I will admit it, I am a reformed synergist. I’d like to claim that I just didn’t know any better, and while that is the truth to a degree, the real issue is that I just formed my belief system based on the teaching I heard from the pulpit and didn’t take the time to check it out myself. It wasn’t until I started reading the Bible and read some of what Jesus said to His disciples on His last night as recorded in John that my views were changed. I was reading along happily one day, living in the fantasy world of my own presuppositions and read this:
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (John 17:6-9 ESV)
I am not praying for the WORLD! What? I had to go back and read that several times to make sure I wasn’t misreading that. I had always been taught that the Whosoever in John 3:16 meant that God loved the whole world enough to die for all the people in the world, yet here is Jesus saying that He is not praying for the world, but only for those who are given to Him by the Father.
It took me several months to realize that salvation is all of God and that we have no part in it. So, slowly by digging into the Word of God and studying, I was transformed from a synergist (one who thinks we have a role to play and help in our own salvation by making a “decision FOR Christ”) to a monergist. What is so frustrating is that once I started understanding the fact that God is absolutely sovereign in everything, including salvation, it started showing up all over the Bible. You see it in Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, Lydia. Scripture is pretty clear that it is all of God and Paul lays it out very well in Romans 8 starting with verse 18 and going through 38.
I realize that in this day and age, monergistic regeneration is not taught in a lot of Church’s, and all of this might be new to you so I’m including several links to websites that have a lot of resources to help you grow in the grace and understanding of this important doctrine of the church. (Link 1 Link 2)