God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

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lamesa
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God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#1 Post by lamesa » 2 weeks ago

Yes! The apostle Paul teaches BOTH:
  • 1) God's Election:
"Even BEFORE he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes" (Ephesians 1:4-5).

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).

"Though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Romans 9:11–13).

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:16).

“Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, ‘I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me’” (Romans 10:20).

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

“Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

There are many other New Testament Scriptures which refer to believers’ being chosen or elected to salvation: Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 8:33; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5–7, 28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1–2; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10.
  • 2) Human Responsibility:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18–20).

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13).

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone 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?” (Romans 6:16).

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:5-8).

And there are many, many more Scriptures which show we are RESPONSIBLE.
  • There you have it, the Bible says BOTH are true!
“But,” someone will say, “how can both be true?” I don’t know, but I believe whatever the Bible says is true—and therefore I believe it. Here is what John Calvin said:

"This subject, which in itself is attended by considerable difficulty, is rendered very perplexed and hence perilous by human curiosity. The best rule is, not only in learning to follow wherever God leads, but also when He makes an end of teaching, from ceasing to wishing to be wise."

“learning to follow wherever God leads”

There are some things in the mind of Almighty Everlasting Jehovah God that we are going to find HARD to understand. We must HUMBLE ourselves and simply BELIEVE. This is a vital lesson.

Jesus expects his followers to believe him, even when/if we do not understand him. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink.” (John 6:53-55). How did his disciples react?

“When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’” (John 6:60). And many of the disciples quit following Jesus! “But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this?’” (John 6:61). “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’” (John 6:66).

“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have BELIEVED, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68).

(Deuteronomy 29:29)

Like Peter, we must BELIEVE and “learn to follow wherever God leads.”

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coccus ilicis
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Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#2 Post by coccus ilicis » 2 weeks ago

lamesa wrote: 2 weeks ago Yes! The apostle Paul teaches BOTH:
  • 1) God's Election:
"Even BEFORE he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes" (Ephesians 1:4-5).

“For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).

"Though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Romans 9:11–13).

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:16).

“Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, ‘I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me’” (Romans 10:20).

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

“Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

There are many other New Testament Scriptures which refer to believers’ being chosen or elected to salvation: Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 8:33; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5–7, 28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1–2; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10.
  • 2) Human Responsibility:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18–20).

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13).

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone 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?” (Romans 6:16).

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:5-8).

And there are many, many more Scriptures which show we are RESPONSIBLE.
  • There you have it, the Bible says BOTH are true!
“But,” someone will say, “how can both be true?” I don’t know, but I believe whatever the Bible says is true—and therefore I believe it. Here is what John Calvin said:

"This subject, which in itself is attended by considerable difficulty, is rendered very perplexed and hence perilous by human curiosity. The best rule is, not only in learning to follow wherever God leads, but also when He makes an end of teaching, from ceasing to wishing to be wise."

“learning to follow wherever God leads”

There are some things in the mind of Almighty Everlasting Jehovah God that we are going to find HARD to understand. We must HUMBLE ourselves and simply BELIEVE. This is a vital lesson.

Jesus expects his followers to believe him, even when/if we do not understand him. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink.” (John 6:53-55). How did his disciples react?

“When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’” (John 6:60). And many of the disciples quit following Jesus! “But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this?’” (John 6:61). “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’” (John 6:66).

“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have BELIEVED, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68).

(Deuteronomy 29:29)

Like Peter, we must BELIEVE and “learn to follow wherever God leads.”
Hello Iamesa

You are on the right track when you say two factors are at play, both selection and human responsibility.

The problem in understanding the NT lies with the translation of Kione Greek. Biblical Greek has the same tenses as English, i.e. present, past, future, perfect, imperfect etc. But in koine Greek, there is yet another verb for which there is no English equivalent, the aorist, which is not really a tense but is an overview verb. For instance, if I say, 'He sings,' It doesn't tell you when he sings if he is singing now, if he is going to sing in the future or if he sings for a living. Used in this way 'sing' becomes an overview verb. The problem for us is that the modern language translations have not observed this difference, e.g. Rom 8:29

Image
(underline, strikethrough, added text & arrows mine)

This snip is from the biblehub site, here Rom 8:29. If you go to this link and hover your cursor over the light-blue letters under each word you will be shown the parsing. What we have to take on board is that the wording of scripture has been altered to align it with the prevailing religious narrative at any given time. It started circa 450 BC when the Sopherim removed God's name and made other changes, see post 7 and post 8, and post 63 and post 64 here. Getting used to using the available online bible study tools takes a bit of practice, but their provision serves God's purpose and has his blessing.

And so Paul wrote: For those whom he foreknows, he foreordains to be patterned after the image of his Son that he might be firstborn among many brothers, (Rom 8:29). This then aligns with what Paul said earlier, at Rom 8:23 ...Not only that, but we who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, [the Pentecostal spirit, cf.2Cor 1:22; 1Cor 13:8,9-12], Yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves, while we are waiting for the adoption as sons for release from our bodies by ransom. If you apply this to all the NT verses you cite or quote, you will find that they all support what Paul wrote to the Romans.

And to grasp the meaning of what Moses said at De 29:29, one needs to read what Jehovah said from De 29:14, where he referred to those who remained loyal to him at the time when they were about to enter Canaan. And considering our day, he had said: And a prophet from your own midst, from your brothers, like me, your God will raise up for you – to him, you should listen. ... Jehovah said: A prophet I shall raise up for them from the midst of their brothers, like you, [Moses] and I shall put my words in his mouth and he will certainly speak to them all the words I command him. And it must occur that the man who will not listen to my words that he will speak in my name, I myself will acquire an accounting of him, (De 18:17-19; cf. Jhn 12:48 49,50 & Jhn 14:16, 25,26)

So yes, I agree with you that both selection and human responsibility are necessary. But the selection is conditional and has not been finalized, see the letters the spirit writes to the seven congregations (Rev 2:1 to Rev 3:22). And it is the remaining ones of the woman seed that have the work of bearing witness to Jesus, (Rev 12:17). And it is not until after the two witnesses are killed and then raised that they are called up to heaven, (Rev 11:11,12,15). And that is why it says concerning the holy ones Happy are those keeping in expectation and who arrive at 1335 days, (Dan 12:12). The refining and cleansing work is still in progress, (Dan 12:10). And those at the base of the altar, Rev 6:11 are not given white robes until just prior to the number of 144,000 being complete, see post 7, here.
LRW~

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 1 month ago

Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#3 Post by lamesa » 2 weeks ago

Hello coccus ilicis,

Thank you for your contribution regarding the tenses of the Greek verbs. All of this shows that Jehovah (God’s name expresses the pure and true BEING: I am, absolute being, I ever was, I ever will be); He is the Ever-Present One, the Infinite, the Eternal God, and for Him, time is always the ever-present. But we are finite and we live in space and time, so we cannot comprehend the infinity of God and all of this simply blows our mind.

While the question of whether God’s election is “conditional” or “unconditional” has been argued for centuries, the Roman Catholic church teaches “conditional” election; whereas the Reformers (15th century: Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc.) broke with Rome and taught “unconditional election.” Why?
Why did the Reformers teach “Unconditional Election”? What do the Scriptures say?

In the context of the term, ‘unconditional election,’ it is the sovereign act of God where, from before the foundation of the world, He chose those whom he would save (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13). God’s election to save is not conditioned upon any foreseen faith (Rom. 9:16) or any foreseen good works of any individual (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 1:9). This election is based completely on God’s sovereign choice according to the “counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11). God chose the elect because he decided to bestow his love upon them (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4), based solely on his sovereign grace (Gal. 1:15), and for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).

  • Partiality

Some object to the idea that God unconditionally chooses people for salvation. They say this means God is showing partiality where he favors one person over another and the Bible says God does not show partiality (Rom. 2:11; Acts 10:34).

But this is not the proper understanding of the biblical definition of partiality. For that, we turn to the Scriptures: What is the Bible’s definition of “partiality”?

James 2:1–4: “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there or sit down by my footstool, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?”

The partiality that God condemns is the partiality of looking to an individual in finding some quality in or about that person and then showing favoritism to the person based on that quality. That is what God condemns.

Romans 9:11-18: “though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she [Rebekah] was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.”

  • Foreknowledge of God

Some respond to God’s unconditional election with the idea that God has foreknowledge, that he knows the future. He then elects people based on what he sees they will do.

Unconditional election means that God, out of the sovereignty of his own will, God chooses people for salvation, not based on any quality in themselves and not based on anything foreseen in regard to that individual.

This is wrong for several reasons.

1) The idea of foreknowledge implies that God is learning by looking into the future to learn what a person might do. But God does NOT LEARN by looking into the future. He is OMNISCIENT and knows everything already. As noted above, He is the Great I AM, and He lives outside of our space and time.

2) The apostle Paul SPECIFICALLY ARGUES AGAINST that idea: “For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were NOT YET BORN and HAD NOT DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS but because of Him who calls” (Romans 9:9–11).

3) Foreknowledge is often misunderstood by many Christians. As I’ve already mentioned many Christians think that God’s foreknowledge means he looks into the future and bases his decisions on what he foresees will happen. But there is a sense in which the word “foreknow“ deals only with believers and nonbelievers in a saving way. Let me explain.
  • The word for “know" is “ginosko”.
  • The word for "foreknow" is “proginosko”.
Romans 8:29: “For those whom He foreknew [proginosko], He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.”

1 Peter 1:20: “For He [Christ] was foreknown [proginosko] before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”
The word implies a relationship, not just knowing something in the future.

God only “knows” [ginosko], believers (John 10:27-28). He does NOT “know” unbelievers (Mat. 7:22-23; Gal. 4:8-9).

Also, notice, in Romans 8:29–30 that those who are foreknown are also the ones predestined. They are in the same group: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined” (Rom. 8:29-30).

In the context of Reformed Theology and Unconditional Election, election is the teaching that God, before the creation of the world, elected some people to be saved and not others. His election was not based on any foreseen decision or quality in these people. Instead, it was based solely on the sovereign will of God. Election is based on what is in God, not what is in man. God chose us for salvation because he decided to bestow his love and grace upon us, not because we are worthy of being saved (Eph. 2:8).

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 1 month ago

Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#4 Post by lamesa » 2 weeks ago

CORRECTION FOR TYPOS: We (lamesa is a married couple, both xjws together) don't have much free time and so this message was hurried and I'm sorry for the typos. Here is the revised, corrected version.

Hello coccus ilicis,

Thank you for your contribution regarding the tenses of the Greek verbs. All of this shows that Jehovah (God’s name expresses the pure and true BEING: I am, absolute being, I ever was, I ever will be); He is the Ever-Present One, the Infinite, the Eternal God, and for Him, time is always the ever-present. But we are finite and we live in space and time, so we cannot comprehend the infinity of God and all of this simply blows our mind.

While the question of whether God’s election is “conditional” or “unconditional” has been argued for centuries, the Roman Catholic church teaches “conditional” election; whereas the Reformers (15th century: Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc.) broke with Rome and taught “unconditional election.” Why?
Why did the Reformers teach “Unconditional Election”? What do the Scriptures say?

In the context of the term, ‘unconditional election,’ it is the sovereign act of God where, from before the foundation of the world, He chose those whom he would save (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13). God’s election to save is not conditioned upon any foreseen faith (Rom. 9:16) or any foreseen good works of any individual (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 1:9). This election is based completely on God’s sovereign choice according to the “counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11). God chose the elect because he decided to bestow his love upon them (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4), based solely on his sovereign grace (Gal. 1:15), and for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).

  • Partiality ?

Some object to the idea that God unconditionally chooses people for salvation. They say this means God is showing partiality where he favors one person over another and the Bible says God does not show partiality (Rom. 2:11; Acts 10:34).

But this is not the proper understanding of the biblical definition of partiality. For that, we turn to the Scriptures: What is the Bible’s definition of “partiality”?

James 2:1–4: “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there or sit down by my footstool, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?”

The partiality that God condemns is the partiality of looking to an individual in finding some quality in or about that person and then showing favoritism to the person based on that quality. That is what God condemns.

Here is what the apostle Paul teaches, the final authority, because this is the inspired Word of God:

Romans 9:11-18: “though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she [Rebekah] was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.”

Unconditional election means that God, out of the sovereignty of his own will, God chooses people for salvation, not based on any quality in themselves and not based on anything foreseen in regard to that individual.

  • Foreknowledge of God ?

Some respond to God’s unconditional election with the idea that God has foreknowledge, that he knows the future. He then elects people based on what he sees they will do.

This is wrong for several reasons.

1) The apostle Paul SPECIFICALLY ARGUES AGAINST that idea: “For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were NOT YET BORN and HAD NOT DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS but because of Him who calls” (Romans 9:9–11).

1) The idea of foreknowledge implies that God is learning by looking into the future to learn what a person might do. But God does NOT LEARN by looking into the future. He is OMNISCIENT and knows everything already. As noted above, He is the Great I AM, and He lives outside of our space and time.

3) Foreknowledge is often misunderstood by many Christians. As I’ve already mentioned many Christians think that God’s foreknowledge means he looks into the future and bases his decisions on what he foresees will happen. But there is a sense in which the word “foreknow“ is for believers -- in a saving way. Let me explain.
  • The word for “know" is “ginosko”.
  • The word for "foreknow" is “proginosko”.
  • ALL FOREKNOWN in Romans 8:29 are saved
Romans 8:29: “For those whom He foreknew [proginosko], He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.”

1 Peter 1:20: “For He [Christ] was foreknown [proginosko] before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”
The word implies a relationship, not just knowing something in the future.

God only “knows” [ginosko] (John 10:27-28) and foreknows [proginosko] believers (1 Peter 1:20). He does NOT “know” unbelievers (Mat. 7:22-23; Gal. 4:8-9).

Notice, in Romans 8:29–30 that those who are "foreknown" are ALSO the ones predestined. They are in the SAME: “For those whom He foreknew, He ALSO predestined” (Rom. 8:29-30).

In the context of Reformed Theology and Unconditional Election, election is the teaching that God, before the creation of the world, elected some people to be saved and not others. His election was not based on any foreseen decision or quality in these people. Instead, it was based solely on the sovereign will of God. Election is based on what is in God, not what is in man. God chose us for salvation because he decided to bestow his love and grace upon us, not because we are worthy of being saved (Eph. 2:8).

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 1 month ago

Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#5 Post by lamesa » 2 weeks ago

  • What does SALVATION mean?
Did you know that we got the word SALVATION from Latin? John Wycliff gave it to us, because when Wycliff translated the very first English Bible, he did so from the Latin Vulgate translation.

Many English words (including “beautiful”) are due to Wycliff and the Latin influence of the Vulgate.

Once again, I wish to stress that “all is of God” (Romans 11:36), therefore salvation is “of God,” it is the work of God. It’s not a co-op work shared between God and a non-god. No. Salvation is of God. (Rom. 1:16; Phil. 1:28; 2 Cor. 6:2; Eph. 2:8; John 4;10; Rom. 9:16; 1 Pet. 1:5; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24; Eph 2:5; Rom 3:24)
It is not of man. (Eph. 2:8)
  • What is Biblical SALVATION?
The Greek word “soteria” speaks of deliverance, preservation from danger, wholeness, and soundness. There are many facets of salvation. Not all aspects of salvation happen all at once.

As noted above, the Greek has a verb tense that we do not have in English, it’s called the aroist tense, it’s a TIMELESS tense, not quite present tense, but ‘present’ is the best we can do. I’ll explain the best I can.

When is a sinner “saved”? at the moment he believes, or was he saved before God gave him the gift of faith?


Salvation is God’s great gift (Eph. 2:8).

As I understand it, we are saved by the work of God in the cross of Christ, “BY the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:11). We are saved (chosen) BEFORE we were born (Rom. 8:30; Rom. 9:11).

We ARE saved when God gives us the faith to believe: saving faith is the “free gift” of God (Rom. 4:16). We are “BEING saved” (2 Cor. 2:15) when our understanding grows and improves to match with what is true. We WILL BE saved when Christ returns and our body is glorified (1 John 3:2).
Salvation is planned, and carried out, stage by stage, and finalized.
  • Salvation is the work of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) whereby the sinner who becomes a committed believer in Jesus Christ, is redeemed from the curse of the law (justification), and is increasingly set free from the dominion of sin (sanctification), and will finally be perfected in the image of Jesus Christ (glorification). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
  • Justification is a gift (it refers to a backward look). Isaiah 53:5-6 says, “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him . . . the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • Sanctification is a process (refers to an inward look). Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
  • Glorification is a heavenly experience (it refers to a forward look). Revelation 3:21 says, “To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Glorification includes the aspect of reigning with Christ. We do not know all the details, but the apostle Paul tells about the reign of Christ in general terms at 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
Salvation comes to individual persons “by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is God’s hand reaching down. Faith is man’s hand reaching up. If you have never reached up to accept God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, remember:

1) There must be a recognition of the fact of sin (Romans 3:23). Salvation is only for sinners, and all of us fall into that category.
2) There must be an acknowledgment that God has provided a way out (John 3:16). Jesus accomplished His mission when He died on the cross.
3) There must be an actual embracing of the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 1:12). The promise of salvation is to those who “receive him.” To those who receive Him, Jesus gives the right to be called “sons of God.” If you are not a child of God by simple faith in the work Jesus did for us on the cross, why not step out on His side today?

Grace to you.

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 1 month ago

Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#6 Post by lamesa » 2 weeks ago

lamesa wrote: 2 weeks ago Grace is God’s hand reaching down. Faith is man’s hand reaching up.
I can already hear the objection to this, "But you said it is ALL of God, and now you would have me believe that I must do a work: "Faith is man’s hand reaching up"?

Yes and No. When Jesus told the man with the withered ham to stretch out his hand (Matthew 12:13), HOW was the man able to do it? It was a miracle! By the act of Jesus, the man's hand was healed. But also, the man had to OBEY Jesus. All aspects of salvation are BY the Grace of God!

  • If you have not already done so, stretch out your withered hand and accept God's free Grace (Eph. 2:8).
"For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16, 17).
  • BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH (Eph. 2:8)

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 1 month ago

Re: God's Election and Human Responsibility—Are BOTH True?

#7 Post by lamesa » 1 week ago

On a personal note, to anyone who can relate to what I say. The most dangerous part of being a JW is we are no better than Pharisees, like the older brother in our Lord's parable of the prodigal son. The result of serving our Father for merits and by works is that our hearts grow cold, cynical and hard, like the prodigal's older brother. This sermon will speak to your heart, if you hear what I'm trying to say:

http://www.tapesfromscotland.org/Audio6/6866.mp3

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