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  • WORKS OF ARMINIUS - ON ORIGINAL SIN


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    XII. ON ORIGINAL SIN

    1. Original sin is not that actual sin by which Adam transgressed the law concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and on account of which we have all been constituted sinners, and rendered obnoxious or liable to death and condemnation.

    2. QUERIES. -- Is original sin only the absence or want of original righteousness and of primeval holiness, with an inclination to commit sin, which likewise formerly existed in man, though it was not so vehement nor so inordinate as now it is, on account of the lost favour of God, his malediction, and the loss of that good by which that inclination was reduced to order? Or is it a certain infused habit (or acquired ingress) contrary to righteousness and holiness, after that sin had been committed,

    3. Does original sin render men obnoxious to the wrath of God, when they have been previously constituted sinners on account of the actual sin of Adam, and rendered liable to damnation?

    4. Adam, when considered in this state, after sin and prior to restoration, was not bound at once to punishment and obedience, but only to punishment.

    XIII. ON THE PREDESTINATION OF MAN CONSIDERED PARTLY IN HIS PRIMEVAL STATE, AND PARTLY IN THE FALL

    1. IT is rashly asserted that "the matter of predestination, as it is opposed to reprobation, is man in common or absolutely, if regard be had to the foreordaining of the end; but if regard be had to the means for the end, it is man about to perish by and in himself and guilty in Adam." (Trelcatii Institut., lib. 2. On Predestination.)

    2. With equal infelicity is it asserted that "one reprobation is negative or passive, another affirmative or active -- that the former is before all things and causes in things foreknown and considered, or that will arise from things; and that this act is respective of sin, and is called predamnation."

    3. It may become a subject of discussion in what manner the following things can be said agreeably to this doctrine: "The impulsive cause of this predestination is the benevolent inclination of the will of God in Christ; and predestination is an eternal act of God, by which he resolves to make in Christ some creatures partakers of his grace and glory."

    4. This is a stupid assertion: "The just desertion of God, by which he does not confer grace on a reprobate man, and which appertains to predestination and to its execution, is that of exploration or trial." This also cannot be reconciled with the expressions in the preceding paragraph.

    XIV. ON PREDESTINATION CONSIDERED AFTER THE FALL

    1. QUERIES. -- Out of the fallen human race, or out of the mass of corruption and perdition, has God absolutely chosen some particular men to life, and absolutely reprobated others to death, without any consideration of the good of the one or of the evil of the other? And from a just decree, which is both gracious and severe, is there such a requisite condition as this in the object which God is about to elect and to save, or to reprobate and condemn?

    2. Is any man damned with death eternal, solely on account of the sin of Adam?

    3. Are those who are thus the elect necessarily saved on account of the efficacy of grace, which has been destined to them only that they may not be able to do otherwise than assent to it, as it is irresistible,

    4. Are those who are thus the reprobate necessarily damned, because either no grace at all, or not sufficient, has been destined to them, that they may assent to it and believe,

    5. Or rather, according to St. Augustine, Are those who are thus the elect assuredly saved, because God decreed to employ grace on them as he knew was suitable and congruous that they might be persuaded and saved; though if regard be had to the internal efficacy of grace, they may not be advanced or benefited by it,

    6. Are those who have thus been reprobated certainly damned, because God does not apply to them grace as he knows to be suitable and congruous, though in the mean time they are supplied with sufficient grace, that they may be able to yield their assent and be saved,

    XV. ON THE DECREES OF GOD WHICH CONCERN THE SALVATION OF SINFUL MEN, ACCORDING TO HIS OWN SENSE

    1. The first decree concerning the salvation of sinful men, as that by which God resolves to appoint his Son Jesus Christ as a saviour, mediator, redeemer, high priest, and one who may expiate sins, by the merit of his own obedience may recover lost salvation, and dispense it by his efficacy.

    2. The SECOND DECREE is that by which God resolves to receive into favour those who repent and believe, and to save in Christ, on account of Christ, and through Christ, those who persevere, but to leave under sin and wrath those who are impenitent and unbelievers, and to condemn them as aliens from Christ.

    3. The THIRD DECREE is that by which God resolves to administer such means for repentance and faith as are necessary, sufficient, and efficacious. And this administration is directed according to the wisdom of God, by which he knows what is suitable or becoming to mercy and severity; it is also according to his righteousness, by which he is prepared to follow and execute [the directions] of his wisdom.

    4. From these follows a FOURTH DECREE, concerning the salvation of these particular persons, and the damnation of those. This rests or depends on the prescience and foresight of God, by which he foreknew from all eternity what men would, through such administration, believe by the aid of preventing or preceding grace, and would persevere by the aid of subsequent or following grace, and who would not believe and persevere.

    5. Hence, God is said to "know those who are his;" and the number both of those who are to be saved, and of those who are to be damned, is certain and fixed, and the quod and the qui, [the substance and the parties of whom it is composed,] or, as the phrase of the schools is, both materially and formally.

    6. The second decree [described in 2] is predestination to salvation, which is the foundation of Christianity, salvation, and of the assurance of salvation; it is also the matter of the gospel, and the substance of the doctrine taught by the apostles.

    7. But that predestination by which God is said to have decreed to save particular creatures and persons and to endue them with faith, is neither the foundation of Christianity, of salvation, nor of the assurance of salvation.

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