The following statement was written for a social media post:
Hyper-Calvinists are often accused of minimizing the responsibility of man by magnifying the sovereignty of God. This is a false charge and an erroneous dichotomy.
Rather than minimizing the responsibility of man, Hyper-Calvinists rightly identify it. They believe unregenerate sinners are responsible to God according to the terms and promises of the covenant of works, for it is under the authority of that covenant they are in relationship to God. On the other hand, regenerate sinners are responsible to God according to the terms and promises of the covenant of grace, for it is under the authority of that covenant they are in relationship with God. Experientially speaking, the turning point for a sinner between the two covenants is regeneration, which is not conditioned (spiritually or morally) upon his/her natural faith and repentance before the new birth, but is evidenced by a saving faith and repentance after the new birth. Spiritual faith and godly repentance are necessary components of regeneration, but they are not conditions for regeneration. At no point does the Hyper-Calvinist minimize the responsibility of sinners.
The problem is with the Free-Willers and the Moderate-Calvinists as they conflate these two covenants, thereby confusing the responsibilities required by God for regenerate and unregenerate sinners. They tell the unregenerate sinner he/she is responsible to savingly believe on Christ, while telling the regenerate sinner he/she is duty-bound to keep the law. They have it all backwards. Unregenerate sinners are responsible to keep the law (under the covenant of works), whereas regenerate sinners are responsible to savingly believe on Christ (under the covenant of grace).
Of course, this matter becomes all the more perplexing for the Free-Willers and the Moderate-Calvinists because they nurture wrong views on the biblical covenants. Generally speaking, the Free-Willers reject the notion of covenant altogether, or, they embrace a Dispensational view on the subject. The Moderate-Calvinists, on the other hand, believe in the notion of covenant, but they take the view there are three instead of two major covenants—(1) Covenant of Redemption between TriUne Jehovah; (2) Covenant of Works made with Adam; (3) Covenant of Grace God makes with sinners. It is on the basis of this third covenant, conditioned upon the saving faith and repentance of the sinner, that Moderate-Calvinists erect their duty-faith, free-offer and law-keeping sanctification.
Divine sovereignty and human responsibility? No! The issues connected with Hyper-Calvinism revolve around the subject of the biblical covenants, and it is on that basis they reject as pernicious teachings duty-faith, the free-offer and law-sanctification.
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.