Calvin on 'temporary faith'

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Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
According to Luke, Christ says that they believe for a time; because that honor which they render to the Gospel resembles faith. At the same time we ought to learn, that they are not truly regenerated by the incorruptible seed, which never fadeth, as Peter tells us, (1 Peter 1:4) for he says that these words of Isaiah, The word of God endureth forever, (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25,) are fulfilled in the hearts of believers, in whom the truth of God, once fixed, never passes away, but retains its vigor to the end. Still, those persons who take delight in the word of God, and cherish some reverence for it, do in some manner believe; for they are widely different from unbelievers, who give no credit to God when he speaks, or who reject his word. In a word, let us learn that none are partakers of true faith, except those who are scaled with the Spirit of adoption, and who sincerely call on God as their Father; and as that Spirit is never extinguished, so it is impossible that the faith, which he has once engraven on the hearts of the godly, shall pass away or be destroyed.
Harmony of the Gospels, Volume II (speaking here of the parable of the sower)
 

Neogillist

Puritan Board Freshman
Actually, as you were reading the parable of the Sower last night at soccer, I came to realize how this parable is inconsitent with the Arminian scheme of prevenient grace. According to the Arminians, God sends his Holy Spirit upon all those who hear the preaching of the Word and labors in their hearts, preparing them and sufficiently enabling them to believe in Christ and be converted. Once they have been taken thus far, God then leaves them to make their own choice under the action of their "freed will." Now if this is true, we should expect all the seeds to fall into the same kind of ground (only one type of ground). Now the Arminians suppose that those who had a temporary faith were indeed truly regenerate. The parable denies that idea since those who had temporary faith did not have the same type of "ground" or "heart" as those who persevered. According to their own scheme, it would be unjust for God not to prepare every man's heart to the same extent, thus leaving some as a wayside, and others as fertile soil. According to the Calvinistical scheme, there are different types of grounds depending on the amound of common grace received, but only one type of ground that is labored and prepared by God to ensure that the seed will grow.

Thanks Rev. Kok.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Actually, as you were reading the parable of the Sower last night at soccer, I came to realize how this parable is inconsitent with the Arminian scheme of prevenient grace. According to the Arminians, God sends his Holy Spirit upon all those who hear the preaching of the Word and labors in their hearts, preparing them and sufficiently enabling them to believe in Christ and be converted. Once they have been taken thus far, God then leaves them to make their own choice under the action of their "freed will." Now if this is true, we should expect all the seeds to fall into the same kind of ground (only one type of ground). Now the Arminians suppose that those who had a temporary faith were indeed truly regenerate. The parable denies that idea since those who had temporary faith did not have the same type of "ground" or "heart" as those who persevered. According to their own scheme, it would be unjust for God not to prepare every man's heart to the same extent, thus leaving some as a wayside, and others as fertile soil. According to the Calvinistical scheme, there are different types of grounds depending on the amound of common grace received, but only one type of ground that is labored and prepared by God to ensure that the seed will grow.

Thanks Rev. Kok.


Thanks for you comments. As I read your post, I thought how the Arminian position actually has a weaker view of God. It makes it look as though God cannot finish what He started.

When God does His work in a person's heart, He is all powerful and doesn't leave undone what He started.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Jean-David:

Absolutely. Consider the words of the Canons of Dordrecht:

RE, 5: Paragraph 7

Who teach: That the faith of those who believe for a time does not differ from justifying and saving faith except only in duration. For Christ Himself, in Matt. 13:20, Luke 8:13, and in other places, evidently notes, besides this duration, a threefold difference between those who believe only for a time and true believers, when He declares that the former receive the seed in stony ground, but the latter in the good ground or heart; that the former are without root, but the latter have a firm root; that the former are without fruit, but that the latter bring forth their fruit in various measure, with constancy and steadfastness.
 
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