Monergism vs. Synergism

Some of the sections in this article:

Synergism: A Belief That Faith Arises Out of An Inherent Capacity of the
Natural Man

How is Monergism Different?

Regeneration is the Work of God Alone

What About Free Will?

Some have asked, if this is the case, have we no free will? It is clear that the natural man does indeed have a “freewill” to act according to his nature, that is, to choose according to his greatest natural desires, but he is morally incapable and unwilling to choose God on our own because he is “dead in sin”, “loves the darkness” and “cannot understand” the things of God because “they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Cor 2:14, Rom 8:7, John 3:19). Our greatest affections, therefore, determine what we choose to follow. And although mankind can do many “good things” he is spiritually impotent and unable to do any redemptive good since his “freewill” is bound, which really amounts to no freedom at all. Man will always choose what he desires most, and without the regenerative grace working in us by the Holy Spirit there is no desire for God. So, while we were yet in active rebellion against God (so it would have been completely just of God to pour His wrath on all of us), yet, taking pity on us, He was still willing to show his great love and affection toward us by bearing the punishment and wrath we deserved and then apply the benefits of the atonement on His elect; those He had given His Son from eternity (John 17:9). J.I Packer said,

It is staggering that God should love sinners, yet it is true. God loves creatures that have become unlovely and (one would have thought) unlovable. There was nothing whatever in the objects of his love to call it forth; nothing in us could attract or prompt it. Love among persons is awakened by something in the beloved, but the love of God is free, spontaneous, unevoked, uncaused. God loves people because he has chosen to love them … and no reason for his love can be given except his own sovereign good pleasure.- (from Knowing God p.124)

So, here we clearly see that faith is not the cause of God’s choosing us, but the result of it. Justification, of course, is the result of faith, but faith is inevitable result of God’s efficacious and regenerative grace.

One Must First Be Able to Hear If One Is to Respond

How Does this Relate to Preaching Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ?

Synergistic Counter-Arguments

Some might further argue that passages which command or invite belief prove that man has the ability to believe while in the flesh. But all of these commands such as If thou art willing and whosoever believes, choose life are in the subjunctive mood. A conditional statement asserts nothing indicatively. Note that God also calls humanity to keep the 10 commandments, but it does not therefore, necessarily follow that man has the power to keep the commandments. A command does not imply the ability to fulfill it. The commands of God, rather, are meant to bring us to a knowledge of our impotence. With striking clarity, Paul teaches that this is the intent of Divine legislation (ROM 3:20, 5:20, Gal 3:19,24). God cures man’s pride by the publication of the Law. God commands us to believe and obey but the purpose of this is to bring us to despair so that we will recognize our utter inability to do so driving us to Christ’s mercy. When man recognizes that even humility itself is a gift of grace then and only then it is evident that God is truly working grace in a man. The law was never designed to confer any power but to strip us of our own, enabling us to recognize that salvation is a work of God alone. So if someone were to ask how one might be saved, the clear answer is “to believe in Christ” with the understanding that the opening of our understanding and desire to believe is itself God’s gracious gift.

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