Research Paper Steven Newton - LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY The Sovereignty of God the Free Will of Man and the Salvific Process

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARYThe Sovereignty of God, the Free Will of Man, and the Salvific Process: Calvinist ApproachSubmitted to Dr. Dennis McDonald, in partial fulfillmentof the requirements for the completion of the courseTHEO 525-D04Systematic Theology IbySteven J. Newton L22785387May 12, 2015
2CONTENTSIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3The Sovereignty of God Defined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3The Free Will of Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Human Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6God’s Sovereignty over Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7The Salvific Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Election . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Regeneration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Effectual Calling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Conversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Repentance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3IntroductionThe idea that God is in control over His creation can be the most comforting of all of God’s attributes. Charles H. Spurgeon said while preaching Matthew 20:15, “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adversecircumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all.”1Most would agree with the idea Spurgeon presents. They would say, “Yes, God is in control of his creation!” Yet, throughout church history there has been a debate as to how much control God has in His sovereignty especially in regard to the free will that was given by God to His creation, Man. Nothing gets man more paranoid than the thought that what they say, do, or who they are isnot of their own volition but, someone else has decided for them. And what tends to scare people most is that God, in his sovereignty, may have predestined their salvation or damnation from before creation. Can God do that? Exactly how sovereign is God? What does that mean for their salvation? Do they really have a choice in accepting Christ? Is there no hope for others? How is a sovereign God compatible, if even possible, to my free will concerning salvation?This paper will attempt to answer these questions for readers by examining the Calvinist view on the sovereignty of God in relation to what that means for the free will of man. The purpose for this examination will be to demonstrate the sufficiency of the Calvinist approach in reconciling sovereignty of God and free will especially in the salvation of man. The Sovereignty of God Defined1Charles H. Spurgeon, “Divine Sovereignty,” The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon: Selected Books,Sermons, and Other Writings,. (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, Inc., 2009) : Kindle.
4The Sovereignty of God is never more in question among believers than when you look at the issue of Salvation. There are a number of different definitions for the attribute of God. Arthur W. Pink provides the most widely accepted view throughout church history. He defines the sovereignty of God as, “the exercise of His supremacy… Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as he pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.