COMPATIBILISM

DEPENDENT RESPONSIBILITY

Peter’s words accusing his fellow Jews of crucifying JESUS:

“this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23 ESV).  “Though one may not understand fully how God’s sovereign ordination of events can be compatible with human responsibility for evil, both are clearly affirmed here and in many other passages of Scripture (cf. notes on 3:13-16; 3:17; 4:27; 4:28)” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2084, [Acts 2:23]).

“There are many instances in the Scriptures where the concepts of both dependence and responsibility appear in the same sentence or paragraph.” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p130).

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain….” (Ps 127:1 ESV).

“Hundreds of passages…could be explored to demonstrate that the Bible assumes both that God is sovereign and that people are responsible for their actions.  As hard as it is for many people in the Western world to come to terms with both truths at the same time, it takes a great deal of interpretative ingenuity to argue that the Bible does not support them” (D.A. Carson) Justin Taylor (ref#295).

“…we are both dependent and responsible…Nehemiah…prayed and posted a guard.  He recognized his dependence on God, but he also accepted his responsibility to work…” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p131).

“God’s sovereignty is compatible with human responsibility.  Israel should have believed the gospel and trusted in Christ, but the majority refused to do so.  Still God’s saving promises will be fulfilled” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2174, [Rom 9:30 – 11:10]).

FATHER, as J.C. Ryle, this is what I believe: “I grant most fully that saving faith, like true repentance, is the gift of God.  I grant that we have no natural power of our own to believe on Christ, receive Christ, come to Christ, lay hold on Christ, and commit our souls to Christ.  But I see faith and repentance laid down clearly in Scripture as dutieswhich God requires at any man’s hands….(Acts xvii. 30; 1 John iii. 23.)  And I see it laid down with no less clearness, that unbelief and impenitence are sins for which man will be held accountable, and that he who does not repent and believe destroys his own soul (Mark xvi. 16; Luke xiii.3)” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p194).

“…what can be known about God is plain…his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20 ESV).

COMPATIBILISM

COMPATIBILISM

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Prov 21:31 ESV).

“What is compatibilism?…God is absolutely sovereign, but his sovereignty never functions in Scripture to reduce human responsibility.  Human beings are responsible creatures—that is, they choose, they believe, they disobey, they respond, and there is moral significance in their choices; but human responsibility never functions in Scripture to diminish God’s sovereignty or to make God absolutely contingent” (D.A. Carson) Justin Taylor (ref#295).

FATHER, I desire biblical balance between the SPIRIT’s power and my effort. “…there is both preservation on God’s part and perseverance in holiness on ours, and the former is accomplished by maintaining the latter.  God does not deal with His people as though they were machines, but as rational creatures.  He sets before them weighty considerations and powerful motives, solemn warnings and rich rewards, and by the renewings of His grace and the reviving of His Spirit causes them to respond thereto” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p170).

“Paul said he had learned to be content…He worked at it.  But he knew that he could be content only through the Lord, who gave him strength” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p133).

 “Each member of God’s people is responsible to lay hold of…grace from the heart to believe the promises, to grow in obeying the commands, and to keep on doing so all their lives long” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p937, “Introduction to the Psalms”).

“’To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me’ (Col 1:29)” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p51).  “He enables me to live a life pleasing to Him” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p134).