Saying What I Believe and Why …from the Word

We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.

In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.

Having seen how certain labels can be used to confuse, injure, and be unnecessarily divisive over the past 18 months, when I saw this commentary by John Piper I just had to post it here as a reminder to myself and others to always be willing to carefully stand on what God says in His word… if you received it and believe it as from God… then why not say it that way, especially when you’re not sure how your “labels” are going to be understood and received.

It’s easy to refute someone’s argument or opinion or beliefs when they are not clearly heralded from the Word of God, but when you can bring someone with you to the Word and show from the Word why you believe… that’s just plain good sense (wisdom)… standing on the Truth of God’s word.  Then let the Holy Spirit of God do his work to reveal and teach what He revealed and taught to you.   … and PRAY.

 

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We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.

In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.

If they say, “Are you a Calvinist?” say, “You decide. Here is what I believe . . .”

I believe I am so spiritually corrupt and prideful and rebellious that I would never have come to faith in Jesus without God’s merciful, sovereign victory over the last vestiges of my rebellion. (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 3:1–4; Romans 8:7).

I believe that God chose me to be his child before the foundation of the world, on the basis of nothing in me, foreknown or otherwise. (Ephesians 1:4–6; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29–30; 11:5–7)

I believe Christ died as a substitute for sinners to provide a bona fide offer of salvation to all people, and that he had an invincible design in his death to obtain his chosen bride, namely, the assembly of all believers, whose names were eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. (John 3:16; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 13:8)

When I was dead in my trespasses, and blind to the beauty of Christ, God made me alive, opened the eyes of my heart, granted me to believe, and united me to Jesus, with all the benefits of forgiveness and justification and eternal life. (Ephesians 2:4–5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:29; Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:9)

I am eternally secure not mainly because of anything I did in the past, but decisively because God is faithful to complete the work he began—to sustain my faith, and to keep me from apostasy, and to hold me back from sin that leads to death. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:25; John 10:28–29; 1 John 5:16)

Call it what you will, this is my life. I believe it because I see it in the Bible. And because I have experienced it. Everlasting praise to the greatness of the glory of the grace of God!


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4 Responses to Saying What I Believe and Why …from the Word

  1. Amen amen. I saw this post the other day and thought it was great. I didn’t study Calvinism and then decide that I wanted to be Reformed. After being in the Word for years, I sort of realized that “reformed” was the heading I came under. Does that make sense? So, it’s logical that I (or we) should simply tell someone what we believe (and know!) about salvation instead of confusing the issue with labels 🙂 It’s not uncommon to hear “Calvinist” or “Arminian” or whatever thrown around like epithets.

  2. adkkid1973 says:

    Thanks for posting this Tim!

  3. TimWitten says:

    Amen and agreed… I didn’t start studying “Calvinism” until the onslaught of attacks started. I wish I had responded better… with more wisdom and less me. There is something so wonderful about simply being in God’s word and having your theology formed from the day to day fellowship with the Father by His Spirit and because of Jesus Christ. But, then… someone throws in the “C” word and it all of the sudden becomes a fight rather than a rejoicing in God’s abundant Grace. I’m sure the Enemy knew this and put it in someone’s mind to move the foundation from God’s word to a construct of man.

    Though I freely embrace Calvinism, I would have pressed much sooner to bring it back to what God says and not what the secondary voice, John Calvin, simply reiterated.

    Thanks Blaine

  4. TimWitten says:

    Rob, seems like we should both be in MN right about now… doesn’t it!? ;-]

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