Commentary On Article 6: The Election To Salvation -- By: Eric Hankins

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 09:2 (Fall 2012)
Article: Commentary On Article 6: The Election To Salvation
Author: Eric Hankins


Commentary On Article 6:
The Election To Salvation

Eric Hankins

Eric Hankins is Pastor of First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi. He is the primary author of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Article Six: Election To Salvation

We affirm that, in reference to salvation, election speaks of God’s eternal, gracious, and certain plan in Christ to have a people who are His by repentance and faith.

We deny that election means that, from eternity, God predestined certain people for salvation and others for condemnation.

Genesis 1:26-28; 12:1-3; Exodus 19:6; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Matthew 24:31; 25:34; John 6:70; 15:16; Romans 8:29-30, 33; 9:6-8; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2:11-22; 3:1-11; 4:4-13; 1 Timothy 2:3–4; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 7:9-1066 67

Introduction

Article 6 rests on the reality that election is clearly taught in the Scriptures and is an essential component of the doctrine of salvation. Election emphasizes the fact that salvation is accomplished through the Father’s initiative, guaranteed by the person and work of Christ alone, and actualized in the lives of sinners through the power of the Holy Spirit. Election, therefore, communicates that salvation is completely gracious. It signifies the lavish generosity of God, who will save not just a few but an innumerable multitude. Election’s announcement of God’s sovereignty in salvation includes the role of the sinner’s repentance and faith. God has chosen to bring into existence a people who belong to Him by faith in a world where their decisions for or against Christ really matter. Rather than determining these choices Himself, God has gloriously and sovereignly decided to accord to each sinner the responsibility of surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the preaching of the gospel. Since gospel proclamation is the means by which Go...

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