We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Error of Calvinism?

Galatians 3:2,3 substantiate the fact that no person is regenerated or indwelt by the Spirit of God without having believed; that is, faith in the message of Christ is accompanied by the initial entrance of the Holy Spirit into that person’s life. Without faith, there is no Spirit of God. Verse 3 emphasizes that the Galatian believers had “begun” that way. This is devastating to the Calvinist doctrine (presupposition) that one is regenerated by God’s Spirit BEFORE he/she believes.

Ronald C. Merryman, Galations: God’s Antidote to Legalism, pg.38


Anonymous said...

No, that is not what that passage means and is complete misunderstanding of the text. Here are a couple helpful notes on that:

3:2 Spirit. Paul appeals to the Galatians’ own experience of the Holy Spirit to prove that becoming Jewish is not necessary for becoming a Christian (Acts 10:47; 11:17; 15:8).

3:3 by the flesh. Perhaps Paul has in mind not simply attempting to keep the law without the Spirit (Rom. 7:7–8:17) but also the attempting to gain favor with God by cutting the flesh in circumcision (Phil. 3:2, 3). In either case, Paul warns his readers against the attempt to win salvation by performing some work. Salvation comes only through God’s grace by faith in Jesus Christ (2:16).

Here is a further resource I would recommend:


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Paul plainly states in vs. 2: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
They received the Holy Spirit by believing what they heard. Period. Belief comes BEFORE regeneration.

I don't need your "further resource" of Calvinist teachings to understand the plain reading of the text. Perhaps you should pay more attention to the text than to Calvinist teachers.

Anonymous said...

You are confusing regeneration with the baptism of the Spirit. Those are two different actions taken by the Spirit. Regeneration is the empowering of the Spirit so that someone believes. John 3;8 talks about this. But the Spirit does indwell the beleiver until faith. This indwelling is known as the baptism of the Spirit. This is why Old Testament believers came to faith before the outpouring of the Spirit at pentecost. Pentecost was about he baptism of the Spirit.

Martha said...

Hi Glen,
In reading the biography of Calvin, I believe it's safe to say that even Jesus Himself would or could NEVER be a Calvinist! There are some pretty dark aspects to Calvin's beliefs and deeds!

To believe that one must be a Calvinist in order to be a born again believer in Jesus Christ, pretty much delineates the finished work of Christ on the Cross, so you have a religion (Calvinism), without Jesus Christ as its Head.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous Calvinist:
If one is regenerated, then they are born again. The are born again by receiving the Holy Spirit upon confession of faith.

Calvinists have the regeneration being God's FORCING the person to accept Christ as their savior, because God decides to choose who to allow acceptance of the gospel even though he supposedly makes salvation available to all.

I do not get into debates about Calvinism on this blog. See this article for the only discussion I intend to have -- my side only, pointing out the egregious errors of Calvinism.

End of discussion.

Friend said...

Thank you Glen for speaking the truth...my thought recently on calvinism, as I study it more and more... They mis represent God. They portray God as having Shut up the Kingdom of God to some. Didn't Jesus condemn the Pharisees for doing the same? Why would God condemn such actions, but do it Himself? Calvinism is like what programmers call " spaghetti code"..... All knotty and twisted logic, that only the author understands.

My two cents worth...

Indonesiagal said...

Which biography of Calvin did you read? I haven't read one about him yet, but I would like to, so that I can get a greater understanding of him and his life. Calvinism grieves my soul...

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I've never read any biographies of Calvin. However I think you will find what you need to know in Dave Hunt's book, "What Love Is This?"

Indonesiagal said...

Thanks...I have read that book. I have read a lot about Calvinism, but have never read a book about Calvin himself.