Category: Salvation

A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 5: An Argument for the Perseverance of the Savior

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A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 5: An Argument for the Perseverance of the Savior


By Bob Hadley, Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Chancellor of Atlantic Coast Bible College and Seminary.


This article is the fifth in a series that offers an alternative to the classical Reformed T.U.L.I.P. The entire series by Hadley is available at
http://www.transformedtheology.com
The previous articles are:
Total Lostness
Unconditional Love
Limiting Atonement
Irrefutable Gospel


The fifth plank of Conversionism is the Perseverance of the Savior as opposed to the Calvinist plank of the Perseverance of the Saints. The author of Hebrews says, “Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep His promise” (Heb. 10:23). Man’s hope is not in his own perseverance, but in Christ’s perseverance that is rooted in the promises and the character of God. Man’s hope will be found only in what God does in His Son, Jesus. Salvation is based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus and not based on man’s works. The believer’s security is for eternity. Salvation is kept by the grace and the power of God and not by the self-sufficiency of the believer.

According to the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics website,

Perseverance of the Saints is a doctrine which states that the saints (those whom God has saved) will remain in God’s hand until they are glorified and brought to abide with Him in heaven. Romans 8:28-39 makes it clear that when a person truly has been regenerated by God, he will remain in God’s stead. The work of sanctification which God has brought about in His elect will continue until it reaches its fulfillment in eternal life (Phil. 1:6). Christ assures the elect that He will not lose them and that they will be glorified at the “last day” (John 6:39). The Calvinist stands upon the Word of God and trusts in Christ’s promise that He will perfectly fulfill the will of the Father in saving all the elect.[1].

 

One of the Baptist distinctives can be seen in the phrase, “the Eternal Security of the Believer.” There is a marked difference between the Perseverance of the Saints and the Eternal Security of the Believer – they are not at all synonymous. For the Southern Baptist, the concept of the Eternal Security of the Believer assures the individual who has placed his faith in the promises of God and his trust in the claims of Christ that He (Christ) will hold onto him (the believer) forever. This is the basis for the fifth plank of Conversionism, the Perseverance of the Savior. This is what Paul says in Rom. 8:38-39: “38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus says of those to whom He gives eternal life, “28b and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). When an individual comes to Christ and is adopted into God’s forever family, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his heart and becomes God’s guarantee of that individual’s hope in eternity (see also 2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5; Eph. 1:14).

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The Juxtaposition of God’s Love, Justice, and Condemnation


By Bob Williford, former director of the Hope Migrant Mission Center at the Migrant Farm Labor Center near Hope, Arkansas (a ministry of the Arkansas Baptist Convention), and author of Fence Post Digest blog.


The most complex issue for man is his understanding of God’s at the intersection of Love, Justice and Condemnation as administered by Holy God. Without the intervention of the Cross event there can be no resolution to the problem. However, at the Cross we observe sinful man being delivered from the deserved justice and condemnation from an angry God.

In the Old Testament is found the covenant between God and Abraham is the connection of the justice and love of Holy God to the New Testament covenant in the Cross. But primarily is found the story of God’s Chosen People rejecting Him and receiving His awful justice.

God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. They do not know nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you will die like men and fall like any one of the princes.’ Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is You who possesses all the nations (Psalm 82:1-8).

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The Answer to Freedom and Predestination is Found in Christ


By Bob Williford, former director of the Hope Migrant Mission Center at the Migrant Farm Labor Center near Hope, Arkansas (a ministry of the Arkansas Baptist Convention), and author of Fence Post Digest blog.


Someone has said that the issue of Predestination is only an issue for those of us who are NOT in the Reformed camp. However, this is an issue that is seen almost on a daily basis somewhere and is an important discussion.

This sort of reminds me of the issues on the political horizon that deal with socialism, homosexuality, drugs, illegal immigration, freedom of religion in the United States, etc. Some have the idea that if we look the other way that each of these ideologies will simply go away. I believe that we have neglected these and look at what has happened in our nation…..look the other way and the movement of Predestination will flourish.

Remembering the so-called Conservative Resurgence of the last quarter of the 20th Century and I am thankful for those who took the ‘Bull by the Horns’. Liberalism did not go away, but the roots were taken somewhere else. Let us not forget our history, but rather rise to the occasion and be faithful to the Truth of the Gospel message….

Christianity is not established by men and cannot be taught as truth as we understand truth. The Truth that Christians hold is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ.

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A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 4: An Argument for an Irrefutable Gospel

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A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 4: An Argument for an Irrefutable Gospel


By Bob Hadley, Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Chancellor of Atlantic Coast Bible College and Seminary


This article is the fourth in a series that offers an alternative to the classical Reformed T.U.L.I.P. The entire series by Hadley is available at
http://www.transformedtheology.com
The previous articles are:
Total Lostness
Unconditional Love
Limiting Atonement


The fourth point of Conversionism is an Irrefutable Gospel as opposed to Calvinism’s Irresistible Grace. The latter basically states that there is nothing an individual can do to keep from being saved if it is indeed God’s will for that individual be saved. God’s elect will be saved. God gives His grace to those that He foreknew before the foundation of the world; this gift of God’s grace is both unmerited and unexpected on man’s part. Unregenerate man has nothing to do with the gift of God’s grace and is powerless to resist this grace. There’s absolutely no question that salvation is the work of God’s amazing grace (Eph. 2:8). God’s grace is His unmerited and undeserved favor offered to sinful men who deserve death and eternal separation from God. God’s grace has been defined or characterized as His giving to sinful men what they do not deserve. God’s mercy has been defined as His not giving men what they do deserve. Mercy and grace often go hand in hand.

Instead of looking at God’s grace being irresistible, consider the plausibility of God’s gospel being irrefutable. For Paul says,

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith (Rom. 1:16-17).

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A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 3: An Argument for Limiting Atonement

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A Need for a New Identity:
Conversionism, Transformed Theology, and a New Tulip
Part 3: An Argument for Limiting Atonement


By Bob Hadley, Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Chancellor of Atlantic Coast Bible College and Seminary


This article is the third in a series that offer an alternative to the classical Reformed T.U.L.I.P. The entire series by Hadley is available at www.transformedtheology.com. The first two articles addressed “Total Lostness,” and “Unconditional Love.”

The foundational, bed rock tenet of Reformed Theology is contained in the third point of Calvinism, commonly referred to as Limited Atonement. Wayne Grudem defines limited atonement in the following way: “The Reformed view that Christ’s death actually paid for the sins of those whom He knew would ultimately be saved. Another term for this view is ‘particular redemption’ in that the power of the atonement is not limited, but rather it is fully effective for particular people.”[1] In a sermon preached at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens in London on February 28, 1959, Charles H. Spurgeon made the following comment in a message dealing with Limited Atonement; he said, “The doctrine of Redemption is one of the most important doctrines of the system of faith. A mistake on this point will inevitably lead to a mistake through the entire system of our belief.”[2] Whether one accepts his conclusions on this matter or not, Spurgeon statement was absolutely correct.

The issue of Limited Atonement offers a number of valid answers to the many questions dealing with Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Most of the problems that surface with respect to the doctrine of Limited Atonement do so when its proponents carry it to its extremes. Most, if not all, Southern Baptists agree with a concept of Limited Atonement. Anyone who is not a proponent of universalism must by default favor some concept of Limited Atonement. Because Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross paid the penalty for “the sin of the world” there are a couple of things that necessarily follow. First, the penalty for all sin, which is death, was paid when Christ died on the cross and second, God is “in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them” (2 Cor. 5:19). One interpretation of this passage opens the door to Universalism. However, a closer look at the context from which this phrase is contained, reveals a much different picture. First of all Paul says, “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 2:17-18a). Obviously, Paul is clear in this discourse that those whom God has reconciled to Himself, are those who are “in Christ” and are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Paul goes on to say that God has given all who have been reconciled into Him a ministry of reconciliation; “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19a). This is not a statement describing God’s character or purpose as much as it is a statement describing the ministry of reconciliation that every born again child of God shares a responsibility to be a part of. Not only is God not directly responsible for the choices men make in accepting the redemption made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross, those who have received this redemption are responsible for leading lost men to the cross where they too may find redemption for themselves.

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