[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Eureka Moment when I became Free Grace

by Matthew

I have always been sceptical of the Calvinist view of election, but until 2004, I was favourably disposed to the doctrine of Perserverance and would have put myself on the Lordship side of the fence. When I read Wayne Grudem at the age of 18, I was shocked to find out some thought that repetance was not a part of receiving eternal life.

As I have done plenty of open air preaching there were occasional difficulties in my mind about exactly what one needed to tell lost sinners to do. At university, I suggested once or twice to a friend that maybe justification by faith alone was not that important, after all, if one needed to do works anyway, what was the big deal?

I read Dave Hunt's book 'What Love is This?' While I agreed with Hunt's rejection of uncondtional election, I thought the book was quite weak in a lot of places. I was especially puzzled by the chapter on assurance. I could not understand why Hunt was arguing that Calvinists had a problem of assurance.

When I started blogging, I enjoyed many discussions on Rose's wonderful blog. I cam across Antonion who was advocating 'Free Grace.' I thought this seemed rather suspect. Absolutely free? Free to do what, live a sinful lifestyle?

Everything changed when discussing something on a post on Rose~'s Reasonings. I mentioned that I did not feel that I really loved our Lord. A very kind Calvinist blogger expressed great concern at this statement. I am sure he meant well, but the way I understood him, he was questioning whether I was truly regenerate.

At that moment, on seeing my salvation brought into question, scales fell from my eyes. Suddenly I understood why Calvinists had a problem with assurance. If a true believer will perservere, then a sign that I was not persevering sufficently might be a sign that I was not a true believer. But I believed. Ah, but that might be a false faith. But if I might have a false faith when I believed my faith was real, how could anyone be certain that they were saved?

I realised that however odd Antonio and Zane Hodges might seem, I needed to pay attention to what they had written. They clearly had a big point...

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