A gracEmail dated July 15th by elder Edward Fudge ended with this paragraph.
“Salvation is not some kind of project to which God and sinners make respective contributions. It is God’s project, and he accomplishes it by his own power. “All that the Father gives me,” said Jesus, “shall come to me; and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me; that of all that he has given me, I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who beholds the Son, and believes in him, may have eternal life, and I myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:37-40).”
I agree, what about you?
Agree agree agree!
I’m a Believer!
I agree – but I really believe that there are works that God wants to accomplish through us; works that benefit others and us as well. (Acts 14:27)
So I agree that God and sinners do not make respective contributions to our salvation … yet sometimes we make them together; we allow Him to work in and through us. (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1)
And that’s part of how we work out our salvation. (Philippians 2:12-13) It starts in this life, and never ends.
You know I hate to proof text, and I don’t believe that Ed Fudge is saying what so many folks say: that there’s nothing we can do about our salvation; it’s all done by God. There are all kinds of things we can do, but with Him only; not apart from Him.
Because too often, the “it’s all done by God” view fosters this feeling that “there’s nothing I can do, could do, or should do. So I’ll just do nothing. God’s all done with me.”
I believe He wants us to work, grow, mature – and He enables us to do so through His Spirit. Those things don’t “earn” salvation; they “finish” it, like a finely-crafted work; a life well-lived and well-acquainted with salvation before Jesus crowns it in eternity.
Our works do not result in our salvation. Rather, our works are the resutl of our salvation. They do not contribute to it in the least so far as its source.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
There can hardly be any misunderstanding about what Paul has said here. Can the creature act before he is created? Does the created thing contribute to his creation? Earlier in the chapter Paul says we were dead and have been made alive in Christ. Can the dead give life to themselves? Hardly.
I think in many cases the idea that we can contribute to our being justified, being saved, rises from the mistaken belief that we are not utterly lost to begin with. Only when we see the picture of a lost sinner the Bible paints do we understand that God alone can save such a one and not ourselves.
I think we’re saying the same thing.
Allow me to just say amen to what you both said!
Am I on the same page with your discusssion if I speak of an initial need for a person to decide to believe and love Jesus.
By HIS Grace!
It seems that even those elementary, though necessary things are the result of God’s inititive. (Acts 11:18, Romans 10:17, John 1:13)
No person can rightfully claim any minute part of his own salvation. “Where is boasting? It is excluded..”
Those men from many different tongues and nations who listened to Peter’s gospel message on the day of Pentecost were pricked in their hearts as they listened by the Holy Spirit and they thus cried out “What must we do?”
In my view, unless a sinner is first moved by hearing the very good news, it is folly to tell him what he must do. Unless God has done His work in the heart, what the body does is useless and usually only produces a self righteous hypocrite.
Method must never become more important than message. Most of us have seen folks who were taught some facts, baptised in water, had no observable change in their lives, and were soon gone away. Those we convert are doubtful, those God converts will persevere.
I so wish I could get across to those I love so much these truths. Thank you for the good thoughts. May we change the world one church, one individual at a time.
I’ll add my “Amen” to the words of Fudge and to the ensuing comments.
Royce, we appreciate your commitment to the gospel of grace. May glory and honor, power and dominion be to the God and Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We just had a fairly in-depth converstation about this in a Sunday Bible class. Some had a difficult time viewing salvation in the terms posted here.
As I see it, the salvation part is God’s. Coming into contact with it, through Christ, is my part. It’s like electricity..It’s the power, but if I don’t plug in, it is useless to me.
God draws us, Christ saves us! Our salvation, or our being born again results in our hunger to serve the Lord, and seek a personal relationship with him. Jesus tells us he does not loose those given to him, so as on lookers seeing people “fall away”, we should be very careful to remember his words, sometimes it is over our heads the task he is working in his people.
My first impulse is to agree with you. But then only because the Holy Spirit draws you, imparts faith as you hear the good news. convinces you of your need of forgiveness, grants repentence…
Yes, we must received but God brings us along to that possibility.
Jesus’ and the apostles promises about eternal life are crystal clear and easy to understand. The opposite view is never clearly stated anywhere that I am aware of. And if it was Jesus own personal promises would be null and void.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
John 10: 27-30
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30I and my Father are one.
I believe you are right because a turning away is a little different than being plucked away, yet we are reminded over and over that Jesus is a good shepard and I can’t help but believe that means he does not loose his sheep. And yes he only does the will of God.
The life God gives, freely and unmerited, is by nature “eternal”, “everlasting”. Both in regard to its guality and quantity it does not end. The difference between our physical life and the eternal life we enjoy is beyond words. We have been made partakers of the divine nature. I can’t die for the same reason God can’t die, He is eternal.
A big amen, and a small, significant but. If we stop the story right there we have fallen into a snare called quietism which can even take us to the point of refusing to obey Scriptural injunctions for fear we resist His grace, which, of course, is completely backwards from the Bible warnings against resisting His grace through disobedience.