Once upon a time, in a Reformed church, a visiting pastor used the phrase “receive Christ” in a sermon. Some people afterwards said the man was Arminian because he used the phrase in a positive way. On a similar note, I’ve heard Calvinists explain that we can’t use the term “accept Jesus” because it’s an Arminian phrase.
Now, I’m not an Arminian, but I think it is perfectly fine to use those phrases in the right context. We can affirm total depravity, bondage of the will, irresistible grace, and also use the above phrases (accept/receive Christ) in a biblical and Reformed way. Scripture doesn’t use those exact phrases, but it does use that kind of language.
For example, God’s people are called to “accept” the words of God’s wisdom and instruction as well as his discipline (Prov. 4:10, 19:20, Zeph. 3:7). Jesus says that those who “accept” the word will…
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