Category: salvation

You are called

This is the fifth in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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While there is a general call to everyone to trust in Christ through the proclamation of the gospel, God also extends an effectual call to those He foreknew, elected, and predestined. For every child of God, there is a time when the Holy Spirit draws him or her personally to faith in Christ, resulting in belief and repentance that lead to everlasting life.

The words “call,” “called,” and “calling” in Scripture are derived from several Hebrew and Greek words and are applied in various ways. Generally speaking, these words mean  “to call, summon, invite, appeal, or proclaim.”

Concerning God’s call to salvation, William Mounce writes, “When God calls, it is a call that roots in predestination and ends in glorification (Rom. 8:29-30). God calls us by his grace. But his calling is not only to salvation; it is also to a life of serving him and our fellow believers.”

This call is expressed in two ways in the New Testament: A general call to everyone through creation, conscience, the canon of Scripture, and the gospel of Christ; and an effectual call to those God foreknew, elected, and predestined, resulting in belief and repentance that lead to everlasting life. God chooses His people unconditionally, yet eternal life is conditioned on faith in Christ.

This is not a mechanistic process by which God fatalistically picks some for eternal life and, with equal passion, morbidly chooses others for outer darkness. Rather, it is a mysterious working of the triune God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit call upon all people to repent, while enabling those who receive the call to enter God’s kingdom.
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You are predestined

This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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The Bible refers to some people as “predestined.” What does that mean? How does predestination fit into God’s work of redemption? And if the Bible presents a fatalistic view of predestination, is there any room for human freedom?

As we search the Scriptures for answers, it’s good to remember that, for followers of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to say, “I am predestined.”

Predestination is God’s plan from eternity past to complete the work of redemption in every saint, fully conforming us to the image of His Son.

The Greek word proorizo and its variations, found six times in the New Testament, carry the meaning of “predestine,” “limit or mark out beforehand,” “design definitely beforehand,” or “ordain ahead of time.” Proorizo comes from two Greek words: pro, which means “before” or “ahead of,” and horizo, which means “to appoint, decide, or determine.”
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You are elected

This is the third in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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Every Christian should readily acknowledge that the Bible teaches divine election. Disagreements arise with respect to how this doctrine is biblically defined, and how it’s applied.

In any case, if you are a follower of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to say, “I am elected.”

The word “election” in Scripture is derived from the Greek eklegomai, which means “to choose something for oneself.” The Bible also uses words such as “choose,” “predestine,” “foreordain,” and “call” to indicate that God has entered into a special relationship with certain individuals and groups through whom He has decided to fulfill His purposes.
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You are foreknown

This is the second in a series of excerpts from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation,” available at mobaptist.org/apologetics.

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God knows everything, which means nothing surprises Him. Satan’s brash rebellion didn’t catch the Creator off guard. Neither did Adam’s fall send the Lord into divine panic, forcing Him to sacrifice His Son in a desperate “Plan B.”

Every event in time and eternity plays out exactly as God knows it will. His foreknowledge is more than perfect, however; it’s personal.

If you are a follower of Jesus, it is biblically faithful to declare, “I am foreknown.”
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What does it mean to be saved?

The Missouri Baptist Convention has released What Every Christian Should Know about Salvation: Twelve Bible Terms That Describe God’s Work of Redemption. This book is available in print form from the MBC, as well as in print and Kindle versions at Amazon. This excerpt is from the Introduction.

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Introduction

This resource is designed for personal or group study. It explores twelve Bible terms that describe God’s work of salvation as He rescues us from sin, returns us to a right relationship with Him, and ultimately restores us — and the fallen world in which we live — to perfection.

People use the words salvation and saved in a variety of settings, from sporting events to political campaigns to natural disasters. Even within Christian circles, there is disagreement as to what it means to be saved and how salvation is acquired. So, it’s critical for us to begin with a definition.

Stated simply, salvation is God’s remedy for the sin that has ruined everything and alienated everyone from Him. The Lord reveals this remedy as soon as Adam and Eve rebel against Him. He promises a future Redeemer who crushes the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15). Then, He provides additional promises throughout the Old Testament, granting us more than four hundred prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowings of the Messiah, a King who comes as a virgin-born child in Bethlehem.

This child, Jesus of Nazareth, bursts onto the scene at just the right time (Gal. 4:4). He lives a sinless life and dies on a Roman cross, taking upon Himself our sins and paying the penalty of death for them (2 Cor. 5:21). Then, He rises physically from the dead on the third day, conquering Satan, sin, and death, and freely offering forgiveness of sins and everlasting life by grace through faith in Him. Before ascending into heaven, He promises to return one day to fulfill all things — that is, to complete His work of salvation and to set everything right (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; John 14:1-3).
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