Sunday, December 07, 2008

SALVATION IS ALL OF GOD, ALL OF GRACE, ALL BY THE GOSPEL must believe the gospel to be saved... but

And when the Gentiles heard this, 
they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, 
and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
-Acts 13:48

"Yes, men believe the gospel to be saved. No question about it. I believe it, I preach it, I call all men to do it. 

I just know that no man will do it unless and until the miracle of regeneration takes place first. God must open the heart. God must enlighten the mind. God must grant faith. And when God draws one of His elect to Himself, He draws them to Christ through the gospel. The unfailing result of being drawn by the Father is looking to, believing in, coming to (all present tense actions) the Son. It is the nature of the new creature in Christ to believe in Him." -Dr. James White (Debating Calvinism, p. 305)


Nathan W. Bingham said...

That's a great quote by Dr. White, and something that many today either deny, or agree to because of tradition as opposed to by conviction from the Scriptures.

Providentially this Lord's Day I heard a terrific sermon the miraculous and secret work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration from John 3:-5-8. I encourage anyone interested in this humbling truth to listen to it.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hi Steve,

I have been reading Dr. White's blog and books for a couple of years now. I picked up Debating Calvinism just a couple of days ago before Dr. White linked to a blog article which accuses him of "Hyper-Calvinism." I had no idea it would come in handy so quickly (Providence!). After reading Dr. White's post which linked to that other blog, I spent a couple of hours perusing through the book to find statements relating to the blog's accusations. I actually posted this very quote (and some others) there in an attempt to defend his theology as having been consistent and well documented for many years now. I have not yet gotten a reply to the quotes I posted there. Although I have not had the time to immerse myself fully in the John 3:16 Conference controversy, as some others have, I am very interested nonetheless in seeing how it all turns out.

Raised Roman Catholic, I have been an Evangelical believer for 32 years now, and Reformed for the past 15 years. I am a member of an OP church outside the Philadelphia area with close ties to Westminster Seminary.

As I look around your blog I'm very pleased and blessed to see what you have written here. Thanks for your work, and may God grant you the strength to continue in His service always.

Blessings in Christ,


SJ Camp said...

Thank you for the link.

On face value, I agree with the substance of what your link represented. I look forwarded to listening to the message.


SJ Camp said...

Thank for your kind and encouraging words about this blog. They are not taken lightly or for granted.

I also echo your opinion of Dr. White. I am honored to call James a friend and have been privileged to minister with him on several occasions. He is not a Hyper-Calvinist, but a biblical one. He is not only doctrinally and theologically spot on concerning this issue, but a dynamic preacher of the gospel as well.

To have that blend of passion and precept is something we should all pray to exemplify as well.

Grace and peace to you,

Michele Rayburn said...


I just happened to look at your profile and noticed that you said that your favorite gadget is a toss-up between the recliner and the swivel-rocker.

May I suggest a swivel rocker recliner? They're really great and great exercise too :) (I just thought I'd mention that because from what you said, it sounds like you prefer the recliner or the rocker to bicycling, boating and football!)

As a former N.Y. Roman Catholic, it would be nice to hear your testimony of how you came to know the Lord.

BTW, Terry and I can vouch for the fact that Steve and James are Calvinists and not hyper-Calvinists. The allegation against them is absurd.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hi Michele,

A swivel-rocker-recliner, eh? Ha! Next thing you'll be telling me they make chairs that, like, I don't know, massage your back and all!

Yes, it's all true. Give me a good book and a comfortable chair and I'll die a happy (though unhealthy) man. Although, I suppose that at the time of my death I will be considered "unhealthy" either way. :-)

I have several articles on my blog describing my personal testimony. In the left column under "Reveries by Labels" just scroll down to "My Personal Testimony." After that, I'm happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have. And I would certainly be interested in hearing your story as well. I think I'll mosey on over to your blog and take a look around for meself.



Michele Rayburn said...

Pilgrim, make..recliners..with..massagers...Oh, of course you do! (I can be a bit gullible at times.)

Anyway, I got to read your testimony, all three parts. And I really enjoyed listening to your songs. My favorite one is "Longing/The One Given". "Impossiprovisation" was good too as far as it went, or should I say "tnew ti sa raf sa"! :)

Anyone who reads Steve's blog may have seen my personal testimony several times already, and they probably think I've given 3 or 4 different ones, because each time I come at it from a different angle (because it's a long story). So maybe I will email it to you when I can.

I'll just say that looking back, I'm still amazed at how the Lord saved me out of an almost solidly Roman Catholic town, and led me from a very young age without anyone ever sharing the gospel with me until I left Long Island to go to college in upstate N.Y.

I can see how the Lord was determined to save me because the odds were so far against it. And it was "all of God, and all of grace" because there was no one but Him to guide me to Himself at the very beginning of my journey.

That sort of thing might not be clear to some people who think that they chose God. In my case, I know that God chose me because as I said, there were no Christians in my life and I had no reason to choose Him because nothing regarding salvation was revealed to me from the Scriptures, and so I knew nothing about needing salvation, let alone asking for it. But He put that need in my heart and led me to Himself.

You probably know what I'm talking about when I say "nothing regarding salvation was revealed to me from the Scriptures", because at least where I lived Roman Catholics didn't read the Bible in church or at home. And though I attended Catechism classes for years, I learned nothing about my need to be saved.

I hope you enjoyed looking at our blog. Terry's teachings have always been a great blessing to me, and I hope will be to you as well.

In His Love,

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hey Michele,

I'm glad you liked the songs. "Longing/The One Given" is a song about the parallel gifts to me of our Lord Christ and my wife.

Feel free to stop by and comment anytime. I think I'll be spending time at your site listening to mp3s and maybe dropping you a line or two. Feel free to e-mail your testimony if you like. I'm interested to know how our spiritual journeys compare.



Robin said...

To all of you who have shared here today, I just want to thank you for the comments and the links etc. which have helped me come to a better understanding of Calvanism. It also led me to some great YouTubes of James White and one of Alan Cairns explaining Calvanism. What is being revealed to me is that much of what I have been taught IS tradition and not Biblical, and because of the total depravity of man, if left to our own free will we will always reject God, not choose Him. I think I'm finally gettin' it!

Pilgrimsarbour said...


Clarity over agreement is always the best place to start, in my view. Calvinism is merely shorthand for the true gospel, the biblical Doctrines of Grace that the Reformers recovered in the 15th and 16th centuries. I would be happy to discuss these things with you anytime, and I'm sure the others would as well.

Blessings in Christ,


Darrin said...

Robin, you wrote "I think I'm finally gettin' it!"
What a wonderful blessing it is indeed when God reveals to us how salvation is all of grace. And growing in the appreciation of this truth and its implications continues throughout life; I think others here would attest to that. You are a blessed sister.
Pilgrimsarbour, with your proximity to Westminster, I figure you are familiar with Carl Trueman. I have benefited quite a bit from his historical knowledge and insights via several of his audio messages in the web.

Susan said...


So, what is the goal of your salvation?

I'm curious to read your answers.


Darrin said...

Susan, the goal is the glory of God. Some scriptures come to mind, including:
"For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God." - 2 Cor 4:15
"And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord , the Holy One in Israel." - Ez 39:7. This theme is given not only in regard to salvation, but of all God's acts, as shown throughout the prophets.
In regard to more particulars:
"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." - 1 Tim 1:5. This would appear to be a valid goal in the "living out" of our salvation.
Romans 9:23 indicates that God, "desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory". Again, to show His glory.
"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." - Romans 11:36
I'm not trying to teach here - this is just the best way I have of answering your question as I understand it.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hi Darrin,

I couldn't agree with you more regarding Carl. He and his family are members at our church. I don't see him much because he's often traveling and guest-speaking at other churches. But when he's here, I make sure I make it to Sunday school in the evening to hear his great historical insights, which always seem more relevant, somehow, with his English accent!



donsands said...


So, what is the goal of your salvation?"

What is my goal, since Christ has saved me?

To be with Him first and foremost. Though I have never seen Him, I love Jesus, becasue He first loved me.

I also will worship Him for all eternity in the New Heavens and New Earth, which I'm looking forward to.
But, if there was simply a new universe without Christ, then it would be empty really, wouldn't it.

I don't love and serve Christ nearly as well as I should. My faith is very weak, but even the half portion of a mustard seed faith God seems to bless, and so He enlightens our hearts and minds so that we can know Him, and know Jesus.

Susan said...

Thanks so much Darrin and Donsands!

I read so much on salvation and rarely do I hear any ministers preach on this verse. I would have to say this would some up the goal of our salvation, I want more then anything to be blameless at His return.

I Thes 5:23 "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

donsands said...

"He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it."

Wonderful verse Susan. Very encouraging to know, Our God is faithful, and great is His faithfulness, and He will do it.

So though we serve the lord sometimes with blood sweat and tears, we can know He is true to His promise to all His elect. What comfort we often forfeit, when we don't take God at His Word.

Thanks for sharing that verse.