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Part 2—Exposition of the Canons, Fifth Head of Doctrine. Of the Perseverance of the Saints. Rejection of Errors, Article 8 (cont’d)

Our fathers obviously cite the text in I Peter 1:23 in order to make one point, namely, that we are born again out of incorruptible seed. This, to them, makes the Arminian teaching of regeneration that can be lost and of frequent regenerations of the same individual absurd.

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Part 2—Exposition of the Canons, Fifth Head of Doctrine. Of the Perseverance of the Saints. Rejection of Errors, Article 8

Article 8. Who teach: That it is not absurd that one having lost his first regeneration, is again and even often born anew. For these deny by this doctrine the in­corruptibleness of the seed of God, whereby we are born again. Contrary to the testimony of the Apostle Peter: “Having…

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Part 2—Exposition of the Canons, Fifth Head of Doctrine. Of the Perseverance of the Saints. Rejection of Errors, Article 7 (cont’d)

As we mentioned last time, our fathers in this article reject the Arminian contention that temporary faith and saving faith differ only in duration with an appeal to the Parable of the Sower, or, more correctly, the Parable of the Four Kinds of Soil. And they make a comparison between…

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Part 2—Exposition of the Canons, Fifth Head of Doctrine. Of the Perseverance of the Saints. Rejection of Errors, Article 6 (cont’d)

In brief this objection of the Arminians is that the doc­trine of the certain perseverance of the saints and of the as­surance thereof is intrinsically an immoral doctrine: it leads necessarily and inevitably to carelessness and profanity. It is a soft cushion on which the flesh may recline in ease…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two—Exposition of the Canons, Fifth Head of Doctrine, Of the Perseverance of the Saints

Article 7. For in the first place, in these. falls he preserves in them the incorruptible seed of regeneration from perishing, or being totally lost; and again, by his Word and Spirit, certainly and effectually renews them to repentance, to a sincere and godly sorrow for their sins, that they may…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part 2 – Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine of Divine Predestination, Article 7 (continued)

In the first place, we must give our attention to the proposition that election is “out of mere grace.” The term grace has several connotations in Holy Scripture, all of which are rooted in the idea of grace as an attribute of God Himself. God, as the God of all infinite perfections,…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination (Article 16)

Article 16. Those who do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, and glorying in God through Christ, efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath appointed…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine of Divine Predestination (Article 6, cont’d)

It need scarcely be mentioned that again the Canonsin this connection are infralapsarian, at least by implication. Strictly speaking, this article speaks of God’s work in time, of the fact that in time He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, and that in time He leaves the non-elect in His…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination, Article 17 (continued)

The quotations made from the opinions of the very fathers who drew up the Canons serve to furnish us with information as to the background of Article 17. In the first place, it becomes evident that the basic question with which the fathers were occupied was not the narrow question…

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Part 2 – Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination, Article 14 (continued)

In the remainder of this article we find a discussion, first of all, concerning the manner in which the truth of election is to be preached. The fathers mention here the following elements: 1) the spirit of discretion; 2) piety (The Dutch has here: “met Godvruchtige eerbiedigheid, heiliglijk.” The Latin…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine of Divine Predestination. Article 7

Article 7. Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude,…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination, Article 15 (continued)

It is in the light of what the fathers state as to the attributes of the decree of reprobation that we must also understand what this article states as to the relation between election and reprobation, and, in connection therewith, the purpose of the decree of reprobation. Of these two…

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Part 2 – Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination, Article 14 (concluded)

With the above general observations in mind we may well profit from the stipulations set forth in this article. In the first place, we are told that the spirit of discretion must characterize our preaching of election. Discretion is prudence, or the practical application of wisdom. It takes into consideration…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part 2, Exposition of the Canons, Second Head of Doctrine, Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby. Article 5 (continued)

Our English translation of this article is rather accurate. It might have been improved by placing the words, “together with the command to repent and believe,” in closer connection with the words “ought to be declared and published,” as the Dutch translation has them. And also the Dutch terms “verkondigd…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination. Article 16 (continued)

The second class of Christians which the article mentions may be called the class of the “imperfect believers.” They are characterized by the following: 1) They seriously desire to be turned to God, and to please Him only. (The Dutch has here: “They earnestly desire to convert themselves to God.”…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, Second Head of Doctrine: Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby

Article 4. This death derives its infinite value and dignity from these considerations, because the person who submitted to it was not only really man, and perfectly holy, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit,…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part 2, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine of Divine Predestination, Article 7 (continued)

Most beautifully do the Canons make mention of the Christ in this connection. He is “from eternity appointed the mediator and head of the elect, and the foundation of salvation.” And God, has chosen His people unto “redemption in Christ.” And hence, “this elect number . . . . God hath decreed…

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The Canons of Dordrecht, Part Two, Exposition of the Canons, First Head of Doctrine, Of Divine Predestination, Article 16 (continued)

It is of prime importance when we are dealing with these matters concerning the assurance of election and the conviction of reprobation that we remember that these are essentially spiritual matters, and that the efficacious work of God is the ultimate cause thereof.

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