The Doctrine of God’s Sovereign Grace
Romans 11:5-6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
What has happened to Christian people all over the United States as to spiritual maturity? The thing that has happened, I suspect, has also happened all over the world. I have, in my library, Christian books which date back several centuries. If you pick up a Christian book that was published a century ago, and compare it with a Christian book published in the last thirty years, you will find a vast difference in content and subject matter. There seems to be, in contemporary writings, a lack of deep theological thinking. In the former writings the list of subject matter would be within the range of Bible doctrine. Subjects such as Justification, Sanctification, The Holiness of God, The Attributes of God, The Atonement, and other subjects which exalt God and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ in His offices and work were common.
Another thing which was common in centuries gone by was that Christian people (in general) were more spiritually minded. God’s word was law, and God’s law was sacred. The things of God took precedence over everything else in life. In those days, even sinners showed a deep reverence toward God and the Bible.
Today, the subject matter is quite different. There is a great emphasis on human secularism. The so-called modern day theologian is selling books designed to build mans confidence in himself, and build his self-esteem. Though they quote the Bible, and God is mentioned as our greatest need, and Christ is the Savior for mankind, little or no mention is given of God’s sovereignty and His sovereign will. Rather, He is presented as man’s servant and butler who stands patiently waiting to meet his every need and desire.
David asked the question in Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The teachings of God’s sovereign grace are the most important teachings in the Bible. They are foundational and essential to proper spiritual growth. It may be more proper to say that those teachings are pillars which make up the foundation of Biblical theology. If those pillars are weakened or destroyed, then “what can the righteous do?”
Tom Ross, a pastor with whom I am acquainted in Ohio, wrote a book entitled Abandoned Truth. He made the following observation in his introduction. “The twentieth century has been marked by a major departure from the orthodox, Biblical teaching of the doctrine of soteriology or salvation. Many have sold the truth in their quest for success and recognition among popular evangelical leaders. The acid test for any belief has never been whether it is accepted by the majority, but whether it is according to ‘the law and the testimony’, found in the infallible Word of the living God.” And we must conclude that God’s people have been malnourished as a result.
What has been the consequence of this weak “theological” teaching? It has reduced the people of God to meek, weak, helpless cry-babies that complain about every little in- convenience in life. Like a child who is fed only junk food, our spiritual growth and our development is inadequate, and we have no spiritual stamina.
The departure from theological thinking by pastors and evangelists has brought about a change in the way Christ is presented to the lost sinner. The sinner seldom if ever hears that he or she is a wicked sinner, doomed, damned and headed for a burning hell. Instead, they are told that God is doing his best to keep them from going to that awful place, but He is helpless unless the sinner takes the first step. The Lord Jesus Christ is presented to the sinner as a week, meek helpless reformer who is trying to convert the world. The super churches and the power packed evangelists use every sort of technique and clever game to get dead sinners to respond and “let God into their life.” Along with a weak, polluted, and distorted message, these modern so-called evangelists are saying that the Bible message that proclaims the gospel of Christ as the power of God unto salvation is not powerful enough, and that the effectual work of the Holy Spirit in quickening dead sinners is not effectual enough.
What is the end result of all this nonsense? The end result is obvious; churches all over America are growing by leaps and bounds. Pews are being filled, lost sinners have been persuaded to say yes, and agree to let Jesus into their lives, but they have not been regenerated. You can teach a lost sinner how to live a clean Christian life, and tell them to use the Bible as their rule book, but you cannot teach them about holiness of heart and the holiness of God. They simply lack the spiritual discernment to comprehend. People are being misled into thinking that a superficial faith in Jesus (just say yes) is salvation.
The most important thing that I can encourage you to do is to READ YOUR BIBLE, for therein lies all the answers. If we stay with the word of God and compare Scripture with Scripture, we cannot go wrong. E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.