Category:

Jared Smith, Bible Doctrine

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I reminded you that there are two diametrically opposed systems of biblical theology—Arminianism and Calvinism. The Five Points of Calvinism were formulated in response to the Five Points of Arminianism, and they are as follows: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and the Preservation of the Saints. The natural and most common way to approach these teachings is in chronological order, beginning with the first point, moving down the list to the last point. However, the Five Points may also be viewed according to a structural order. The first and last points speaking of the nature of man, and his relationship to and with God; the middle three points speaking of the nature of God, and His relationship with His elect people.

Now, putting the Five Points of Calvinism to one side, I have also emphasized throughout the course of these studies something that I call the Framework of Sovereign Grace. The Framework of Sovereign Grace is a diagram illustrating the masterplan of God for the ages. For this study, I would like to align the Five Points of Calvinism with the Framework of Sovereign Grace. To begin this alignment, allow me to rearrange the points in the order they appear on the Framework of Sovereign Grace. The Framework begins with the Unconditional Election of the Father, then the Total Depravity of man, then the Limited Atonement of Christ, then the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

This is the twenty-third study in the series, and I would like to speak to you on the subject of the Doctrines of Grace. I pointed out in an earlier study that there are two diametrically opposed systems of biblical theology—Arminianism, named after a Dutch Theologian who lived during the 16th century (Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609); and Calvinism, named after a French Theologian who lived during the same century (John Calvin, 1509-1564). However, neither man formulated the systems of teachings represented by these labels. Rather, the teachings were drawn up by those who lived after both men died. This took place in Holland, between the years 1610 and 1618. The first system of teaching to be formulated was that of Arminianism and there were five points:

First, Natural Ability And The Free Will Of Man. This teaches that man is affected by the Fall, yet he remains inherently capable of exercising saving faith in Christ which alone secures for him/her the blessings of salvation.

Second, Conditional Election. This teaches that God the Father has chosen unto salvation those sinners which He foresaw would exercise saving faith in Christ. In other words, God’s choice of the sinner is based upon the sinner’s choice of Him.

Third, Universal Redemption. This teaches that God the Son, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, made a general provision through His blood for the salvation of the entire human race, but it is made effectual only to those who believe on Him.

Fourth, Resistible Grace. This teaches that God the Spirit cannot grant the sinner new life in Christ, unless the sinner permits Him to do so. Henceforth, the effectual power of the Holy Spirit may be overpowered by the free will of the sinner.

Fifth, Falling From Grace. This teaches that those who have been born again may lose their salvation if they do not remain faithful to Christ.

The second system of teaching was drawn up in direct response to and rejection of the first set of teachings:

First, Total Depravity. This teaches that the unregenerate sinner is under the authority of the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

This is the twenty-second study in the series, and I would like to speak to you once again on the subject of Supralapsarianism. In our previous study, I shared several reasons I believe Supralapsarianism is the correct view of God’s electing love. For this study, I would like to explain why I believe the issue of Lapsarianism is an important matter. You see, there are many who view the subject of Lapsarianism as an insignificant issue.

Some say the whole idea of discovering an order in God’s decree of election is nonsense. They say it is like attempting to count the number of angels that can fit simultaneously through the eye of a needle—what’s the point? They say it is a subject of pure speculation, which God has been pleased to conceal under the canopy of His secret will, and therefore we should not meddle with or pry into the hidden things of God. They say it is a subject which makes absolutely no difference in the major teachings of the gospel—so long as we all agree in the chronological order of God’s decree in time, the logical of God’s decree from eternity doesn’t matter. Well, I certainly do not agree with these assertions. I believe the subject of Lapsarianism is an important issue, and I say that for the following reasons.

First, Supralapsarianism is revealed in the scriptures, and therefore is a doctrine to be understood and embraced. Now, if Supralapsarianism is an issue based entirely on human speculation, rather than divine revelation, then I agree, we should stay away from the topic and not pry into things that God has chosen to conceal and keep secret. However, in the previous studies, I have given to you…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

This is the twenty-first study in our series on Bible Doctrine, and I would like to speak to you on the subject of Supralapsarianism. In our previous study, I explained the meaning of Lapsarianism, distinguishing between two basic views—that of Sub or Infralapsarianism, which refers to God’s decree of the fall before that of election, meaning the human race was viewed in sin when the Father set His love upon the elect; and that of Supralapsarainism, which refers to God’s decree of election before that of the fall, meaning the human race was viewed without sin when the Father set His love upon the elect. For this study, I would like to share some of the reasons I believe Supralapsarianism is the correct view of God’s decree of election.

First, the teachings of Paul reveal it.

The whole of Romans chapter 9 sets out the Supralapsarian framework quite clearly, and that is something I have already expounded in our previous studies. For the purpose of this study, I wish to single out Paul’s analogy of the potter and the clay, showing how it is aligned with Supralapsarianism.

In Romans 9:21-23, the Apostle depicts God the Father as the potter, with the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I held forth, what is sometimes called, the Supralapsarian view of the Father’s electing love. For this study, I would like to speak on this subject at more length. If we remove the prefix of the word, then we are left with lapsarian. The Latin term “lapsus” means “to fall”, from which we get our English word lapse, referring to a fall or failure to maintain some standard. For instance, you might say, “I had a lapse in memory.” Or, “I lapsed behind when I went for a walk with my family.” Well, when the label Lapsarianism is used in a theological context, it is speaking about the decree of God in election as it relates to the Fall of Adam. Did God decree election before or after the Fall of Adam? To answer this question, I would like arrange my thoughts under three headings:

1. What Are The Leading Views Of Lapsarianism?

2. How Do These Views Line Up Side By Side?

3. What Do These Views Look Like When Diagramed?

Let’s begin with the first of these headings:

1. What Are The Leading Views Of Lapsarianism?

There are three prefixes to the label which represent the variant views on the order of God’s decree of election—supra, sub and infra. The prefix supra means…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, we considered the Father’s role in the work of salvation, explained by Paul in Romans 8:28-11:36.

You will remember, there are six parts to this section of the letter:

In (8:28-39), Paul extols the Father’s eternal blueprint of electing love; in (9:1-5), he confesses his burden for the salvation of the Jews; in (9:6-33), he explains the Father’s eternal blueprint of electing love; in (10:1-3), he once again confesses his burden for the salvation of the Jews; in (10:4-11:32), he once more explains the Father’s eternal blueprint of electing love; and in (11:33-36), he ends where he began, extolling the Father’s eternal blueprint of electing love.

Now, the analogy of a potter and the clay fits into the context of the third section—(9:6-33) Paul’s explanation of the Father’s eternal blueprint of electing love. In these verses, he views the masterplan of God from an eternal perspective, focusing his attention on the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I unfolded for you the structure of Paul’s letter to the Romans. It was my purpose to show you how Paul’s teaching in Romans 9 fits into the letter as a whole. Well, I pointed out that there are four main sections to the letter. It opens with an introduction (1:1-17) and closes with a conclusion (15:14-16:27). In between are the two main sections—First, Paul explains why sinners are under condemnation (1:18-3:18); Second, he explains how sinners are secured salvation (3:19-15:13).

Now, with reference to God securing salvation for sinners, there are a further four sections to the letter—the role of God the Son in the work of salvation (3:19-5:21); this is connected with the role of God the Father in the work of salvation (8:28-11:36); and then there is a twofold statement on the role of God the Spirit in the work of salvation (6:1-8:27; 12:1-15:13). This, of course, is nothing other than the covenant of grace, drawn up by the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, we took a snapshot at how the scriptures use the analogy of a potter and the clay to depict the sovereignty of God and the relatedness of the human race to Him. It was concluded that Paul did not use this analogy carelessly, as if any other comparison would have served his purpose all the same. No, rather, he deliberately chose the analogy because it happens to be one of the clearest descriptions of God’s masterplan for the ages—He is the potter, and we are the clay!

Now, as we have discovered, the main structure of this framework is outlined by Paul in Romans chapter 9. However, this is by no measure apparent to most people who read and study that chapter. In fact, many believe the chapter is a reference to the nation of Israel, whom they interpret to be God’s nationally elect people. Of course, I understand the chapter to be a reference to God’s spiritually elect people, which is clearly outlined on this diagram. And so, the question which should be addressed at this point in our studies is just that—does Romans chapter 9 refer to Israel as God’s nationally elect people, or does it refer to God’s spiritually elect people? To answer this question, we must step back and understand how the chapter fits within Paul’s letter to the Romans as a whole.

The letter has been divided into…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I diagramed for you the teachings of Paul as it relates to the masterplan of God for the ages. The diagram is based on a single analogy used by Paul in Romans 9 and 2 Timothy 2—that of a potter and the clay. The question which now concerns us for this study—is it possible to expand on the analogy of a potter and the clay?

Yes, that is something I am happy to do for this study. I want you to know from the outset, the analogy of a potter and the clay is not a trivial comparison used by Paul. The apostle did not haphazardly select the analogy as if some other comparison would have suited his purpose all the same. In fact, I would argue the…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

The Framework Of Sovereign Grace is a diagram I drew up many years ago in an attempt to illustrate God’s masterplan for the ages. It has actually become the backdrop for my entire teaching ministry, as it broadly outlines the basic parameters of Bible doctrine. In fact, it is within the context of this framework that all fields of knowledge, or departments of academic disciplines, may be understood from a biblical perspective, and therefore this framework serves as the basic construct around which one may develop his/her worldview.

For this study, I would like to explain how the Framework of Sovereign Grace was formed. The diagram is based upon a single analogy, used by the Apostle Paul, in Romans 9 and 2 Timothy 2. It is the analogy of a…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I pressed upon you the importance of creating your own diagram of the way you understand the framework of doctrine. I explained that if you are to receive the most benefit from this series of studies, then you must approach these teachings as a participant in the learning process. You should come at these teachings from the baseline of knowing what you believe and why you believe it. From that starting point, your job is to compare what I say with what you believe, and consider whether your understanding of the truth consistently aligns with the Word of God.

Now, if you have never created a diagram for your framework of doctrine, you may be wondering how you should go about the task. In the first study in the series on Bible Doctrine, I mentioned that the Apostle Paul spoke of a framework of doctrine when he wrote his second letter to Timothy—2 Timothy 1:13,14: ”Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous studies, I have shown you a few examples of the way Arminians have diagramed their framework of doctrine. We looked at the Romans Road, the Gospel Bridge and the Dispensational Timeframe. I have also shown you some examples of the way Calvinists have diagramed their framework of doctrine. We looked at Perkins and Bunyan’s theological charts. But I wonder, have you ever diagramed your framework of teachings?

Thus far, you have been able to follow this series of studies from the sideline, as it were. I have applied very little pressure for you to become a participant in these teachings. But all of that changes from this study forward. We are not now concerned with…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

Yes, many Calvinists have attempted to illustrate the way in which they understand the framework of sovereign grace. For this study, I would like to show you two of the more well known diagrams, both of which were produced more than three hundred years ago. The first was drawn up by a man named William Perkins.

1. William Perkins (1558–1602)

William Perkins was a student and then professor at Cambridge University. He became one of the leading Puritans in the Church of England during the Elizabethan era. His writings gained such popularity that they even surpassed the sales of John Calvin. He wrote almost 50 books, which is quite an achievement, considering he died at the early age of 44. It was an unexpected death. His second wife was…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

Yes, Arminians have produced many diagrams for their framework of doctrine. There are far too many to examine for this study. So I have selected as examples three of the more prominent diagrams.

1. The Romans Road.

The Romans Road to salvation is a free will formula of conversion whereby sinners are led on a path to make a decision for Christ. This diagram receives its name from Paul’s epistle to the Romans, as a number of verses are selected from that epistle in support of the free will formula. The Romans Road to salvation looks something like this…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I introduced to you several prominent men and women belonging to the Strict and Particular Baptists of past centuries. The question which now arises—Do the Strict and Particular Baptists have a framework of doctrine around which they organize their teachings?

The answer is yes, they do have a framework of doctrine, which can be extracted from their writings. Now, in my view, these writings should be arranged under one of two general categories—First, the 17th and 18th century preachers, who tended to approach the gospel doctrinally and systematically; Second, the 19th and 20th century preachers, who seemed to be more inclined to approach the gospel practically and experientially. Of course, this is not a hard line of division, for both sets of preachers were doctrinal and practical in their gospel ministries. However, it seems to me that those who ministered during the 17th and 18th centuries gave more attention to the mind and concentrated their efforts on the explanation of truth, whereas those who ministered during the 19th and 20th centuries gave more attention to the heart and focused on the application of truth. I believe the writings of men such as Skepp, Gill and Brine suggest they were largely concerned with how the branches of the gospel fit together as a whole. They seem to be addressing the problem of…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I introduced you to a circle of historic churches in England called the Strict and Particular Baptists. From their origin in the early 17th century, this group of churches subscribed to high views of sovereign grace—they were High-Calvinists. Now, you will sometimes hear people tell you that High or Hyper Calvinism represents only a small number of churches during the last several centuries. However, by the turn of the 20th century, there were almost 600 Strict and High-Calvinist Baptists churches scattered around England. This made up one third of all Baptist churches in the country. As you can see from the map, there were 69 chapels in Greater London alone, with another 160 chapels scattered throughout the surrounding counties. You can pause the video and examine the number of Strict and High-Calvinist Baptist chapels in other counties around the country. Of course, the Arminians and Moderate-Calvinists would have you believe High-Calvinist churches have only been few in number, but that is simply untrue. My dear friends, as the map demonstrates, we belong to a long line of faithful believers who shared the same faith and understanding of the gospel as ourselves.

Having said this, these Strict and Particular Baptist men and women are not well known among Christians today. Nowadays, when many Christians think of the outstanding Baptists of earlier centuries, they tend to be more familiar with names such as…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, we considered the meaning of the label “Hyper-Calvinism”. I pointed out that Hyper-Calvinism is a caricature of High-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism is the name used by Arminians and lower ranking Calvinists, based on their misunderstanding of higher views of sovereign grace. High-Calvinism, on the other hand, is the name used by High-Calvinists, which more accurately identifies the teachings of this group of believers.

For this study, I would like introduce you to a group of High-Calvinist churches in England called Strict and Particular Baptists. Allow me to give a little background. These Baptist churches in England emerged between the years 1610 and 1633. At that time, there were two main issues which divided the churches. First, there was a matter connected with the…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

The simple answer is yes, there are adaptations of Arminianism and Calvinism. However, the answer becomes a little more complicated when attempting to identify the variant teachings of these two frameworks. In an effort to simplify the matter, there are three main categories under which these adaptions of Arminianism and Calvinism may be arranged—First, the “point” classification; Second, the “scale” classification; Third, the “shade” classification. All of this may sound rather technical, but as I hope to show you, it actually explains in a concise form an otherwise bewildering clash of differences between believers on these matters.

Let’s begin with the first category—the “point” classification. The point classification is based on the number of points to which one subscribes. For example, if someone subscribes only to the Preservation of the Saints, otherwise known as Eternal Security, then he/she may identify as a one point Calvinist. Or, a person may subscribe to…

Continue reading

A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous studies, I have drawn a clear distinction between two frameworks of theology—Arminianism and Calvinism. I have sought to show you that Arminianism is based on the philosophy of Humanism, and is therefore the epitome of all false religion; whereas Calvinism is based on the revelation of sovereign grace, which is the essence of all true religion. However, the leading factor which determines whether a sinner will enter into the kingdom of God is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit; not the substance of a preacher’s sermon or the content of a sinner’s creed. Henceforth, it is possible for a regenerate sinner to subscribe to the teachings of Arminianism, just as it is possible for an unregenerate sinner to subscribe to the teachings of Calvinism.

Now, if we want to distinguish between these frameworks of teaching, then it is helpful to set them side by side horizontally for the purpose of comparison and contrast. And that is what I have done in the foregoing studies. However, if we want to integrate these frameworks of teaching, for the purpose of showing how a regenerate sinner may subscribe to the teachings of Arminianism, then it is helpful to stack one on top of the other vertically.

At the bottom, and separate from the two frameworks, is the philosophy of…

Continue reading

Copyright © 2019, The Association of Historic Baptists