Mail Questions, Comments and Answers
ANSWER TO COMMENT 1A
By His grace,
ANSWER TO COMMENT 1B
a. Is the repentance that accompanies one who has salvation a work that that individual has performed in order to become right with God?
1. We find various places in the Bible where these Hebrew and Greek words show us that God has to do the work of repentance or turning us to Him in our lives to bring us to salvation (Psalm 19:7) ‘converting’, Psalm 23:3 ‘restoreth’, Psalm 80:19 ‘turn’, Jeremiah 31:18,19, Lamentations 5:21, Malachi 2:6, 4:6, Acts 11:18 – literally repentance ‘given’ [didomai –translated as ‘granted’ in the KJV] to the Gentiles, Romans 2:4 [the word ‘leadeth,’ the Greek word ‘ago’ Strong’s #71 should be translated as ‘bring’ not implying that man cooperates with God of His own free will to repent but that God brings man to repentance], 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:25).
Repentance is a work as stated in 2 Corinthians 7:10 as is ‘faith’ mentioned elsewhere in this study. It cannot therefore be the work of man to repent (Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 11:6). Though man is commanded to do things like believe, repent, confess, etc., it does not mean that man can do these things unless he is given the ability by the determination of God (Psalm 127:1). He gives His elect the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) ...
1. Is not salvation conditioned on our faith?
a. The faith that brings salvation is the faith of Christ – Acts 26:18, Galatians 2:16,20, Hebrews 12:2
b. It is the work of God that one believes unto salvation – John 6:29
c. We must have ears to hear which comes from the Word of God – Romans 10:17, John 10:8,26, Revelation 2:7,11
d. Examples from the Bible of man’s apparent faith falling short of the glory of God (i.e. Peter walking on water and sinking in Matthew 14:22-31, the disciples fleeing when Christ is betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:50, Jonah going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh in Jonah 1:1-3)
e. Examples of God’s will overcoming an erring believer’s faith (Samson’s hair growing back giving Samson strength to pull down the columns of the house of the Philistines – Judges 16:21-30, David crying for mercy to God after falling into sin (Psalm 51), Peter being restored after denying Christ three times and used of God to preach to many that became saved – Mark 14:66-72, John 21:15-17, Luke 22:32, Acts 2:41).
f. Faith (belief to the saving of the soul) is a fruit of the Spirit of God, not from man's abilities – Galatians 5:22
g. When it says that "thy faith hath saved thee" (Luke 7:50 and 18:42), it can be translated "the faith of thee hath saved thee." Just as salvation is spoken of belonging to a person (i.e. Philippians 2:12,13), if it is true salvation, it is the gift of God that has been given to a person (Ephesians 2:8,9, Jonah 2:9, Psalm 37:39). So faith, if it is unto salvation is spoken of belonging to the believer (Colossians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:5) and it’s origin is from God alone (John 6:29, Hebrews 12:2 – Jesus is literally the beginning [arche]and ending [telios]of the faith.). Also we see that the phrase ‘our Lord’ as found in Psalm 8:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:2 cannot be saying that the Lord is our servant or that we own Him in any way. He is the Lord of the true believers, who have a relationship that is submissive and belong to Him (John 10:27, Psalm 100:3 – they are His sheep)
Christ is called the faithful one – Revelation 19:11 In regards to calling on the name of the Lord, one must have a pure heart as opposed to a sinful wicked heart (2 Timothy 2:22, Jeremiah 17:9). Does an elect person have a pure heart before he/she is given eternal life? They were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-6) and enemies against the true and living God (Romans 5:10) and went astray going their own way (Isaiah 53:6). They had to be snatched/turned from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ (Acts 26:18, 2 Timothy 2:26, Colossians 1:13). In regards to 'receiving salvation' one must be first born from above of God (John 1:12,13, 3:3,7,27) and made a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Can anyone create himself? See also Matthew 19:11 where one must be given (the ability) to receive a Biblical truth by God's determination; not man's. Finally, in Revelation 22:17 there are at least two items that must be studied. First, the phrase "whosoever will" is one Greek word 'thelo' and should be translated as "he that wills, take of the water of life gift." Thelo is found in Matthew 19:17 and 19:21 translated as 'wilt.' The idea of God wanting everything from a sinner to be destroyed/discarded that is of this world shows us that God has to break us down to the point that he must draw us (John 6:44) that we can take no credit for. Would you agree that all sinners who are not saved but involved in some sort of religious system are likened to this rich young ruler? If the rich young ruler could enter into life by his free will, then he would have no problem with selling all that he had and giving it to the poor (he would not have to be sorrowful). Where was his free will to accept Christ's command? See also Romans 9:16 and 18 that has the word ‘thelo’ with God showing His will to be merciful to sinners, not the other way around. The phrase "He that wills" must be those who are already "in Christ" as you refer to and as the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15-21 describes that he wills to do good (after becoming saved) but his sinful body brings him hardship. He now serves the law of God with his mind (Rom. 7:25). Second, the word for 'take' is the Greek word 'lambano' which is found in John 3:27 (no one can receive anything unless it is given from heaven) and found in Matthew 23:14 where those under a particular judgment of God will receive the greater condemnation. They will not be able to refuse it or not accept it. The word 'let' as is found in the King James Version is almost always not in the original texts (Hebrew and Greek). The free will salvation plan is based on the works of man ultimately to accomplish/have assurance of salvation. Faith, repentance, coming to Christ, confessing, etc. are all works that can only be done by God if it is to bring true salvation. Otherwise, we should boast in our accepting, believing, repenting, etc. when it says that it is not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9). An unworthy sinner drawn to the Savior, Steve Reinert - FOFCM
ANSWER TO COMMENT 2