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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Prevenient Grace

I will talk about the doctrine of Prevenient grace. It also goes by the names of "Preventing grace, Preceeding, enabling grace, and actual grace". However, I will talk about the Eastern Christian understanding of Prevenient grace which differs from the Augustinian western model.

The Eastern Christian Confession of Dositheus uses the terms Preventing grace as well as particular grace. Prevenient grace is the Divine and illuminating grace which is a light by God imparted to all. This portion is focused only on Prevenient grace at this time.


the Synod of Jerusalem (A.D. 1672)Confession of Dositheus





Prevenient Grace


Opens the Heart

Acts 16:14 "14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message."

Psalm 10:17
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:


Opens the eyes

2nd Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Psalm 13:3
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

Psalm 19:8
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.


Opens the mind



Luke 15:17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you."


Matt 16 :16-17 "16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."


Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.


Job 32:8 "But it is the spirit in a man,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding."





Seen in the forms of Light, calling, Drawing Love, and Conviction



Light:

John 1:9 "9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world"

John 12:36 "Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them."


Psalm 18:28
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

2nd Corinthians 4:3-7 ""And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."





Calling

Mark 16:15
"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Romans 10:14-15 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"




Drawing Love


Pslam 18:32-33
"It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights."


John 6:44-47
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life."


John 12:32
"Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."

Titus 2:11
"11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."


1 Timothy 2:3-6
"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time."



conviction

Proverbs 9:10
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Isaiah 33:6
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

Acts 17:30-31 "30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead"


John 16:8-11 "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned."

Job 32:14-18
"For God does speak—now one way, now another—
though man may not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men
as they slumber in their beds,
16 he may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,
17 to turn man from wrongdoing
and keep him from pride,
18 to preserve his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword."



Job 32:19
"Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain
with constant distress in his bones,
20 so that his very being finds food repulsive
and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
21 His flesh wastes away to nothing,
and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
22 His soul draws near to the pit,
and his life to the messengers of death.
23 "Yet if there is an angel on his side
as a mediator, one out of a thousand,
to tell a man what is right for him,
24 to be gracious to him and say,
'Spare him from going down to the pit ;
I have found a ransom for him'-
25 then his flesh is renewed like a child's;
it is restored as in the days of his youth.
26 He prays to God and finds favor with him,
he sees God's face and shouts for joy;
he is restored by God to his righteous state.
27 Then he comes to men and says,
'I sinned, and perverted what was right,
but I did not get what I deserved.
28 He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit,
and I will live to enjoy the light.'
29 "God does all these things to a man—
twice, even three times-
30 to turn back his soul from the pit,
that the light of life may shine on him

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