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God’s Gift Separated from God’s Demand

January 23, 2014

Many evangelicals in general and Southern Baptists in particular seem to embrace a long-standing doctrine of salvation that is excessively privatized and spiritualized in which God’s gift is separated from God’s demand. According to Scripture, however, salvation is both gift and demand, and it is personal and social. Overstressing the gift at the expense of the demand and the personal at the expense of the social has had consequences that are both far-reaching and harmful. In direct contrast to the Great Commandment, the relationship with God (love God) is separated from the relationship with others (love neighbor) and holiness is separated from walking in love. Thus it is possible to hold the unbiblical belief that one can love God and be “holy,” or be “right with God,” regardless of one’s behavior toward others.–Charles O. Knowles, Let Her Be, 19

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