Second Council Of Orange: Mercy Unto Salvation Comes From God Alone

CANON 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

CANON 7. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).1 Read More»

—Canons And Decrees Of The Second Council Of Orange, (AD 529)



1. We are publishing this canon as part of the serial publication of the Canons of the Second Council of Orange (AD 529) to illustrate the existence of the Augustinian doctrine of salvation not as an endorsement of everything decreed by the Council. By the early sixth century the Augustinians (and others) had so identified the thing signified (regeneration, i.e., the divine gift of new life) with the sign (baptism) that the sign became the thing signified. The Reformed churches rejected this error and restored the distinction between the sign and the thing signified without diminishing the sign or losing the thing signified. The point stands, however, that sovereign grace comes first and that by it God freely regenerates his elect.


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