Friday, November 17, 2006

Election Not The Main Point..But Still A Point...So Evangelize

God's election of individuals to salvation is not the main point of John 17:1-5 (the text I preached last Sunday evening at Grace). The major theme of those verses, and the entire prayer, is God's unrelenting glorification of God Who alone is glorious (see, v. 1, 4, 5, 10, 22, 24). But clearly election of individuals to salvation is a significant theme in the Lord's prayer (v. 2, 6, 9, 11-12, 24).

This lesson is helpful in understanding how the Biblical doctrine of election is a massive motivation FOR evangelism! (Listening recommended):

We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith.

1 comment:

Jeremy Whitten said...

Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God according to Charles Spurgeon.......

The great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon was a five-point Calvinist. He was also a passionate evangelist and soul winner. On August 1, 1858, he preached a sermon entitled, "Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility." The words of wisdom that flowed from his mouth on that day could only come from a capable pastor/theologian with a shepherd's heart and a love for the lost. We would do well to heed the counsel of this Baptist hero upon whose shoulders we stand today.

"I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no precedence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring ....You ask me to reconcile the two. I answer, they do not want any reconcilement; I never tried to reconcile them to myself, because I could never see a discrepancy .... Both are true; no two truths can be inconsistent with each other; and what you have to do is to believe them both."

Here is a good place to stand. Here is a theology we can all affirm in service to our Savior.

Dr. Daniel L. Akin is president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.