Some kind of zeal

“They deem it enough that they have some kind of zeal for religion, how preposterous soever it may be, not observing that true religion must be conformable to the will of God as its unerring standard; that he can never deny himself, and is no specter or phantom, to be metamorphosed at each individual’s caprice. It is easy to see how superstition, with its false glosses, mocks God, while it tries to please him. Usually fastening merely on things on which he has declared he sets no value, it either contemptuously overlooks, or even undisguisedly rejects, the things which he expressly enjoins, or in which we are assured that he takes pleasure. Those, therefore, who set up a fictitious worship, merely worship and adore their own delirious fancies; indeed, they would never dare so to trifle with God, had they not previously fashioned him after their own childish conceits. Hence that vague and wandering opinion of Deity is declared by an apostle to be ignorance of God: ‘Howbeit, then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.’ (Gal.4:8) And he elsewhere declares, that the Ephesians were ‘without God’ (Eph. 2: 12) at the time when they wandered without any correct knowledge of him. It makes little difference, at least in this respect, whether you hold the existence of one God, or a plurality of gods, since, in both cases alike, by departing from the true God, you have nothing left but an execrable idol.” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.4.3.)

Those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception have some kind of zeal for God, how preposterous soever it may be, not observing that it is Christ who saves the sinner from perishing, and NOT the other way around. Those who fashion Christ after their own vain and self-righteous conceits are saying in effect that the sinner redeems the Redeemer; that the sinner saves the Savior’s work from becoming of no effect. Their “acceptance” of Christ is in reality a mockery and rejection of Him. Their self-righteous “acceptance” of the work of Jesus Christ is what makes the difference between salvation and damnation RATHER THAN the work itself. This is another clear example of the spirit of antichrist that is so prevalent in this world (cf. 1 John 4:1-3).

Those who truly accept the work of Jesus Christ believe that His work makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Those who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception do NOT believe that His work makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Therefore, those who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception have NOT truly accepted the work of Jesus Christ. Those who believe Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception believe that self made the difference. True believers believe that Christ made the difference. Those who think self (i.e., the efforts of self) made the difference have their boast in an execrable idol. Those who think Christ made the difference have their boast in the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and [He] has given to us an understanding that we may know the true [One], and we are in the true [One], in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and the life everlasting. Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:20-21).

And even among certain Calvinists who do not believe that Christ died for everyone without exception nevertheless have some kind of zeal for God that is preposterously ignorant of the fact that Christ is the end of Law for righteousness (Romans 10:4). Jesus Christ met in full, both the penal and the preceptive demands of God’s law and justice (Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10-12). This law grabs the sinner by the throat and says, “Pay me what thou owest.” Christ paid the debt in full on behalf of His people. He does not need the sinner to contribute his anti-christian, zealously-ignorant, self-righteousness-establishing “two cents” in order to improve upon and supplement His already efficacious work (cf. Romans 10:1-4). Said Calvinist, out of ignorant zeal seeks to establish his own righteousness by meeting “non-meritorious conditions” for salvation (cf. Romans 11:6).

Advertisements