devotional

02MAR
2013

Synergism

     Synergism, in theological terms, is the idea that God and man work together in salvation. Greek: Syn (plural) ergo (work). The word synergism is a composite that essentially means, “The work of two or more.” Think of words like synthetic, synoptic or synthesis and you see the same plural idea. The word synergism stands in distinction from the idea of monergism or, “The work of one.” Here we see concepts like monocular, monocycle or monologue. Just one.

     If you believe that God saved you because you had faith then you are synergistic in your faith. God cannot by Himself “save” a soul in your theology; He merely makes it possible for everyone to believe in the gospel and thus, in actual fact, save themselves with His assistance. At best this makes you, like so many, superficially familiar with the reality of sin, the confessions of the saints before you, and the testimony of Scripture; at worst it makes you self-righteous and proud, unable to be saved.

     The only synergism that I believe in is that all three members of the Trinity work together for the salvation of His, to us, innumerable souls. That’s a whole other awesome level of synergism that’s really just monergism because God is triune. I digress. Monergism says that God didn’t redeem me because I was redeemable. He didn’t love me because I was lovable. Synergism is the opposite. Synergism is unlivable for me because it boastfully says that God only helps those who help themselves. That is contrary to my faith, and the unmerited mercy of God. Monergism creates new problems to answer in theology. You become instantly aware of the sobering reality that God sends men to hell, and that it is His will that most perish. It brings you into conflict with many idolatrous Jesus figures that are proclaimed from so many pulpits. This idea says that salvation, despite any emerging difficulties to be answered, is the work of God alone in a human heart. That God gave you life, and that this life was life from spiritual death. All the obedience(s) you will then render are post that first work of being born again. Nothing could be simpler; nothing could be more straightforward from Scripture, John 3:3.

     So what makes Christians to differ here? Both sides aren’t right! Of all of the issues, I wish to address the one that I feel can settle it. It is the issue of the effect of SIN. Get this right and a great deal falls into place both here and in many places. That’s why I want to ask you: when Adam and Eve were cursed by God, when they “died” (Genesis 2:17) was it really a death? What type of death? We know it wasn’t a physical one. What do you say? A synergist cannot say that it was a real and total spiritual death as I do. They must say it was only a partial spiritual death or a mere wounding in concept. Man was not totally dead or deadened by SIN. If it was a real death, see, then no part of man could share in any part of salvation. He could hear but he’ll not hear. He may see but he’ll not see. That would mean, shockingly enough, that what Jesus said was actually what He meant when He said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing,” John 6:63. That would mean that we were truly, in every sense of the word, dead and thus helpless before God’s righteous judgment.

     This is the doctrine of original sin and its implications. Scripture says that Adam’s death was the death of all of us too, Romans 5:12. Has not the testimony of every idolatrous nation outside of Israel proven this to you? What do you need, another 6,000 years of human conduct to prove that we’re all spiritually dead without God’s direct intervention?

     Monergism is firmly my position. I am as convinced of it from Scripture as I am of anything else. I know that God calls men to have faith, to choose. He calls men to decision when the gospel is preached. He knows our frame, and that we don’t think as He does—eternally. I know that He calls into action the very faculties that He Himself, by His own invisible salvific work in me, enabled to action. The flesh profits nothing spiritually and nothing at all eternally unless God does the first work! By the illumination of the Holy Spirit, hearing the confession of the saints from the start, and the understanding that I too was wholly spiritually dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-6) I will never again confuse the cause and the effects of being born again. I am a monergist! All of the glory and all of my thanks goes to God for my salvation. How about you? 

2 responses to “Synergism”

  1. Thomas says:

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 dfg1z

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