BIBLE STUDY EIGHT
A Gospel That
Calvinism and Arminianism
The Jones and Waggoner message o f the
atonement captures what is true in Calvinism and what is true in
Arminianism, but rejects what is error in both. They broke through the
spiritual fog of centuries to recapture the bright sunlit truth of
justification by faith as taught in the New Testament. The
"Fog" was caused by the great falling away ó the teachings
of "the little horn" of Daniel 7, 8 which obscured the gospel
for many centuries. The 16th Century Protestant Reformers carried with
them from Romanism less than adequate, or immature, views of
justification by faith along with Sunday-sacredness and natural
immortality. The latter makes it virtually impossible for them to
appreciate the nature of Chrisís sacrifice. In Ellen Whiteís view,
the 1888 message focuses the message of justification by faith for these
B. THE BIBLE EVIDENCE
God took, has taken, and still continues to take, the initiative in manís
salvation. In this respect Calvinism is true.
John 3:18, 19.
Those who are lost at last have taken, and continued to take, the
initiative in their own damnation. In this respect, Calvinism is wrong.
Christ is actually the Saviour of the world, not just of those who
Although Christ is their Saviour and King, unbelievers choose to refuse
to let Him be what He is.
They actually, willfully, determinedly, "reject" Him.
The sacrifice of Christ has given "liberty" of choice to
"all the inhabitants of the land." In this respect Arminianism
John 6:32, 33, 53.
Jesus says that His sacrifice has been effective in that it does for all
men, believers or unbelievers, all the good they have ever enjoyed, that
every blessing that believers or unbelievers enjoy is already the
purchase of His sacrifice. 1
Arminianism supporters understand that the sacrifice of Christ does no
one any good unless he first believes, accepts, and obeys.
1 Timothy 4:10.
Thus Arminianism adherents deny that Christ is actually the Saviour of
all men, saying that He is the Saviour only of those who believe. 2
Romans 3:23, 24.
The "all [who] have sinned" are "justified freely by His
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Arminianism
supporters say that the "all" are in no sense justified
"freely" until they first take an initiative to accept and
The same "all men" upon whom has come "condemnation"
in Adam have been given the "gift" that "grace" gives
ó justification in the One who is now the second Adam of the human
race. 3 Our common version of
Arminianism has difficulty with this, denying that "all men"
is all men.
The Bible definition of "justification" is neither a mere
legal declaration nor a "making" righteous. The Hebrew judge
on his own could do neither. He had to examine the evidence and then
"pronounce" the accused accordingly.
Galatians 2:16-21; 1 Corinthians 15:3.
The "evidence" for justification in our case is not our own
obedience, but Christís total identity with us as our second Adam and
our sacrifice. He died for all men, accepts all men, and treats them
generously as though they were forgiven. God is already reconciled to
2 Corinthians 5:14-21.
Therefore God "imputed" the sins of the whole world to Christ,
and instead imputed to the world (in a legal sense) justification in
Luke 15:1, 2.
Christ "receives" or treats every person as though he had
never sinned. This is grace; it is
"much more abounding" than we have understood and proclaimed
it. But such grace does not give license to sin; it is the only bulwark
2 Corinthians 5:20.
Justification by faith is the experiential reconciliation of the sinnerís
believing heart to God. The result: the life is changed.
Galatians 5:6: 6:15; 1 Corinthians 7:19.
As soon as the believing sinner is reconciled to God, he is at the same
time reconciled to Godís holy Law. Thus he is made obedient to all the
commandments of God. 6
Galatians 5:6; 1 Peter 2:22.
This faith of the believing sinner "works by love" and
purifies his soul. 7 The
purification is accomplished in the experience of justification by
Revelation 7:1-4; 14:1-15.
The result will be a people who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth,
that is, "they are without fault." 8
Leviticus 16:30, 31; Daniel 8:14; 12:10.
This ministry of justification by faith is accomplished through Christís
work in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. Neither Calvinism nor
Arminianism understands the full implications of that truth.
The teachings of the Bible support the
view of justification by faith as understood by Jones and Waggoner. 9
The Bible presents a message that must
lighten the earth with glory and which completes the work of the
Protestant Reformation. It meets and complements the heart-longings of
all who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" who are now
scattered throughout "Babylon" awaiting the final call,
"Come out of her, My people." Righteousness by faith in this
time of the cleansing of the sanctuary does more than prepare people to
die "in the Lord." It makes possible a ripening of "the
harvest" that prepares them for "the sickle" when the
divine Farmer is told to "thrust in Thy sickle, and reap"
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Cf. DA 660. [return to study]
The idea is that the word malista does not mean
"especially," but "that is." The Saviourís
sacrifice has not only purchased physical life for humans as for
animals, but has also bought and has given all the joy and
"abundant life" that those who reject Him have always enjoyed.
They should say "Thank You" to the Giver. If uttered by the
heart, that is the beginning of faith. [return to study]
The NEB correctly renders it "a judicial ... verdict of
acquittal." [return to study]
God being already reconciled to the sinner does not mean that He is
reconciled to the sinnerís sin. [return
No one has as yet (except Christ) died the second death. By virtue of
His sacrifice, God treats every person with grace. [return
Because of the false accusation of "perfectionism" leveled
against the 1888 message, some ridicule the possibility of anyone being
truly "obedient to all the commandments of God." But it was
this that rejoiced Ellen Whiteís heart when she first heard the
message (TM 91, 92). [return
Waggoner taught that true justification by faith prepares one for
translation. But if we deny that a legal justification took place at the
cross for all men, we are then forced to regard justification by faith
as faulty and incomplete, requiring a second work of grace which we
commonly speak of as sanctification. Jones and Waggoner saw more light
than Wesley could see in his day. [return to
They become prepared for translation at the second coming of Christ.
Those who oppose the 1888 message see these 144,000 as described after
the second coming (cf. Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, p.
627). [return to study]
When Waggoner declared that all that a person needs to be ready for
heaven is justification, he did not derogate what we understand as
sanctification; his view of the effectiveness of the sacrifice of Christ
lifted his vision of what justification by faith accomplishes.
Sanctification is therefore a settling into the truth so that believers
cannot be moved. [return to study]