Reformation (Classical) Arminian Theological Position and Evangelism
The people who adhere to the Reformation Arminian theological position hold to the belief that God is sovereign, creator and sustainer of all that is outside Himself. God is omniscient, omnipotent and is not and can not be subordinate to any force or any of His creation, whether heavenly or earthly. God is the source of all that is good and is worthy of worship, adoration and obedience.
Man, who was created in the image of God with a free will, chose to disobey his Creator. Because of this ill advised decision to disobey God, man fell from his sinless state and thereafter passed his sinful nature on to all his offspring. Although man was created in the image of God, he marred that image with sin, is separated from God and is no longer able to stand sinless before his Creator. In order for man to be able to worship and adore God who alone is worthy, man needs a redeemer, a Savior who can pay for his sin and restore his relationship with the Creator.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father is that Savior, that Redeemer. He alone is worthy to be the propitiation that is needed. He is the perfect sacrifice that atones for sin. He is the mediator who bridges the gap between man and his Creator. By repentance of sin and faith in Christ man is saved. God has chosen in and through Christ to effect salvation for those who repent and believe. He has also chosen to leave in sin and under wrath unbelievers and to condemn them. (Arminius, III: 31) We call this choosing by God, Conditional Election or Election conditioned on Faith. Because this is solely the work of God, man is the recipient of God’s grace. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, Eph. 2: 8.
Because man has fallen from his original position and intended role (to bring God glory, to honor Him, to worship his Creator), he needs salvation. Because God is gracious, He has provided salvation for those who meet His conditions and call upon Him by faith (Romans 10: 13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved).
Because we believe this salvation is offered freely to all who will believe (Unlimited Atonement), it is imperative that we make this salvation plan known to all. John 1:29; 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1-6 teach us that God loves the world and Jesus died for all sin. We also believe that Jesus tasted death for every person (Hebrews 2:9). Paul, in Romans 10, states the necessity of sharing the gospel story with all. He reasons, How can anyone call on the Lord if they don’t believe in Him? When an individual hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit can begin to work in his heart enabling him to believe. There is no way that depraved sinful man can begin to have saving faith on his own. It is only by God’s grace that the Holy Spirit works.
Paul follows with, How can they believe in Him if they have never heard the gospel presented understandably to them? Continuing the thought process, How can they hear of Him if no one takes the initiative or time to tell them? Lastly he reasons, How can the “tellers” go to tell if there are not those who will send them on their way.
Because God has chosen this plan of Salvation for mankind and because man works through this process that Paul relates to us in Romans to experience God’s grace, evangelism is absolutely necessary and should be a priority for every follower of Christ.
Regional Director Asia
September 13, 2011