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  • Tabernacle Baptist Church

Roots of the Faith - Election (Part 2) - 5/22/24


2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 8:28-29; Romans 9 (read for homework).

Our view of God is what drives our view of election. (The Attributes of God)

  • God is omnipotent. All-powerful

  • God is omniscient. All-knowing

  • God is omnipresent. Everywhere present

Deuteronomy 29:29 – The Secret things…

Over my ministry Election has been one of the toughest topics for the church to understand (this opens the door for all the doctrines that touch on the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man.) Then why do I teach it? I teach it because it is in the Bible. I teach it because it impacts our view of God. I teach it because it determines our view of salvation, evangelism, and church growth.

The doctrine of election is one of the most controversial doctrines in Christian theology. Misconceptions of the nature of God, an unbiblical conception of love, and fallen humanity’s notions of fairness have caused many to balk at the idea that God unconditionally chooses some and not others to receive salvation. Because the sovereign freedom of God scandalizes the subversive human mind, some theologians have altogether denied the biblical teaching[1]

Conditional or Unconditional (The views)

Elect – to pick out, to select

  • OT – Abraham, Israel, Moses, Aaron, the priesthood.

  • NT – Mary, Joseph, Disciples, Paul.

The conditional choice of God based on His foreknowledge of who will exercise faith. Election is the result of man’s faith. He knows what is going to happen.

  • It would not be love if we cannot choose.

  • God would never send someone to hell. We all have a choice.

  • God loves the World and desires everyone to be saved.

The unconditional choice of God by which He determines who will believe. Election is the cause of man’s faith and based on His sovereign grace. (My view)

  • He is either sovereign or He is not.

  • We all deserve hell, so God does not send us there.

  • If God does not save, then how can we even pray for lost people?

  • It is all over the Bible.

Conditional (Arminian Theology)

Unconditional (Doctrine of Grace/Reformed/Calvinistic Theology)

Why the misunderstanding in many our SBC churches

1. Most have not really considered the doctrine and how it applies to their theological world view. We have never thought about it nor studied it. I blame pastors that do not teach the whole counsel of God. We have become churches of attendees (listen to a message) rather than disciples (listening and studying).

2. Most churches have members within their congregation that have different church backgrounds. We can become a melting pot of different beliefs and backgrounds.

  • Methodist/Holiness/Wesleyan are under the influence of John Wesley. (Conditional)

  • Presbyterians/Primitive Baptist/Reformed Churches. (Unconditional)

3. Southern Baptist are unique. We are a convention, yet each church is autonomous. Our guiding doctrinal statement is the Baptist Faith and Message as part of our Constitution.

  • We can trace our earliest roots back to Charleston, SC 1682 (Reformed Baptist.)

  • Sandy Creek, NC 1755 (Revivalists… Arminian Baptist)

4. There has been a heightened interest and resurgence in reformed thought in the past several years years in our convention. (Really picked up in 90’s)

  • Due to the battle over inerrancy and the conservative resurgence in the 80’s. An increase of diligent study of the Word.

  • The church growth movement has fattened our church rolls with many members, but few faithful followers of Christ. A sincere questioning of evangelism and the Gospel. The rise of “easy believism.” Pastors began to see the problem of unregenerate church membership.

  • Access to preaching and teaching through media. R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper.

  • A true move of the Spirit of God through His churches.

What does the study of this type of topic involve

  • Humility

  • Over our salvation. How we treat others that may not agree with us.

  • Openness

  • What is God teaching me? Am I willing to be a lifelong learner.

  • Diligence

  • Read and Study. Be a student of the Word.

[1] John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, eds., Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 493.

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