• The Duty-Faith And Free-Offer Issue

What Is Hyper-Calvinism? This same question appears as the title for an article written by Ronald Hanko for the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA). You may view the full article here.

Hanko admits that his group (PRCA) is often maliciously charged with being hyper-Calvinists, because it rejects the well-meant offer of the gospel. However, he argues the historic definition for hyper-Calvinism is restricted to those who deny the doctrine of duty-faith, rather than those who reject the free-offer. He writes,

“Historically, the name has been applied to those who deny that the command of the gospel to repent and believe must be preached to all who hear the gospel.”

He goes on to explain:

“A hyper-Calvinist (historically and doctrinally) is…one who believes rightly in sovereign, double predestination and in particular redemption – who denies a universal love of God and a will of God to save all men. Yet he concludes wrongly that because God has determined who will be saved, sent Christ for them only, and gives to them salvation as a free gift, therefore only the elect should be commanded to repent and believe in the preaching of the gospel. This, we believe, is a serious error. It is an error that effectively destroys both gospel preaching and evangelism – an error that must be avoided.”

My Response:

First, I appreciate Hanko’s effort to distance himself from a fringe group of Calvinists often maligned as “hypers”. After all, who would want to be identified with those who have presumably pushed the gospel beyond the boundary? Having said that, the article leaves me questioning whether Hanko has a clear enough understanding to write against hyper-Calvinism.

Second, if it be true that mainstream Calvinism has historically rejected the well-meant offer of the gospel, then he makes a strong case that the PRCA cannot be called hyper-Calvinists. However, I do not believe he is correct on the matter. Mainstream Calvinism, especially that of the last few hundred years, has subscribed in one form or another to…

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Those who follow my teaching ministry will know that I am not a fan of Gospel Tracts, such as the Romans Road to Salvation or the Sinner’s Bridge of Salvation. First, these tracts misrepresent the gospel and the sinner’s duty towards God; Second, these tracts are designed to serve as proselyting tools, rather than evangelistic helps; Third, these tracts are used as crutches by those who do not have the knowledge or confidence to speak the truth in their own words.

I have been asked on occasion (in various ways), “If you do not believe Gospel Tracts should be used for evangelism, then how would you present the simplicity of the gospel, during a five minute visit at the hospital, to an unregenerate sinner on his/her deathbed?”

First, I would point out to the one asking the question that the salvation of the one on his/her deathbed does not depend on me sharing the gospel to him/her. If that person is numbered among God’s elect people, then he/she is already set apart as a special object of the Father’s love. Likewise, that person has already been freely justified by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. All that remains is the…

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Sermon—“I Am Pure From The Blood Of All Men”

Some of the points covered in this sermon:
Many believe the Apostle Paul was “pure from the blood of all men” because he offered the gospel (Free-Offer) to everyone he met and exhorted them to believe on Christ (Duty-Faith). This view is propagated by freewill religionists belonging to the Arminian and Moderate-Calvinist persuasions. This study:
(1) Explains the meaning of Duty-Faith and the Free-Offer
(2) Provides an expositional overview of the text
(3) Points out the term (and idea) of an ‘offer’ does not appear in the text, although seven other words do appear—show (announce), teach, testify, preach, declare, feed, show (reason/argue)
(4) Explains how Paul’s declaration of “all the counsel of God” is a reference to the Framework of Sovereign Grace
(5) Explains how Paul’s twofold message of God’s plan for the ages fits into the Framework of Sovereign Grace—he testified to the Jews and the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ
(6) Concludes the Apostle Paul was “pure from the blood of all men” because he declared “all the counsel of God”, warning the unregenerate sinners that they were duty-bound under the authority of the Covenant of Works to “repent toward God”, and explaining to regenerate sinners that they were duty-bound under the authority of the Covenant of Grace to “believe toward our Lord Jesus Christ”—the reprehensible doctrines of Duty-Faith and the Free-Offer do not appear in the text

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I pointed out three grading systems for identifying the variant teachings of Arminianism and Calvinism. According to the “scale” classification, there are six measurements—High-Arminianism, Moderate-Arminianism, Low-Arminianism, Low-Calvinism, Moderate-Calvinism and High-Calvinism. Now, it is only natural to ask, What Is Hyper-Calvinism? You notice, it is not listed as a measurement on this scale. In fact, where does Hyper-Calvinism fit within this classification? Should it be placed at the top, as a seventh measurement? Or, should it be placed to the side as an extreme and deviant set of teachings which do not even belong on this grading system? That is actually what many Arminians and lower ranking Calvinists believe. They believe Hyper-Calvinism doesn’t even deserve a place on the scale.

Well, the reason I didn’t include Hyper-Calvinism as a label on this grading system, is because technically speaking, Hyper-Calvinism is a name given to the same group of believers who are also…

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Sermon—“How Do I Share The Gospel—The Motive”

Some of the points covered in this sermon:
• Reviewing the four main branches of sharing the gospel
• Highlighting several ways many preachers attempt to motivate believers to share the gospel
• Turning to the text, providing a definition for the terms “sanctify” and “heart”
• Explaining how the TriUne Jehovah sanctifies His people unto Himself
• Explaining how the regenerate sinner sanctifies the Lord God in his/her heart
• As the Lord God has set His affections upon you, so you should set your affections upon Him
• As the Lord God pursues you and has procured for you all gospel blessings, so you should pursue Him and present yourself a living sacrifice
• As the Lord God has endeared Himself to you, so you should endear yourself to Him
• As the Lord God has honored you as a vessel of honor, mercy, gold and silver, so you should honor Him as the King of your life
• Explaining how sanctifying the Lord God in one’s heart rightly motivates the regenerate sinner to share the gospel

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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One of the reasons many Reformed believers assert it is the duty of all sinners to savingly believe on Christ is because they distinguish between the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace. They believe the covenant of redemption was made between the Father, the Son and the Spirit from eternity, whereas the covenant of grace is made between Jehovah and the sinner in time. They view the covenant of redemption as existing in the background of God’s plan for the ages, whereas the covenant of grace is set in the foreground of man’s responsibility for today.

R. C. Sproul outlined this view in his book, “What Is Reformed Theology”. He explained Reformed Theology is primarily concerned with three major covenants—the covenant of redemption, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

With reference to the covenant of redemption, page 127:

“The first covenant we consider in the scope of Reformed theology does not directly include human beings, but is nevertheless critically important. The covenant of redemption involves the parties who work together to effect human redemption: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This covenant is rooted in eternity.”

With reference to the covenant of works, pages 128,129:

”The initial covenant God made with mankind was a covenant of works. In this covenant, according to the Westminster Confession, “life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” It is important to note that a “condition” is attached to this first covenant. The condition is personal and perfect obedience. This is a condition of works, and this is the covenant’s chief stipulation. Life is promised as a reward for obedience, for satisfying the condition of the covenant.”

With reference to the covenant of grace, pages 131,132:

“The Westminster Confession declares this about the covenant of grace: ‘Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.’

Perhaps the chief difference between the covenant of grace and the first covenant, and the reason why it is called a covenant of grace, is that this covenant is made between God and sinners. The covenant of works was made between God and his unfallen creatures. Once that covenant was violated and the fall had occurred, mankind’s only hope was rooted totally in grace.”

In an effort to help the reader better understand the relationship between these three covenants, Sproul includes this diagram:

Here is my response:

First, I wish to highlight my view of the covenants.

1. A covenant is an agreement between two or more people, with certain obligations binding them together. There are three parts to every covenant—(1) the parties; (2) the conditions; (3) the rewards/penalties.

2. Every relationship is based upon the authority of a covenant. Whether it be the relationship between a husband and wife, or parent and child, or friend and friend, or citizen and…

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