All Articles For The Voice Of Our Fathers

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4) The condition unto salvation which God chose is, in the first place, the act of faith, which, according to the Arminians, “from its very nature is undeserving.” Notice that all stress is here laid upon the conscious activity of faith, that is, the act of believing, and that this act of believing, even though admittedly undeserving, is nevertheless conceived of as a meritorious work. With the act of faith, moreover, belongs, in the second place, the “incomplete obedience of faith” as a condition of salvation.

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Article VII. Who teach: That there is in this life no fruit and no consciousness of the unchangeable election to glory, nor any certainty, except that which depends on a changeable and uncertain condition. For not only is it absurd. to speak of an uncertain certainty, but also contrary of the experience of the saints, who by virtue of the consciousness of their election rejoice with the Apostle and praise this favor of God,Eph.

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Our fathers insist here that the sense and certainty of this eternal and unchangeable election results in the very opposite of carnal security and moral laxity. Positively, they maintain that it bears fruit, first of all, in that the elect humble themselves before God. This is indeed worthy of special notice.

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Article 8. As many as are called by the gospel, are unfeignedly called. For God hath most earnestly and truly declared in his Word, what will be acceptable to him; namely, that all who are called, should comply with the invitation. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life, and rest to as many as shall come to him, and believe on him.

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We have already stated that it is important to understand the background of this article and to note the Arminian accusation to which this article of the Canons is intended to be an answer. In our discussion of the translation we briefly pointed to this background. And on this we wish to elaborate now, and to call attention to the seriousness of the issue. First of all, we may note that the issue concerns the preaching of the gospel, and that too, to men without distinction, elect and reprobate alike.

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