Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Part III: Christ's Appraisal Of Evangelicalism As Two, Offensive, Judging Factions
B. Christ's Evaluation Of Evangelicalism Detailed
2. Christ's Exposure Of The Factions' False Doctrines Behind Their False Judgments
c. Christ's Critique Of Errant Views Of Faith And The Atonement And Their Grave Effects On Evangelicals
(Revelation 3:14, 17b[c])
  1. Introduction
    1. Having critiqued the errant judgments leaders of the two factions in Evangelicalism make, Christ details how they arrived at this shocking state via mutually [and opposing] errant beliefs!
    2. Well, Rev. 3:14a, 17b[c] is Christ's exposure of Evangelicals' false beliefs on faith [and thus also the extent of Christ's atonement ] and their mutually unedifying effects!
  2. Christ's Critique Of Errant Views Of Faith And The Atonement And Their Grave Effects, 3:17b[c].
    1. Jesus said both factions were "the wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked one" [one article, four conjunctions], (3:17b) in a description of factions that judge eath other, hinting the 5 adjectives may be interrelated, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 845; A. T. Robertson, A Gram. of the Grk. N.T., p. 777.
    2. Incidentally, Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 59 reports Calvinism's five famous points of belief are "not isolated and independent doctrines, but are . . . inter-related . . ." (sic)
    3. In viewing the adjectives in order, we see Christ critiqued the renowned 5 points of Calvinism AND its opposing 5 points of Arminianism with insight on the bad effects each system has had on Evangelicals:
      1. Calvinism's third point, that of "Limited Atonement," asserts that since God chose only the elect to trust in Christ, His death paid only for the sins of those elect, not for the non-elect, Ibid., p. 150-151.
      2. In response, Arminius held since anyone might choose of his own free will to contribute faith to be saved, Christ's death atoned for all individuals, Bettenson, ed., Docs. of Chr. Church , 2nd ed., p. 377.
      3. Yet, Christ prophetically critiqued both views and their errant spiritual results in Revelation 3:17:
        1. Christ's third critique of the Laodiceans was they were "poor". The Greek word here is ptochos (UBS Grk. N.T., p. 845), and we define what He meant by it via the context: (a) In Rev. 3:18, Jesus said the solution to this state came by "gold tried in the fire." (b) As the only other N.T. reference to a thing being compared to "gold tried in the fire" is faith in 1 Peter 1:7 (Moul., Ged. & Moul., Conc. to Grk. Test., p. 1019), to be "poor" in Revelation 3:17 must mean to lack faith in God.
        2. This word criticizes the Arminian view of faith and Calvinisms views on faith and the atonement: (a) Calvin taught God gives the elect a gift of faith to trust in Christ; since the elect will presumably persevere via this faith, a believer can never be poor in faith (Beveridge, [Calvin's] Institutes, v. I, p. 484ff [Book Third, ch. II, 15-17]). Yet, the Laodiceans who were poor in faith were yet God's true sons (Rev. 3:19 refers to Heb. 12:6-8, showing they were ripe for discipline as true sons); being poor in faith while being God's sons counter the Calvinistic view of salvation faith! (b) Arminius' followers also err in their view of faith, for Arminians hold if one's faith in Christ fails, he loses his salvation, Chafer/Walv., Major Bible Themes, p. 220; Ibid., Bettenson, p. 378. Yet, though poor in faith, the Laodiceans were still God's sons via Christ's warning He was about to discipline them as God's true sons (Rev. 3:19 alludes to Heb. 12:6-8). (c) Thus, man authors his OWN faith versus Calvinism and FAITH does NOT ITSELF contribute to salvation versus Arminianism! (d) Then, on the extent of the atonement, if man authors his own faith, anyone can author faith in Christ, so Christ's atonement MUST be unlimited in extent for the potential salvation of anyone. 1 Jn. 2:2, 1 Tim. 4:10, Jn. 3:16-18 & 2 Pet. 2:1 all support the unlimited extent of the atonement.
      4. In view of the carnality of Rev. 3:17 that results from the errant beliefs described in Rev. 3:18, these errant views on faith have left believers either not responsibly trusting God in the assumption God will preserve their faith by predestination (Calvinism) or haplessly relying on the power of an impotent human faith itself (Arminianism), leaving Evangelical believers poor in their life of faith before God!
Lesson: Calvinism makes faith God's authorship, so its followers irresponsibly look to predestination to keep faith strong where Arminianism makes it meritorious, in futility putting faith in faith itself, so both wings have led their followers to FAIL to LIVE POWERFUL LIVES by putting FAITH in GOD!

Application: Versus Calvinism, may we INITIATE faith; versus Arminianism, may we put it in GOD!