Duty Faith and Repentance


The reason that Hyper-Calvinists reject duty-faith and duty-repentance is that the command to all without exception to repent and believe implies (to them) that unregenerate people are able to repent and believe. This is based on the SAME ERROR as Arminianism. Both Arminians and Hyper-Calvinists believe that when a universal gospel call is made to repent and believe, then this implies that the unregenerate in the audience have the ability to repent and believe. The command implies the ability to obey the command. Yet the truth is that a command IN NO WAY implies the ability to obey the command. Even the universal atonement advocate Martin Luther could see this: "... by the words of the law man is admonished and taught, not what he can do, but what he ought to do. How is it that you theologians are twice as stupid as schoolboys, in that as soon as you get hold of a single imperative verb you infer an indicative meaning, as though the moment a thing is commanded it is done, or can be done? The passages of Scripture which you cite are imperative; and they prove and establish nothing about the ability of man, but only lay down what is and is not to be done" (The Bondage of the Will). Sounds like Luther could be talking to the Hyper-Calvinists rather than Erasmus.

When the Israelites were commanded to keep all the words of the Law, did that imply that they had the ability to keep all the words of the Law? Of course not. It actually showed them that they COULD NOT keep all the words of the Law. (Galatians 3:10-12). When Ezekiel was sent by God to preach repentance to apostate Israel, did that imply that they had the ability to repent and believe? Of course not. "But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to Me, for all the house of Israel [are] strong of forehead and hard of heart" (Ezekiel 3:7). Did Ezekiel then say that he would not preach to apostate Israel, since that would imply they had the ability to repent and believe? No. He was to preach to them "whether they will hear or whether they will forbear" (Ezekiel 2:5,7).

What does the Hyper-Calvinist position also imply? Think carefully about this one. The Hyper-Calvinists believe that you should only command what the audience is able to do. Thus, they believe that the command for "legal repentance" and "common faith" is something that the unregenerate are able to obey. And is this "legal repentance" something with which God is pleased? Is this "common faith" something with which God is pleased? NO. He HATES all legal repentance and false faith. Thus, the Hyper-Calvinists are saying that preachers should command the unregenerate to do something that GOD HATES. Hyper-Calvinists will say that the unregenerate are to be commanded "to bow before Christ and give Him the glory that He rightly deserves as their Creator" and "to lay down their arms and submit to Christ as Lord." Remember that according to the anti-duty-faith people, preachers should only command what is within the ability of the unregenerate to obey. Thus, they are saying that unregenerate people have the NATURAL ABILITY to bow before Christ, to give Him the glory that He rightly deserves as their Creator, and to lay down their arms and submit to Christ as Lord. This is heresy.


Home

More Materials