In the previous I defended the existence of prevenient grace and also within the entry I made reference also to justifying and sanctifying grace as well. Surely the audience that reads these posts would fall mostly in the reformed, fundamentalist category, as do I. Moreover, most readers take issue with the Methodist church and moreover Wesleyan doctrines of grace. Wesley spoke of three types of grace, prevenient (prior to conversion), justifying (saving), and sactifying (post conversion). Methodism recognizes these three types of grace and I would argue that we (reformed/fundementalists) ought not to reject the existence of these types of grace simply because of our distast for works based theology. I will not go over what the last post said about prevenient grace, and I am going to skip justifying grace (saving grace) because we all agree on it, instead I will focus this entry on sanctifying grace.
Sanctifying grace is real, and it is very much different than prevenient grace and justifying grace. We have no biblical reason of which I am aware to reject the notion that God continues to dispense grace upon us out of His own pleasure after we are converted for the purpose of sanctifying us. If we reject the notion of sanctifying grace then we ourselves are guilty of works based religon, because our sanctification would not be the result of grace (a work of God) but a result of personal obedience wrought by our own will power. Moreover a rejection of santifying grace is a rejection of the presence of the Spirit in a believer's life. The very prescence of God by His Spirit in the believers life is clearly evidence of grace and its purpose is the sanctification of the believer.
I will leave this topic at that. There is no need for us to reject the notion of prevenient, justifying, or sanctifying grace just for the sake of rejecting it. It is more productive for us to embrace these forms a grace and use them to explain the perfect soveriegnty of the Lord to methodists.
Please comment if something needs added, or taken away.
I find that most fundamentalist and reformed Christians seem to absolutely abhor the 'Arminian' or 'Wesleyan' doctrine of prevenient grace. I am still trying to figure out why. True, the conclusion which arminians draw from that doctrine is false, however the existance of prevenient grace cannot be denied. We clearly are by grace presented with the Gospel at various times in life, however until the Lord brings us to acceptance we reject that presentation. Still when the gospel is presented grace is most certainly present. Many people have experienced that grace and are in the pit right now because of their rejection of the grace that was then offered them. What was that grace? Certainly it was not saving or as they say 'justifying' grace. It did not save or justify anyone. Clearly it was not as the Weslyean would say 'sanctifying' grace because it sanctified no one. None the less it is by grace that a sinner hears the gospel whether he receives it or not. Therefore this grace that is experienced prior to conversion is rightly called prevenient grace.
Let's qualify this entry before it gets misconstrued. One by no means can or will be converted by prevenient grace, it is not our reaction to prevenient grace that saves us but the action of Christ alone that opens our eyes to this grace and thus what was prevenient grace becomes justifying grace. It is absolutly proud and puffed up to think that some how we meet Christ in the middle and he saves us. However it is a denial of the actions of God to say that there is no grace depensed to us prior to salvation. It was grace that kept me alive long enough to be saved, that grace was prevenient.
In the next post I will defend the doctrine of sanctifying grace because that too is a proper and just doctrine (also misconstrued). Before I close I want to again make it clear that I do not embrace the thought that by our own action in coming to Christ we are saved, it is only by His action that he brings us to acceptance of Him, there is no mutual work it is all His work for the Father's Glory.
Feel free to question or comment, or steer me staight if I am off topic.