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Thread: SALVATION: A "Free Gift" from God for those who believe

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    SALVATION: A "Free Gift" from God for those who believe

    The Bible is a spiritual book that was written by men that were indwelt with the Holy Spirit. If one cannot receive this simple teaching that salvation is a free gift from God it is because they do not posses the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of truth, John 16:13.

    There is no scripture anywhere in the Bible that teaches salvation can be earned by works, deserved by obedience, imposed (Calvinism) or any other means. The word "grace" in the New Testament means, God's unmerited favor towards fallen man.

    "For by grace, (God's unmerited favor towards fallen man) are you saved through faith; and not that of yourselves; it is THE GIFT OF GOD" Ephesians 2:8.

    "But not as the offense, so also is THE FREE GIFT" Romans 5:15.

    "And not as it was by one that sinned, SO IS THE GIFT" Romans 5:16.

    "They which receive abundance of grace and THE GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ" Romans 5:17.

    "Even so by the righteousness of one THE FREE GIFT came upon ALL MEN unto justification of life" Romans 5:18.


    A gift can only be received or rejected. If it is imposed upon you it is not a free gift, it is an imposition. God does not impose salvation on anyone, if he did he would be unjust. Salvation is offered to everyone as a free gift from God that has been provided by Jesus Christ.

    Jesus comes into the world as God's reconciler. By the doing and the dying of Jesus all of humanity has been reconciled unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:19. The work of salvation has been done, we are complete "In Christ" Colossians 2:10. But nothing is ours until it is received by faith.

    "But as many as received him (and his free gift of salvation) to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe upon hid name" John 1:12.

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    pate

    A gift can only be received or rejected.
    Wheres that statement found in the scripture ? Sounds like carnal reasoning, not scripture !


    Salvation is offered to everyone as a free gift from God that has been provided by Jesus Christ


    False statement not in scripture
    "... I have my own private opinion that there is no such a thing as
    preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is
    called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is
    a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."

    Charles Spurgeon !

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    pate

    Jesus comes into the world as God's reconciler. By the doing and the dying of Jesus all of humanity has been reconciled unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:19.
    False statement not in scripture


    The work of salvation has been done, we are complete "In Christ" Colossians 2:10. But nothing is ours until it is received by faith.
    False statement.not in scripture
    "... I have my own private opinion that there is no such a thing as
    preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is
    called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is
    a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else."

    Charles Spurgeon !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    The Bible is a spiritual book that was written by men that were indwelt with the Holy Spirit. If one cannot receive this simple teaching that salvation is a free gift from God it is because they do not posses the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of truth, John 16:13.

    There is no scripture anywhere in the Bible that teaches salvation can be earned by works, deserved by obedience, imposed (Calvinism) or any other means. The word "grace" in the New Testament means, God's unmerited favor towards fallen man.

    "For by grace, (God's unmerited favor towards fallen man) are you saved through faith; and not that of yourselves; it is THE GIFT OF GOD" Ephesians 2:8.

    "But not as the offense, so also is THE FREE GIFT" Romans 5:15.

    "And not as it was by one that sinned, SO IS THE GIFT" Romans 5:16.

    "They which receive abundance of grace and THE GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ" Romans 5:17.

    "Even so by the righteousness of one THE FREE GIFT came upon ALL MEN unto justification of life" Romans 5:18.


    A gift can only be received or rejected. If it is imposed upon you it is not a free gift, it is an imposition. God does not impose salvation on anyone, if he did he would be unjust. Salvation is offered to everyone as a free gift from God that has been provided by Jesus Christ.

    Jesus comes into the world as God's reconciler. By the doing and the dying of Jesus all of humanity has been reconciled unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:19. The work of salvation has been done, we are complete "In Christ" Colossians 2:10. But nothing is ours until it is received by faith.

    "But as many as received him (and his free gift of salvation) to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe upon hid name" John 1:12.
    What is it that accepts this gift, Robert? Is it by the same will that the Israelites freely committed themselves to obedience to the commands of God? Has man changed since then? Is there something different about us for the past 2000 years that makes us naturally inclined to faith in God? The scriptures record that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham saw Jesus' day and was glad. Paul says we cannot please God without faith. The upshot of that is that the basis of salvation for those before Christ is the same as that for those who came in His day and after He ascended. Which means that man is on the same basis of approach to God now as then (save for the Levitical priesthood being done away - we now have Jesus). The free gift is offered to men who sneer at it - who are naturally God-hating - as Paul has quoted that there is none that seeks after God, none who does righteousness. So what in man would all of a sudden decide to accept something they find contemptible? What of man's creaturely will naturally inclines to God? It doesn't - and your own testimony testifies to that fact.

    But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
    But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

    Romans 10:20-21

    Israel is the example of natural man's inclination - to not seek God and to rebel against the God who shows them the truth. So God went to a people that didn't seek Him or ask for Him. Are these any better than the Israelites? Is there anything in them to naturally recommend them to be favorable to God? If they weren't seeking God, how can it be said they had faith?

    So the idea of "imposition" is problematic. On the one hand, God's gift is free and (I believe) offered to all. But on the other hand, man is not free. Man is bent, broken and dead in sin. So was it an imposition for Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead? Sin doesn't mean we are utterly clueless. It means we can't discern our own sinful state before a Holy God. It means we are making decisions based on deceptions of our own making. Such a person is in no position to choose God (assuming for the moment the most liberal definition of "choice"). He simply can't and won't choose God. Again - to reject "imposition" is to enshrine man's ability to do good - to choose the good and stick with it like Israel promised to do (on more than one occasion, as I recall). At best, evangelism that rejects any concept of God's Sovereign act in salvation (because of man's free will) becomes like someone who goes to the Arctic to sell air conditioners to Eskimos. And when you see the response of the Pharisees, it only confirms that :

    They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
    And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
    I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
    They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
    But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
    Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

    John 8:33-41

    Translation : we don't need salvation. We already have it.

    And that's where the imposition becomes necessary. Without that imposition no one will seek God. No one will be convinced of their sin. No one will hear the gospel.

    And then? Once they hear? If they are truly convicted, that same thought that you have works well. They won't need to be convinced if they are convicted. They will already have been convinced in the inner man by the Holy Spirit and there will be no barrier to them being drawn to Christ. And that drawing is not based on the strength of man's will.
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolai_42 View Post
    What is it that accepts this gift, Robert? Is it by the same will that the Israelites freely committed themselves to obedience to the commands of God? Has man changed since then? Is there something different about us for the past 2000 years that makes us naturally inclined to faith in God? The scriptures record that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham saw Jesus' day and was glad. Paul says we cannot please God without faith. The upshot of that is that the basis of salvation for those before Christ is the same as that for those who came in His day and after He ascended. Which means that man is on the same basis of approach to God now as then (save for the Levitical priesthood being done away - we now have Jesus). The free gift is offered to men who sneer at it - who are naturally God-hating - as Paul has quoted that there is none that seeks after God, none who does righteousness. So what in man would all of a sudden decide to accept something they find contemptible? What of man's creaturely will naturally inclines to God? It doesn't - and your own testimony testifies to that fact.

    But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
    But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

    Romans 10:20-21

    Israel is the example of natural man's inclination - to not seek God and to rebel against the God who shows them the truth. So God went to a people that didn't seek Him or ask for Him. Are these any better than the Israelites? Is there anything in them to naturally recommend them to be favorable to God? If they weren't seeking God, how can it be said they had faith?

    So the idea of "imposition" is problematic. On the one hand, God's gift is free and (I believe) offered to all. But on the other hand, man is not free. Man is bent, broken and dead in sin. So was it an imposition for Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead? Sin doesn't mean we are utterly clueless. It means we can't discern our own sinful state before a Holy God. It means we are making decisions based on deceptions of our own making. Such a person is in no position to choose God (assuming for the moment the most liberal definition of "choice"). He simply can't and won't choose God. Again - to reject "imposition" is to enshrine man's ability to do good - to choose the good and stick with it like Israel promised to do (on more than one occasion, as I recall). At best, evangelism that rejects any concept of God's Sovereign act in salvation (because of man's free will) becomes like someone who goes to the Arctic to sell air conditioners to Eskimos. And when you see the response of the Pharisees, it only confirms that :

    They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
    And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
    I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
    They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
    But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
    Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

    John 8:33-41

    Translation : we don't need salvation. We already have it.

    And that's where the imposition becomes necessary. Without that imposition no one will seek God. No one will be convinced of their sin. No one will hear the gospel.

    And then? Once they hear? If they are truly convicted, that same thought that you have works well. They won't need to be convinced if they are convicted. They will already have been convinced in the inner man by the Holy Spirit and there will be no barrier to them being drawn to Christ. And that drawing is not based on the strength of man's will.

    God chose all of humanity in his Son Jesus Christ. Salvation has been provided for everyone, Hebrews 2:9. Unfortunately not all want what God has provided for them.

    If God imposed salvation on some and not all, then God is unjust and cannot be trusted.

    Why the incarnation? Why did Jesus die on the cross? why did Jesus fulfill the law and then abolish it? If salvation is imposed on some and not all then who needs the Gospel. God could just stay in heaven and choose who he wanted to be saved and who he wanted to be lost.

    You are allowing your religion to dictate what you believe and not the Bible.

    I gave you plenty of scripture, here is another one.

    "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" Titus 3:5.

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    How many times have you started the same thread with the same gobbldeygook as the underlying theme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
    How many times have you started the same thread with the same gobbldeygook as the underlying theme.

    How many times have you rejected the truth that is in the scriptures?

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    Over 1500 post club nikolai_42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    God chose all of humanity in his Son Jesus Christ. Salvation has been provided for everyone, Hebrews 2:9. Unfortunately not all want what God has provided for them.
    Men like the apostle Paul and John Newton fall into that category, yet became some of the best known believers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    If God imposed salvation on some and not all, then God is unjust and cannot be trusted.
    All I can say here is that you are coming to some very rash conclusions that you need to be careful of. Just on the basis of deciding what is and what is not just with God is rather shaky ground.I would tread very lightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    Why the incarnation? Why did Jesus die on the cross? why did Jesus fulfill the law and then abolish it? If salvation is imposed on some and not all then who needs the Gospel. God could just stay in heaven and choose who he wanted to be saved and who he wanted to be lost.
    For that matter, why create man at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    You are allowing your religion to dictate what you believe and not the Bible.

    I gave you plenty of scripture, here is another one.

    "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" Titus 3:5.
    But you didn't interact with my reasoning. You just repeated yours, added a verse and the moved on.
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolai_42 View Post
    Men like the apostle Paul and John Newton fall into that category, yet became some of the best known believers...



    All I can say here is that you are coming to some very rash conclusions that you need to be careful of. Just on the basis of deciding what is and what is not just with God is rather shaky ground.I would tread very lightly.



    For that matter, why create man at all?



    But you didn't interact with my reasoning. You just repeated yours, added a verse and the moved on.

    I gave you enough light to light a city. Problem is that you allow your religion to dictate what you believe and not the scriptures.

    The scriptures plainly teach that salvation is a free gift from God. I only need one scripture to believe this marvelous truth, Ephesians 2:8. I gave you that one and about 5 others. You believe none of them. You are not able to receive truth, which means that you are void of the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of truth, John 16:13. I will pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes so that you might see the wonderful thing that God has done for you in Jesus Christ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    I gave you enough light to light a city. Problem is that you allow your religion to dictate what you believe and not the scriptures.

    The scriptures plainly teach that salvation is a free gift from God. I only need one scripture to believe this marvelous truth, Ephesians 2:8. I gave you that one and about 5 others. You believe none of them. You are not able to receive truth, which means that you are void of the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of truth, John 16:13. I will pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes so that you might see the wonderful thing that God has done for you in Jesus Christ.
    Where have I denied any of the scriptures you posted (whether directly or indirectly)?

    EDIT : Before you answer, consider some of the other gifts God gives. Families, possessions, understanding etc... When does God ever give any of those and there is even the possibility of people not accepting the gift? Even their non-acceptance doesn't negate the fact that God may have given these things to them. When someone receives understanding from God, does it even make sense to consider that that person could tell God "No. I don't want that understanding." and to refuse it so that he never actually possesses it?? The gifts and calling of God are without repentance - NOT without repentance as long as you agree.
    Last edited by nikolai_42; May 11th, 2018 at 02:09 PM. Reason: expansion
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pate View Post
    How many times have you rejected the truth that is in the scriptures?
    Never.

    And now, read and learn:


    We Can Work It Out

    By Tim Staples - source link

    (Quoted with permission)
    James 2:24 is remarkably clear: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." Yet millions of Christians teach the opposite: They claim that we are "justified by faith alone"—saying good works are unnecessary for Christians in the process of justification.

    This misconception is rooted in the misinterpretation of a few key texts, such as Romans 3:28: "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law." Romans 4:5 is another: "And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness." On the surface, St. Paul seems to be saying works are not necessary for our justification or salvation in any sense, but that is not the case when we examine the context of these passages. Not only would this interpretation contradict the words of James 2, but it would also contradict Paul himself.

    Work in Christ

    Paul made very clear in Romans 2:6-8 that good works are necessary for attaining eternal life, at least for those capable of performing them: "For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury."

    So what about the fact that Paul also said we are "justified by faith apart from works of law?" He was writing to a church in Rome struggling with a very prominent first-century heretical sect known today as the "Judaizers." These heretics taught that belief in Christ and obedience to the New Covenant was not enough to be saved. A man also had to keep the Mosaic Law (which, according to Hebrews 7:11-12, has been superseded in Christ) and be circumcised in order to be saved (cf. Acts 15:1-2). Paul gave us one clue—among many—that he had this sect in mind when he wrote in Romans 2:28-29, "For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal . . . " Paul told us in Colossians 2:11-12 that this true "circumcision of Christ" is baptism.

    It is in this context that Paul says we are "justified by faith apart from works of law." He did not in any sense say that works are unnecessary. He specified works of law because these were the works without which the Judaizers were claiming one "cannot be saved."

    Paul does not specifically say works of law in Romans 4:5, but if we read from Romans 3:28 to Romans 4:5 and beyond, the context makes it unmistakable: Paul was referring to circumcision in particular and the same "works of law" he was referring to in Romans 3:28. Romans 4:5-10 will suffice to make the point:

    And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness . . . Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised? We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.

    Paul used the example of the "Judaizers" to teach the truth about the nature of justification and works. The works that justify us—as we saw in Romans 2:6-11 and James 2:24—are works done in Christ. Indeed, in Romans 2:4, before Paul even begins to talk about the works we must do to be saved, he says, "Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance" (Douay-Rheims). It is only God’s goodness that leads us to repentance so that we can perform good works. How do we get "in Christ" according to Paul? Through baptism: "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death . . ." (Rom 6:3-4). It is only after we are in Christ and trusting in the power of his grace at work within us that we have the power to remain in him: "Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God" (Rom 5:1-2).

    Moreover, in Romans 6:16, Paul tells us that after baptism, obedience to Christ leads us to justification while sin will lead us to death (see also Romans 6:23): "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Gk. eis dikaiosunen, unto justification).

    Paul’s emphasis is not just on good works, but works done in and through the power of Christ. Thus, in Romans 8:1-14,Paul tells us in no uncertain terms that we must be in Christ in order to do works that please God.

    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus . . . who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit . . . and those who are in the flesh cannot please God . . . So, then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

    Remember that Paul is emphasizing our continuing in Christ, in his grace or "kindness" as he says in Romans 11:22. "Note then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off."

    Work through Love

    When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, he had these same "Judaizers" in mind:

    Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh . . . Now I Paul say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness (Gk. dikaiosoune, justification). For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. (Gal 3:2-3, 5:2-6)

    Evidently, some of the Galatians were giving in to the false teaching that commanded them to return to the Law of Moses for salvation. He warns them that returning to the old Law is to reject Christ. But he in no way even hints at any idea of a "justification by faith alone" that would deny the necessity of "faith working through love." Paul writes in the simplest of terms, in Galatians 5:19-21 and 6:7-9, that if Christians allow themselves to be dominated by their "flesh," or lower nature, they will not make it to heaven. While on the flip side, Christians will only reap the reward of eternal life if they continue to "sow to the Spirit" or perform good works:

    Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God . . . Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (eternal death); but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

    Work out Salvation

    Ephesians 2:8-9 declares: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast." This is another text commonly used to dismiss good works as necessary for salvation in the life of a Christian. However, once again, context is the key to understanding Paul. In verses 4-6, he says: "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up with him . . ."

    Context reveals that St. Paul was talking about the initial grace of salvation or justification by which we are raised from death unto life. The construction of the Greek text of Ephesians 2:8-9 makes clear that both grace and faith are entirely unmerited. Many Protestants are shocked to discover this is precisely what the Catholic Church teaches—and baptizes babies to prove it. How much more can the Church do to demonstrate this truth? What kind of works could a newborn baby have done to merit anything? However, once that baby grows up and reaches the age of accountability, he must begin to "work out [his] own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in [him], both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil 2:12-13). Or, as Paul says in Ephesians 2:10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

    Are we justified or saved by faith, according to Jesus? Certainly! But by faith alone that would exclude works in every sense? No way. In John 11:25, we read: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." That is faith. Yet, in Matthew 19:17-19, Jesus declared: ". . . If you would enter life, keep the commandments . . . You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." That is works.

    In Matthew 12:37, Jesus puts any thought of justification by faith alone to rest: ". . . for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolai_42 View Post

    And that's where the imposition becomes necessary. Without that imposition no one will seek God. No one will be convinced of their sin. No one will hear the gospel.

    And then? Once they hear? If they are truly convicted, that same thought that you have works well. They won't need to be convinced if they are convicted. They will already have been convinced in the inner man by the Holy Spirit and there will be no barrier to them being drawn to Christ. And that drawing is not based on the strength of man's will.
    Rather, there is a great power of persuasion in the Gospel, itself. That is why the Gospel is the Power of God unto salvation. I say we give credit where credit is due.

    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    Rather, there is a great power of persuasion in the Gospel, itself. That is why the Gospel is the Power of God unto salvation. I say we give credit where credit is due.

    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Hearing, not reading. Yes.
    The Gospel was meant to be taught by those in authority, not read and personally interpreted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    Rather, there is a great power of persuasion in the Gospel, itself. That is why the Gospel is the Power of God unto salvation. I say we give credit where credit is due.

    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Yes - though I would note that the gospel is not just a thought, a set of words, a story or a proposition. Rather, it is the truth. And that truth is only apprehended by the work of the Holy Spirit. It's no less true without the Holy Spirit working, but it is ineffectual.

    And that's where I have issues with a lot of the claims that are made about free will. Is this the same free will that makes the decision to have eggs for breakfast instead of cereal? Is one's eternal destiny really (ultimately) resting upon the capability of something that is so naturally fickle and perverse? The idea is that the alternative to "no imposition" is something heinous as to charge God with assault and battery (or worse!). And that tells me that the argument is not founded on reality but on man's claim to himself. If it is really so awful for someone to be saved in a Sovereign way, then we wind up with the silliness that is akin to what can be found in a cartoon movie (one which I really enjoyed, by the way):

    Mr. Sansweet didn’t ask to be saved, Mr. Sansweet didn’t want to be saved! And the injuries received from Mr. Incredible’s “Actions” so called, causes him daily pain!
    -Lawyer from The Incredibles
    I'm not trying to be flippant here, but what really struck me about the whole concept of free will (as it seems to be commonly held) is how superficial the understanding seems to be.
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolai_42 View Post
    Where have I denied any of the scriptures you posted (whether directly or indirectly)?

    EDIT : Before you answer, consider some of the other gifts God gives. Families, possessions, understanding etc... When does God ever give any of those and there is even the possibility of people not accepting the gift? Even their non-acceptance doesn't negate the fact that God may have given these things to them. When someone receives understanding from God, does it even make sense to consider that that person could tell God "No. I don't want that understanding." and to refuse it so that he never actually possesses it?? The gifts and calling of God are without repentance - NOT without repentance as long as you agree.

    God is no respecter of persons, Acts 10:34. If he was he would be unjust. Yes, God provides many gifts for humanity, but nothing is ours until it is received by faith. Salvation is no different than the many other gifts that God gives to us. But if you refuse the gift you do so by your own free will. So it is with salvation. You have the power to accept or to reject. God did not create mindless robots that cannot think for themselves. On the day of Pentecost 8,000 Jews heard and believed Peter's Gospel and were saved. They heard, they believed and they were saved, Acts 2:41 also Acts 4:4.

    "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (which is the Gospel) Romans 10:17.

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