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

We differ on the distinction between grace and results

I see and can agree with your first paragraph but then none of it implies the grace received by believers is in anyway different from non-believers. It seems to me you are saying the same thing I said - that the knowledge and more than that the true discerning of the teachings of the Holy Spirit can only be grasped by the believers, but that is different from grace. It may be as you say in the second paragraph "a manifestation of His grace", but that is not the same thing as His grace. And if you agree it is not then we cannot use 1 Cor 2:12-16 to support the idea that the grace unbelievers receive is different from the grace believers receive. The lack of this manifestation may simply be due to their response to the grace not to a difference in the grace offered to them.

But even with all that your second paragraph still has me confused.

bwarddvm said -
That God gives any instruction or knowledge at all of His grace is a manifestation OF His grace.

I hope you can see that the knowledge of His grace and His grace are two different things.

bwarddvm said -
While that knowledge can bring benefit to all mankind, as I tried to explain in my composition on Common Grace, a true understanding and embracing of that knowledge born of the grace of saving faith is only possible for the believer. So, yes, it is all of grace.

Yes, only those who cooperate with His grace are believer, and only those who are believers will have a true understanding of His grace and more over His will so we can conform our lives to it. But none of this says the grace received by believers is different, only the results of that grace which depends on our cooperation with it is different. Because that is what all this is, the understanding, the knowledge of His will and our conforming our lives are results, they are not the grace itself. So if you still think 1 Cor 2:12-16 supports the idea that we have to "be sure that we view grace to the unbeliever in a totally different context to that of the believer", then I am confused as to how that is. Now if you mean by "different context" that the response of believers is different than the response of unbeliever, but the grace is the same, then I think we are on the same page. But if by context you mean the actual grace God gives to some is different than the grace He gives to others than we are not, and I certainly do not see 1 Cor 2 supporting this last possibility.

bwarddvm said -
When we move soon to the RT beliefs regarding Special Grace that will hopefully explain its distinctions and manifestations in redeemed man in greater depth. But you do seem to follow the gist of what I am saying regarding the difference in grace given to the non-elect and that given to the elect after their salvation becomes no longer a promise but a fact, right?

No I do not think we see this the same at all. I do not see that there is a difference in the grace, only in the way we respond. All you showed above is differences in results, and on that I think we agree.