设万维读者为首页 广告服务 技术服务 联系我们 关于万维
简体 繁体 手机版
分类广告
版主:奇异恩典
万维读者网 > 彩虹之约 > 帖子
ZTBoice: Christ, the Calvinist
送交者: 古道 2017年10月20日13:12:32 于 [彩虹之约] 发送悄悄话

128

Christ, the Calvinist

John 10:27–29

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

One time, after I had preached a sermon from John touching on some of the main points of the Reformed faith, I found a copy of that week’s bulletin on which someone had scribbled his opinion of the message: “I’m sick of Calvinism in every sermon.”

The message did not particularly bother me. Notes like that seldom do. But I found it surprising that the person who wrote the note somehow regarded Calvinism as a system of thought that could well be dispensed with while, nevertheless, as he assumed, still preserving Christianity. In other words, this person, like many others, somehow regarded the doctrines that go by the name of Calvinism as at best an addition to the pure gospel and at the worst a system that is opposed to it. Is this true? Are the doctrines of grace wrong? One proof that they are not is seen in the verses to which we come in this chapter.

Historic Calvinism

The verses I have in mind are those in which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke plainly to his enemies, saying that those who do not believe on him do not believe because they are not his sheep, that those who are his sheep believe and follow, that this is true because they are given to him by the Father, that these who are given to him by the Father inevitably come to him and, finally, that these who come will never be lost. This is a message of man’s complete ruin in sin and God’s perfect remedy in Christ, and it can be expressed in the distinctive points of Calvinistic theology. Before we look at these points in detail, however, we should see that far from being an aberration or addition to the gospel, these truths have always belonged to the core of the Christian proclamation and have been characteristic of the church at its greatest periods.

To begin with, the doctrines of grace that have become known as Calvinism were most certainly not invented by Calvin, nor were they characteristic of his thought alone during the Reformation period. As we shall see, these are the truths taught by Jesus and confirmed for us in Scripture by the apostle Paul. Augustine argued for the same truths over against the denials of Pelagius and those who followed him. Luther was a Calvinist. So was Zwingli. That is, they believed what Calvin believed and what he later systematized in his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Puritans were also Calvinists; it was through them and their teaching that both England and Scotland experienced the greatest and most pervasive national revivals the world has ever seen. In that number were the heirs of John Knox: Thomas Cartwright, Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Matthew Henry, John Owen, and others. In America, thousands were influenced by Jonathan Edwards, Cotton Mather, and George Whitefield, all of whom were Calvinists.

In more recent times the modern missionary movement received nearly all its direction and initial impetus from those in the Calvinistic and Puritan tradition. The list includes such men as William Carey, John Ryland, Henry Martyn, Robert Moffat, David Livingstone, John G. Paton, John R. Mott, and many others. For all these the doctrines of grace were not an appendage to Christian thought but were rather that which was central and which most fired and gave form to their preaching and missionary efforts.

This, of course, is precisely why I am reviewing this history—to show that the doctrines known as Calvinism are not something that emerged late in church history but rather are that which takes its origins in the teachings of Jesus, which has been found throughout the church in many periods, and which has always been characteristic of the church at its greatest periods of faith and expansion. It follows from this that the church of Jesus Christ will again see great days when these truths are widely proclaimed, and proclaimed fearlessly.

Jesus is our example. We sometimes think of these doctrines as household doctrines; that is, as truths to be proclaimed only to those who already believe. But this was not Jesus’ procedure. He taught them also to his enemies. In this case, they had come to him with the implication that he was responsible for their failure to believe; they had said, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” He answered this, not so much with a statement concerning his identity as the Messiah (although he did say that his words and works authenticated him), but much more importantly by a full statement of man’s utter inability to choose God and of the necessity for divine grace in each step of salvation. Did they want it told plainly? Well, this is the truth told plainly: “You do not believe because you are not my sheep. … My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (vv. 26–29).

State of the Lost

First of all, Christ’s words reflect the desperate state of the lost; that is, the state of all men as they are apart from Christ. The teachings on this point are not so much direct as indirect. Still they underlie the positive points made in this passage.

In reference to man’s desperate state apart from Christ, these verses show that he has lost spiritual life (T); otherwise it would not be necessary for Christ to speak of it as a gift. Originally, man had life. When the first man and woman were created by God they were created with that life that shows itself in communion with him. Consequently, we learn that they communed with God in the Garden in the cool of the day. When they sinned, this life was lost, a fact evidenced by their hiding from God. This has been the state of people ever since. Consequently, when the gospel is preached, those who hear it turn away unless God intervenes to do a supernatural work of regeneration in their hearts.

Moreover, the desperate state of people apart from Christ is suggested by the fact that no one can recover this life except as a free gift from God. Jesus calls it a gift, for it is undeserved and unearned. If it were earned, it would be wages; if it were merited, it would be a reward. But eternal life is neither of these. It is a gift, which means that it originates solely in God’s good will toward men.

As a last thought on this subject, it is also true, is it not, that men and women will perish except for this gift. Jesus says of those to whom he gives life that “they shall never perish.” But since he makes this promise, it must be because we will perish if he does not intervene. We are sinners. Sin makes us heirs of God’s wrath. If God does not intervene, we stand under divine judgment, without hope, facing the punishment due us for our own sins. According to these verses, we cannot even come to Christ, for we are not of his sheep and so lack the ability to hear his voice and turn to him.

Grace

This brings us to the next thought. For while it is true that in ourselves we cannot come to Christ and so lie under God’s just condemnation, the main point of these verses is that God has nevertheless acted in grace toward some. Earlier this was expressed by saying that Christ died for the sheep; in other words, by the doctrine of a particular redemption (L) (v. 11). In this section we are told that Jesus has given eternal life to the same people (v. 28), and that these are those whom God has given him (v. 29).

You cannot trace the origins of our salvation farther back than that. In this, as in all things, the origins are to be found in God. Some say, “But surely God called them because he foresaw that some would believe.” But it does not say that. Others say, “He chose them because he knew in advance that they would merit salvation.” It does not say that either. What it does say is that the initiative in salvation lies with God and that this is found, on the one hand, in God’s electing grace (U)whereby he chooses some for salvation entirely apart from any merit on their own part (which, of course, they do not have) and, on the other hand, in Christ’s very particular atonement by which he bore the penalty for the sins of these people.

I need to say also, however, that there are aspects of the death of Christ that apply to the world at large. I am not denying that. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ is a revelation of the nature of God. It is a revelation of his hatred of sin in that Christ died for it. It is most certainly a revelation of God’s love, for love lay behind it. It is an example to the race. These things are true. But in addition to these there is also a sense in which the Lord Jesus Christ died particularly and exclusively for his own, so that he literally bore the penalty for their particular sins, that they might be forgiven.

These truths do not make us proud, as some charge. Rather they increase our love for God who out of pure grace saves some when none deserve it.

An Effective Call (I

The third of the reformed doctrines presented by Jesus is the effective call: that is, that God’s call of his people is accompanied by such power that those whom he calls necessarily come to him, believing on Christ and embracing Christ for salvation. Jesus expresses this by saying: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (v. 27). It is a mark of the sheep that they both hear and follow their shepherd.

In the Puritan era it was the habit of many preachers to play on these two characteristics, calling them the marks of Christ’s sheep. In days when there were many flocks of sheep it was necessary to mark the sheep to distinguish them. In our day, at least on cattle, this is done by branding. On sheep it was often done by cutting a small mark into the ear. “Well,” said the Puritans, “each of Christ’s sheep has a double mark—on his ear and on his foot. The mark on his ear is that he hears Christ. The mark on his foot is that he follows him.”

This is true, of course. It leads us to ask, “Do we hear? Do we follow?”

How many of those who come to church on a typical Sunday morning really hear the voice of Christ or have ever heard it? They hear the voice of the preacher; they hear the voices of the members of the choir. But do they hear Christ? If they do, why are they so critical of what they hear? Why are their comments afterward so much more about the Lord’s servant than the Lord? Those who are Christ’s hear Christ. And they follow him. But how many who come to church are really following? Most seem to make good leaders—in their own cause—but they are poor followers. They make good critics—of the Bible and of Christ’s people—but they are poor disciples. They make respectable wolves, for they ravage the flock, but they do not have the traits of the sheep and would even be contemptuous of them if they had an understanding of what those traits are.

Do not presume on your relationship to Christ. You are not his unless you hear his voice and follow him. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7).

Never Lost (P

Finally, notice that these verses also speak at length of God’s perseverance with his saints. That is, they teach us that none whom God has called to faith in Christ will be lost. Indeed, how can they be, if God is responsible for their salvation? Jesus says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (v. 28).

“But,” says someone, “suppose they jump out of their own accord?”

“They shall never perish,” says the Lord.

“Never?”

“No, never,” says Jesus. “They shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

This does not mean that there will not be dangers, of course. In fact, it implies them; for if Jesus promises that no one will succeed in plucking us from his hands, it must be because he knows that there are some who will try. The Christian will always face dangers—dangers without, from enemies, and dangers within. Still the promise is that those who have believed in Jesus will never be lost. We may add that the Christian may well be deprived of things. He may lose his job, his friends, his good reputation. Still he will not be lost. The promise is not that the ship will not go to the bottom, but that the passengers will all reach shore. It is not that the house will not burn down, but that the people will escape safely.

Do you believe this promise, that you are safe in Jesus’ hands, that you will never be lost? Are you able to trust God for this as you have for other truths? I suppose there is a way of explaining away almost everything, but I must say that I do not see how the opponents of eternal security can explain away this text. Am I Christ’s? Then it is he who has promised that neither I nor any who belong to him shall perish. If I do perish, then Jesus has not kept his word, he is not sinless, the atonement was not adequate, and no one in any place can enter into salvation.

I wish that all God’s children might come to know and love these truths. I wish that many might be saved by them.

We live in a day that is so weak in its proclamation of Christian doctrine that even many Christians cannot see why such truths should be preached or how they can be used of the Lord to save sinners. This was not always so. It was not always the case that these truths were unused by God in saving sinners.

Did you know that it was these doctrines, particularly the doctrine of God’s perseverance with his people, that God used to save Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers who ever lived? Spurgeon was saved when he was only fifteen years old, but before that time he had already noticed how friends of his, who had begun life well, made shipwreck of their lives by falling into gross vice. Spurgeon was appalled by such things. He feared that he himself might fall into them. He reasoned like this: “Whatever good resolutions I might make, the probabilities are that they will be good for nothing when temptation [assails] me. I [will] be like those of whom it has been said, ‘They see the devil’s hook and yet cannot help nibbling at his bait.’ I [will] disgrace myself.” It was then that he heard of the truth that Christ will keep his saints from falling. It had a particular charm for him and he found himself saying, “If I go to Jesus and get from him a new heart and a right spirit, I shall be secured against these temptations into which others have fallen. I shall be preserved by Him.” It was this truth along with others that brought Spurgeon to the Savior.

I wish it might be the same with you! I do not preach a gospel that has a shaky foundation. I do not proclaim a religion of percentages and probabilities. I proclaim the message of Christ, Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and all others who have found God to be their pure hope and salvation. It is the message of man’s complete ruin in sin  and of God’s perfect remedy in Christ, expressed in his election of a people to himself and his final preservation of them. God grant that you might believe it wholeheartedly.


 Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 777–782). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.


0%(0)
0%(0)
    拜耶稣为偶像?  /无内容 - 古道 10/22/17 (35)
  窃取圣经,窃取神荣耀,冠以己名,够胆肥的👍  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (62)
    花徒的作为乃遵行耶稣大使命的典范! - 古道 10/21/17 (59)
      法利赛人自以为是亚伯拉罕的后裔,你跟他们一样一样  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (45)
    exactly!  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (53)
      阿古,来认个错!👈  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (51)
        向谁认错?向那个不是人的玩意认错?  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (46)
          辩论输了还不认错吗?👈  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (51)
            只有你承认不是人,偶一定认错:)  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (51)
              只要你承认自己是人,你就可以认错了😊  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (29)
                那好,偶认个错:错把你当人了:)  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (49)
                  认错就好! 😊  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (48)
    蠢蛋才有这种思维  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (69)
      谢谢你支持!:)  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (52)
    这是赤裸裸的亵渎!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (52)
  亵渎! 题目就亵渎!👈  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (63)
    懊悔哥要疯了?:(((! - 凌吉可 10/21/17 (63)
        你这个人本主义👍  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (51)
          明白了,你根本不是人!  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (48)
            明白个头! 要神本!  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (53)
              我们花徒都是神本,你却是神经笨:)  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (51)
                专业不认圣经的!😁👍  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (59)
                  法利赛人自以为是亚伯拉罕的后裔,你跟他们一样一样  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (46)
  果然断章取意的不认圣经,且吹牛。  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (63)
    有种就说具体一点  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (66)
      例如父的意思没提。吹牛的例如 - repentant 10/20/17 (72)
          且亵渎!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (42)
            你真的灰常泼皮无赖啊……  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (57)
          这就是吹牛! 窃贼!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (70)
            你不是衣冠减持郁金香是人的,这从神那里窃取岂不是自扇耳光吗?  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (59)
              窃取圣经,窃取神荣耀,冠以己名,够胆肥的👍  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (53)
                圣经咋窃取法啊?  /无内容 - 古道 10/21/17 (59)
                  冠以己名! 耶稣都被你冠名了👈亵渎  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (60)
                    这个和全能神冒充基督没有本质区别!  /无内容 - repentant 10/21/17 (53)
  经典的郁金香讲道👌  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (58)
  他们为什么这样认为? 因为花徒不认圣经!👈  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (67)
    睁开你的吓眼看红字  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (52)
    你看了全文了吗?  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (58)
      crap!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (55)
        梅毒你就胡喷啊?  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (61)
          dung!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (53)
    不认圣经,怎么可能认识耶稣? 不可能。歪曲罢了!  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (62)
      你正是这种人啊,泼皮  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (52)
  耶稣成了加尔文主义者?! 亵渎啊(⊙o⊙)👈  /无内容 - repentant 10/20/17 (46)
    你看你那俩大虾眼  /无内容 - 古道 10/20/17 (55)
标 题 (必选项):
内 容 (选填项):
实用资讯
北美最全的折扣机票网站
贝佳药业美国专利【骨精华】消关节痛、骨刺、五十肩【心血通】改善心绞痛
一周点击热帖 更多>>
一周回复热帖
历史上的今天:回复热帖
2016: 怎么样才能不干啃圣经?
2016: 访问老古: 神耐心等人悔改是怎么回事?
2015: zt: A Pastor's LGBT Stance
2015: view immediately: Holy Ghost
2014: 极端路德信徒对教会的七大危害---概论篇
2014: 也算续篇:论“基督教的误区”。
2013: 神的恩与人的信
2013: 创世记结晶读经(72): 教会生活的种子与
2012: 安娜:诗歌 Be Thou My Vision(zt)
2012: 全台灣的英文老師:彭蒙惠 (转载一念動