Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of First Baptist Church on Grand Cayman Island, challenged a man-centered view of freedom during the afternoon session of 9Marks at Southeastern.
Anyabwile spoke from Romans 9, arguing that a high view of the sovereignty of God is a vital part of a robust biblical theology. This is true despite the fact that we often like to think of ourselves as having true and absolute liberty in all matters, including salvation.
Anyabwile acknowledged that the first reaction of many people to the doctrine of election as laid out in Romans 9 is emotional, not intellectual.
“God’s purpose is not that our hearts would discolor his truth, but that his truth would color our hearts,” he said.
This truth, he argued, must be stated carefully, but is nonetheless part of faithful preaching of Scripture.
“For salvation to be completely a matter of grace, it must not be a matter of human merit,” Anyabwile said.
He also reminded the crowd that the purpose of election, in it’s fulness, is to demonstrate his own glory.
“God saves this way in order to show His glory to the church that He has chosen,” Anyabwile said. “Election increases God’s glory, and the increase in glory should increase our affection for God.”