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Explore the Bible Lesson for Oct. 23: It’s All About God’s Plan
Randy Mann, minister of education and evangelism, Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, Raleigh
October 10, 2011
2 MIN READ TIME

Explore the Bible Lesson for Oct. 23: It’s All About God’s Plan

Explore the Bible Lesson for Oct. 23: It’s All About God’s Plan
Randy Mann, minister of education and evangelism, Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, Raleigh
October 10, 2011

Focal Passages: Romans 10:1-4,8b-18a; 11:28-32

In some ways, one would rather wade
through a swimming pool full of alligators, hoping to come out unscathed, than
to attempt to provide a brief discussion of these wonderfully celebrated, and
hotly debated, chapters of scripture. It is important, however, to understand
these chapters rightly both theologically, in terms of what they teach, and
practically, in terms of how they call us to live.

Chapter 9 unequivocally confronts the reader with the
realities of God’s sovereignty and divine election. Paul not only uses clear
language to indicate these truths, but also constructs his argument in a way
that demonstrates them as well. For this reason, the Calvinist holds up Romans
9 as “Exhibit A,” showing that the “U” (unconditional election) in the TULIP is
well-founded.

The non-Calvinist quickly turns to Romans 10:13, and
declares, “Ah, yes, but ‘everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be
saved.’” And so it begins. The Calvinist rebuts that it is true that “everyone”
who calls on the Lord WILL be saved, BUT that only those who are “elected” will
call. The non-Calvinist quickly flips to another “whosoever” passage like Acts
2:21 or to a passage like 2 Peter 3:9, which indicates that God is not “wishing
that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

So what are we to do? First, we should agree to affirm what
scripture affirms: God is sovereign, and man is responsible. One commentator
reminds us of how D.L. Moody illustrated these truths: “When we come to the
door of salvation, we see the invitation overhead, ‘Whosoever will may come.’
When we pass through, we look back and see the words ‘Elect according to the
foreknowledge of God’ above the door.”

Second, while we can never fully reconcile God’s sovereignty
and human responsibility in our finite human minds, we must obediently show our
“beautiful feet” (10:15b) by carrying the Good News of the gospel to those who
need to hear. God will give eternal life to those who repent of sin and trust
Christ. God is faithful to save. We must be obedient to go.