Calvinism Magnifies the Grace of God
L. R. Shelton
An audio file of this sermon is available at
One of the greatest evils of Calvinism in the eyes of the Arminian is that Calvinism magnifies the grace of God as it is taught in the Word of God. Arminianism
says it believes in the grace of God for salvation, but Arminians practice salvation by works, because they base their salvation upon the free will of man.
Arminianism accuses the Calvinist of preaching salvation by works, when it demands Bible repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Arminians
say that to have salvation by grace you must have just faith in Christ, that to be of grace there can be no repentance, that repentance is works. I have been
accused of preaching salvation by works because I have preached repentance, but the Bible says that repentance is a gift of grace, because Acts 5:31 and 11:18
tells us that God gave repentance unto the Jews and unto the Gentiles.
This whole situation of salvation hinges largely on the persons concept of man's natural condition. The Bible teaches that every sinner in his natural state is
totally depraved. You see, it brings us back to the age-old Doctrine of Total Depravity. If a man is totally depraved, then grace has to do all the work in the
salvation of that sinner. Old Jonah learned that in one of the strangest schools to which man ever went: he spent three days and nights in that schoolroom – it was
in the belly of the fish at the bottom of the sea. There he came to find out, as he cried out from the belly of the fish – "Salvation is of the Lord." A lot of
our preachers and teachers have gone to school for years and never found that out. Old Jonah learned it in three days and nights. If man is not totally depraved,
then man can have a part in his own salvation, or the evangelist or pastor or so-called personal soul winner can have a part in that sinners salvation. Therefore,
you have mixed grace with works, or works with grace, which is contrary to the Word of God.
No sinner in his natural condition wants to be saved. No, sir, I don't care what you say, he doesn't. Let me repeat: No sinner in his natural condition wants
Christ. Therefore, the sinner in his natural condition deserves the wrath of God, according to John 3:36. It is while man is an enemy to God that Christ died for
him. It is while man is an enemy of God that the Holy Spirit approaches him in the grace of God and woos that sinner until He brings that sinner at the feet of
Christ crying for mercy. To do that thing the Holy Spirit has to put a new nature in him; He has to make him a new creature in Christ Jesus, our blessed Lord.
Where does God find a sinner? He finds him on the scrap heap of the world, according to David in Samuel. He finds him on the dunghill of the world. That's the
garbage heap of the world. He finds him in an utterly dead state. He finds him as the son of Satan. He finds him bound in sin, and bound by Satan. He finds him a
totally-corrupt, vile individual who has no righteousness, no natural goodness, nothing in the world that can commend him to God. When God creates a new nature
and raises that individual unto life in Christ Jesus by giving him what we call the effectual call, that sinner wakes up; that is, he is awakened. He is awakened
in the dungeon of sin and when he awakes there, he finds himself in that awful condition. "I am a son of Satan. My, my, here I am bound by sin, bound by Satan, a
child of Hell. I am corrupt inside-out and outside-in." He finds himself in an awful condition. He has himself in the most confused state, and he doesn't know
whether his head is up or down; he is confused from top to bottom.
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