John Broadus on Sovereign Grace and Human Freedom

No Comments March 3, 2015

john broadus

The following material was taken from the handwritten notes of an unpublished manuscript by John A. Broadus, The Pauline System of Doctrine (no. 11” Box 19, Broadus papers)

[John A. Broadus (1827-1895) served as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s first professor of New Testament interpretation and homiletics and was the institution’s second president.]

The terms employed in the New Testament in reference to the doctrine of election are borrowed from the Old Testament and transferred to the new dispensation. God has made the old covenant with the Jewish people. They were his chosen people (Deut 7:7). But the old covenant is related to the new, as the shadow to the substance, as the promise to the fulfillment. From the human race, alienated from God by sin, and fallen into the power of Satan, God is selecting a new people, to be peculiar to himself, a people to be purified by the blood of Christ, a consecrated priestly people to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The others are unchosen, are under the power of Satan, the prince of this world, and, with him, under condemnation.

If anyone is disposed to think from such passages as Romans 9:11-22, where Paul asserts the unconditional will of an Almighty Creator, that he viewed man as a mere tool and involuntary machine, he should remember that though the apostle affirms God’s rights of creation to be unconditional, he yet, as will appear from other places, regards man as created with such power of volition as renders them free and responsible. In the passage before us Paul affirms, in opposition to objections, that the decrees of God are independent of the doings of men, and that redemption and salvation are bestowed upon men as a gratuity, not as account of the merit of the worker.

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