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As to Conditions (11)

As to Conditions (11)

This eleventh and final article in the series 'As to Conditions' was written by Herman Hoeksema in the¬†June¬†1950¬†issue¬†of the¬†Standard Bearer. ____________ Once more we meet with the term¬†condition¬†in the Canons of Dordrecht, and again the word is put in the mouth of the Remonstrants. It is found in Chapter 5, Rejection of Errors, 1: ‚ÄėThe true doctrine having been‚Äô explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those: ‚ÄúWho teach: That the perseverance of the true believers is not a fruit of...

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As to Conditions (10)

This tenth article in the series 'As to Conditions' was written by Herman Hoeksema in the May 15, 1950 issue of the Standard Bearer. ____________ Before I proceed with my discussion of condition, I want to call the attention of our readers to something I wrote almost twenty years ago, and in which I apparently teach conditions myself. I refer the reader to Volume VI, page 90, ff., of the Standard Bearer. This passage occurs in a series of articles which have been published in pamphlet form under the title, Calvin, Berkhof,...

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As to Conditions (9)

We must still call attention to the very last part of Canons III, IV, 12.

There we read: ‚ÄúWhereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active. Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received.‚ÄĚ

Now the meaning of this is plain.

The article had first emphasized that the grace of regeneration is absolutely sovereign and unconditional. 

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As To Conditions (4)

The Arminians taught an election on the basis of foreseen faith and perseverance. God had chosen those whom he knew would believe and persevere. Faith, therefore, is a condition in the counsel of God, unto salvation. Yet, they understood, too, that man does not have this faith of himself. Scripture teaches too plainly that it is a gift of God. Now, how did they meet or rather circumvent this difficulty by their theory of ‚Äúcommon grace,‚ÄĚ or of the proper use of the light of nature. By this theory, they could even, if need be speak of an election¬†unto¬†faith! O, the error is made to look so much like the truth! When the Reformed believer speaks of sovereign grace, the Arminian agrees with him wholeheartedly‚ÄĒit is all of God! When the Reformed believer confesses to believe in election, the Arminian has no objection. When the Reformed child of God confesses that we are saved through faith, and that faith is a gift of God, the Arminian agrees with him. And yet their views are opposed to each other as light and darkness. This becomes apparent as soon as you ultimately ask the question: but to whom does God give this saving faith? Then the Reformed believer confesses: God gives the saving faith to whom¬†he¬†will, unconditionally, according to his absolutely free and sovereign and unconditional election! There are absolutely no conditions in the matter of salvation, no condition of faith, neither any conditions unto faith! But the same question the Arminian answers as follows: God bestows the gift of faith upon those that are willing to receive it. There is, after all, a condition attached unto election unto faith, and that condition is that man must use the light of nature aright, that by that light he must walk humbly and in meekness before God, become pious and render himself worthy and fit for eternal life!

Thus the question is always ultimately: is salvation determined by God or by man?

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As to Conditions (3)

The teaching of the Canons of Dordrecht, in regard to the subject we are now discussing, is very clear and emphatic.

On the one hand they present election as unconditional and absolute. The Remonstrants, as we all know, did not literally deny the scriptural truth of election, but made it contingent upon the faith of man and upon his perseverance to the end. But our fathers of Dordt rejected the Arminian doctrine, and maintained that election is unconditional and absolute. It is not contingent upon anything in man or upon anything that he can do or must accomplish, but rests in the sole good pleasure of his will.

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As To Conditions (2)

According to the Heidelberg Catechism, as we have seen, faith is never presented as a condition unto salvation, or as a condition which we must fulfill in order to enter into or remain in the covenant of God. Always it is presented as a means or instrument which is wrought in us by God and given us of Him, by which we are ingrafted into Christ, become one body with Him, and thus receive all His benefits.

Instrument and condition certainly do not belong to the same category of conceptions.

If faith is a condition it certainly is something man must do in order to and before he can obtain salvation. Unless we attach that meaning to the word it has no sense at all. And as I wrote before, in the minds of the people the term condition undoubtedly stands for some notion that makes salvation dependent on something man must do.

If, however, faith is a God-given instrument it is completely outside of the category of condition, for the simple reason that, in that case, it belongs to salvation itself. It is part of the work of God whereby He brings sinners to Christ and makes them partakers of all His benefits of righteousness, life, and glory. And part of salvation cannot, at the same time, be a condition unto salvation.

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As To Conditions (1)

In his editorial in the March 15, 2020 issue of the¬†Standard Bearer, Prof. Russell Dykstra recommended reading ‚ÄėAs to Conditions,‚Äô a series of¬†Standard Bearer¬†articles written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema in 1949. Over the next eleven weeks, we will be posting one article from the series each week.

This first article in the series 'As to Conditions' was written by Herman Hoeksema in the October 15, 1949 issue of the Standard Bearer.

_____________

As the reader knows there has been, for the last year or so, a controversy in our papers about the question of conditions in the covenant of God. The question was really whether the term ‚Äúcondition‚ÄĚ could be used properly in Reformed theology, and especially whether it could¬†be used to express Protestant Reformed thought.

The controversy was introduced by the Rev. A. Petter who defended the use of the term and evidently conceived of the possibility of its being used in a sound Reformed sense. He even thinks that we need the term in order to express a necessary element in the Reformed conception of the covenant, the element of the responsibility of man.

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February 15, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

The covenant and Dordt (10)

Total depravity: Children incapable of fulfilling a condition

The Canons‚Äô positive treatment of the Reformed doctrine of total depravity is straightforward and relatively brief. And yet, all nine articles of the Rejection of Errors condemn errors of the Remonstrants connected with total depravity. The reason for this is simple. The Canons set forth the Reformed truth over against the specific teaching of the Remonstrants. However, the Reformed doctrine of total depravity was explicitly set forth in the existing confessions, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession of Faith. The Remonstrants did not write what they really believed about fallen man. If they had, they would obviously contradict the confessions; it would indicate that their theology was not Reformed. Accordingly, their ‚Äúthird point,‚ÄĚ on fallen man‚Äôs condition, though meandering, is something with which Reformed believers could agree, though most would want to state it clearer.

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Afraid of the Gospel (12)

Afraid of the Gospel (12)
‚ÄúThe pedagogical approach.‚Ä̬†

It also is an insult to God! 

An insult it must be, for it was invented and is set forth to defend the God-insulting conditional theology that speaks of prerequisites which man must fulfill before God will bestow salvation upon him.  Read More

A Reader Asks: ‚ÄúWas Peter‚Äôs experience of fellowship conditioned on his repentance?‚ÄĚ

Dear Rev. McGeown,

In your third blog post on the RFPA blog recently, ‚ÄúAbiding in Christ‚Äôs Love‚ÄĚ (Nov. 18, 2019), you wrote the following: ‚ÄúPeter had to learn that the hard way: when he denied Jesus, he did not abide in the consciousness of Jesus‚Äô love. Jesus loved Peter, but Peter had to weep bitterly with tears of repentance‚ÄĒwhich were the fruit of God‚Äôs grace‚ÄĒbefore¬†he came to the renewed assurance of Jesus‚Äô love for him.‚ÄĚ

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Afraid of the Gospel (8)

Afraid of the Gospel (8)

Conditional theology!

Christless sermons!

These go hand in hand. Hand in hand they must go. For conditional theology wants us to believe that there are works of men that precede the works of God and for which God waits, either before saving us or before he can and will give us the next installment of salvation. We must believe, so the particular phase of conditional theology which was smuggled into the Protestant Reformed churches declares, before the promise of God to save us will go into effect. 

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Afraid of the Gospel (7)

Afraid of the Gospel (7)

Christ or conditions.

That is the issue! Either Christ and his work is the prerequisite for my entrance into the kingdom of heaven or else my act of converting myself is the prerequisite. Either Christ and his atonement is the basis for my salvation or else I am saved on the condi­tion of faith, and perhaps on the condition of a few other things demanded of me.

Christ and conditions?

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Afraid of the Gospel (6)

Afraid of the Gospel (6)

In response to our publishing of his statements that ‚ÄúMany people also speak this way about accept the terms of the covenant. We do indeed believe in covenant obligations and privileges, but never as con¬≠ditions,‚ÄĚ the Rev. Gritters objected by personal letter and declared that we could not find in any of his cur¬≠rent writings that he now embraces conditional elec¬≠tion.

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Afraid of the Gospel (5)

Afraid of the Gospel (5)

God cannot be mocked.

He may not be mocked; but he cannot be mocked either.

And when one departs from the straight line of the truth, he must come back to the point of depar­ture or else continue still further away from the truth. 

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