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Good for the Soul (23 of 34)
Series: Good News from God
Charles Spurgeon, the great nineteenth century preacher, was once asked, "Have you been able to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's responsibility?" He replied: "There's no need to reconcile friends." Spurgeon's remark should cause us to recognize that God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are both vital truths for knowing God and growing in godliness. This means that when we discuss this controversial issue we must be sure not to dilute either side. Instead, we must be extreme! The truth isn't in the middle; it's in the extreme. Therefore, as I preached Rom 9, emphasizing the extreme sovereignty of God, so I will now preach Rom 10, emphasizing the extreme responsibility of humankind. However, before looking at our text we need to understand the intellectual dilemma we find ourselves in.
The truths of divine sovereignty and human responsibility are called an "antinomy." An antinomy is two seemingly opposed truths that are undeniably true, yet how they can be true together, is beyond human comprehension. Both truths are clearly taught throughout Scripture, yet how they fit together, only God Himself knows. It may help to recognize, "In God's higher rationality, things which we think must be either/or can in reality be both/and." That is why we can say that God is sovereign and people are responsible. Since Scripture presents both and doesn't try to reconcile the two, we shouldn't either. In Rom 9:30-10:13 Paul urges all people to believe in Christ and to share Him with others. The reason is simple: God requires heart and lip service. Paul shares two vital directives.
1. Works must be resisted (9:30-10:4). The only way to receive eternal life is through Jesus Christ's righteousness. Paul begins this section by saying: "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by fai ...
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