Doctrines of Grace

What are the "Doctrines of Grace?"

Total depravity

All human beings are born with a sinful nature void of a mind to truly know Christ, a heart to wholly love Christ, and a will to exercise faith in Christ. Apart from regeneration by God’s Spirit, none will receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

  1. John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
  2. 1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 
  3. Romans 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Unconditional election

Before the foundation of the world God chose those to whom He would grant eternal life, not based on His foreseeing their faith, but based on the counsel of His own will to grant them saving faith.

  1. Matthew 11:27 “… no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
  2. Romans 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” 13 Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.” 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 
  3. Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,… In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Limited (particular) atonement

By His sacrificial, substitutionary death Christ covered/atoned for the sins of all of God’s elect. The non-elect continue to bear their own sins, which are not covered/atoned for by the blood Christ.

  1. In the ceremonial law, atonement was limited in scope to Israel, the covenant community of God’s people, a type of those circumcised of heart, the true covenant community of God’s people.
    Leviticus 16:15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 “He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; 21 “Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness.
  2. Christ lays down His life for “the sheep” = “My sheep.” Not all are Christ’s sheep.
    John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
    John 10:26 “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
  3. Christ died for His church. Not all belong to Christ’s church.
    Ephesians 5:25 … just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Irresistible grace

God regenerates by His Spirit the mind, heart, and will of His elect in such a way that in every case they willingly choose to enduringly receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

  1. Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
  2. John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
    John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
  3. Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 
  4. Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Perseverance of the saints (eternal security)

While all of God’s elect must persevere in faith until the end to inherit eternal salvation; all of God’s elect will persevere in faith until the end and inherit eternal salvation by the power of God’s indwelling Spirit who sustains their faith in the Lord.

  1. John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
  2. Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 
  3. 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.