Rejecting the Arminian Error of One Work Righteousness

David Norczyk
4 min readDec 10, 2021

The basis for Arminian errors is the placement of emphasis on man, instead of God. Man-centered theology presents God’s covenant as one of conditions. Conditional salvation simply means man must meet the conditions, demanded in the covenant the Father was permitted to make with man, by Christ’s death on the cross. Faith is the condition Arminians insist God has put on man. If the just shall live by faith, then faith must be generated by man.

Arminianism denies that Christ Jesus alone has met all conditions for salvation — to be applied to God’s elect people by the Holy Spirit. The denial of Christ and His finished work on the cross is contempt. The truth is: God has accepted Christ’s full payment to satisfy the demands of the Law. He has paid for the crimes (sins) against God, for His people (Col 2:14; 1 Pet 2:24).

In truth, the Law of God does not change. Perfect obedience is demanded, and only Jesus Christ has obeyed perfectly. Christ has merited right standing before God. Further, God has translated His people from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His Beloved Son (Col 1:13). As a result, the Christian has the standing of Christ before God (Rom 8:1; 1 Cor 1:30). Messiah’s righteousness is imputed to them, even as all their sins are imputed to Him. The Law is satisfied by Christ’s meritorious work of perfect obedience, and substitutionary atonement, on behalf of the elect people He came to save (Mt 1:21).

The Arminians falsely claim Christ’s death only gave God the right to make a conditional covenant with man, whereby, man must generate faith in the finished work of Christ, in order to be saved. God has the right to set conditions on His covenant, but He is rendered powerless, by the Arminians, to actually save His people from their sins. The Holy Spirit is restrained from regenerating a soul, until that person makes her free will decision. Then, and only then, God is free to do what He desires.

When the Arminians lower the standard of perfection on the Law, and claim that earnestness is the new standard, they misrepresent God. Man’s imperfect, yet earnest efforts to do as Christ did, simply fall short. When an Arminian claims, “I have decided to choose to follow Jesus,” she is claiming she has done a work of choosing Christ, by her own autonomous free will. Imagining she has fulfilled the condition of the covenant, she is deluded into thinking her decision has made her a child of God. This, however, is a failed work of man.

In truth, faith is the means by which a born again believer apprehends the merits of Christ (Acts 16:31; Heb 11:6). Faith is not her decision; rather, faith is a gift of God, brought to her in measure by the grace of God (Rom 12:3), who is the Author of faith (Heb 12:2). It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that grants faith to God’s elect saints (Phil 1:29). The regenerated, elect soul has received the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), who works His grace (Eph 2:8–9) and produces faith, manifested as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).

Faith gives nothing to God, nor does it have a value by itself. Faith receives knowledge of the truth, that is in Christ Jesus (Eph 4:21). In Christ, grace imparts truth, and faith accepts the truth.

Christ Jesus is the truth (Jn 14:6), and faith embraces Jesus as Lord (Phil 2:11). The Lord, our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30), has finished the required work, in the stead of His people (Jn 19:30). Faith denies the failed righteous work of self (Rom 4:5), but it delights in the alien righteousness of Christ, which places the child of God in the presence of the Holy One (Eph 2:6). Faith preaches right standing before God, as worked by Christ and applied by the Holy Spirit.

The Arminian places his faith in faith, as work of righteousness, required by the new covenant, which replaces the old covenant, which required perfect obedience to the whole law. Stated another way, God was gracious to change the law and covenants, by the death of Christ. He replaced obeying more than six hundred laws, with only one law: obedience of faith. Obeying just one law: that is, choosing Christ by the work of faith, is every man’s free will choice (contrary to John 1:12–13; Romans 11:5). It meets the condition of the covenant. Thus, the Arminian is justified by one work: deciding to place her trust in Christ, despite being dead in her trespasses and sins at the time of her purported good decision making (Eph 2:1). The meaning of God’s grace, according to the Arminian, is that He has given her the choice to believe, despite the Bible assuring her she has no ability to do so (Rom 8:7).

The Christian must reject the man-centered error of Arminianism. He must see that he is justified freely by God’s grace (Rom 3:24), which is the work of God’s Spirit, to apply Christ’s perfect redemption, which was accepted by God, because of Christ’s perfect obedience to the Law for righteousness. Christ is righteous before God, by His work of obedience, and Christians are righteous in Christ (1 Cor 1:30), having been re-positioned by His grace (Col 1:13), worked in the regenerated believer, by the Holy Spirit’s work of application.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 10, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher