In the statements of the Arminians man is always first and God always comes trailing behind to assist man by His grace to get to heaven. 

1. Man’s believing is the cause of his justification. 

2. Our obeying Christ is the cause of Him giving us eternal life and that our obedience to Christ is the cause of Him becoming the author of eternal salvation to us. 

3. God the Son, they tell us “hath redeemed us only on the condition of our concurrence and compliance.”

4. Our act of conversion is a prerequisite to enter the kingdom of God.


In the statements of the Protestants Reformed, God is always first and man is nothing. 

1. Our Lord doth not say, “there are some things you can do without me.” But “Without me ye can do nothing;” nothing good, nothing pleasing and acceptable unto God; whereas if we could either prepare ourselves to turn, or turn ourselves when prepared, we should do much. 

2. But the Spirit tells us elsewhere “it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure:” It is He who first enables us to will what we ought to do, and then to do what we will. Both the grace we desire and our desire of grace proceeds from Him. 

3. In the work of conversion and sanctification, all is to be ascribed to grace and nothing to human nature. The prophet Jeremiah saith: “Turn thou me and I shall be turned; heal thou me and I shall be healed.” And therefore it is requisite in order to our conversion that the understanding be not only so enlightened, as to discern the evil from the good; but that our wills be also so rectified as to prefer the good before the evil. 

By this rectifying or bringing of the will into its right order again, its liberty is not destroyed, but healed: so that it is free, after, as well as before conversion; free to God and holiness, as it was before free only to sin and wickedness. 

And this was not only the doctrine of the Rev. H. Hoeksema but also of the primitive church.