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Sovereign Grace Definitions

I. An essential method of Bible study is defining the terms.
1. Neh 8:8 - So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
2. Sense n. - III. Meaning, signification. 19. a. The meaning or signification of a word or phrase; also, any one of the different meanings of a word, or that which it bears in a particular collocation or context.
3. When the words of scripture are read and properly defined, it causes people to understand the reading.
II. In any conversation, it is necessary and important to define the terms that are used so that all parties are on the same page.
1. When words are used in a conversation, the speaker and the hearer often have different definitions in their minds and therefore misunderstand each other.
2. It is therefore important to always try to remember to define key terms, especially if you think that your hearer may not be familiar with them.
III. This is especially important when discussing the doctrine of salvation.
IV. The following terms are often not understood or misunderstood, which makes a meeting of the minds difficult. These definitions will hopefully help to clear things up.
1. Sovereign grace
A. Sovereign grace is the act of God in saving His elect by His grace alone apart from their will or works.
B. Grace is unmerited favor and is not in anyway dependent on human faith or other works.
2. Election, elect
A. Election is God's choosing of men to eternal salvation.
B. Election is not man's choosing of God for eternal salvation.
C. The elect are those whom God has chosen to eternal life.
3. Predestination
A. Predestination is God choosing the eternal destination of heaven for His elect before the foundation of the world.
B. Predestination is God choosing to make one a child of God by adoption through Jesus Christ before the world began.
4. Reprobation, reprobate
A. Reprobation is God choosing before the foundation of the world to reject the sinners whom He did not choose to save, viewing them as fallen sinners.
B. The reprobate are those sinners whom God rejected.
5. Child of God
A. A child of God is an elect, born again person who has eternal life.
B. A child of God is a spiritual child by the new birth, not a natural child by natural birth.
C. A child of God is one of the elect who is born again, quickened, regenerated, and in possession of eternal salvation, but not necessarily converted or a Christian.
6. Born again
A. Being born again is the state of a person whom God has regenerated (quickened), giving him a new spirit and eternal life, making him a child of God.
B. Being born again is a synonym of being a child of God, being quickened, and being regenerated.
C. Being born again is not synonymous with conversion or with being a Christian, but rather happens prior to conversion and becoming a Christian.
7. Quicken
A. To quicken is to make alive spiritually.
B. Quickening is a synonym of regeneration, being born again, and being a child of God.
C. Quickening is not a synonym of conversion, but rather happens prior to conversion.
8. Regeneration, regenerate
A. Regeneration is the act of God whereby He creates a new spirit in one of the elect, giving them eternal life.
B. Regeneration is a synonym of quickening, being born again, and being a child of God.
C. Regeneration is not a synonym of conversion, but rather happens prior to conversion.
9. Eternal salvation
A. Eternal salvation is when God saves one of the elect from their sins by Christ dying for his sins and gives him eternal life through regeneration.
B. Eternal salvation is not dependent on anything that the elect do, including their faith or other works, but only on the sovereign grace of God.
C. Eternal salvation is eternal by definition, which means that it lasts forever and cannot be lost.
10. Eternal life
A. Eternal life is the state which the elect are in once they are regenerated (quickened, born again) when God put a new spirit within them which can never die or sin.
B. Eternal life is the result of eternal salvation.
C. Eternal life is eternal by definition, which means that it lasts forever and cannot be lost.
11. Conversion
A. Conversion is the process that a child of God goes through when he hears the gospel, repents of his sins, is baptized, and turns the direction of his life from living in sin to keeping God's commandments.
B. Conversion can only happen after a person has been born again (quickened, regenerated).
C. Conversion is not a synonym of being born again, or being regenerated or quickened.
D. Conversion is an ongoing process in the life of a child of God, whereas regeneration is the instantaneous act of God in giving a person eternal life.
E. Conversion is dependent on the faith and works of a child of God, whereas regeneration is by the sovereign grace of God alone.
12. Temporal salvation
A. Temporal salvation is salvation that can be experienced by a child of God in time and in this life, as opposed to eternal salvation which lasts eternally and carries on into the next life.
B. Temporal salvation is deliverance from things such as ignorance of the gospel, trying to save yourself eternally, fear of death, chastisement for sin in this life, deception and bondage, and an untoward and wicked generation.
C. Temporal salvation is salvation to knowledge and assurance of eternal life, fellowship with God and believers of like-faith, joy, rest, and victorious living.
D. Temporal salvation is dependent on the faith and works of a child of God, whereas eternal salvation is dependent on God's sovereign grace alone.
13. Christian
A. A Christian is an elect, regenerated, born again, quickened child of God who has been converted, having become a disciple of Jesus Christ by believing the gospel, repenting of his sins, being baptized, and being added to the membership of a local church.
B. A Christian is not merely one of the elect.
C. A Christian is not merely a child of God.
D. A Christian is not merely someone who has eternal life and eternal salvation.
E. A Christian is not merely someone who has believed the gospel.
F. A Christian is a person who is all of the above and who has also obeyed the gospel, been baptized, added to the local church, and continues to worship Jesus Christ in His church and obey Him all the days of his life.

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