Are believing and repenting acts we do for salvation?

In discussing the idea of whether baptism is a requirement to be saved, someone recently stated that believing, repenting, and baptism are all things one does, yet are not works  – that baptism is a work of God. I am going to address these issues here.

First let me say that I agree with the commentor that no where do we read in the Bible that to be saved one must pray a prayer or to receive Jesus into our hearts, or make a decision for Christ. Those are simply NOT biblical ideas. But that’s about where our agreement ends.

No, belief is not a work. This comes from God – it is NOT something we do, it is something given to us. Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God

God gifts us with faith. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

No, repenting is not a work. This is not something we DO, it is something God causes in us.  GOD causes us to change our minds regarding whether God exists and whether Jesus is the Son of God sent to pay the price of our sins. Repentance comes from God, not because you decided to repent: Acts 11:18

When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

If repentance came from us, Esau would have been able to repent, but he couldn’t, showing it comes from God: Hebrews 12:15-17

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

God does not save us because we do certain righteous acts, but because of His mercy. We are saved through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit – this is one act that does not involve water. Titus 3:5

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

If water baptism was so important, then surely every instance where it talks about what is necessary to be saved would have spoken of the supposed need to be baptized.  But there are examples in scripture which talk about being saved without mentioning a NEED to be baptized. One example is in Acts 16:29-32

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Yes, we see in Acts 16:33 that the jailer and his household were baptized. But the apostle Paul and Silas were clear, people must believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved.

There are examples of people being baptized with the Holy Spirit before being baptized with water.
Acts 10:47

“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

There are examples of people being baptized with water into the name of the Lord Jesus (which is NOT John’s baptism) before being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:15-17

“15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

Paul said he was glad he didnt baptize many people – if baptism was important, he would have baptized many. He was not sent to baptize. Had it been important, Paul would have been sent to baptize. 1 Cor 1:17

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. “

What Paul DID say is that people should repent, turn to God and prove their repentance.  Paul never said people needed to be baptized to be saved. Acts 26:20

“First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. “

What is needed is that our minds change (concerning God and Christ) and we turn to God – that turning to God will engender change, will cause us to do which give evidence that our salvation is real – that we have a saving faith instead of a saying faith. That change of mind, our belief, comes from God, not us. And it will cause us to show the faith God gifts us with.

If we don’t have evidence of our faith, then our faith is dead and worthless. James 2:14-17

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Confessing Christ as sent from God is an expression of faith. Baptism is a form of confessing Christ, just as is calling on Him. The three are expressions of the faith that saves us.

Additionally, our faith must persevere for it to be real faith. Hebrews 10:36

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised

Acts 10:44-11:18 show explicitly how God baptizes the believer with the Holy Spirit without the use of water.  In particular, Acts 10:43-48 reads,

“’All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.  Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.  Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.”

In this act of God baptizing with the Holy Spirit, God set the course for how baptism would occur for most believers.  Jesus Himself told Nicodemus that one must be born again, of Spirit, to enter the Kingdom of God, as seen in John 3:3-8. We know from Titus 3:4-7 that God saved us because of His mercy through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, thus what occurred in Acts 10-11 were not isolated events.  Only after the new believer was baptized with the Holy Spirit did they publicly announce their discipleship of Christ through baptism.  From these verses, we see the method of baptism for gentiles has four steps.  New believers must 1) believe in Christ; 2) receive forgiveness of sins through Christ’s name; 3) be baptized with the Holy Spirit; 4) be baptized with water in the name of Jesus Christ.

When does baptism of the Holy Spirit occur?  Acts 2:38 indicates it occurs when one believes the Gospel.  Certainly being born of the Spirit is an instantaneous event, as indicated by the idea that people must repent and be baptized so the Spirit can live within us (Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:5, James 4:5).  The ‘repent’ spoken of is the changing of one’s mind about the truth regarding Jesus and believing in Him (Acts 8:12, Romans 3:22). This is an act of God within man – Philippians 2:13

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

‘Eis’ (the word translated in Acts 2:38 for the word ‘for’) literally means ‘in’. Peter taught people need to repent and Be baptized in the name of Christ IN the forgiveness of sin. When we have faith, that is a repentance which brings forgiveness, at which time we are to be baptized, which is one of many ways of calling upon God. Thus, being baptized IN the forgiveness of sin is the same thing as being baptized because we have been forgiven our sin.

This matches what Paul said in Acts 2:22, 26:20, 16:31, Romans 10:13. The calling on God is the evidence of salvation – that we have more than an idea, but faith or trust. Jesus said we only need to believe (Jn 3:16) – that is the least common denominator. If we have faith then we are saved and will call upon God and love God and obey God and do good deeds. Otherwise, it depends upon us, and we know from Romans 10, that it totally depends upon God.

How much does a baby have to do with his birth? Nothing, except to be created by God. The same is true for the second birth! GOD works in you to repent and to believe and to have evidence of your faith! We are to be born of of water, which is the first birth, being born of flesh, and we are to be born of spirit, the second birth, being born of the Spirit. John 3:5-8

5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Note, that Peter recalled God had said John baptized with water, but believers would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 11:15-18

15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” 18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

It is clear that baptism of the Holy Spirit is required, and this comes from the faith they were given to repent (change their minds about Jesus being from God) and turn to God. This faith engenders deeds appropriate to repentance (Acts 26:20), which are evidence of our salvation. But water baptism, while obviously important, is not needed for salvation.

And no, believing and repenting are not acts we do for salvation, they are things granted us by God.

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32 Responses

  1. Why is believing and Repenting not what we do ourselves..Have we not Got free-will like Calvinist Say ?

    When God Granted Salvation to all the Gentiles. That would mean every Gentile. With free-will being involved every Gentile should be Able to Choose to believe and Repent Like the Jewish People Ezekiel 18.
    Esau was not trying to repent over what he had done. Esau why trying to get his father to Repent=”Change of Mind” Regarding Giving Esau the Birth Right.

    • Could be you are correct concerning which repentance Esau sought – I can see it read both ways.

      As for repentance in Eze 18, that is God saying those who repent and turn away from sin will not have sin as a stumbling block. Just because something is said to a crowd, this does not mean it applies to the whole crowd. I could know of a man in who is homeless and I see him in a crowd and yell out that there is free food for anyone who will have it – and the one will respond (because he’s ready to receive what is offered), another might respond at a later time, but the rest will never respond. The ones who did not respond were not prepared to respond before hand.

      No one can repent unless God grants it to them – yes, we have our part to play (this is the tension between free will and predestination), in that we have to what God says to do. But we cant unless God grants us repentance.

      In the same way, no one can believe unless God gives them faith. No one gets faith because they do something – they get faith because God chooses before time began to give it to them.

      I think free will isnt. We are not free to please God until we come to faith in Christ – its impossible to do so without faith (Heb 11:6).

  2. I understand with Predestination that God Knows from eternity those who by the right Choice of their free-will Choose to believe in Christ and choose to obey his Commandments. These are the Chosen Ones of God. It can not Just be a arbitrary Choice of God. We see in Duet 30:19 we ALL have a free-will to CHOOSE.
    Without our free-will to choose to believe and obey there would be no culpability for unbelief and disobedience.
    Ezekiel 18 shows we are not Guilty of the Sin that Another did like Adam. We are Guilty for our own Sin.
    With human belief we all have the ability to believe in whatever we choose to believe in. With Faith Greek ”Pistis” It is God that Persuades us to believe. Our human belief is involved regarding Faith as God births faith in us which leads to repentance. Then the Lord will have Mercy. Isaiah 55:7

    • I understand predestination to be God chose how things would go.
      Yes, we are each responsible for our own sins (Romans 6:23). God has kept a remnant, according to HIS choice, and the rest were blinded and made deaf (Romans 11:5-7).

      Yes, we have a responsibility, but its only after God has chosen us and has worked in us to desire and do things for His good pleasure that we are able to make the choice HE wants us to make (Philippians 2:13).

      Acts 4:27-28 tells us that Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Israel gathered against Jesus to do whatever GOD’s hand and purpose predestined to occur. This was decided by GOD, not by the men involved. Christ was handed over by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23).

      All the days of your life were ordained & written in God’s book (Psalm 139:16)
      God calls people by name before they are born (Isaiah 49:1-5)
      He knew you before you He formed you in the womb (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
      God foreknew His people (Romans 11:2)

      No one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him (John 6:44)
      Everyone who has heard and learned from God the Father will come to Christ (John 6:45)
      Only those God has specifically granted permission can come to Christ (John 6:65)
      All the Father gives to Christ will come to Him and never be driven away (John 6:37; 17:24)
      Some people’s names are not written in the book of Life (Revelation 13:8, 17:8)

      The work of God is that we believe in Christ (John 6:29).
      Jesus is the author of salvation (Hebrews 2:9-10).
      Jesus is the author & perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2). This tells us that if we dont have faith, its because we were not chosen and were not gifted with faith.

      HE knew us before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4). He chose us, not based on our choice of Him, or on anything we might do, but for His purpose and because of His mercy (John 15:16; Acts 1:24; Acts 10:41; Acts 9:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

      God has determined where and when people will live so they will choose Him (Acts 17:26). We are unable to repent, until GOD grants us repentance, which leads to life (Acts 5:31, Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25). His kindness leads us to repent (Romans 2:4).

      If our salvation was based upon our choice, then we would be responsible for it, not God. It would be based upon something we did, not upon God’s grace and mercy.

      I have written something on this before: http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/predestination/

      • With Duet 30:19 The LORD is saying to ALL men to CHOOSE life ! Does that mean the LORD really is saying i don’t mean ALL because i am a Puppet master that will only make some choose life and others Choose death ?
        Grace is for ALL men Titus 2:11. God knows from eternity those who will Cooperate with his Grace by the right choice of the free-will Choose to believe in and obey Christ.
        We are Co-workers with God with his Grace. 2 Cor 6:1.
        Mercy does not come BEFORE Repentance to cause a Person to Repent.
        Mercy Comes AFTER a Person decides himself to Repent Isa 55:7
        Why would the Ones who are not chosen be responsible for their Sins if they had no free-will ability to Choose ?
        God knew from eternity each man and the choices he would make in his life. This is how he has determined
        God knew from eternity the choice

        • I think you misunderstand what God is saying.

          Dt 28-30 were written to Jews who were rebellious. God told them to choose to obey the Law (believers today are not told to obey the Law). So not, this was not made to everyone.

          Yes, God knew the choice, because GOD enabled those he chose to make it.

          We know that NO ONE can come to Christ unless GOD draws him and enables him to do so.

          John 6:43

          “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

          John 6:65

          He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

          Titus 2:11 is not saying everyone will be saved, but that salvation has come and everyone whom God has chosen will be saved. Salvation is here, but its not efficacious for all – only for those whom God has chosen, prepared, called, ordained to be saved. NO one can cooperate unless GOD has enabled them to do so.

          Obviously, some are NOT called to be saved, or Christ would not be a stumbling block to them.
          1 Corinthians 1:23-24

          23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

          No where does scripture tell us God foreknew that people will accept His call and that is why He chose them.
          What it says is that GOD does what He wants/pleases. We can not put put man’s so-called free-will above God’s sovereignty. Free will is not mentioned in Scripture. Some say when we are told to choose, then that is saying we have free will. But let’s look at this idea.

          We have to realize that God does what ever please Him.
          Psalm 115:3

          But our God is in the heavens ; He does whatever He pleases.

          Psalm 135:6

          Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

          We have to realize that God has predestined some people to destruction.
          1 Peter 2:8

          and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

          John 17:12

          12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled
          God has made everything for its own purpose – even the wicked.

          Pro 16:4

          The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

          In fact, enemies of the cross of Christ are destined to destruction.
          Philippians 3:18-19

          18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

          We have to realize that God has plans for us. What God plans, God will cause to come to pass. No one can frustrate God’s plan (Isaiah 14:24-27; 19:12; 22:11; 23:9; 37:26; 46:10-11; Jeremiah 29:11; 49:20; 50:45).

          God says repeatedly that He will have mercy upon whom HE will have mercy (Exodus 33:19). Its not because they would do the right thing. Its because of God’s will.

          God has predestined things according to HIS purpose, and he works out all things according to HIS will.
          Ephesians 1:11

          also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

          It is GOD who gives us the desire and act as HE desires. We can not choose God without HIM giving the ability and desire.
          Philippians 2:13

          for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

          1 Corinthians 2:7

          but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory

          But the question is why does God predestine us? God knows us before we are born and planned for us before we were born.
          Jeremiah 1:5

          Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.

          Romans 8:29

          For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

          Romans 11:2

          God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

          Scripture does not tell us that God foreknew that we would select Him and so He chose us. It tell us that God knew us.

          Indeed – God wrote all the days of our lives BEFORE they happened, but no where does it state that it is because God saw we would choose Him that He predestined us to be saved. Scripture says God saves whom He desires.
          Psalm 139:16

          Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them

          The will of God is that all the Father gives Christ will come to Him & be raised up in the last day and all that see & believe in Christ & will have eternal life.
          John 6:35-40

          35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

          GOD makes sure we believe. The WORK of God is that certain people believe in Christ.
          John 6:29

          Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

          Its not that we would choose God that causes us to repent. GOD’s kindness leads us to repent.
          Romans 2:4

          Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

          Notice that scripture does not say God chose us because He knew we would chose HIM. It states God predestined those He knew beforehand to be saved.
          Romans 8:28-30

          28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

          God appoints people to eternal life, therefore God appoints people to believe, which indicates God appoints people to hear, since that is how we are saved.
          Romans 10:14-16

          14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

          So many times we want to say that God chose us based upon what we would do. But the fact is, it was not about us. It was all God. GOD CHOSE US from the beginning, in accordance to HIS good pleasure and will – not because we would choose Him. We did not choose HIM.
          John 15:16;

          You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you

          Acts 9:15;

          But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

          1 Thessalonians 1:4

          knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you

          2 Thessalonians 2:13

          13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
          Christ reconciled us to God.

          Ephesians 2:14-16

          14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

          ALL who were APPOINTED to eternal life believe Acts 13:48

          48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

          What Israel was seeking, it did not obtain, but those who were chosen obtained it. God blinded those He did not want to obtain salvation. IF God gave faith to those who would respond affirmatively, you would think that the Jews, who sought salvation, would get it. But they didn’t. Only the chosen got it.
          Romans 11:5-8;

          5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.”

          We are saved by God’s grace, not because of some choice we would make, or something we would do.
          Ephesians 2:8-10;

          8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

          Titus 3:5

          He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

          So that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires (Romans 9:6-33).

          God is the author and perfecter of our faith and salvation.
          Hebrews 2:10

          10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

          Hebrews 12:2

          Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

          Some want to believe that we have a choice to be saved or not because God said we must believe to have eternal life. It seems to me that God gave a choice because some within the group were intended to hear and respond affirmatively, or at least be prepared to do so in the future – but not all were intended to respond affirmatively. Let me give an example: Let us say I own a soup kitchen and would love to feed everyone. But I know most people are too proud to do so. I know someone within a group is hungry and no one else is, but that someone else will be in the future, and I say to the group, “Everyone who chooses to go to the soup kitchen will be fed.” I know no one else but the one person is hungry will go. The choice is available to all, but none but those for whom the message was intended and who would chose to go right then will actually go when I first make the choice available. Now let us say that later someone else within the group is fired from their job (and that I knew it would happen), gets hungry and recalls the message (as was intended) and choose to go to the soup kitchen. Now we have two people in the group who heard the message who responded affirmatively – one immediately after hearing the message, and one later (after undergoing an experience which prepared them for the message they had already heard). The others were not prepared for the message, were never intended to take up the invitation, and never did take up the invitation, yet the invitation was made available to all.
          It is all God, not us. God foreknew us. God chose us. God moved us to repent. God gave us faith. God saved us. Not because He saw we would choose Him, but because He is who He is and its what He wanted.

          I have written a great deal on election and free will. Some of those posts are:
          http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/election-is-it-because-of-us-or-god/ (part of this response)

          • I know all these so called proof texting of Calvinist. I was into Calvinism myself once. later i had a [change of mind/repented] from Calvinism viewing it as heresy. They seem to take text out of context with their literal fundamentalist view of some text
            Yes with Duet 30:19 God was talking to ALL the Israelites. but only a remnant chose life. Salvation was extended to the Gentiles so choosing life applies to all gentiles. Christianity did not reach America till Around 1500 AD. Up till then did the Indigenous People of America have no chance of Salvation because they did not hear about Christ ?

            Regarding obeying the Law of God. This was for Jews under the Old Covenant Law given through Moses. Christians are not under this law. But Christians are still under the NT Law of Christ/God. And part of this law comes from the OT.
            Example like thou shalt not commit Adultery. Paul says those who practise Adultery will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21. It is still in a sense obeying the Law of God when obeying Christ because Christ is God and his Word is Law. We read in REV about the saints keeping the Commandments of God. NT covenant is replacement
            theology.
            In Romans at FIRST the Ungodly are Justified by Faith apart from the law. But AFTER they do not remain ungodly>Jude 1:4. And obey the law of Christ. That is why James say we are Justified by our works and not faith only.
            1 and 2 Thess show we do a ”work of faith”. Jesus showed faith is a law> Matt 23:23. And John 6:28-29 Jesus show faith is a work we must do to believe in the one he has sent. This is the work of God we must do.

            Regarding nobody can choose to do God’s will unless God enables them. Did God not enable Satan of Adam to choose not Sin So they was only left to make the wrong choice to Choose to rebel ?
            Regarding Gain and Able.Was it God that only enabled Able to make the Right Choice. But would not enable Cain to make the Right Choice so Cain was only left to make the wrong choice ?
            How is anybody culpable for their own Sin if they have no ability to choose otherwise ?

            • I think those who claim their salvation is based upon God choosing them because they first chose God ignore scripture.

              There’s simply too many scripture which says you cant choose God unless HE chose you first to ignore that and say its all based upon my choice (which I used to believe before I studied scripture).

              Concerning the Law,we know it was never intended to lead people to justification.

              Galatians 2:16

              16 know that a person is not justified by the works of 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 the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified

              Galatians 3:11

              11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”
              As for whether anyone who has not heard of Christ was or is able to enter heaven? What does scripture say about it? We are all sinners and all deserve death.

              As for whether people in the Americas could be saved before Christianity came to the west…

              We are all sinners and deserve death.
              Romans 3:23

              23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

              Romans 6:23

              23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

              The only remedy to that is faith in Christ. For no one can be saved apart from Christ.
              Acts 4:12

              12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

              John 14:6

              6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

              Romans 9:9

              9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

              Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Isaiah has said their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

              Romans 10:11-18

              11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

              14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

              16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

              “Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
              their words to the ends of the world.”

              I can only assume that God has used those voices to cause those HE chose (before the creation to be saved) to respond to God’s message with faith so they could be saved.

              The Law of the Spirit of Christ is not the Mosaic Law. The latter was put in place to lead us to Christ. Once that faith came, we were no longer under the Law.
              Galatians 3:21-25

              21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

              23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

              The Mosaic Law is not what we obey. We fulfill the Law. There is a difference and that difference is motivation and and punishment. We are not punished as they were in the Law. Nor do we do it for the same reason – we love God and others (if we have faith, if we have transplanted hearts) and so we do it because we our love.

              Yes, you were unrighteous before you were made alive.
              Galatians 2:1-11

              1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

              Being unrighteous, you were not able to obey God. You were unable to not sin.
              Hebrews 11:6

              And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

              I dont agree the NT covenant is replacement theology. Israel had their minds hardened (2 Corinthians 3:12-14). We are made new into a new creation with Christ (Galatians 6:15-16; Ephesians 2:11-16).

              James and Paul said essentially the same thing – if it is real faith, there will be evidence (Acts 26:20; James 2:14-26).

              I’m not sure what you mean about not remaining ungodly with Jude 1:4. This passage speaks about those who were marked out beforehand for condemnation.
              Jude 1:4

              4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

              We fulfill the law of Christ by loving one another.
              Galatians 5:14

              For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

              Galatians 6:2

              Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

              Yes, we must put our faith into action, by doing the deeds which were prepared for us to do.
              Ephesians 2:10

              For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

              John 6:28-29 does not say faith is a work that people should do, but that FAITH is the work of GOD. This means GOD works in you to believe.

              John 6:28-29

              28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

              We see in Philippians 2:13 that GOD works in you to want/desire/will and to do/act/work for GOD’s purpose.
              Philippians 2:13

              13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

              You keep wanting to say we are culpable for our sins. Yes, we answer for our sins. Yet, GOD laid it out before hand, deciding some would be for one us and others for another use. SOME were prepared specifically for destruction.

              Romans 9:11-24 tells us

              11 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, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

              14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

              19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

              22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,

              “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
              And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
              26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
              There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

              When we look at life and decisions, our pride causes us to want to believe WE were the ones who made choices and decided to do or not do things. We take pride in being self-made men. But we MUST look at life from God’s perspective. Dead men dont make choices. Babies dont choose to be born. Yet, while we were dead in our sins Christ died for us. We were chosen to be born again, we did not choose it.

              We must look at it from GOD’s perspective, not ours.

              • How do we understand Jesus is the [”Author”] and finisher of our faith ?

                When people came to Jesus with Infirmity or sickness in faith and was healed. Did Jesus ‘Author’ thier faith so they could be healed ?

                In some cities Jesus could not heal the People with Infirmity and sickness. He said it was because of their unbelief.

                When Jesus said to the woman the bread was only for his people the Jews. The woman said to jesus even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table. Jesus said to her. your faith is Great. And her daughter was healed instantly.

                wbmoore…If i told you something but you did not believe me. I have not Author your belief. you would not have any faith in what i told

                • Christ is the one who gives us faith and the one who gives us salvation and the one who made salvation possible – all at the same time.

                  Hebrews 2:10

                  10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

                  Hebrews 5:9

                  9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

                  Hebrews 12:1-3

                  1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

                  Yes, Jesus did not do many miracles because of a lack of faith, but this does not mean He chose to exercise His deity and give them faith or not. Its a recognition of things as they were.

                  You telling me something that I believe or dont does not make you the author of my faith. But God is another story. God works in you to desire and to work for His pleasure.
                  Philippians 2:13

                  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure

                  • I was not talking about if i tell you something about christ i have Authored your faith. Besides Christ if i told you so and so about something else i believed and you believe it. I Authored/began that belief in you about so. I was using it as a example when the word of Christ tells you something and you believe it. Christ has Authored/began that belief…Can i ask. Is it your own human belief that believes in Christ ?
                    You gave a example of Christ knowing/saying that peter would deny him 3 times and later peter did deny him 3 times to show peter had no free-will in what is going to happen in the future. God knows everything about himself and knows exactly what every move or decision he will do in the future. Does that mean God has no free-will ?

                    • GOD gives us faith, regardless of what is said.
                      You can not author faith. You can give information. God authors faith.

                      God gifts us faith in Christ. Once we have that gift, it is ours, so once we have faith in Christ, then it is our faith.

                      God has a plan, and it will come to pass (Isaiah 14:24-27; 19:12; 22:11; 23:9; 37:26; 46:10-11; Jeremiah 49:20; 50:45). God knows His plan (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s plan does not change (Psalm 33:11). God’s plan includes everything (Proverbs 16:4; Ephesians 1:11). God’s plan prevails over man’s plans (Proverbs 19:21). God’s power & will decided beforehand what would happen (Acts 4:27-28). God has determined the places and times people shall live (Acts 17:26).

                      Plus, God can not act contrary to His nature – He can not sin (ie, God can not lie). So from our perspective, there are certain things God can not do. Is God free to act outside His plan? Not if it does not change, which is what Scripture tells us.

        • Everyone God gives to Christ WILL come to Christ.
          John 6:37

          All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

          Whomever God drags (which is what the word translated as draws actually means) to Christ, Christ WILL raise up.
          John 6:44

          No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

          And obviously not everyone will be saved.
          Revelation 13:8

          All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

          Revelation 20:15

          And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

          Those who have their hearts circumcised by the Spirit are considered the people of God.

          Romans 2:27-29

          27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

          No, mercy does NOT come after a person chooses. A person is UNABLE to choose unless God first gives them that opportunity.
          They can’t understand to choose wisely, because they are spiritually dead and it is foolishness to them.
          1 Corinthians 2:14-15

          The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,

          God has mercy upon whom He has mercy – not because of what a man decides (wills) or does (runs).
          Romans 9:14-18

          14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

          And you want to say you have to be able to choose, or how can God be just if man is not culpable? Scripture tells us the answer: God is the potter and has that right. There are some who are created for destruction, but God is patient with them so those created for mercy can know God’s glory.
          Romans 9:19-26

          19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,

          “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
          And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
          26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
          There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

  3. Regarding God is no respecter of persons. In what context do we look at regarding this ?
    God certainly had ”respect” for Able and his offering Gen 4:5.

    Regarding John 6:64-65. In what context do we look at regarding this ?
    The Father can not be dragging people to Christ against their own will or force them to listen to Him against their own will. For the ones that are ”able” to come to Christ, They have a teachable human spirit and listen to the Father. James 3:13. This way they have allowed themselves to be enabled by the Father to come to Christ and the Others who refuse to listen to the Father have disabled themselves to Come to Christ.

    • You are confusing the fact that Abel gave from his first fruits, which made God regard him and his offering and not regard Cain and his offering. This is a not a respecter of persons as the term was used by Paul – Paul was talking about there is no difference between people of different statures or genealogies or gender. God recognizes when people honor HIM. He also recognizes when people are not honoring God. But this does not speak to whether GOD made it possible to begin with or not.

      Where does scripture say God can’t make people do things against their will????
      If anyone has a teachable spirit, it is because GOD gave them a heart transplant (as HE SAID) and made them not have hardened minds or hearts.

      Let us look at the scripture you mentioned.
      James 3:13-18

      13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

      James 3:13 does not mention having a teachable spirit, but that people are to demonstrate godly wisdom and understanding by how they live.

      I think I have heard every argument for the idea that God would not chose to make it impossible for people to come to Him unless He chose them, but they all ignore or twist scripture.
      John 6:44

      No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

      John 6:64-65

      64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

  4. From the Time of Christ to reach the Indigenous People in America is 1500 years…During this time All them people who lived and died with no chance of salvation ??…..Romans 2:I3-15>Paul talks about it is the Law…13] For not hearers of the Law are Just before God. But doers of the Law shall be Justified….So we are Justified by keeping the Law !!…14] For when the Gentiles, Which do not have the Law. Do by nature the things contained in the Law. Are a Law unto themselves. Which show the work of the Law written on their hearts, Their conscience also bearing witness….These indigenous people being Gentiles. They All can be Guided by their God given Conscience and some of them can be a law unto themselves by doing the things contained in the Law being Justified…At the Judgement God will Judge them According to their Works…

    • It sounds as if you are saying someone can be saved apart from faith in Christ…
      Yes, everyone will be judged. And everyone will have no excuse – for God has made Himself known.
      But faith comes from hearing the message, which is heard through the word about Christ.
      Romans 10

      17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
      “Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
      their words to the ends of the world.”
      19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
      “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
      I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
      20 And Isaiah boldly says,
      “I was found by those who did not seek me;
      I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

      God is clear, those voices are the heavens, the skies.
      Psalm 19:1-4

      1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
      the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
      2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
      night after night they reveal knowledge.
      3 They have no speech, they use no words;
      no sound is heard from them.
      4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
      their words to the ends of the world.
      In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

      Romans 1:16-20

      16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 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.”
      18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      But even though God has made himself known, people must be saved through faith in Christ.
      Acts 4:12

      Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

      Acts 16:29-31

      29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
      31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

    • God can do all things, but scripture tell us we MUST be saved through faith in Christ.

      Acts 4:12

      And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

      Now you bring up whether people are justified by the Law.
      Galatians 2:16

      nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

      Romans 2:12-16

      12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

      These are not in contradiction. No one will be justified by the works of the law – since it can not be obeyed perfectly.
      James 2:10

      For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

      Instead, we have the righteousness of Christ when we believe.
      Romans 3:22

      even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

      Romans 4:5

      But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness

      No, no one is justified by keeping the law, for it is impossible, short of perfection. That was never the purpose of the Law. Its purpose was to lead us to Christ.
      Galatians 3:24

      Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith

      If you believe people can be saved in any other way, then you are contradicting scripture.

  5. I know you showed Scripture saying we are not Justified by the Law ? But Romans 2:13 Shows Otherwise>Doers of the Law shall be Justified?…Why 2 Opposite statements by Paul ?

  6. ”Regarding Motivation & Punishment ?..You said we are not punished in the Law like they were [Israelites] Nor we do it for the same reason” Reading the OT men of God went down with illness but before that they fell into Sin before the illness. God restored them when repented from the Sin being sorry….It still happens in the NT…When we do not resist Sin. We are Chastised/Punished by the Lord. Hebrews 12:4-8…It has happened to me 15 years ago when i had cancer. I fell into this one Sin that i did not do for over a decade. Because i did not resist this Sin and cancer came. I Just knew what was happening…The Lord showed me stay away form this sin and the cancer will stay away from you…Jesus says sin no more unless worst comes upon you…I fear Sin ?…

    • There is a difference between punishment and consequences. Our soul, mind, and body are all intertwined. When we have one out of kilter, it affects the rest. This is not punishment.

  7. If a Person is born into this world as a helpless sinner because he has got no free-will to choose otherwise…Why is it his fault to find himself in this position ?…..Why would he be responsible for his own Sin if he has got no free-will to choose otherwise ?

    • I can only tell you that Romans 9 covers this – because God said so.
      He has mercy upon whom he has mercy.
      Romans 9

      1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

      6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 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, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

      14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

      19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,

      “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
      And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
      26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
      There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

      27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold,

      “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity,
      We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”

      30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,

      “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
      And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

  8. ”You asked were does scripture say God can’t make people do things against their will” ?
    Selfless Love respects free-will…Nobody is saying what God can and can’t do. as he is all powerfull..He chooses not to disregard the free-will of others. Precisely because he loves us….If God is all powerfull>Why would God have a Problem with free-will of others ? When the disciples was with Jesus. When he was killed. The disciples chose to run away and doubted untill he returned back from the dead…There was many other disciples following Jesus. But they All decided to Turn away back into unbelief…Jesus said to the 12..”Will you also go away” ?….Jesus is always giving the disciples a free-will Choice either way to Choose.

    • “Selfless Love respects free-will”

      Nonsense!

      My children have so-called free will, and I lovingly countermand their free will choices – they are children.
      No where does scripture say you are free to go against what God has decided will happen. In fact, you cant even come to Christ without God dragging you to him, and If GOD “draws” (read “drags”), you to Christ, Christ WILL lift you up.

      There were times when Christ chose to exercise his deity and knew all things and times when he didnt. He would ask questions knowing the answer. Its not an indication the apostles had a choice. Jesus told Peter he would fail him three times (because Satan wanted to sift him), but his faith would not fail and he would afterwards return (Luke 22).

  9. Now if i have told you something and you believe me. I have ”Author” your belief. you would have Faith in what i told you. It is as simple as that !!
    If Jesus could not heal people because of their unbelief. in what he was telling them. This means he could not Author their Faith.

    It is still down to the every Individual to use his God given belief mechanism. Our Human belief is involved with the divine persuasion of God. This is what Srongs ”greek” Faith ”pistis” shows. We have to understand things with prescision here. To be born into this world is a gift from God. To have a human belief mechanism is a gift from God. By Grace God is persauding is a gift from God. A Libertarian will is a gift from God. We use the gift rightly we are a slave to righteouness. Its a gift from God. All of it is of God….We use the gift wrongly we are slaves to sin.

  10. What about the Chastisement/punishment by the Lord to his sons and daughters who do not resist Sin Hebrews 12:4-8 ?
    It can’t be Just down to consequences because those who are not his sons and daughters Fornicate without resisting sin and God does not Chastise/punish them. In Heb 12 The Word Chasten means Punish ?

    • I see where you are going with your attempt at contradicting what I said concerning punishment. I was not saying God does not chastize us, but that we are not punished as (as in ‘in the same manner’) now, as they were in the Mosaic Law times.

      I wrote, “The Mosaic Law is not what we obey. We fulfill the Law. There is a difference and that difference is motivation and and punishment. We are not punished as they were in the Law. Nor do we do it for the same reason – we love God and others (if we have faith, if we have transplanted hearts) and so we do it because we our love.”

      Believers, children of God, are not stoned to death because we do not follow the Law. God convicts us; God gives us godly sorrow; God chastens us. This is a very different thing. We do not try to follow rules simply to avoid punishment, but because we love God. Our motivation (well, except for True Israel remnant) and how we are punished are both different.

  11. Romans 10:17-18 Regarding hear about Christ going to the ends of the earth and world ?
    No way is that a fact about ALL people on the Earth Heard about Christ at the time when Paul wrote that ?
    After Christ many people in parts of the world lived and died not even having a chance to hear about Christ. And this went on for 100s of years because the message of Christ was not brought to them by Christians yet + You had many infants that was born then lived a short while and died not even able to understand about christ.

    • Romans 10:18 says, “ALL the earth”.

      That’s everyone. Yes, Paul spoke about Israel, but said “their voice have gone out to all the earth, their words to the end of the world.”

      What may be known about God is plain to everyone – before and since Christ – because GOD has made it plain.

      Romans 1:18-25

      18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

      People die for their sins.
      Ezekiel 18:4

      For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

      I think infants do not suffer for their sins because they have not yet sinned and will go to heaven (http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/what-happens-to-infants-or-children-when-they-die/).

  12. I have Just read Romans 10 and it is ONLY talking about Israel. All of Israel has Heard the message about Christ. No way is this talking about ALL the Gentiles has heard about the message of Christ ?
    The Gentiles that never even had a Chance to hear about Christ. God will Judge and save some of them another way. KJV Show Rom 2:13 as doers of the law are ”Justified” verse 14 Which some Gentiles who are a law unto themselves by ”Nature”. LOVE fulfills the Law Rom 13:8-9. It is levitical law Lev 19:9:19. This is how they will be Judged and ”Justified by fulfilling the Law”. We can have all the faith we like in Christ but without ”love” We are nothing. 1 Cor 13.2.

    • Like I said in previous comment, “all the earth”. If God wants someone saved, they will be. What is known about God is made clear about God, according to Romans 1:18-24. People suppress the truth. But God can and does give faith. Without that faith, one can not choose God.

      If we dont have faith then we dont have love, for God IS love.
      If we dont have love, then we dont have true faith.

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