Commentary On Article 7: The Sovereignty Of God -- By: Steve W. Lemke

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 10:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: Commentary On Article 7: The Sovereignty Of God
Author: Steve W. Lemke

Commentary On Article 7:
The Sovereignty Of God

Steve W. Lemke

Steve W. Lemke is Provost and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Article Seven: The Sovereignty Of God

We affirm God’s eternal knowledge of and sovereignty over every person’s salvation or condemnation.

We deny that God’s sovereignty and knowledge require Him to cause a person’s acceptance or rejection of faith in Christ.

Genesis 1:1; 6:5-8; 18:16-33; 22; 2 Samuel 24:13-14; 1 Chronicles 29:10-20; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Joel 2:32; Psalm 23; 51:4; 139:1-6; Proverbs 15:3; John 6:44; Romans 11:3; Titus 3:3-7; James 1:13-15; Hebrews 11:6; 12:28; 1 Peter 1:17

God’s Omniscience And Exhaustive Foreknowledge

The first affirmation in Article 7 is of “God’s eternal knowledge” – an affirmation of God being all-knowing (omniscient), and of the fact that God knows all things from eternity, and thus from a human perspective of time He foreknows of all things (cf. Ps 139:1-10; Rom 8:29-30; 11:2; 16:27). The Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) 2000 strongly affirms God’s omniscience. The affirmation of God’s omniscience is strengthened in each of the succeeding versions of the BFM. Interestingly, the word “all-knowing” does not appear at all in the BFM 1925. The descriptor of “all-wise” was added in the BFM 1963.1 In the BFM 2000, however, multiple claims of God’s perfect knowledge are affirmed. Article 2 of the BFM 2000 twice describes God as “all powerful” and “all knowing,” and adds that “His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures.” It also repeats the description of God as “all wise” from the 1963 statement, and the affirmation that God is “infinite in ho...

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