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The Doctrines of Grace, 
Part Nine, by
 Dr. Jay Worth Allen

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The Doctrines of Grace
Part Nine
by
Dr. Jay Worth Allen

In the weeks past we have looked at two men whose Doctrines have had the greatest influence upon the Church today — Jacobus Arminius and John Calvin. We now come to the one who, sad to say, is the least influential, the Apostle Paul.

Due to its humanistic base, Arminianism is suited to the carnal Church-man. It succeeds because it appeals to the natural mind of man. It is a subjective Religion, swayed by human emotions rather than the Word of God. From start to finish Arminianism is man-centered, instead of God-centered.

Calvinism, though essentially God-centered, because of its objective, legalistic base, can be, and often times is, compatible with the carnal nature of the Church-man as well. As a rule, Calvinism’s emphases on the external law tends to hamper internal growth and thereby cast aside certain Spiritual effects, vigor and influences.

Paul’s near-exclusive teaching of the death-dealing Cross in the life of the believer, and the glorified Lord Jesus Christ as the believer’s life, is in total opposition to the carnal, Adam-dominated Church-man. According to Paul, we are dead to the law, to the world, and to the principle of indwelling sin as centered in the old Adamic man.

Paul’s focal points are the believer’s crucifixion with Christ, and His risen life in the believer. “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4: 11). The death of the Cross and the life of Christ are ministered to the believer by the indwelling Holy Spirit – not the law of Moses, the rule of the cleric, but rather the life of the Lord. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me (us) free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

Paul is the Revealer of the “pillar and ground of the truth,” which is the Church of Lord Jesus Christ. Without the writings of the apostle Paul, we would have no understanding with respect to the Church. We wouldn’t understand the Church as the “bride of Christ,” or that Christ is head over His body, the Church. Everything we know and understand about the New Covenant people of God, we know from the pen of the apostle Paul. God set Paul uniquely aside to give him that Revelation.

Take Romans to Philemon out of the Bible and you are stripped of all New Covenant Church doctrine. Take all of Paul’s Epistles out of the Bible, and you’re left wanting of anything concerning the Church as the “Body of Christ,” for no other Apostle even brings it up. You cannot find the “mystery of faith” (1 Timothy 3:9); the “mystery” of the union of Christ and the Church (Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 1:22, 23); the “mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1); the “mystery” of the restoration and salvation of Israel (Romans 11:25); the “mystery” of the resurrection and bodily transformation of the saints of God – “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep” (1 Corinthians 15:51; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17); or the “mystery” of the present hardening of Israel (Romans 11) in any other New Testament writer’s pen. Paul alone reveals the “mysteries” of the Church and her relationship to the Risen Christ in his doctrines of Justification, Redemption, Sanctification, Glorification, Propitiation, et cetera. Paul is the great divinely-chosen Revealer of the “Gospel” for this age.

Paul alone, reveals in great detail that all of humanity is so ruined by sin that they will not, indeed, cannot bring forth genuine repentance or saving faith apart from God’s regenerating power. Nor can they in any way improve their spiritual condition or prepare themselves to receive the grace of God without the help of God. Beginning in the first three chapters of Romans, Paul reveals that, “There is non righteous, no not one . . . for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10,23). And that, before He created the world, God in His mercy freely chose certain individuals to receive Eternal salvation (Romans 8,9,10). His choice was not based upon anything He foresaw in mankind, such as faith, good works, repentance, belief, or their willingness to cooperate with Him. On the contrary, God saw that mankind was dead in trespasses and sins, and totally unwilling to seek Him. So the cause and means of salvation is entirely in God, and not in the individual.

The Christ-centered believer knows the Father in His sovereignty, and understands His divine purpose for him: predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). His life is based upon the Father’s pure grace and His perfect will. He is thankful that he is a “vessel of mercy,” and that it is God who works in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Romans 9:23; Philippians 2:13). He acknowledges that the Father is the sole source of his election, and not his own will (Ephesians 1:4,5). He sees that God the Father sovereignly chose and then called him to salvation, that God the Holy Spirit prepared and drew him in such a manner that he responded to this calling and received God the Son willingly and responsibly (Ephesians 1:13). He rests eternally secure in the risen Lord Jesus Christ on the foundation of His finished work on the Cross and His faithful presence on his behalf at the right hand of God the Father (Colossians 3:3).

The failure or refusal to discern the Pauline Gospel as a Separate and New Revelation and not a “development from Judaism,” accounts for two-thirds of the confusion in many people’s minds today as regards to just what the Gospel is. Paul’s Gospel will suffer no admixture with Works on the one hand or Religious Pretensions and Performances on the other. It is as simple and clear as sunlight is from the Heavens.

published The County Journal 24 February 2011
© dr. jay & miss diana ministries, inc

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