< Previous | Contents | Next >

3 Acts 14:16.


ARTICLE 16

RESPONSES TO THE DOCTRINE OF REPROBATION

Some do not yet clearly discern in themselves a living faith in Christ,1 an assured confidence of heart, peace of conscience, a zeal for childlike obedience, and a glorying in God through Christ;2 nevertheless, they use the means through which God has promised to work these things in us. They ought not to be alarmed when reprobation is mentioned, nor to count themselves among the reprobate. Rather, they must diligently continue in the use of these means, fervently desire a time of more abundant grace, and expect it with reverence and humility. Others seriously desire to be converted to God, to please Him only, and to be delivered from the body of death.3 Yet they cannot reach that point on the way of godliness and faith which they would like. They should be even less terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, since a merciful God has promised not to snuff out the smouldering wick nor to break the bruised reed.4

Still others disregard God and the Saviour Jesus Christ and have completely given themselves over to the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth.5 For them this doctrine of reprobation is rightly fearsome as long as they do not seriously turn to God.6

1 Jas 2:26.

2 2 Cor 1:12; Rom 5:11.

3 Phil 3:3; Rom 7:24.

4 Is 42:3; Mt 12:20.