MONERGISM vs. SYNERGISM
A Biblical Examination
The Calvinist cliché, “I can’t save anyone, only God can” is not biblically accurate.
The Bible says, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20); and also “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” (1 Cor. 4:15).
And so the Preacher of the Word can and does save souls – with the help of the Holy Spirit and by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Acts Peter even commanded the crowd to “Save Yourselves…” So not only do preachers save souls, but sinners save themselves! And how did they do it? Well, as Peter said, they must repent and believe. That is how a sinner saves his soul – by turning to Christ. William Booth and the Salvation Army used to fly a banner outside of their meeting house that said, “SAVE YOUR SOULS!”
The salvation of a soul is not a monergistic work of God, where God the Father alone (mono) is active. The Holy Spirit has a role, the preacher of the Word has a role, and the sinner himself has a role.
Charles Finney said, “Both conversion and regeneration are sometimes in the Bible ascribed to God, sometimes to man, and sometimes to the subject.”
It is this understanding that gives evangelism its urgency and elevates its work to extreme and eternal importance. There are souls right now that might be saved by your labors who also might be damned by your neglect! What we do now affects and determines the future – even the eternal destiny of souls.
In light of the biblical doctrines of synergism and the openness of the future, we can see the vitalness of us fulfilling the Great Commission and feel the heavy weight of responsibility to seek and save those who are lost!
So get out there Christian! Preach the Word and save some souls!