Monday, March 19, 2012

Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility in salvation

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

So what roles do God's Sovereignty and human responsibility play in the realm of salvation?  John chapter 3 is an amazing chapter, since it lays out before us the role each plays in the realm of salvation.  Divine Sovereignty and human responsibility are both taught in scripture.  Today we will lay out scriptures from this chapter that show God's Sovereign role and man's responsibility in salvation.  Remarkably, both these truths occur often in one verse!   

1. God in grace grants the gift of the new birth or eternal life, man by grace through faith receives the gift 
God's Sovereignty in Salvation: John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again (or "born from above", original Greek, KJV) he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Man is responsible to believe in Christ: John 3:15 "so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life."

God's Sovereignty in the New Birth: John 3:6-8 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Whosever believes has eternal life: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

2. God gets the credit for anyone who believes and receives the gospel, man is to blame for rejecting and not believing the gospel
God sent Christ, since no one seeks Him John 3:13 “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
Unbelief is the reason for condemnation John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Responsibility: Although people choose to come to the light of truth. John 3:21a “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light...."
Sovereignty: Yet people can only choose to come to the light of the truth because of God. John 3:21b " that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

3. Faith is the Divine gifting wherein people can decide to choose Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and Treasure
Responsible to receive salvation: John 3:27a "John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing....."
Sovereignty makes it possible to receive salvation: John 3:27b ..."unless it has been given him from heaven."

God is Sovereign over everything, including salvation: John 3:35“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand."
Man is responsible to receive salvation: John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”