[We are using Pr. Matt Richard‘s helpful study, “How Do We View Christianity?” which sums up two ways of looking at the various aspects of human beings, sin, free will, salvation, and more.]
On Sunday we discussed questions on p. 6-7 in the study guide. We talked about what difference it makes in how we present the Gospel if (A) we believe that faith is a person’s decision to accept God’s grace, or (B) we believe that faith itself is a gift from God by which we receive the Gospel. If faith is an individual’s decision, then you would present the Gospel so as to make the case for the Gospel, about which the other person would have to decide. But if the Scriptures show us that individuals apart from the Holy Spirit are deaf, blind, and dead in their sin, then they cannot make a decision about the Gospel, and will always choose the opposite of the Gospel. On the other hand, if that’s true about people, then our sole responsibility is for the Gospel and for telling it to people. The Holy Spirit does the entire work, when and where He wills, of converting, enlightening, and granting faith in that Gospel.
We also talked about the Bible, and whether it contains the Word of God, or whether it is the Word of God. Someone made the point that throughout, “Plan A” in the study puts the individual person in control, whereas “Plan B” makes God the subject of the verbs. In this question, the same is true. If the Bible only contains the Word of God (i.e., some things in the Bible are not the Word of God, but solely the words of men), who decides which words are God’s and which words are merely human? The reader of the Scriptures is put over the Scriptures, rather than the Scriptures over the person. We also made the point that this belief in the Scriptures as wholly the Word of God is only true because Jesus is the Word of God. If the words of the Scriptures are all true, it is because Jesus is the Truth. If the words of the Scriptures show us the way, it is because Jesus is the Way. If the Scriptures shine a light for us to walk by, it is because Jesus is the Light of the World. All the words of the Scriptures are true because they all testify of Him.