Growing Up and Out of Arminianism
Most Christians, at the time of their conversion, hold to Arminian theology (man-centered). This makes sense because the knowledge of God in the unregenerate soul is most akin to self-interest.
As babes in Christ, new believers must grow in grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Pet 3:18). They feed on the milk of the Word (Heb 5:13; 1 Pet 2:2). As the mind of Christ manifests more and more (1 Cor 2:16), by the sanctifying work of the Spirit (Jn 17:17; Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 4:3, 7; 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2), God becomes more prominent, and man is reduced. Just as Jesus was taken up with talk of God the Father, so we are taken up with talk of God the Son (in whom we learn of the Father).
As God causes our spiritual growth, making us hunger and thirst for spiritual things (1 Cor 2:15), so He feeds us with more meat of the Word. The result is a conclusive theology that all things are from Him, all things are for Him, and all things are to Him. That is the apostle Paul’s Calvinism (Romans 11:36), which is another way of saying, “God is the Gospel.”
Spiritual maturity, born of the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit and God’s Word, leads in only one direction: from man-centered Arminianism to God-centered Calvinism. This is the reason you will find a plethora of Calvinists who confess, “I used to be Arminian,” while finding no Arminians, if they are honest, who claim, “I used to be a Calvinist.” If there were one, we might ask, “So, you forsook a high view of God and replaced with a low view of God, and you took a low view of man and replaced it with a high view of man…why would you elevate man and devalue God?”
Conclusion: the born again child of God must grow, and he grows in only one direction, toward an ever higher view of our God, who alone is sovereign in all things.
Application: Pray for God to grow you, for He alone is able to extend the grace to make growth happen. Ask Him to grant you a voracious appetite for the Bible, for your flesh is weak in all matters spiritual. Child of God, the seed of His Word has been planted in you. By God’s grace, the water of His Word will result in a God-given increase until He becomes your magnificent obsession and all in all.
Spokane Valley, Washington
February 1, 2022