Do Southern Baptist Believe in Predestination?

Some of you know that I am an ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Convention. From my recent post you can see that I have expressed my belief in God’s predestination and have grown to accept it as the truth. The question I have asked myself and have pondered is, “Do Southern Baptist Believe in Predestination?” My personal opinion was that some do and some don’t and that it varied from one congregation to the next. This question came up again recently so I have taken some time to do a little research to try to get a better answer. My first step was to find the Southern Baptist website and read their definitions of the faith. I was able to find the Baptist Faith and Message page on the SBC website. Below are a few excerpts:

God’s Purpose of Grace

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. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

From the above it is seems that Southern Baptist believe in the “Doctrine of the Elect” and the “Eternal Security of the believer”. They believe that God’s elect are his chosen children that he regenerates (gives them a new heart) according to his purpose and sovereign goodness. At this point it is still not clear and thus I will bring up another reference in the SBC Baptist faith and message:

Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.

D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

From the above I again see no reason to believe that Southern Baptist do not believe in predestination. We see first that “Salvation is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ”. Keep in mind that it does not say that “Salvation is offered freely to all men”. Salvation is offered to “all who accept” and those that accept are his “elect”. Secondly, we see that “Regeneration” is the work of “God’s Grace” and that the change of heart (regeneration) is “wrought by the holy spirit”. From this I believe that it is saying that “Regeneration” is credited to God and not man.

It seems as though a person who believes what I believe could read the above passages from the Baptist Faith and Message and believe that Southern Baptist include predestination in their doctrine. However, I can see how a person that does not believe in predestination could read it and interpret it differently. After reading the Baptist Faith and Message in its entirety I think the below is an unbiased interpretation in regards to the SBC view of predestination:

The Southern Baptists believe that God’s children are his elect. And those that are his elect he regenerates, justifies, and brings them into salvation. His elect are predestined to be his children and he chooses his children based on his foreknowledge of their actions and decisions. His children (ultimately those that choose him), once regenerated can never loose their salvation.

So the question is, “Do Southern Baptist Believe in Predestination?” I think that Southern Baptist indeed believe in this doctrine, however they believe that God predestines based on his foreknowledge of the actions and decisions of each human. It says under the section “God” in the Baptist faith and message that “God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures.” Ultimately, this is saying that God’s predestination is based on those that in their freedom will make the decision to accept Christ.

So “Yes”, Southern Baptist believe in Predestination and the “elect”, but they do not believe in “Unconditional Election” which is one of the 5 points associated with Calvinism. Unconditional election states that God’s children were chosen by him before the foundation of the world and it was not based on the merit of man. It was not based on his foreknowledge of their actions or decisions. It was based solely on God’s divine purpose and therefore it is “unconditional”.

So the better question is, “Do Southern Baptist Believe in Calvinism?” It is safe to say, within the last 100 years, the majority of Southern Baptists are not Calvinist. We could also determine this since the current Baptist Faith and Message does not support all 5 points of Calvinism. This does not mean that there are not believers of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. I found an article at the Center for Baptist Studies website and it states, “Most of the men who founded the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845 were Calvinists. However, for the last century the majority of Southern Baptists have not been Calvinists.” It goes on to say that Calvinism is being re-introduced so to speak in many Southern Baptist churches. There are many great Baptist teachers that are Calvinist such as John MacArthur Jr. and John Piper. There are campus organizations that are effectively teaching Calvinism such as Campus Outreach and Reformed University Fellowship.

So my final conclusion is that my original theory was right. Some Southern Baptist believe in predestination and some don’t. Some believe in the Predestination as described in Calvinism and some do not. It is really up to the individual and the congregation. I can rest assure knowing that God’s truth is at work.

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20 thoughts on “Do Southern Baptist Believe in Predestination?

  1. I find myself in the midst of this re-introduction of Calvinism that your article spoke about. I think you find yourself in a similar place by your recent discussions. The main reason that I believe this doctrine has not been taught in large for the last 100 years is that it is not appealing to a world filled with choices. Why would a person enter into a relationship that is promised to bring misfortune, strife, hunger, prison, persecution, and even death when they can chose something more fun and enjoyable. I truly believe that most of the members of the modern day church are there for the purpose of “fire insurance” and self-establishment. Our pastors and teacher, with good intentions, have tried to make church and a relationship with God “sexy” for lack of better word. By doing this they have created a church of people that desire to be entertained instead of taught; they desire messages about heaven instead of the total depravity of man. Although I believe a man can be saved without the knowledge of election, I don’t believe a man can grow in the Spirit and study the Word of God without this doctrine.
    The sad thing is that before I studied and believed the doctrine of election, I had no humility. Now I know that God did not need me and in no way was my salvation influenced by me. I was convicted, condemned, changed, redeemed and justified by God Himself because he loved and wanted me to be a joint heir with Him. That is humbling. Now there is not a day that does by that I do not thank God for my salvation and think of myself as a sanctified scumbag, because that is what I am.
    Your posts and discussions are an encouragement to me and I hope that you continue in your pursuit of the Truth. If you get time, get a copy of the book, “Attributes of God” by A.W. Pink. It is about 100 pages and it is very good. It highlights the parts of God and by this method leads to the doctrine of election.

  2. That is clear as mud.

    After I had children, I got a mere glimpse of how much God loves each one of us. I know that no matter what my kids say or do, what choices they make, or whether they choose to love me or not I will still love them deep into my heart. They may turn their back on me, but I will still be here with open arms when they return. If they choose to never come back, it will wound me deep into my soul with an indescribable pain, but I will not stop reaching for them or loving them just the same as I always have. The love a parent has for their child is the purist of love this side of heaven. It is the most unconditional love on earth.

    I think of God and how he must mourn for those lost souls that choose to go the opposite direction and never accept him. His love is for “whosoever believeth in him”

  3. Hello Buffy. Hope everything is going well for you and the family. I agree with you that God’s love is for “whosoever believeth in him”. Those that choose to believe in him are his elect/predestined/children. I will agree that what I believe does not always give me the warm fuzzies. I am just not capable of interpreting the scriptures any other way (believe me there were times in life that I tried).

    2 Thesalonians 8-14

    8. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9. that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10. and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12. in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13. But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Please understand that I am not arguing with anyone. I write only to explain what I believe. I do appreciate your input and I hope you have a great Christmas.

  4. Of course everyone is not going to choose to believe. That is the beauty of God’s free will.

    I knew of a lady that had lost her baby. She believed in predestination and as she mourned for her baby, she mourned that her baby’s soul may be in hell, because he may not have been predestined. That is disturbing to me! I don’t really get the whole predestination argument, but hearing this lady’s story sent chills up my spine and I know that I do not believe that particular way. Maybe she believed it to the extreme, or maybe this is a normal teaching…I really don’t know.

    There are so many things that Christians can sit and argue about. In the end, it really does not matter what we think on this issue or many others. God is probably sitting up there shaking his head sometimes wondering why we worry about such petty things when souls could be reached instead.

    I don’t know that much about predestination or understand it. As I said earlier, it is all clear as mud. None of it matters to me, because that is not what my faith is about.

  5. Derek, I love you man, but it seems like your trolling. The only thing this “study” is doing is taking people that were previously able to share in the word of christ and gain from each other. Now there might be animosity and ill will because of doctrinal differences. That doesn’t seem like god at work here. Seems more like the devil. If I believe in complete free will and you believe in predestination, where is the difference in how we should serve god? You minister because you were predestined to, and I minister because I feel god wants me to. In the end the ministry is done. This conversation is pretty much just mud. But hey, that’s just a sinner’s two cents.

  6. I stopped posting a while back. I think this has become unhealthy spiritually for me. I did have some anger and resentment at first to be totally transparent. God smacked me in the face and helped me to realize that I shouldn’t be that way. I will just focus on my relationship with Christ and not what others (or what I think others) relationship is. I am moving on… As far as I am concerned I am staying away from discussing this (as posted in my blog) for my stance is as strong as others and will not be swayed.

  7. I really don’t feel like my posts or comments have been hateful in anyway. This last post was not even my opinion, it is simply an article that I wrote based off research. I wanted to know if the SBC that I have been ordained into believed what I belived, and if they did’t I wanted to know if they ever had. John, you were one of the biggest reasons I ever started being interested in the scriptures. Jamie, we have served together and we have spoke about this very topic in a van on the way to the winter retreat when I told you that I felt like there was many scriptures to support it. Nobody came out of any of these interactions angry or upset. I love both of you guys like brothers and I would do anything in the world for you. I think when somone writes something, it lacks the emotion of the individual and thus it just doesn’t come out with the same results. The bible does call us to “rebuke” false doctrine and if you belive what I am saying is false, then I respect your rebuke. Otherwise, I would have just approved the comments that agreed with me. It was not my intent to create anger. I do sincerely apologize for that.

  8. Hi Ben, I just wanted to comment on your post. I really liked it and I am greatly joyed to find another one of my brethren, in believing of what we hope to be the truth. There was one thing I wanted to comment to you about, in hope that we can understand better.

    “Although I believe a man can be saved without the knowledge of election,”

    I want to say that yes the experience of the revelation of the truth may include much less understanding to some than to others, but I think, and think you will agree, that there will be some knowledge of the truth in all of our brethren, and not people who are completely oblivious to it.

    Scripture says “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
    and I dont think he meant that we will know them because they go around giving and doing good things for other people.

    8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    There were a thousand different scriptures I could put there, but this message is to you, and it is one that you will understand. :)

    Have a wonderful day

    Brian

  9. My heart is aching. There really is no sense in getting feelings hurt or to feel like you have to apologize for the way you believe. I did not accept Christ until I was much older than you all. I would hate to think that my God had not chosen me to be one of his sheep. I look at this much like I look at other religions. Some members of the Church of Christ do not believe christians of other denominations are going to heaven. Then there is the baptism thing of sprinkling vs submersion, which is another story. I guess, where I am going with this, we all do not have to believe the same thing as long as we accept Christ as our personal savior.

  10. Good stuff. I posted some random scriptures, maybe someone will explain them to me, haha :) (there are literally thousands more I could have posted, but that would take too long wouldnt it?)

    Isaiah 46:9-11) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: {11} Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

    (John 13:18) “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.”

    (John 17:9) “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”

    (Romans 9:11-13) “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) {12} It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. {13} As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

    (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: {14} Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    (2 Timothy 1:9) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

  11. Brian—
    What I meant by saying that I believe a man can be saved without the knowledge of God’s elections is that our election/salvation is independent and undetermined by our knowledge of it. Man does not have to know, agree, or understand that God has chosen him. Take me for example myself. I was an Armenian for the majority of my early Christian life. I believed that I made a decision to follow Christ and by that I “allowed” Him to come into my life. Scripture does not support that idea. But a person can be truly saved and think that they made some decision that caused this to happen. What I meant to say by that statement is that God’s sovereignty is not limited by man’s knowledge and understanding of this sovereignty. God will save you in His time, in His way, and by His power “without the counsel of man.” Man is not the cause of the salvation, GOD IS!! Pat and Derek are very correct is saying that this issue is not one to draw a line in the sand over. I am in a church with a bunch of hardcore Armenians and we work well together on most issues. The only thing that I really stress to my brothers is that however you believe, God must be the source and cause of salvation. Without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we wouldn’t even want salvation. I hope this made my point more clear….?

    Derek–
    Give me a call if you come in for Christmas and we can get together.

    Ben

  12. Hey, when you come in, call me too :) I would be more than happy to have a get together with Ben and all that good stuff.

  13. May our Lord and savior JesusChrist continue to bless each one of you during these Christmas days. Let’s continue to look at our Lord Jesus Christ and one day we will have all our questions answered. Remember all Christians do not think alike, but we must have the same savior and a close relationship with him on a daily basis.

    Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad!

    Max

  14. Here’s my 2 cents: I don’t think God forces belief but rather knows the end and allows choice. I don’t think we’re robots with no choices or if we make the choice no way to reconsider e.g. “getting saved”. I think christians can fall from grace and yes “loose eternal salvation” which by the way is very “scriptural”. I find circular reasoning a joke, ie. “OS/AS but if fall away then “never saved” to begin with. I know this isn’t hypercalvinism but more or less on the “moderate” side of Calvinism. Here’s my simple answer: Saved by Grace thru Faith. If you take it for what is means, Salvation requires both words, “GRACE” and “FAITH”. God provided all the grace necessary. “It is finished”. Stepping out on faith is up to us. Faith, not works. If calvinists don’t know the difference b/n the two then I can’t help them much there. It’s stupidity that requires them to call it “Works Salvation”. From faith to faith, for without it it is impossible to please Him. Research OS/AS find it’s roots. It’s not something we saw in the early church. It’s not what Paul wrote about. It’s not what Jesus promoted. Sorry to hurt feelings or cause dissention. I refuse to hold my tongue about “Security in Sin” any longer. I hope many others feel this way as well.

  15. Hello Tom, and thanks for stopping by the blog. I find your comment interesting. Lets say for instance that someone believes that all of man’s decision are completely independent from God as you do. I believe that person would have to believe that you could loose salvation. Since salvation is ultimately up to the man to earn it, then it is ultimately up to him to keep it. Thus, it is as easy for him to loose it as it was for him to earn it for himself. However, I don’t believe that Salvation can be earned by any man. The bible makes it very clear that we all fall short of the glory of God and that we all deserve hell. I agree with you in saying that Salvation is the result of Grace and Faith. You believe that Grace is supplied by God and that Faith is supplied by the man. When the two collide you have a Salvation explosion. Most people accept this and never dig into scriptures to see where faith comes from. Yes, faith is possessed by man however he does not have the ability as a sinful creature to create it within himself. We read in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith. You will also read in in Acts 14:27 that God opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. So by reading closely we see that Faith and Grace come from God. Paul makes this very clear to us in Romans 12 verse 3.

    “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.’

    Paul said “Grace Given me” and “Faith God has given you”. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. So I agree 100% that salvation comes from Grace and Faith though we differ on the origin.

    Lastly, you may be correct in using “Security in Sin” to describe the ones who say I can sin all I want because I am saved and Once Saved Always saved (OS/AS). That is obviously the attitude you are trying to point out as false doctrine. I could not agree more. You believe that one must be obedient to be saved and that he must turn from sin instead of living in it. That belief is admirable. My only problem with that can be explained by asking one simple question. How much sin will be allowed in heaven and in the presence of God? The answer is none. This means that the guy with 1 sin and the guy with 1 million sins have no place in heaven unless those sins are washed by the blood of Christ. They are washed by salvation. The Old testament sacrifices had to be repeated over and over. These sacrifices were not good enough. They had to be reapplied. Christ was sent as the ultimate sacrifice to die once and cleanse all sin for his elect children. For this reason I do not believe that obedience applies that sacrifice to sin and disobedience takes it away (and the return to obedience reapplies the sacrifice). Christ’s sacrifice was perfect and does not need my our help.

  16. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog here after searching for “unconditional election”. I have never given this much thought until recently when a friend suggested a book. The book was Desiring God by John Piper. I thought I would check into what the book was about and who Piper was. I ended up finding out that he believed in unconditional election and was curious what this all was. So after reading lots of stuff, I’m really at a loss. I’m pretty certain I believe in Free Will – that He placed us here with the choice of accepting or rejecting Him, but after reading things about unconditional election I’m not so sure! haha I think I’m at the point where I’m going to just forget all of this and move on without thinking too hard about things like this!

    I am a young Christian and wonder if anyone here has had these same theological struggles in the past and how do you move on? I don’t want to get caught up in trying to understand His awesome ways. Would you read a book where your ideas conflict?

    I just don’t see how unconditional election can co-exist with man’s free will to choose.

    thank you so much!

  17. Matt, Thanks for stopping by the blog. I can relate to you in so many ways it is scary. I definitely struggled with this for years and now believe in “unconditional election”. I got to a point where I was not ready to accept it and decided to “move on” as you have stated above. From that day on, every time I opened my bible I would read things that would cause me to consider it again. It seemed that I could not quit thinking about it. I now look back on it and realize that the Good Lord must have had a plan for me and slowly brought me into an understanding. Believe it or not, I was a youth minister for 2 years and during those years of my ministry was when I was struggling with it the most. The great thing is that God works in us and reveals the truth to his children.

    From what you have said I can see that you must have read something that led you to believe that unconditional election was a possibility. You are now interested and somewhat compelled to dig into it. However, you don’t have a great feeling about it , because the idea of God being in control of salvation seems almost unfair. What about those that are not his chosen ones? You start to get a sour place in your stomach. The key is to realize that when God created us, he created us subject to vanity. Romans 8:20 explains this to us. The KJV uses the word vanity. The NASB uses the word futility. In Genesis when you are reading about the fall of man. The serpent tells Adam and Eve that they can be like God if they eat of the tree and that they will never die (genesis 3:4-5). Because they were created subject to vanity/futility they chose to eat of the tree. After all, the definition of vanity is excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc. The idea of being like God was quite compelling to them. From the fall of man all men were forever destined to hell because sin entered into the world. The desire of man was to do be wicked (also called total depravity). Without God’s intervention we all are destined for and deserve hell. Out of his Grace he regenerates the hearts of his children and delivers them into his presence. It took me a long time to understand how beautiful that is.

    Lastly, I will try to give you my understanding/answer to your statement of “I just don’t see how unconditional election can co-exist with man’s free will to choose.” You may not be a Harry Potter fan. However, for example purposes I will use this movie. My question is this…Does Harry Potter have free will. Does have have to make decisions and choose his path. Well, from watching the movies it appears that he does. He has to make tons of decisions and choices. If I were to ask Harry Potter if he had free will, I think his answer would probably be “yes”. However, Harry Potter is the work of a creation. We all know that his choices and decisions were the work of the author. So you see, his choices and decisions were part of the author’s creation. If you were to ask the author of Harry Potter whether or not Harry Potter had free will, the author would probably say “No”. When trying to understand how unconditional election can co-exist with man’s free will, you have to consider the source. Are you asking the created (man) or the creator.

    I am more than willing to talk to you about this as much as you want. I feel like you are walking down the same path as I. I will send you an email that you can respond to if you want to chat.

  18. You as well as I know that TULIP theology is a domino based theology. Calvinism in the extreme you state puts souls at risk. How, you ask? B/c it gives a person a false sense of security to those who think they can live and act as they please. Define Faith to me…… Does it not involve belief and trust in Christ for our Salvation. Is your belief and trust no something you possess the ability to control or change? To maintain a TULIP position you state must be SAVED and that some are chosen and some not. Are you one of the special b/c you were called and your friend next door wasn’t? Are you saying some people couldn’t be a Christian if they wanted or willed to b/c God preordained some for each location? I fear you answer. Did not God call for ALL men to repent? Does He not desire that ALL men come to Him? I can dig as deep as any into Predestination but I don’t see it going anywhere b/c you have your mind made up, as well as I. It’s for people who wonder or are confused. My biggest problem is with the “P” in TULIP b/c many/most Calvinists don’t adhere to the TULI that reliably but they do to Perserverance. It’s my opinion but I believe it’s b/c they have itching ears. They want a Security b/c they want not to change their lifestyles. They want a tickt to stamp. Southern Baptists are the worst b/c this organization has infiltrated over the past couple decades very fundamentalist reformed Calvinists. Repentance is a once made always made decision, not something that is required after the walk down the isle. Where in the bible is it said the Christ forgives all sins; past, present, and FUTURE sins when we became “born again”? Why did Jesus, Paul, Peter and many more stress so much about our obedience, good works, and self control to abstain from Sin? Why are there so many “IFs” listed by them in the NT concerning our Salvation? Mostly, do you really expect to see unrepentant murderers, adulterers, and the like in heaven. If you say yes, you defy the scripture. If you say no, you admit to circular reasoning b/c OS/AS is based on the one time profession of faith, the “ticket”. If they were never Saved to begin with will not work in book b/c to admit this means “Nobody” know if they are truly saved until the end when those who persevere reveal this.
    Assurance, which the scriptures confirm(not Eternal Security), is based on Grace thru Faith. You say Faith is something given to us, I say it is our Free Will and based on our choice, God deepens our relationship and understanding. You believe we’re robots, preprogrammed to act and perform a certain way. I believe God created us to choose whether we will follow. The finality of how we can be Saved is complete. Jesus died on the cross for All people. Scripture affirms that(TULIP denies this). It’s those who hear the word and choose to follow become the ELECT. Is my Eternal Salvation dependant on me in any way? Absolutley. The means of salvation has been accomplished(God’s Grace). The choice of whether I accept it, God has given to me(Faith). Is this works salvation. Absolutely not. Faith is not Works and doesn’t promote earning anything. Doesn’t this sound more like a Covenant relationship? I think so. I don’t know why I elaborated so long b/c most Securists try to debate on the defensive side instead of proving offensively that OS/AS is scripural.

  19. I think you are primarily targeting hyper-calvinist. I believe in “Perseverence of the Saints” meaning that those that are God’s children will be delivered into his presence. However, I do not proclaim that I have “Security” in my salvation. I hope and pray that God has shown me the truth and that I will be delivered into his presence. I would never walk around saying that “I am saved” and that I can do anything that I want and I will still be in heaven. This is “Extremely Dangerous” and I think we can both agree on that. Secondly, I believe that when God says “you will know them by their fruits”, he is saying that Christian’s will have a lifestyle that is pleasing to him. Afterall, he has sealed them with the spirit. I can only assume that you know people who call themselves Calvinist and act however they want while saying that they are chosen or something of that nature. That is not what I believe and I don’t think that is what Calvin was getting at. I am not a Calvinist, though I believe in the doctrine. I am only a man trying to seek the truth just like you. The bible warns us to not associate our beliefs with the name of any man. You are either Christian or you or not and who am I to say who that is. As I have said before, I believe God is control, but as a created being I still live a life of choice. I make decisions everyday and these decisions should be pleasing to God. For this reason, lifestyle is important.

    Tom, I to am against “Securists” and I am also against “OS/AS” meaning that I know that I am saved and nothing I can do will ever change that. I do believe that God’s elect will be delivered to him (nothing will change that), however I can only hope and pray that I am part of the elect and that God has revealed his truth to me.

    To answer your question “Are you one of the special b/c you were called and your friend next door wasn’t?”. I hope that I am one of the called and I hope my friend next door is also. The only thing I know for sure is that I will go to hell unless God intervenes.

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