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Monergist Father: Basil of Caesarea

The monergism of Basil:


Basil stated, God controls the distribution of all good things for the blessing of His people. He writes: “I now say that I ought to give thanks to God when He gives benefits . . . surely He administers our affairs better than we should if the choice were ours.” . . .

Basil was confident that nothing lies outside God’s eternal purpose and sovereign rule. As he states: “Do not say, ‘This happened by chance’ and ‘That occurred accidentally.’ Nothing is casual, nothing indeterminate, nothing happens at random, nothing among things that exist is caused by chance.”

. . .

Although Basil, like the other Cappadocian Fathers, did not hold to the full-orbed doctrine of radical depravity that Augustine would later develop, he understood that Adam’s sin had debilitated all people. Regarding the universality of sin, he states, “Every human soul is subject to the evil yoke of bondage of the common enemy of all, and being deprived of the liberty it had from its Creator, is led captive by sin.” . . .

. . .

Basil was committed to the biblical doctrine of election. He affirmed that God sovereignly chose a people for Himself unto salvation. Expounding on Jesus’ words in John 10:16 (“I have other sheep that are not of this fold”), Basil states that Jesus was speaking of elect individuals, those who “from among the Gentiles, are predestined to salvation.” These chosen ones are “the sheep of Christ.” They will be brought into the one fold, the church, “the one holy court of God,” where they can offer the Lord adoration.

Two years before his death, Basil wrote a letter to some monks who were being harassed by the Arians. In this correspondence, he writes: “Remember that it is not the many who are being saved, but the chosen of God. Therefore never let the multitude of the crowd daunt you, for they are swayed by the winds as is the water of the sea. For even if but one be saved, as was Lot at Sodom, he ought to abide in right judgment, keeping his hope in Christ unshaken, because the Lord will not abandon His holy ones.”

. . .

[T]he saving faith that accompanies the new birth, Basil maintained, does not originate within man but is granted by God. Basil teaches: “Faith does not come into being by mathematical certainties, but by the work of the Spirit.” . . .

. . .

Basil held that sovereign grace stretches from eternity past to eternity future. Those whom God chose before the foundation of the world and predestined to be saved will be ushered safely into glory and will not experience eternal destruction. He writes: “He who chose the narrow and wearisome way instead of the smooth and easy one . . . will not see everlasting corruption, namely, the misery that will last for ever.” In other words, those who are saved by grace will remain on the way of grace forever.

—cited in Steven J. Lawson, Pillars of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2011), 170–173.

Posted 2018·08·29 by David Kjos
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