J. Vernon McGee is a 4-Point Calvinist. He is a beloved preacher. He passed away in 1988. His sermons continue to be broadcasted on the radio. On my site, I have some youtube clips from him, and it gives some perspective to his views. He definitely believes in the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional Election, though sometimes he discusses Election in terms that Jacob Arminius also spoke of, as it relates to Election being in Christ, and hinging upon the doctrine of Identification. Nevertheless, here is a selection of some of the quotes that I found from him, that I would like to incorporate in the main website. Here they are:
“The Lord Jesus died to save you. He lives to keep you saved. He is going to come someday to take you to be with Himself and to consummate that salvation.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, p.19)
I would like to use this quote at 1st John 2:2 since it speaks of Jesus as our Advocate and Defender, who "lives to keep you saved." I do believe that Jesus died for the Church (positive affirmation). I also believe that He died for the world (positive affirmation), with the view that having died for the world, whosoever within the world, whom He died for, believes in Him, may become incorporated in the Church that He loves. The point is that I do not see how an argument can be raised that uses God's love for the Church as a basis to negate His love for the world.
“Under the Law the best man in the world is absolutely condemned, but under the gospel the worst man can be justified if he will believe in Christ.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, p.27)
McGee is a Calvinist, so sometimes he will clarify his statements as "anyone can be saved if they want to," with the caveat that only those who are effectually called will "want to." Watch for this. Nevertheless, I see 1st Tim 1:15 as a great cross reference to John 3:16.
“The Lord Jesus gives you eternal life when you trust Him as Savior because He paid the penalty for your sin.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, p.93)
I couldn't help but notice the mention of "when" as it provides a timeline for when a person receives eternal life. Must one have eternal life in order to believe, or does one receive eternal life only after he believes? So I may use this quote at the write-up for Ephesians 1:13.
“We are to pray for whoever is in power. Remember that the man who was in power in Rome when Paul wrote was bloody Nero, yet he says we are to pray for kings, whoever they are.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, p.36)
This was McGee's commentary on 1st Timothy 2:1-4, and I see that he uses the phrase “all men” within an indiscriminate context of "whoever" is in power, indiscriminately. My view is that God desires that you pray for everyone, indiscriminately, because God desires that everyone, indiscriminately, be saved. That's how I view the passage, so I would naturally like to incorporate his quote in that write-up.
Now he gives a commentary on 1st Timothy 4:10, which I really like: “Whoever you are, He’s your Savior and He’s the only Savior. ‘Specially of those that believe.’ He is the Savior of all men, but you can turn Him down if you want to. Let me illustrate this for you. They say that a plane leaves the Los Angeles International Airport every minute, and I could get on any one of them (if I had the courage!). All I need to do is get a ticket and get on the plane. It’s a plane for everybody, you see, but not everybody will take it. Christ is the Savior of all men, but only those who believe will be saved (see John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).” (Thru the Bible commentary series: First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, p.66)
I've heard people view this passage within the context of a "town doctor" illustration, such that the town has only one doctor, and the doctor is available to everyone in the town, but only those who actually visit the doctor will receive his treatment. In the same way, then, Jesus is the only Savior that this world has, and only those who spiritually visit Him will receive His treatment (i.e. eternal life).
“…it was about fifteen hundred years before He stated as He does here that He loved Jacob.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: Proverbs through Malachi, p.993)
I'm throwing this in here. It was brought up in some previous discussions, and I came across this quote as a I checked out another commentary of his (OT commentary). The verse, "Jacob have I loved and Esau I have hated" was uttered in Malachi, not Genesis. I will be quoting McGee here because I think that it's an important reminder since sometimes people think that God said that He hated Esau before he was born.
“But let’s understand one thing: God never said this until Jacob and Esau had become two great nations which had long histories.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: Proverbs through Malachi, p.993)
“We need to understand that the difference here between loving and hating is simply that the life of the nation that came from Esau, which is Edom, and the life of the nation which came from Jacob, which is Israel, demonstrate that God was right when He said that He loved one and hated the other.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: Proverbs through Malachi, p.993)
That's the point that I was trying to make, and Paul added to his quoted reference with "just as the older will serve the younger" which can only apply to the nations and not the individuals since Jacob specifically declared himself to be the servant of Esau, when he bowed low before Esau when they met.
“The histories of the nation of Israel and the nation of Edom are altogether different. God says that because of Esau’s life, because of the evil which was inherent in this man and which worked itself out into the nation of Edom, He is justified in making this statement.” (Thru the Bible commentary series: Proverbs through Malachi, p.993)
I'm still trying to process this statement. Nevertheless, I believe that Paul's usage of the passage is to demonstrate the sovereignty of God at Romans 9, in terms of why God may save whom He will, namely, the despised Gentiles. I feel that one point that is lost on the discussion of Romans is that it's focused on the issue of Jews & Gentiles, being a running discussion from Romans 9 to Romans chapter 11. I believe that Paul has the Jew in mind, and he anticipates the Jews attributing injustice to God, and then turns to the Jew to say, in so many words, 'who are you o man?, does not the Potter have right over the clay.' I believe that the message is that God will save whom He will (i.e. the Gentiles), and in the way that He will (faith vs. works). Often, you will hear Arminian preachers stating that we are saved by the grace of God, and not dependent upon man, being "all God," and the Arminian means it from the standpoint that receiving God's grace is not a matter of willing & running, that is, will-power and man-power, but simply about surrendering and receiving the free gift of eternal life. Calvinists will often insist that this amounts to a works-based salvation, but perhaps that is simply a matter of perspective. Sorry for the run-on quotes and thoughts. I'm simply thinking out loud. McGee is one of my favorite preachers. I absolutely recommend his commentaries. They are a real joy to read, especially when he quotes well known preachers and adds his own experiences. The only downside is when he sometimes gets into hand-wringing.
I will be more active in posting again in the next few weeks, Lord willing, unless we get a hurricane.