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  • Writer's pictureBrian O'Kelly

19 - Challenges to the 5 points

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

Challenges to the 5 points

1. Total Depravity

1.1. “We do not think that faith precedes and causes new birth. Faith is the evidence that God has begotten us anew.” John Piper and Pastoral Staff, TULIP: What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism

1.2. “The Reformed view of predestination teaches that before a person can choose Christ…he must be born again… One does not first believe, then become reborn. A cardinal point of Reformed theology is the maxim, ‘Regeneration precedes faith.’” —R. C. Sproul, Chosen by God

1.3. Luke 15:17-18 Yet, the prodigal “came to himself [and] said…I will arise and go to my father”

1.4. Luke 8:15 “[The] good ground are they who, in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit”

1.5. “No more soul-destroying doctrine could well be devised than the doctrine that sinners can regenerate themselves, and repent and believe just when they please…” —Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology

1.6. Re-examining the positive case

1.6.1. Prophetic denunciations of specific groups: Gen.6:5 Then [c]the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent[d] of the thoughts of his heart was only evil [e]continually. Jer.13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil. Jer.17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And [d]desperately wicked; Who can know it? Eph.4:17-19 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as [f]the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. Rom.3:10-18 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 “Their throat is an open [d]tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

1.6.2. The corruption of the sinful nature John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6: 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Rom. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Rom. 8:7-8 Because the [c]carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

1.6.3. Irrelevant to the discussion 1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1.6.4. “Dead” in sin Eph.2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Col.2:12-13 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

1.7. Contrary Witness of Scripture

1.7.1. Deuteronomy 30:11-14, 19 (NASB) — “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult* for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it… I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants… * “hard” (ESV, NRSVC), “mysterious” (NKJV),”wonderful” (Young’s Literal)

1.7.2. Proverbs 1:28-30—“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.

1.7.3. Isaiah 7:15-16—Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.

1.7.4. Isaiah 56:4-5—For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, 5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.

1.7.5. Ezekiel 33:11—Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

1.7.6. Acts 17:30—Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.

1.7.7. Romans 1:20-21—For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

1.8. What Comes First? Regeneration or Faith?

1.8.1. “The matter may be presented in this simple thesis: either God is the first cause of salvation by His sovereign will, or man is the first cause in salvation by his sovereign will. Either regeneration precedes faith or faith precedes regeneration. Both systems cannot be correct.” (Kenneth Talbot & W. Gary Crampton, Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism & Arminianism, 1990, p.4)

1.8.2. Acts 16:14—Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

1.8.3. 1 John 5:1—Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

1.8.4. John 1:12-13—”As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born… of God.”

1.8.5. John 3:9, 14-15—Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”… And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

1.8.6. John 6:40 —“Every one who…believeth on him, may have everlasting life.”

1.8.7. John 11:25 —“He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 20:31—“…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

1.8.8. Acts 16:31 —“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

1.8.9. Romans 5:2—“…through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

1.8.10. Galatians 3:26 —“For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:13—In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…

1.8.11. Ephesians 2:8—For by grace you have been saved through faith

1.8.12. Colossians 2:11-12—In Him you were also…12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…

1.8.13. 1 Timothy 1:16 —“[those who] should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

1.9. R. C. Sproul, emphasizing that faith and repentance are impossible prior to regeneration: "I don't see why an Arminian...even bothers to preach the gospel. He must have a lot more confidence in the power of the gospel than I have, because I don't believe that the power of the gospel ever will bring to repentance the person who is not born again!" (R. C. Sproul, Interact Tapes: Romans #48 [Rom.9:14-16])

1.10. The answer of Scripture: The Word of God comes "in power," enabling the hearer to believe and be saved:

1.10.1. Romans 1:16—For I am 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.

1.10.2. I Thessalonians 1:5—For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance...

1.10.3. Romans 10:17—So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1.10.4. John 8:31-32—Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

1.10.5. I Peter 1:23—having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…

1.10.6. Hebrews 4:2—For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. IV.

1.11. How can one who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph.2:1-3/ Col.2:13) believe or repent?

1.11.1. “How can a person who is dead in sin, blinded by Satan…exercise saving faith? A corpse could no sooner come out of a grave and walk.” —John MacArthur Jr., Saved Without a Doubt

1.11.2. If we are to understand the meaning of "dead in trespasses and sins," we must recognize the frequent metaphorical use of "dead" in Scripture

1.11.3. Meaning "as good as dead" for some specific purpose defined by context Compare:Hebrews 11:12—"Therefore from one man [Abraham], and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky..." with: Romans 4:19—"[Abraham] did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb..."

1.11.4. Meaning “condemned to death“ Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Exodus 12:33 (Young’s Literal) And the Egyptians are urgent on the people, hasting to send them away out of the land, for they said, and “We are all dead.” II Samuel 9:8 Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” II Samuel 19:28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king.” Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

1.11.5. Meaning “dead to God” or alienated from God Romans 7:9-11 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Luke 15:24 “…for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Do the metaphorical expressions "dead to sin" (Romans 6:2) and "crucified to the world” (Galatians 6:14) preclude any wrongdoing by the believer? (see also Colossians 2:20/3:3) If not, then how can one’s being dead in sin be forced to mean incapable of doing any good? Romans 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1.11.6. Does Anyone Seek God? (Rom.3:9-12) “…if the words in Romans 3 [vv.10-12] mean anything, not one unregenerate person has ever sought after God—not one.” —Douglas Wilson, in Back to Basics: Rediscovering the Richness of the Reformed Faith, David G. Hagopian, Ed. 26

1.11.7. Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

1.11.8. Psalm 14:10

1.11.9. Psalm 53:10 Deuteronomy 4:29—If…you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart 2 Chronicles 15:2 —If ye seek him, he will be found of you Jeremiah 29:13—You shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart Hebrews 11:6—[God] is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him 2 Chronicles 15:4—When they…did turn unto the LORD…and sought him, he was found of them 2 Chronicles 15:15—All Judah…sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them 2 Chronicles 19:3—You…have prepared your heart to seek God 2 Chronicles 34:3—He began to seek after the God of David his father Psalm 34:4—I sought the Lord, and he heard me” Acts 17:11-12—These [the Bereans] were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed… Acts 10:1-4—There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!...Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” Isaiah 55:6—Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. 2 Chron.11:16—And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem… 2 Chron.12:14—And [Rehoboam] did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. 2 Chron.15:12—Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart… 2 Chron.20:3—And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Hosea 10:12—Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

1.11.10. Athenian Unknown God Wikipedia - in addition to the twelve main gods and the innumerable lesser deities, ancient Greeks worshipped a deity they called "Agnostos Theos"; that is: "Unknown God". In Athens, there was a temple specifically dedicated to that god and very often Athenians would swear "in the name of the Unknown God" Every Society in history has had gods of some kind Mankind is a God seeking creation This appears to be an entirely natural urge like eating or sex.

1.11.11. Why does God have to “harden” or “blind” certain sinners, if they are already blind and dead?? John 12:40—“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” Romans 9:18—“Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

2. Challenges to Unconditional Election

2.1. “Indeed, all [non-Calvinist] answers must at some point be ‘because I was better than those who did not believe.’…That is the vast difference between man’s religions and the Christian faith: One is focused upon man and his abilities (synergism); one upon God and His (monergism).” —James White, Debating Calvinism: five points, two views, 100, 66

2.2. “Of course salvation is all of God. But to be able to accept it by faith or reject it no more gives any credit to the believer than accepting a gift of a million dollars gives the recipient credit for earning the money.” —Dave Hunt, Debating Calvinism: five points, two views,

2.3. I. Re-examining the positive case

2.3.1. Saved according to God’s will, not man’s John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

2.3.2. Given by God to Jesus John 6:37-40 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

2.3.3. Vocational election John 15:16—“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

2.3.4. Unconditional Rom. 9:10-23—And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.

2.3.5. Predestination Acts 13:48—“Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” “…none of the seven other usages of tasso in the New Testament connotes a divine decree from eternity past. Had that been what Luke meant, he would have used prooridzo (predestinated).” —Dave Hunt, Debating Calvinism: five points, two views, by Dave Hunt and James White (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004) Rom.8:28-30—“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Eph.1:4-6, 11—“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved… In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” 1 Thess.1:4-5—“knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”

2.4. Contrary Witness of Scripture

2.4.1. According to foreknowledge Romans 8:29— For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 1 Peter 1:2— …elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ “But it is a piece of futile cunning to lay hold on the term foreknowledge, and so to use that as to pin the eternal election of God upon the merits of men, which election the apostle everywhere ascribes to the purpose of God alone...” —John Calvin, The Eternal Predestination of God, p.48 “We would not give all the praise for our election to God, if it were not free and undeserved. It could not be so if God based it on the future good works of any individual.” —John Calvin, Institutes, 21:3

2.4.2. Huh? Is “faith” a “good work” or a “merit”? Romans 3:27/4:4-5, 16 — Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith… Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness… Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace… Eph.2:8-9— “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” “The standard criticism leveled against a theology of this kind is synergism. It is supposed to bring into the event of salvation a decisive human work, and thereby destroy its purely gracious character. But this is simply not the case. Faith is not a work at all (Rom. 4:16). It is not an achievement and has no merit attaching to it. It is simply the surrender of the will to God, the stretching out of an empty hand to receive the gift of grace. In the act of faith, we renounce all our works, and repudiate completely every claim to self righteousness. Far from encouraging conceit and self-esteem, faith utterly excludes them (Rom. 3:27).” —Clark Pinnock, Grace Unlimited, 15

2.4.3. God responds to man’s choices “How could a sovereign Deity who has foreordained all things from all eternity, have his decrees changed by the wiles of man, who is a creature of God and is dependent upon Him for his own existence?” —Kenneth Talbot & W. Gary Crampton, Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism & Arminianism, 1990 “All the religions of man require the creaturely will of man to stand sovereign over God, so that no matter how much weight is given to God and His grace, in the final analysis, it is man who is in control of the final decision regarding his salvation.” —James White, Debating Calvinism: five points, two views, by Dave Hunt and James White (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004) “Non-Calvinists do not ‘require the creaturely will of man to stand sovereign over God’ so that man ‘is in control of the final decision regarding his salvation.’ That is like saying that because a criminal broke the law, he stands sovereign over the judicial system and controls his own sentence!” —Dave Hunt, Debating Calvinism: five points, two views, by Dave Hunt and James White (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004), 416 Genesis 4:6-7—So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Jeremiah 18:7-10—“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” Proverbs 3:34—“Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6—“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 —“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Psalm 18:25 —“With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful” Matthew 5:7 —“Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.” Romans 10:9 —“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

2.4.4. Election as Corporate, not Individual Ephesians 1:1, 4 —Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him… Ephesians 5:26-27—“…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” 1 Peter 2:9-10—But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 4—the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. Olive tree & branches [Israel] Rom.11:16-23 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, [a] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. Christ and disciples [New Israel] John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. Make your election sure 2 Peter 1:10 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble ”sure”= Gr.bebaios. “Firm, secure.” Same word = “steadfast” in Heb.3:6, 14 “…but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end… For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…”


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