Reformed Theology: God's Grace

JeffLogan's picture

This discussion will be limited to the discussion of God's grace as it pertains to Reformed Theology.

Barry writes,

I would like to suggest that we explore the topic of "God's Grace " as it relates specifically to the process of one's coming to salvation. I personally am particularly interested in the doctrine of "Prevenient Grace", however, at ElderDad's suggestion which points out our primary forum theme, addressing the RT position termed "Irresistible Grace" first is the more appropriate approach.

So, if this approach is acceptable, I would invite someone to begin this thread by first defining the term, then giving a brief re-cap of the history of "TULIP", and concluding with Scriptural references supporting the concept. That should get us rolling.

Barring objections, I would encourage someone in the Reformed camp to please begin.

Grace and peace to all.


Suggested Structure: (Best if viewing options set: Threaded Collapsed | Oldest First | 200/page |)

(The first 3 headings are reserved for Reformed Theology Adherents ONLY)

Defining the terms (No opposing views here)
     Irresistible Grace
     Prevenient Grace
Brief re-cap of the history of "TULIP" (No opposing views here)
     Early History
     Later History
     Unfolding History/Current Understanding
Scriptural references supporting the concept (No opposing views here)
     Irresistible Grace
     Prevenient Grace
1st Discussion: Irresistible Grace
2nd Discussion: Prevenient Grace
3rd Discussion: etc...

michael_legna's picture

Interesting point you are making - but I am unsure of the basis

bwarddvm said -
But one very important point for us to notice, I believe, is that the context in most all, if not all (I admit to not doing a totally thorough study of them as yet) is that they are all addressed to the church. They are intended for the believers to read and comprehend. As believers we are able not only to receive God's enabling grace in different way than unbelievers, and to comprehend it in a spiritual way that unbelievers cannot. (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).

Since you don't offer your interpretation of 1 Cor 2:12-16

1 Cor 2:12-16 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

I am not completely sure how you see it but I think it is saying that we cannot understand the teachings of God and His will for us so as to be able to conform our lives unless we become spiritual - which of course requires us to cooperate with the grace He gives us. But to my way of thinking these spiritual things should not be confused with grace, they are what comes to us once we believe (as you rightly point out), they are an comprehension of His will and an understanding that we are under a new commandment of love which fulfills all the law. This is completely different from grace and to read grace into this verse inserts a step into the process of salvation I am not sure is really there.

bwarddvm said -
I don't know if this is relevant to the point you are making, but I want all of us to be sure that we view grace to the unbeliever in a totally different context to that of the believer.

That is an interesting point but I wonder whether it is really solidly based, since we cannot become believers were it not for the grace of God.

Why do we view the grace differently for the believer and the unbeliever and not simply see God as perpetual and unchanging since He is infinite in all His natures. That means the grace does not change but of course the response to that grace is different from the believer to the unbeliever. If we start by assuming the grace is different then we are perhaps assuming the consequence of the argument we are setting up as we do our investigation.