Discoveries in Faith

Short, uplifting Bible lessons designed to build faith and inspire obedience. 

God's Sovereignty and Man's Free Will

Currently in my tribe (Southern Baptists) there is a lively debate between those who emphasize God's sovereignty and those who make much of man's free will. Which one is correct? Are they both true? Or are they both in error? Perhaps a look at the tabernacle of Moses can shed light on this theological controversy.

There was only one entrance into the tabernacle and it was through a gate on the eastern side. With two million Hebrews it is probable that long lines existed outside the tabernacle. Here is what I suspect happened.

A priest probably would shout, "Next!" This signaled for the next person wanting to make a sacrifice to enter. Upon receiving the priest's shout or wave the worshipper would walk through the gate and into the courtyard of that tabernacle.

The tabernacle points to Christ. So this act of entering the tabernacle symbolizes a person coming to Christ for salvation. And how did that occur? People came to the tabernacle (Christ) through both a call from God and an act of human will. The priest as God's representative would issue an invitation and the one coming to Christ as symbolized by the tabernacle would have to act in faith. Or sometimes this act of salvation began with an act of human will (coming to the tabernacle) that led to a divine invitation (a call from the priest). 

And so it is today, salvation involves both God's sovereignty and man's free will. They are complementary. Modern theologians would help the church if they taught how these truths work together and are not in competition.