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A Baptist View

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 4, 2011
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    Andrew Sandlin has provided the following information concerning a widely held Baptist view of Soteriology:

    “Man is a sinner, but not so totally depraved that he cannot seek after Christ. God sent Christ his Son to die on the cross for everyone in order to make salvation available to all who would receive the message of the gospel. Before the foundation of the world God elected to salvation those that he knew beforehand would believe if they heard his gospel. When an individual hears the gospel and makes a decision for Christ, he becomes justified. Once he has received salvation, he can never forfeit or lose that salvation.”

    Sandlin continues with this commentary: “That in a nutshell, is what many modern independent Baptists believe about salvation. What many of them apparently fail to notice in their ambivalence about Calvinism, and in their usual declaration that they are not Arminian, is that 80% of that formula is staunchly Arminian. Arminians historically believe that man is depraved but not so totally depraved that he cannot "choose Christ" when given the opportunity; that Christ died for all men in order to make salvation "available"; that election is based on God's knowing beforehand who would and would not believe; and so forth. The only difference between the modern independent Baptist understanding of salvation and that of historic Arminianism is that Arminians do not believe-as independent Baptists do-that one's salvation is eternally secure.”This “Moderate Calvinist” view is really a one point Calvinist and four point Arminian view of Soteriology.

    My view is also a one point Calvinist view, but I do not accept that the election before the foundation of the world, where God chose us in Him, was specific to foreseen individuals who would freely choose to trust in Christ during their lifetime. Instead, I believe the idea of being chosen in Him is that He was chosen as our Redeemer, and as a consequence all those that individually receive the reconciliation were corporately chosen in Him before the creation, not chosen as individuals but simply as a kind of people – believers. We were not predestined to become believers, but rather once in Him we are predestined to be formed into the image of Christ and to inherit eternal life.

    This view avoids the debate concerning whether foreseen faith precludes autonomous choice, which the Calvinists and Arminians have been kicking back and forth without resolution for 400 years. And it is consistent with all scripture, contextually considered.

    Hybrid Soteriology probably comes closer to scripture than either Calvinism or Arminianism because if you study scripture with an objective perspective, Christ both teaches the opportunity for salvation is at hand for all of fallen mankind, and that if actually attained by being born again, the aforementioned salvation is protected so that we will endure.

    Do regenerate people have a free-will (the ability to chose to be carnal and live disobedient lives)? To a degree yes, being born again results in our faith in Christ being protected, 1 Peter 1:5; but that does not preclude sinning or being mislead and leading a life that results in little or no rewards. I believe being born again precludes enjoying the practice of sin; instead we are overwhelmed with shame and repent. Because our faith is protected, in our heart of hearts we would never want to wander away from our love of Christ.
    The idea is that with your faith protected, when you wander toward volitional sin, the indwelt Holy Spirit will bring God's will to mind and you will feel ashamed and repent and return to your first love. However, we can wander away from effective ministry because we accept false doctrines, and thus with a love of Christ in our hearts, we can lead ineffective lives for Christ, earning little in the way of rewards. If we surround ourselves with ear ticklers, only our regular Spirit led study of God's truth will raise red flags in our heart.

    Therefore, because we are still in this tent of flesh, and undergoing progressive sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8) we can test ourselves and see if we really are of the faith, do we love Christ and does this commitment and love control us, are we doing our best to be Christ like and follow Christ? If so, take the bread and the drink; "turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."