Wednesday, July 24, 2013
P4 - God's Greatness in Psalms and Romans - Election, faith and salvation
Psalm 105:4-8 "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. 5 Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth, 6 O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! 7 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. 8 He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations."
We have been exploring the theme of "God's Greatness" in Psalms 90-106 and Romans 11-16. In today's post we will take one final look at this theme by noting how it functions particular in the Biblical teaching of election, faith & salvation.
Greatness of God in salvation seen in God's electing purpose of grace
In Psalm 105-106 we see what the Baptist Faith and Message calls "God's Purpose of electing grace" as the basis for Israel's calling and identity. Roughly 100 times is God's electing purpose mentioned in the Bible. We find three references to God's "chosen ones" in these two Psalms. (105:6,43; 106:5) Once we see reference to Moses as God's "chosen one". (Psalm 106:23) Then of course with reference to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, we see demonstrated God's purpose of elective grace. (Psalm 105:8-24) Article V of The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 explains this truth: "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. "
Man bears the responsibility for rejecting the Gospel
So then, if anyone rejects the Lord and His offer of the Gospel and dies in their sins, who is to blame? Scripture spells out pretty clearly that Israel was at fault for the consequences of their rebellion. (Psalm 106:6) Mankind is responsible for the rejection of the Gospel, and God is credited for the reason behind a person freely choosing to believe the Gospel. (Acts 13:46-48, Ephesians 2:8-10)
How people are able to believe and remain in their salvation
So if God's purpose of Grace explains why anyone gets saved, then how is anyone able to believe and remain in their salvation? Psalm 105:1-15 and Romans 15:4 tells us that by the word of God proclaimed in the Gospel do people believe and remain firm in their faith. Romans 10:17 plainly states - "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Upon such hearing, all those who call upon the name of the Lord in saving faith will be saved. (Romans 10:13) So then Who gets the credit? Jesus Christ in His grace and Word is the author and finisher of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2) Because of God's grace, a person truly and freely believes and is justified by faith alone or credited with the righteousness of the Lord. (see Psalm 106:30-31)
God's Sovereignty in salvation points to His great saving power in Jesus Christ.
Only God can design a salvation wherein His Sovereignty and human responsibility are present without contradiction. If anyone rejects the Good News of Jesus Christ, it is because of their doing. Today thank God for your salvation and His choosing of you. (John 15:16; 1 John 1:9) Secondly thank Him for His Word which brought you to the point of choosing Him and sustains you in His salvation. (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:17-18) Thirdly pray for your unsaved loved ones and friends that that they would respond by grace through faith and be saved to the glory of God. (Romans 9:1; 10:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; 2 Peter 3:9-10)