Man's Accountability to God
August 19, 2022
a_father_to_aspire_to.pdfI have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word (John 17:6).
We have taken a very brief look at the sovereignty of God in salvation, but we cannot overlook the accountability of the person in salvation. While it is true that a person cannot be saved unless God extends grace and gives faith to that person to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it is also true that the person to whom grace has been extended and faith is given must exercise faith in Jesus Christ to obey the Gospel. The classic text that addresses both the sovereignty of God and the accountability of man is Romans 10:8-21.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
It is clear that unless God calls a person to salvation, a person cannot be saved. It is equally clear that one who is called by God to salvation must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ if they are to be saved. You cannot have one without the other. In this way the Scriptures present the dual realities that God is absolutely sovereign in choosing who will take part in His redemptive plan, and that man is accountable to God in exercising faith in Jesus Christ to make that calling a reality. Since both truths are expressed and explained in Scripture (albeit no to our complete satisfaction), then both should be embraced even though we may not understand it completely. Amen.