Monday, June 19, 2017

P1 - Introducing What Southern Baptists Teach On God's Sovereignty And Human Responsibility In Salvation

Image result for 3-D glasses
1 Peter 1:1-2 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."

2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

Ezekiel 33:11 "Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?"

Two lenses needed to grasp the one truth of Biblical salvation: God's Sovereignty to save and man's responsibility to be saved 

Two lenses are necessary in a good pair of glasses. Why? Because in order for us to see clearly, we need two eyes to process depth perception. Depth perception is a vital component of our experience of the external world. Many people pay extra money to see "3-D" movies because of the perceived "depth-perception" in the film. Without depth perception, our world would look pretty "flat" and featureless". In like manner, without the Biblical twin-emphasis on God's Sovereignty and human responsibility, any teaching on salvation will be "flat" and "incomplete".

What Do Southern Baptists Teach On God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility in Salvation?

The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, Article V, notes concerning Sovereignty and human responsibility in salvation - "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. 

This first sentence of "Article V" in the Baptist Faith and Message affirms God's Sovereign elective purpose of grace in human salvation. The next sentence of the same article then states these words about election: 

It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility."

In both of the above quotations, we observe what the Bible already declares: there is no need to reconcile what are truly friends. Only God could design a salvation wherein there is no conflict between God's Sovereign intention to save and whosoever believes as being saved. Both of these truths: God's Sovereign elective purpose of grace and free-moral human agency in responding to such grace are the two lenses needed to grasp the totality of the Bible's teaching on salvation. 

In the next post, we will consider some further thoughts on this article in the Baptist Faith and Message regarding God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility in salvation. 

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