Salvation and God's Sovereignty

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Judith, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Judith

    Judith
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    “There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.

    There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne.

    On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings.....Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne.....when God ascends his throne, his creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and his right to do as he wills with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on his throne is not the God they love.
    They love him anywhere better than they do when he sits with his sceptre in his hand and his crown upon his head.”
    ~Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892


    By Gerald Schumacher
    I am often told by those in rebellion why they do not turn to God or in some people’s words why they left God. All their stories and excuses are blind lies.

    There is one reason why men reject the God of the bible. They love darkness more than light. Rebellious men hate that God is Sovereign. They hate the fact that they cannot make Him do what they want when they want.

    They hate the fact that it is men who must repent toward God and not God toward men. They hate the fact that God requires repentance. No not reformation, but true repentance at all. True repentance toward God cuts at the soul, the very hearts of men, and rebellious men hate that.

    Rebellious men do not want a God who they cannot coerce or direct. Oh if God would just give in a little and listen to the counsel of men, but He will not because He is God, He is Sovereign, He is all that rebellious men hate. Men have the problem not God.

    The problem of rebellious men is that the God of creation is not going to bend to men, even if it means they do not get into heaven, so we either do it His way or no way. Rebellious men hate that.

    Jesus said the way is narrow and straight. That too rebellious men hate about God. We not only have to come His way, but we have to worship His way or we have not come to Him. Another thing rebellious men hate.

    Unless we humble ourselves and come to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ no man will be saved.

    Contrary to what some claim we do not get saved by asking Jesus into our hearts, praying a so called prayer of faith or accepting Him as our personal Savior as the bible never teaches those things. Nor do we get saved by turning from sin as the bible does not say turn from our sin (repent of sin) to be saved. Yes any or all of those things may make us feel good, but they fall short of truth and can leave us believing in believing and still lost.

    The bible says it takes repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a big difference between turning from sin and repenting toward God. We can be ready to give up certain sins because of the consequences or they are just not an issue with us and still not want God to be Master over us in all things every moment of every day.

    Also if we could turn from our sin prior to salvation there would be no sanctification process. Turning from sin is works. We are saved UNTO good works not by them. (Eph. 2:8-10.) The turning from sin is the evidence of salvation, not the way to it. We must turn to God. A person may try and turn from sin and still not want God to be Master. The one thing we do not want is to truly turn to God.

    Salvation takes repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 20:21. The word repent, from the Greek word metanoia, means a change of mind or direction. It is not 50%, 75% or 99%. It is 100%. God is not interested in us almost repenting. It is like the command “about-face which is a 180 degree turn. When any person comes to the point in their life that they are broken over their sin to the point of being ready to get right with God no matter what it will cost them they are in a state/spirit of repentance toward God.

    We then take that heart that we have toward God and place it on the Lord Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved, and that becomes faith. At that point God's grace through Christ is applied to us and we are saved, born again, and will never turn back into the practice of sinning. It is a repentance/faith that is lived daily and never turned from as we are kept in that state by the Spirit. Acts 20:21, 1John 2:19 and 1John 3:9,10.

    Repentance of sin is the result of our salvation (new birth), and will be part of the sanctification process in our new life with Christ Eph. 2:10. While we may sin from time to time after being saved no one continues in the practice of sinning or returns to it after salvation 1John 3:9,10

    Hear the words of Jesus O rebellious man. He is waiting for you to repent and put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your choice will determine your place in eternity. Remember it is all or nothing.

    Revelation 3:19-20 (KJV)
    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    Revelation 22:17 (KJV)
    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
     
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  2. Iconoclast

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    A Nice topic...a comfort to the people of God;
    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/pillars.boyce.decrees.html

     
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  3. SovereignGrace

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    Yes. It is a very comforting fact to know that God And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.[Romans 8:28]

    Correct.

    CHS nailed it.


    Good so far.

    Good so far.

    And the car just ran off the road and crashed and burned. To turn to God(repentance is to turn from sin and self unto Him) is to turn from yourself and your sins. This saying ppl do not have to repent of their sins is rubbish.

    What sins do we stay with? If we don't repent of our sins, then what do we repent of? When one turns to God, they turn to Him and His holiness, His righteousness, of which the sinner has none of either. We turn to God and turn from self, which is biblical repentance.

    We do not turn from our sins...He turns us from them. We loved them too much in our fallen state to turn from them.

    No disagreement with the verses you posted, just your application of them. The Godly sorrow[2 Corinthians 7:10] brings us to repentance. The Godly sorrow[placed there by God], causes us to turn to Him...and when we turn to Him, we turn from our sins.

    That heart we have towards God and place it on Jesus Christ has been supernaturally changed by God. He gives us a new heart. See Ezekiel 11:19 & Ezekiel 36:26

    The new birth[regeneration] leads to salvation. See John 3:3, John 3:5, John 3:8.

    Let him who hath ear hear.

    Wonderful verses.
     
  4. SovereignGrace

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    I have a blog(though I haven't written there in about a year :( ), but I wrote a post that concerns this very topic...

    Is repentance from sin necessary for salvation?

    I am quite shocked that I have to word the blog post title question the way I did. I just don't know how you can truly have a grammatically correct sentence the way I worded it, but alas.....

    Now, is repentance from sin necessary for salvation? Let's see what God's word has to say about it. First off, I want to go to Acts 17:30 where the beloved physician Luke wrote, "the times, indeed, therefore, of the ignorance God having overlooked, doth now command all men everywhere to reform." As you can read for yourselves, God has commanded all men everywhere to repent. Yet, so many refuse to do so, choosing to live in the mire of sin like a hog lives in its. Repentance is more than a change of mind, it's a change of the heart, a Godly sorrow that has been set up in their lives, that leads them to repentance(2 Cor. 7:10). Now, let's look at some other verses that addresses that repentance is necessary for true God-given salvation.
    John the Baptist told the Jews this, "And in those days cometh John the Baptist, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea,and saying, `Reform, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens,' for this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, `A voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, straight make ye His paths.' And this John had his clothing of camel's hair, and a girdle of skin round his loins, and his nourishment was locusts and honey of the field.Then were going forth unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about the Jordan, and they were baptized in the Jordan by him, confessing their sins. And having seen many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming about his baptism, he said to them, `Brood of vipers! who did shew you to flee from the coming wrath? bear, therefore, fruits worthy of the reformation, and do not think to say in yourselves, A father we have -- Abraham, for I say to you, that God is able out of these stones to raise children to Abraham, and now also, the axe unto the root of the trees is laid, every tree therefore not bearing good fruit is hewn down, and to fire is cast." (Matthew 3:1-10 YLT)
    People want to say that repentance from sins was only spoken of by Jesus to the Jews. That's true, but why was it this way? Here's why: `I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,' this was what Jesus said in Matthew 15:24. He first went to His chosen people, and He also told His desciples to "the way of the nations go not away, and into a city of the Samaritans go not in, and be going rather unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.`And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh; infirm ones be healing, lepers be cleansing, dead be raising, demons be casting out -- freely ye did receive, freely give." (Matthew 10:5-8 YLT) His targeted audience, His earthly ministry was focused upon the Jews. That was who He spoke to most of the time. There was the Syrophoenician woman whose daughter He healed, and the woman at the well in Samaria, but those are only two instances that I can think of off the top of my head, where He had dealings with Gentiles. So to say that the Christ commanded the Jews to repent of their sins, and we don't have to, is horrible exegesis, in my opinion.
    Then in Romans 2, Apostle Paul touched upon repentance being necessary, and also the source from which it came; "or the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, dost thou despise? -- not knowing that the goodness of God doth lead thee to reformation! (Romans 2:4 YLT) It is the goodness of God that leads a sinner to reformation/repentance. It is God that sets up a Godly sorrow that leads a sinner to repentance. (2 Cor. 7:10). Then John the Baptist told the Jews this as well, "make, therefore, fruits worthy of the reformation, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have a father -- Abraham; for I say to you, that God is able out of these stones to raise children to Abraham; (Luke 3:8 YLT) God has to break up that stony heart first. In Matthew 13, Jesus told the parable of the seed sower, and the condition of the four grounds represented there. The only one that the seed took root and brought forth fruits was that which was sown in the good ground. Why did it(seed) not bring forth fruit in the other three grounds? In the wayside ground, Satan snatched it away before it could get planted. In the stony ground, it sprung up, but withered away before any fruits were produced. The thorny ground choked the seed out as the plant sprouted out, so did the thorns, and choked it out. So why did the seed not prosper? It was a good seed, but in three grounds it failed to produce fruit. Again, why? It all stems from the heart. The heart is desperately wicked and who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.(Matt. 12:45 & Luke 6:45) The heart of a sinner is as hard as stone and they have to be given a new heart. (Eze. 11:19 & Eze. 36:26) That is why it's imperitive that regeneration has to be prior to conversion. God gives a sinner a new heart to feel with, new eyes to see with, new ears to hear "what says the Lord". In regeneration is justification, the giving of saving faith. Faith and repentance coincide and you can not have one with out the other. As the Hebrews writer said, "looking to the author and perfecter of faith -- Jesus, who, over-against the joy set before him -- did endure a cross, shame having despised, on the right hand also of the throne of God did sit down;" (Hebrews 12:2) Then in Acts 16:14 it states that God had opened Lydia's heart. So, as I have shown you, dear reader, the heart has to be changed. It can only be changed by God Almighty Himself.
    All of this has to happen to have a true conversion of the soul. There has to be repentance from sin in order to be saved...converted. I will close with this passage Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica:
    "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thess....all 10 vss YLT)
    Look closely at what I put in italics. He said "and how ye turned to God from idols". To turn from idols and turn to God is repenting of your sins, whilst turning to God. You can not turn to God without turning away from your sins. You have to deny yourself, and seek after Him with all your heart. Then in Luke 13, Jesus stated this TWICE; "No -- I say to you, but, if ye may not reform, all ye even so shall perish." (Luke 13:3,5 YLT)
    If there be a sinner who reads this, please let me tell you that repenting of your sins is an absolute necessity in order to be saved/converted. God saves you from your sins, and not in them. "No -- I say to you, but, if ye may not reform, all ye even shall perish."
     
  5. Darrell C

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    The point I see the statement above making is to combat the notion that one can repent of sins and be saved apart from turning to God. Note what they say here...


    In view is the works-based mentality, that one can turn from sin, even repent of it ("...because of consequences"), but not have turned to Christ in faith, which is the true evidence of Biblical repentance in a salvific context.

    You say...



    ...but I would suggest to you that regeneration is salvation. One cannot be saved except they be born again.

    The means of repentance can be, I believe, seen here...



    John 16:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;



    I quote this in part to highlight the conviction of sin, and that it is toward those who are clearly shown to be unbelievers. Until the natural man is awakened to his condition, he has no need to repent. But we see in natural men often worldly repentance, which is what I think the statement has in mind.



    This is a true statement, seen taught here...


    Hebrews 6:1-3

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

    3 And this will we do, if God permit.




    That is the contrast the statement above makes, and it is correct. General faith in God is not only insufficient but commanded not to be re-established (for this is what Israel had in the First Principles of the Oracles of God), and I would go so far to say that general faith in Messiah is not enough either, as testified by the state of blindness Israel is currently under, though we could likely find many among her who still await the coming of the Prophesied Messiah.

    No, the Writer demands that one must go on unto perfection, or, completion, in regards to the Doctrine of Christ. This does not mean that what was foundational is abandoned, but rather understood in the context revealed by Inspired Scripture. So in view is what is pointed out in the statement, that repentance is not simply a matter of general sorrow over sin, but is seen in the acknowledging of sin for what it is, and how that relates to God and Christ.

    I agree with you completely, repentance is demanded. However, we see that even repentance is not something attainable apart from the intervention of Sovereign God.


    God bless.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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  7. Yeshua1

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    Think that we must see that there is a difference between repentance from death unto life again, and for repentence done after salvation has happened...

    God cannot demand a sinner to repent of all known sins before getting saved, as many that we once did we were not even aware of being sin, as we just saw them as being "natural and things to do"...

    So, if the Lord really requires us to repent of every sin, and to stop doing them, as some seem to advocate today, that would mean that we have a definite part on our salvation!

    Think the Bible instaed calls sinners to repent and turn away from trying to save ourselves by our own works and deeds, and fully trust in Jesus alone to save us in and from our sins...
    once we have been saved in him, THEN God requirements to confess our sin and to forsake them in His strenght remains true unto us...

    Think that sometimes, there seems to be an overreation to "cheap grace/profession of faith alone", and that some tend to go into almost works and grace to save us!




    faith alone", and that some tend to go into almost works and grace to save us!
    And faith in Jesus and repenting our our own efforts to save us as BOTH gifts from the Holy spirit unto lost sinners, such as you and I once were!
     
  8. Darrell C

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    Agreed, which is why I referred to repentance in a salvific context, as that is what I see as in view in the article.


    Not only that, but it denies how Scripture views the newly converted, which is as babes. We expect infants to be ignorant and incapable of helping themselves, but, sometimes we forget that as new converts we too are not immediately infilled with all understanding. If that were the case, then no directive to study to show ourselves approved unto God would be necessary. There would be no mandate to disciple.

    I think most of us would admit that prior to salvation we felt like the "good guy" in our own personal little "movies," lol. But, as we began to better understand the righteousness and holiness of God...we became more acutely aware of just how far from the mark we fall, and I know for me, that has never stopped. At one point I used to think "I'll sure be glad when I am a more experienced, more knowledgeable, and wiser believer," because I recognized my shortcomings before Holy God, and had the idea one day I would not have as much guilt over sin. I no longer look forward to that day when I am "holy" in practical terms, because the more I understand the vile nature of sin and it's impact in my life, the better I understand the need for redemption of my body. The better I understand the Holiness of God, the better I can place myself into a proper context in relation to Him. The problem I had, in thinking that, is that I was still overlooking the great gulf between my own (practical) righteousness, and that of God. That gulf will never be closed. I would have to become God for that to happen.


    We have to be careful on this issue. It is true that God shows us our sin and expects us to put it away. But, I believe firmly that above all others God understands us in our current understanding and ability, and just like we do not expect the infant to change himself, neither does God overlook our limitations at what ever point in our walk with Him we are at. And it is He that supplies us with what we need, and gives according to our ability. We don't expect the infant to run down to wal-mart and pick up infamil, lol, neither does God make us supply that which is needful for our growth. Nor does God give provision we are not able to benefit from, just as we do not give infants steak.

    So the putting away of sin in our lives is a gradual process directly related to our understanding of what is actually sin in our lives. We must first recognize it before we can repent of it, and I think Paul points out the same source of cleansing Christ does:


    Ephesians 5:25-27

    King James Version (KJV)


    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.




    I agree (with the first part), and it is not until the magnitude of what Christ has accomplished, and is accomplishing in our lives when we are saved...that we can truly enjoy His Rest.

    The second part, I think "in His strength" is key, because He is the One orchestrating our "education," so to speak.


    Dr. Michael Brown is a good example of this. And that is the danger on any topic, going to extremes to deny another doctrinal position. The best example is vilifying Mary in order to affirm she has nothing to do with salvation to some.


    And it always amazes me that something as simple as salvation being a gift of God, not of works, by His mercy, by His grace through faith...

    ...is misunderstood.

    I think the positions that trespass into what we might view as a works-based mentality can, in many cases, have good intentions and think they represent the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is sometimes that going to an extreme because there does lie the danger of the opposite extreme, for which those who believe in God's Sovereignty and Eternal Security are accused of having an extreme view which is considered a "license for sin." It's an argument that is not true for those who understand both salvation and the resulting sanctification which is progressive, not to be confused with positional sanctification which deals with our standing before God. Some do have a license to sin mentality, which evidences either a grossly immature or disobedient believer, or someone who has involved himself in a religious manner only.

    All we can do is set ourselves to understand it good enough to deal with what is usually poor exegesis and indoctrination, which is, when mixed with pride, perhaps the toughest barrier to break through in an attempt to disciple.


    God bless.

     
  9. Van

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    Lets define God's sovereignty two ways:
    1) God predestines whatsoever comes to pass (WCF) or
    2) God causes or allows whatsoever comes to pass.

    If we are rational, we would define it as #2.

    Now does God cause or allow salvation? He causes it, God and God alone decides whether to credit our worthless faith as righteousness or not, and therefore transfer us into Christ or not.

    Faith and Repentance are sorta like two sides of a coin. To put our faith in Christ alone, means we no longer are trusting in anything but Christ. If we are devoted to Christ, if we love Him with all our heart, we will not treasure anything the world has to offer. As my Pastor used to say, Christ does not want to be your highest priority, He wants to be your only priority. :)
     
  10. HankD

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    How desperately we need this Judith.

    As a sometimes dispensationalist (don't ask), though it goes against dispensational philosophy, I have been wondering lately if the sun has set upon the day of grace.

    Or so it seems since the tares have taken over and the days of Noah and Lot are with us again.

    Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

    HankD
     
  11. Darrell C

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    It's not so bad, Hank, believers have always ministered within a world that was cursed, been the minority, and yet Word of God still accomplishes that which it is sent forth to accomplish.


    God bless.
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    Faith is not though the basis of what saves us, as that is the conduit God ordianed to what actually is the grounds and means of our salvation, the Cross of christ!

    For if God saw merit in our faith, then would that not be adding to the Cross?
     
  13. HankD

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    Thanks Darrell,

    HankD
     
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  14. Van

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    "If God?" Romans 4:4-5/24. God does credit our worthless faith as righteousness.

    Now does God cause or allow salvation? He causes it, God and God alone decides whether to credit our worthless faith as righteousness or not, and therefore transfer us into Christ or not. Behold the sovereignty of God.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    God actually does more than that for us, as he also gives to us the faith abd repetence necessary for us to actually be found able to get credited for faith in Christ!
     
  16. Darrell C

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    I think what Yeshua1 might have in mind is simply that salvation is a result of Christ's Sacrifice, rather than a concept of salvation is imparted because we manage to place faith in Christ, which is impossible apart from God's intervention as you say above.

    The Old Testament Saint had faith as well, but that doesn't mean that their being justified means they received the benefit of Atonement for Sin prior to Christ's Cross.




    Hebrews 9:12-15

    King James Version (KJV)


    12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

    13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

    14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.



    We see several Old Testament Saints described as righteous, but I think we can distinguish between a righteousness imputed to the Old Testament Saint and the imputed righteousness of Christ. Would you agree?


    God bless.
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    You have me correct here, as was just stating that the foundation of salvation is the Cross of Christ and not my faith in Him, for if faith was the foundational aspect of this, then could boast that I decided to turn to God, look at what I have now chosen to do!

    That is why I also see faith as being the gift of God towards those whom he intends to save, as even their faith in Jesus cannot be taken credit for by that person!
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    I am sorry Y1, but your claims are without foundation in scripture. God requires that we believe in Jesus. No verse or passage says or suggests God instills our faith via irresistible grace.

    But you were kind (perhaps unintentionally) to say God does more than ransom, purchase, buy and set under the New Covenant, sinful humanity when Christ became the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world.

    Next I see you are back to denying scripture. Abraham's faith, his faith was counted to him as righteousness. It says his faith, his faith, stop denying it was his faith, his faith.
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    You do not have the book of Ephesians in your Bible then?
     
  20. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    And is his faith bringing the righteousness of Christ to bear for him in regards to eternal redemption? Meaning, do we parallel our faith and the righteousness declared with the righteousness of Christ which is imputed? Or equate them? Did not Christ have to die...despite the fact that Abraham believed God and it was credited as righteousness?


    God bless.
     

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