We believe that all men since the fall of Adam are both guilty and helpless as sinners. All men are born with a sinful nature. All men are guilty of sin. All men are spiritually dead in sin. All men are helplessly lost by nature (Romans 3:9-19; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).
God sovereignly chose the people whom He would save before the world began, not because of anything good which He foresaw in them, but simply according to His own good pleasure (John 15:16; Romans 9:11-13; Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:9).
We believe, according to the Scriptures that the Lord Jesus Christ died for and redeemed only His own elect, those who are actually saved by His grace. He did not die in vain, for those who perish under the justice of God; but He actually accomplished the redemption of His people. The benefits of Christ's atonement are limited to the elect of God, according to God's own purpose. Christ died for a particular people and effectually satisfied the justice of God for those people, guaranteeing their eternal salvation (Isaiah 53:8; John 10:11; Hebrews 9:12).
God the Holy Spirit regenerates those sinners who were chosen by God and redeemed by Christ, and calls them to Christ, creating faith in their hearts by irresistible grace and power. All who are effectually called by the Holy Spirit, do come to Christ in faith (Psalm 65:4; 110:3; John 6:37-40; Romans 9:16).
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
All true believers shall continue in the faith, persevere in grace, and inherit eternal glory, being preserved by the power and grace of God in Christ. Not one chosen, redeemed, regenerate sinner shall perish. Grace cannot allow it! (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:29-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
These blessed truths of the Gospel we believe and preach to the glory of God and for the salvation of sinners through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Don Fortner)
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Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore, he will not — indeed he cannot — choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ — it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation, but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation. Faith is God's gift to the sinner — not the sinner's gift to God.
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected, He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only, and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which united them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.
In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected — it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, and to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible — it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit — are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God, and thus persevere to the end.
(The above was taken from Appendix D of Steele and Thomas' "Romans, An Interpretive Outline")
Charles Spurgeon: "The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism—though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject—are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ.
"Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this—it is possible you may not; but I believe you will before you enter Heaven. I am persuaded, that as God may have washed your hearts--He will wash your brains before you enter Heaven!"