I Hold to the Doctrines of Grace
March 6, 2024
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
“I rejoice daily in this great light..”
I hold to the doctrines of grace that are clearly taught in Scripture. I absolutely love God’s grace.

I am a Bible man. I love everything about the Bible. I’ve been a Bible man ever since the night I was converted in a motel room in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1973. That night I came to believe that the Bible is God’s infallible Word, verbally and plenarily, though I didn’t yet know those terms. I have never doubted a word of the Bible since then. I don’t understand it all, but I believe it all. The kind man that led me to Christ gave me a large King James Bible, and that has been the Book of my life ever since. He taught me to study the Bible diligently and to rightly divide it and to test absolutely everything through the lens of Scripture.

I believe the following doctrines of grace, and I rejoice daily in this great light:

I believe in the sovereignty of God, and I delight in it.

I believe God is Almighty, all-wise, infinite, eternal, King of kings, the only God, the most High. He “sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof
are as grasshoppers ... That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity” (Isa. 40:22-23). “The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever” (Isa. 29:10). The heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool (Isa. 66:1). He “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11). He is working all things together according to His eternal plan “that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Eph. 1:10). Nothing can stay His hand.

“But our God
is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3). “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isa. 14:27). When God has determined something, there is no power in heaven or earth, now or ever, that can hinder it. God--not revolutions or politics or economics or dynasties--is the Author of human history. He “changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Da. 2:21). No matter what men determine to do, God is in charge. “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD” (Pr. 16:33).

God’s will can only be resisted when and as He allows, as when He gives men and angels a will that can be exercised within certain parameters. But when God has ordained that something be done, it will be done. All creatures operate within the boundaries of God’s will and they can do nothing beyond those boundaries. The God who made the world and all things therein “hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Ac. 17:24-26).

In His foreknowledge, God has incorporated man’s will and man’s actions within His eternal plan and has ultimate control over all things so that His eternal plan will be fulfilled.

I can say with a prominent Calvinist, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”

I believe every son of Adam is unrighteous and undone before God, with zero ability to save himself.

I believe every son of Adam is unrighteous and undone before God, having a heart that is desperately wicked, not good, spiritually blind, dead in trespasses and sins, estranged from God, at enmity with God, under the power of the devil, totally unworthy of salvation; and it is absolutely impossible for a sinner to save himself by any means whatsoever, not by “good” works, not by willing to be righteous, not by sincerity, not by devotion, not by religion, not by sacraments, not by priestcraft, not by asceticism or self-abuse or mysticism, not by peyote or LSD, not by psychology or any other of man’s devices.

I believe salvation is 100% of God.

I believe salvation is 100%--I repeat, 100%--a work of God’s grace on the basis of the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ which is the full and acceptable propitiation whereby the sinner is forgiven, cleansed, justified, adopted and given an eternal inheritance in Christ. Salvation is 100% God’s grace, God’s work, God’s provision.

“So then
it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Ro. 9:16).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

I can sing with Isaac Watts, “Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ, my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them through his blood.”

I agree with Isaac Watts’ father, “Avoid their doctrine of meriting by works of obedience, for there is some sin that pollutes our best duties, and we can deserve nothing at God’s hand but wrath. All the good we receive comes of His free grace.”

I sing with Elvina Hall, “For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim, I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”

I believe that God wants all men to be saved, because He says He does.

That is God’s sovereign will and desire. He “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Ti. 2:4) and He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pe. 3:9) and He “hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Ro. 11:32).

Thus I believe that all men
can be saved. The gospel is good news for all men. Christ commanded the gospel to be preached to all men and, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mr. 16:15-16). I don’t believe Christ is playing games with sinners by having good news preached to all of them when it isn’t actually for all of them. I believe the angel’s message of “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Lu. 2:10). Comparing Scripture with Scripture, I don’t believe this refers merely to all types of people.

I believe that Christ died for all men in the sense that He made it possible for all men to be saved.

I believe this because the Bible plainly teaches it. He “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Ti. 2:5). He “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jo. 2:2). “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Co. 5:18).

I believe that sinners cannot draw themselves or enlighten themselves or awaken themselves or raise themselves from the dead or bring themselves to Christ.

All of that is God’s work of grace. Scripture plainly teaches that Christ draws all sinners (Joh. 12:32) and enlightens all sinners (Joh. 1:9) and the Spirit of God operates in all sinners through the preaching of the gospel (Joh. 16:8-11; Ac. 1:8) to make it possible for men to be saved.

I believe that a sinner can respond to this work of God and believe in Christ savingly, and a sinner can reject the work of God.

I believe this because the Bible plainly teaches it.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT!” (Mt. 23:37).

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And YE WILL NOT COME to me, that ye might have life” (Joh. 5:39-40).

I believe that the gospel invitation is a genuine “whosoever” invitation, not an invitation reserved for a certain part of mankind.

I believe this because the Bible teaches it in multiple passages, the plain meaning of which cannot be mistaken.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Joh. 3:14-15).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Joh. 3:16).

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And WHOSOEVER liveth and BELIEVETH in me shall never die” (Joh. 11:25-26).

“I am come a light into the world, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on me should not abide in darkness” (Joh. 12:46).

“And it shall come to pass,
that WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ac. 2:21).

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him shall receive remission of sins” (Ac. 10:43).

“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed” (Ro. 9:33).

“For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ro. 10;11-13).

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life freely” (Re. 22:17).

I believe that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary and His resurrection three days later are the central events of human history.

His sacrifice was substitutionary. He is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Joh. 1:29). “... he
was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:5-6). His blood and death was the propitiation for the sins of the world to satisfy man’s infractions against God’s holy law. It was sufficient to save all men. It was accomplished fully on the cross and was finished there. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14).

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