Synod of Dort Day: Arminius Brought Out of Hell

[We reject the errors of those] Who teach: That Christ by His satisfaction merited neither salvation itself for any one, nor faith, whereby this satisfaction of Christ unto salvation is effectually appropriated; but that He merited for the Father only the authority or the perfect will to deal again with man, and to prescribe new conditions as He might desire, obedience to which, however, depended on the free will of man, so that it therefore might have come to pass that either none or all should fulfill these conditions. For these adjudge too contemptuously the death of Christ, in no way acknowledge that most important fruit or benefit thereby gained, and bring again out of hell the Pelagian error.

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[We reject the errors of those] Who teach: That the new covenant of grace, which God the Father, through the mediation of the death of Christ, made with man, does not herein consist that we by faith, in as much as it accepts the merits of Christ, are justified before God and saved, but in the fact that God, having revoked the demand of perfect obedience of faith, regards faith itself and the obedience of faith, although imperfect, as the perfect obedience of the law, and does esteem it worthy of the reward of eternal life through grace. For these contradict the Scriptures, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith” (Rom 3:24-25). And these proclaim, as did the wicked Socinius, a new and strange justification of man before God, against the consensus of the whole church.

Synod of Dort, Canons, 2nd Head of Doctrine, Rejection of Errors, 9 May, 1619.

2 comments

  1. Did Arminius himself teach any of these things? He accepted the Bondage of the will, so that without grace we cannot even believe, let alone justifyingly obey some law less demanding than the original. He accepted that election was unconditional, not depending on our freewill, that was not free.
    I gather he thought grace could be resisted and that more study was needed before he could definitely say whether someone born again was guaranteed perseverance. Errors these are, but are they Pelagian or Socinian? With these errors, he could still sign the 39 Articles.

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