Richard Coords, “Merit”

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Do non-Calvinists believe that they have a hand in their own salvation? Calvinists sure think so. Is believing in Jesus something smart, wise and good? Calvinists believe that since it is, and since fallen is not good but evil, then anything good coming from fallen man must come from another source, specifically God through deterministic means. But, really consider whether faith in Christ is something truly meritorious, that is, whether it means that we’ve earned something.

If simply asking God for forgiveness merited or earned salvation, then why was Calvary needed? After all, if asking for forgiveness from God in any way merits being forgiven, then there would be no need for Christ’s atonement. God could simply just say, “Okay, whoever asks for forgiveness, I’m going to choose to forgive them.” In that case, no atonement is needed and forgiveness is simply merited. If simply humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness, somehow earned or merited being forgiven, then the Cross was not needed and there is absolutely no justification for why Jesus died. So, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists should mutually agree that asking for forgiveness does not merit being forgiven, whether if you were to ask for forgiveness freely or whether you were to ask for forgiveness due to some effectual causal decree of God. If all men need the Cross, then there is no justification for Calvinists to accuse non-Calvinists of believing in meritorious salvation simply by asking God to save us.237


237 John 6:45 and Calvinism??, 19:47 – 21:17,

[This post has been excerpted with permission from Richard Coords, Calvinism Answered Verse by Verse and Subject by Subject, © 2020.]