The Sovereignty of God in Salvation

We teach that in humanity, no one’s good works are considered holy and acceptable before God.  In fact, on their own, humanity is never going to turn to God.  Humanity is going to continue to sin and avoid God. (Romans 3:10-12).

We teach the unconditional election of God (Genesis 12:1-3, Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Ephesians 1:4).  God made the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant with us, and they are considered unconditional covenants, and does not require works from man in order for God to fulfill His part.  By creating these covenants, God is demonstrating His character, which is, He is not held back or forced by any pre-condition of man in determining who does or does not receive salvation.  He alone sovereignly orchestrates whom receives salvation.

We teach on God’s irresistible grace (Jeremiah 31:33-34).  God here plainly declares that he proactively changes the hearts of people, and he gives them a heart that follows and believes onto Him.  As human beings, we are always going to do what we desire the most.  God is going to place that desire to love, know, and follow him into the hearts of his believers, so that they are always going to do that in their fundamental being.

We teach the perseverance of the saints (John 10:27-30).  Those who truly belong to Christ are never going to lose their salvation.  They may fall temporarily into sin and temptation.  They may even temporarily become weak in faith.  However, they are never going to stay in the lifestyle pattern of sin, nor are they going to abandon faith.  They are going to persevere believing and following Christ because God is going to sustain them, provide for them, and protect them, so they can endure to the end.

In regard to atonement, we teach that the atonement of Christ is available for all in the world, however, God only particularly atoned for those who believes onto Jesus as their Savior (1 John 2:2, John 17:9).

Given that God is completely sovereign over man’s salvation, this does not preclude man’s responsibility to respond to the gospel.  The scripture clearly laid the responsibility upon man to believe, invited them to believe, and if they do truly believe and surrender their lives to Christ, they shall have salvation (John 3:16, Romans 10:13).  If anyone chooses not to believe, they shall face judgement for their unbelief as well as for their sins (John 5:40, John 8:24).  Mystery exists as to how the sovereignty of God and man’s responsibility work together.  However, since scripture presents both to be true, we accept both to be true, knowing that there are limitations to our human understanding, and we leave the mystery to God.  As God speaks through the Psalmist in Psalm 50:21, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).