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.

- Matthew 1:21

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.

- Philippians 2:13

No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.

- John 6:44a

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

- Ephesians 2:8

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

- Philippians 1:6

 

How does the teaching of Arminius contradict the marginal scriptural references on this page and the following five points of Calvinism:

Total depravity?

Unconditional election?

Limited atonement?

Irresistible grace?

Perseverance of the saints?


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