Pre-Eternal Salvation Belief

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by pinoybaptist, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. pinoybaptist

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    In his post on his vision of what the ideal IFB church should be, <member name deleted> IFB Reformer indicated what he feels a true IFB church should hold on to.
    In so doing, he set his sights squarely on Primitive Baptists by specifically naming them and what he feels is the heresy of their doctrine that the eternal salvation of God's people had no pre-requisites attached to it, that it was entirely and all OF the Lord.
    I am almost done with my own online e-book or web pages outlining why we believe that God requires nothing of His people.
    I am posting a full page here, and will post the link to the entire article for anyone who may want to view it, when it is done.
    I will post this page in several parts, for easier perusal, and rebuttal, if so desired.

    [ September 12, 2004, 08:49 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    Believe in order to be saved ?
    In his quest for the ideal church, and 'righteous indignation' at the doctrines of others, <member name deleted> trained his sights on Primitive Baptists, and labeled them 'hyper-electionists' for their belief that belief is not necessary for eternal salvation. I affirm this: Belief is not a prerequisite to eternal salvation.

    Belief, says Strong, is pistis , word number 4102 from word 3982, peitho, the former signifying assent, assurance, faith, fidelity, reliance upon Christ for salvation, the latter to agree, have confidence, be confident, obey, trust, yield.

    Essentially, one has belief because one agrees to the proposition, has inner assurance that something is true.

    The secular dictionary defines belief as:
    The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: ex. My belief in you is as strong as ever.

    Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: ex.His explanation of what happened defies belief.

    Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

    Whichever one we use, the Bible Dictionary, or the Secular Dictionary, we come up with several facts, (1) that there is an agreement to a proposition; (2) that this proposition is accepted as truth without any doubt, (3) this assent results in a yielding to the object of belief.

    Belief then, is contingent upon the individual's ability to assess the information given to him, to accept it as truth, and to cling to the object of truth, in this case, Jesus Christ.

    Here is another thing <member name deleted> said, which we shall be examining along with belief as a prerequisite for salvation, and I quote:


    [ September 12, 2004, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    According to this proposition by <IFB Reformer>, the means by which God elects unto salvation is by the action of the sinner in believing.

    If you believe and take Him as your God and Savior, God then elects you to be saved in accordance with your belief and action.

    Why ?

    Is it grace, as in, 'by grace are ye saved' (Eph. 2:5,8)?

    Is it mercy as in 'not by works of righteousness which we have done, but, according to his mercy, he saved us' (Titus 3:5)?

    No. According to <IFB Reformer>, it is by our believing on the Son of God and taking him as our God and Savior.

    I think, if that is the basis for God's electing anyone to salvation, then, it is no more of grace, but, of works.

    Furthermore, it bears no difference at all to the Arminian view that, "God, in His foreknowledge, looked down thru time, and saw all who will believe in Jesus Christ, and accept Him as their Lord and Savior, and, on that basis, predestined them to be saved".

    [ September 12, 2004, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    If <IFB Reformer> had instead proposed that God elected us unto salvation in order to glorify God for His mercies and kindnesses to us, and manifest our belief on the Son of God by looking to Him as our God and Savior, I will probably agree with him somewhat, for the Bible says this :
    [ September 12, 2004, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Now, back to the issue at hand. Is belief a prerequisite to a sinner's being eternally saved ?

    We shall call to witness the testimony of Scripture itself, beginning with this one we already have before us, Ephesians 2:4-7.

    Notice that verse 5 says, that even when the Ephesians were dead in sins God quickened them, that is, they were born again, raised back to life, regenerated, by the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who brought Christ's body back to life, and the same Spirit who will bring back to life all who are dead in Christ at His coming again.

    How can someone who is dead in sins and trespasses believe first in order to be saved ?

    God asks in Jeremiah 13:23, thus: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil".

    God further describes the unregenerate heart thus in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?".

    Unregenerate man fares no better in the New Testament. The Bible says in Romans 3:10-12 of the unregenerate, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.".

    And Paul further states in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.".

    How then can the natural, unregenerate, man believe with the benefit in view being the eternal salvation of his soul ?

    How can God require something that He fully knows no man is able to meet ?

    I am sure even Mr. Harriman will say, why, 'by God regenerating them, giving them the power to believe'.

    Isn't that what Calvinists say ?

    The problem with that reply, however, is it presupposes g that salvation and regeneration occur at the same time, if not one and the same, and that cannot be.

    Salvation first.

    And then regeneration.

    Christ died on the cross first, and by His death all the past, present, and future sins of all His past, present, and future elect who will be born in time, have been washed away.

    His blood justified them.

    And then regeneration is next.

    Belief, then, is evidence of regenertion. Not the cause of it.

    Conversion, which follows regeneration, is proof of a regenerated heart, not its cause.
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Now, if one cannot believe unless regenerated, and one will not be regenerated unless one is first saved, then we come back full circle. How does one believe in order to be saved ?

    The answer is simple. He did not require that His elect believe on Him first before He saved them.

    He did not require faith or belief for eternal salvation in the Old Testament, and He did not require it of His people in the New Testament.

    In the Old Testament, He was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, in the New Testament He was the Lamb of God slain on that cross.

    He fully knew they were incapable of it, He has put our incapacity to believe Him in writing so we will better understand who we are and we can get a fuller view of His kindness. Recall the Scripture, ".....that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus". (Ephesians 2:7).

    Jesus Christ, the Annointed Savior, sweat as it were drops of blood, agonized in Gethsemane, endured all those mockings, whippings, spittings, cursings, slaps, punches, insults, pain of the Roman flagella, pain of the crown of thorns, pain of the nails that pierced His hands and feet, and the agonizing separation from the Father who loved Him and whom He loved before any angel was ever created, for the sake of the people whom His Father wanted saved, in full obedience to His Father, while they were yet unbelieving, faithless, sinners !".

    IF THAT IS NOT LOVE, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS !

    IF THAT IS NOT GRACE, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS !
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    He died on that cross and secured the salvation of His people long before there was a Roman church, long before there was an Ephesian church, long before there was a Colossian church, or a Thessalonian church, or a Cretan church, and long before there were the seven churches in Asia.

    Here's what the Bible says:
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    Oh, how Satan and his ambassadors have muddied even more the glass by which we look darkly.

    They have caused many a saint to fall from grace, that is, to put works above and before grace, for that is what <IFB Reformer> demands, that the sinner must first do the work of belief before he can hope the blood of the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, and spilled in time on the cross on which the Lamb of Glory died, can secure his eternal salvation and wash away every stain of sin in him.

    This is the same tactic used by Satan in sending Jews to the Gentiles of Galatia and telling them that they must first be circumcised ! Listen to Paul:
    [ September 13, 2004, 12:04 AM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    God saved His people by grace !

    Undeservedly. Apart from the Law, which they can never hope to fulfill.

    Keep in mind, that what we are discussing is belief before salvation, which is what <IFB Reformer> demands.

    The call for belief, and repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, is a call to saved and regenerate , in that order, children of God (Acts 20:21).

    Note that Paul's listeners in Acts 20 were all believers , elect children of God who came under the hearing of the gospel.

    Belief in the gospel, gospel obedience and joining gospel churches is for already born again children of God, and it is precisely because they are born again that they believe.

    [ September 12, 2004, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  10. IfbReformer

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    Lets be clear for our audience on what it is that pinoybaptist calls 'prerequisites':

    belief on the their Savior and God

    so if we replace 'prequisites' with what you mean here is your statement again:

    "...he set his sights squarely on Primitive Baptists by specifically naming them and what he feels is the heresy of their doctrine that the eternal salvation of God's people did include a condition that God would fulfil himself in them, that they place their faith in their God and Savior Jesus Christ , that it was entirely and all OF the Lord."

    As I have said over and over again, we agree that salvation is all of the Lord, you just don't accept all of God's salvation process.

    God set a condition, that without the shedding of blood, their is no remission of sin, therefore he fulfilled his condition and sent his Son to be the Lamb of God. This condition of salvation you accept.

    You simply don't accept the last condition of God's salvation, because it involves him causing man to do something. Now if God causes man to do something, and God fufils his own final condition of salvation, that man believe, then man has no part and Salvation is all of the Lord.

    IFBReformer
     
  11. IfbReformer

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    Your own words condemn your doctrine:

    "belief is not necessary for eternal salvation"

    The stand in stark contrast to the how the Word of God says we are saved ETERNALLY:

    John 3:14-19
    14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
    16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

    John 3:36
    "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

    Acts 16:30-31
    30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
    31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

    It is interesting to note that the reason for why people are condemned? It says because they do not believe on the Son of God. Yet the Primitive Baptists would have us believe that unbelief has nothing to do with the condemnation of those who are not the elect of God.

    Those who are unbelievers, who reject Christ have the wrath of God remaining on them.

    Paul boldly proclaimed to the unbelieving Jews this truth:

    Acts 13

    46Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
    " 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
    that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
    48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

    Why were they not worthy of eternal life? Because they rejected the Word of the Lord, what was the Word of the Lord, that Jesus was the Christ - their Savior, and they rejected this, and because of their rejection they did not receive eternal life.

    Now from a soverign grace point of view, we know why they rejected Christ, because they were not the elect of God so God did not regenerate them and cause them to believe on his Son.

    Another interesting phrase here is found in verse 48 speaking of the Gentiles "and all who were appointed for eternal life believed".

    Funny that all who were appointed for eternal life, the elect, believed. But PBs would have us believe this is not always the case. God does nto always bring all his elect to belief in their false view of the Gospel.

    IFBReformer
     
  12. Daniel David

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    pinoy, you have placed yourself outside of Christianity by claiming that one's faith has nothing to do with salvation.

    You are no different than a muslim, catholic, buddhist, etc, who would all also say that faith in Christ is not necessary to save you.

    How was Abraham justified? By faith.
    How was David justified? By faith.
    How is anyone justified? By faith.
     
  13. IfbReformer

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    Actually you know well from the beliefs of other soverign grace advocates as well as my own statements that we do not believe God elects us because he saw we would believe. We believe because he elected us and caused us to do so.

    If your only defense of your false doctrine, is to try and paint something of what we believe that is not true, then you have quite the weak defense.


    What does Ephesians 2:8-9 say? Does it say we are saved by Grace and then stop there?

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

    You see we are saved by Grace through FAITH, and that is something you flatly reject. You see both the Grace of God, and our Faith in trusting in him are both gifts from God. This something you miss.

    "I think, if that is the basis for God's electing anyone to salvation, then, it is no more of grace, but, of works." Once again you reveal what is really at the heart of why you believe what you believe.

    Because if you take the Word of God at face value, then there are many good people around the world, who even seem to be God fearing, that have in the past and continue today to die and go to hell.

    You cannot accept this, so you invent a doctrine of two salvations, for which there is no scriptural evidence whatsoever.

    You make statements that God has had elect from every tribe kindred and nation at all times throughout history, when this idea is never supported from any scripture passages. God will in the end have elect from every tribe kindred and nation, as the book of Revelation tells us, but this will be most likely fulfilled in the millennium.

    And you know as well us, that we do not believe as the Arminians that God look down through time and elected people based on their future belief. So why do you continue to make false comparisons?

    In fact the Calvinistic viewpoint, is the only one the three(yours, ours and the Arminians) that accepts God's soverignty in its fullest.

    We accept that God can and did soverignly set conditions for salvation.

    We accept that one of those conditions was that shedding of blood had to take place for the remission of sins. We accept that God sent his son to be the lamb whose blood would pay the penalty for sin.

    We accept that God also set the final condition, that just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness so Christ had to be lifted up, and that just as those in wilderness had to look up to the snake to be saved, so do we have to look to Son to receive eternal life - these are the words of Lord Jesus Christ.

    We also accept that God has not elected some people to salvation, which means he will not regernerate some and cause them to believe and thus be saved. Arminians flatly reject this.

    However, the Arminian rejection of the how man comes to belief does not make them heretics, for they still believe as we do that belief is part of the salvation process God has designed.

    You on the other hand, reject belief has any part in eternal salvation at all, that God causes all his elect to believe, this makes you outside the realm of orthodox Christian belief and in stark contrast to words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    IFBReformer
     
  14. IfbReformer

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    When you make statements like this you reveal you don't know too much of what Calvinists believe:

    "How can someone who is dead in sins and trespasses believe first in order to be saved?"

    We don't believe that can believe, someone who is spiritually dead cannot believe, that is why God has to quicken us and cause us to believe.

    All you are arguing for in the above statements is the total depravity of man - on this we completely agree. We completely agree that man is unable to come to God on his own.

    The difference between us and you, is that we believe God pulls man from the this helpless state(if he is one of the elect) and causes him to believe. You reject this as always being the case for the elect of God.

    Now lets go on to the supposed problem with our belief:

    Why can't it be that salvation and regeneration occur at the same time? Really the right order biblically would be, while we are being regenerated we are caused to believe and are saved, but there is no problem Biblically with such a belief.

    Salvation does not occur before regeneration, this can never be supported by the scriptures.

    The Bible does not say we were saved before the foundations of the world, it says we were chosen to be saved before the foundations of the world.

    We were quickened in order that we could and would believe and be saved.

    "Belief, then, is evidence of regenertion. Not the cause of it."

    I would only change two words, thus I would say:

    "His blood justified them"

    Yes the scriptures say we are justified by his blood:

    Romans 5:9
    "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

    But they also say we are justified by our faith in Christ:

    Galatians 2:16
    "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified."

    Strange here, that Paul does not consider our faith in Christ to be a work in the sense that you do, for he distinguishes it from observing the law. We are justified by our faith in Christ, what is the opposite of that? We are not justified if we do not have faith in Christ.

    IFBReformer

    [ September 13, 2004, 12:19 AM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  15. pinoybaptist

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    IFB Reformer said:
    So, now you are saying that everyone's (without exceptions) household will be saved who believes ?



    And you will find no argument from me nor any right thinking Primitive Baptist. Unbelief is indeed one of the sins that the unelect will be judged for. And unbelief is one of the sins the elect are saved from. The Lord Jesus Christ saved His people even while they were unbelievers.

    You need only study closely the valley of the bones. There you have dead Israel. No muscles, no sinews, no blood coursing thru their veins. Did they come to life because Ezekiel preached to them ? Or did God tell Ezekiel to proclaim to these the truth , that it is God who will cause them to come to life.

    Can a dead sinner believe in order to be saved ? Or does a dead sinner believe because he is saved and already possessing life.

    Your arguments and choice of Scriptures do not prove in any way that salvation is because one believed the gospel.

    Belief of the gospel, when preached to them, is proof and not the cause of salvation.

    You read yesterday's news on today's paper, did those events happen because you believed what you read, or did you believe they happened because they were printed in the news.

    If at all, your arguments highlight what I have been saying, that the elect are saved apart from their believing the gospel, and become believers because they have a regenerated heart.


    I snipped off the rest because there seems to be an agreement between us on those points. And yes, interesting. God is the one who appoints to eternal life, and those He appoints will believe, but what you have to prove is that their eternal life stems from their belief of the gospel or whether their belief is proof of their possession of eternal life.

    Your ignorance and underhandedness is becoming amusing.

    I never said God does not always bring all his elect to belief. Read my post about your supposed Muslim friend.

    I said, belief is not a factor in their salvation which is what you demand of those who will make up your envisioned ideal IFB church.

    God did not save them because they believe, neither did God require that they believe first before He saves them.

    The salvation of all God's elect, wherever they are geographically, politically, culturally, socially, racially, and theologically, was effected in time at the cross.

    Christ shouted it is finished. No saving has to be done anymore.

    What we are in now is what Jesus called 'The Regeneration' (Matthew 19:28) which started at Pentecost, first with the 3,000 and then the 5.000 who believed and were baptized.

    What God is doing now is what He illustrated in the valley of the bones. Every one of His people [b} HE [/b] will bring back to life, no thanks to you, or to any gospel preacher.


    Lest I be accused of being KJVO, which I am not,
    I am using Young's LITERAL Translation Bible to show to you that those who accept Him, those who are NOT condemned, accept Him, and are not condemned, precisely because they are ALREADY believers. Saved already. Regenerated already.

    John 3:14-19 -
    Now, how are they going to believe ? Through the preacher's voice ?

    For all your protestations you have not shown any strong rebuttal of my position:

    That the elect believes because they are saved in contrast to your demand that the elect believe first before the atonement can be applied to them.


    Young's Literal Translation -

    The elect will be brought to belief at some point of their life because they will be effectually called by the Spirit and they will respond because they already have life in them.

    When ? How ? Where ? God knows, and only God can make it happen, in His own time.

    But you or anybody else , Primitive Baptists included, do not have the right to judge them unworthy of eternal life because they do not believe your preaching or your doctrine, and because they died without making a profession of faith in your presence and hearing.

    And by the way, in Acts, the Jews were the ones who judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. Paul did not say God judged them unworthy of eternal life. Stay within context, IFB Reformer.
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    DD, anytime one insists on workless salvation, one is always out of today's Christianity. To insist that one believe first before the atoning work of Christ can actually be effective in saving a sinner is today's Christianity. It is the little leaven that leaveneth the whole lump.

    It takes away Christ's glory, which is what Paul said in Galatians: Christ is become of none effect to you...you are fallen from grace.

    And what makes it more laughable coming from IFB Reformer is that he says he believes in Sovereign Grace, which is, in layman's terms, the sole privilege of the Creator to bestow grace on whomever He wishes to, however He wishes to.

    In His elect's case, He chose to save them thru His Son based on His mercy and not on any precondition of faith or belief on their part, or a foreseen inherent faith or belief in their part, which prior to regeneration, they do not possess.

    And, by the way, you have yet to produce one Catholic, at least on this board, who will tell you that faith in Christ is not necessary to save you.
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    He elected his elect to make them believers. Okay, is that what you are saying ? Now, how do you propose to make them believers. That has always been my question.

    How do you propose to make them believers, so they can be saved. Your proposition is that they must first believe, and that certainly makes them worthy of eternal life, because they believed, not because God had mercy on them despite their unbelief, and Christ redeemed them to God despite their unbelief.

    You see, you are placing faith in man, even if you credit that faith's being there to God.

    Let me give you back Galatians 2:16 according to Young's Literal Translation:

    Now, why did they believe in Christ ?

    It is by race (of God), thru faith (of Christ) that one is saved eternally. It is not one's faith that counts him righteous before God, it is his faith in Christ whose faith pleased God, anymore than one's act of practical holiness makes him right with God, but, rather, Christ's holiness that is imputed in Him.

    And, lest you say that this is only one verse I am basing my statements on:

    From Young's Literal Translation:

    Every one of these Scriptures speaks of the faith of Christ, or the faith that is in Christ.

    It is Christ that fulfilled everything , including the faith and belief in God that the natural man in time, and this includes all elect, do not inherently have in them.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    IFB Reformer said:

     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    IFB REFORMER:

    This will have to be another thread.

    He chose to reveal Himself to the Jews out of whom came Moses who wrote down the beginning of all mankind, but, does that mean He is God and Savior only of those to whom He revealed Himself ?

    Was the world at the time composed only of the Middle East ? Again you run head on against God's word. He said He created the earth, and all things in it. He did not say He created only the middle east and all things in it. He said, 'look unto me, all ye ends of the earth'.
    You know where in the Bible that is ?

    Your problem is that you not only limit the ability of God to save whom He will, how He will, where He will, and without regard to the faith or ability of the person He saved to believe.

    You also want to limit God's presence and authority to only the Middle East.


    First: your time frame, "in the end", is not in the Book of Revelation. Here's what it says in Revelation 5:9 -

    "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

    Where is the time limitation you propose ?

    That is what you say, not what God says.

    And while you accuse us of inventing time salvation, which is Scriptural, and to which all Primitive Baptists are agreed, including the Absoluters among us except that they protest the words "Conditional Time Salvation", here you are creating a theology which runs counter to God's stated purpose of judging this wicked earth and of his hatred of sin.

    You want God to come down and rule an earth He will eventually destroy and whom He had determined He will destroy for 1,000 years, and you propose an earth where both saved and condemned live together harmoniously while Jesus Christ who is Holiness Himself rules from Jerusalem.

    Now, that is absurd.
     
  20. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    And where did I deny any of these ? Just because someone doesn't believe this, does his unbelief make all these untrue ? Say somebody believes that Jesus Christ is A door because that is what he was taught from childhood, does that make false Jesus' statement, "I am the door" ?

    No. We look to the Son because He has eternal life, nobody else does, not so we can receive eternal life.

    Remember that these Israelites were already Israelites. I believe they represent children of God born in time who are born in enmity with God because of their fallen nature.

    God is simply once more illustrating that salvation is His way, not ours. The fiery serpents of sin that besets His people are negated by sin on the cross, which is Christ, made sin who knew no sin, that we may be made the righteousness of God in Christ.

    They can look all they want on the serpent, but, without the power of God beforehand they cannot be saved.

    Darn right, I reject that. If our belief is the final arbiter on whether the atonement takes effect for us or not, then you might as well go the Investigative Judgment way of the Seventh Day adventists. Go all the way and include loyalty and adherence to law. Like Paul said, if you go by the law, you are obliged to go all the way.

    I believe what the Bible says: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    And if I believe to my saving, then how am I a sinner ?

    On the other hand, if Christ died for me while I am yet a sinner, that means even before I believed on Him, He died for me, and if He died for me, then I am saved, because He paid for all my sins, even my sin of unbelief. Like I said, if that is not grace, I don't know what it is.

    I did not say He does not cause all His elect to believe. I have repeatedly stressed: The Holy Spirit will regenerate His own independent of any human agency.

    What I have rejected is your doctrine that they must believe the gospel first before the atonement can be effective for them.

    That is unscriptural.

    Orthodox Christian belief which is grace + works (any kind, any amount) is outside of Scripture. If that is where I exclude myself, I do so gladly.

    [/b]</font>[/QUOTE]On the contrary, what I believe is entirely in line with what the Scriptures teach.

    That salvation, eternal salvation, is all of God , none of man. God authored it, God executed it, God perfected it, and God finished it. Man has no participation whatsoever, not in faith, not in belief.

    Faith comes after God regenerates, not before, and salvation comes before regeneration. Salvation was at the cross, the work of Christ, to glorify His Father.

    After the cross, all the elect have been atoned for, and redeemeed, though they will be born in enmity with God in time.

    However, they will be regenerated, and God will draw them to Christ, with, or without a gospel preacher.
     

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