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If salvation depends on our free choice, how are we saved totally by grace?
Question: I’m an Arminian-turned-Calvinist, and the thing that turned me was the realization that if salvation hinges on whether individuals choose to be saved or not, as Arminians and Open Theists believe, then we can’t say salvation is 100% by grace. If we have to choose for or against God, then the credit for our salvation ultimately goes to us. But the Bible teaches that all the credit goes to God and that we can’t choose to confess Jesus as Lord unless empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). So the ultimate reason why some are saved and some are not isn’t that some choose to confess Christ while others don’t. It must rather be that the Holy Spirit empowers some and not others. And so I’ve come to accept that God chooses (elects) who will and will not be saved. You, of course, reject Calvinism and affirm free will. So I’m wondering, how can you affirm that humans are saved totally by grace?
Answer - Salvation - Grace - Teaches - Humans
Answer: I firmly believe that salvation is completely by grace, not works. And I believe the Bible teaches that humans would never choose God on their own, apart from the Holy Spirit. Left on our own, we are “dead” toward spiritual things (Eph 2:1, 5), and corpses can’t do much of anything last I checked. To come to Christ, the Father must draw us (Jn 6:44).
If it was true that humans had enough life, goodness, or intelligence to choose God on their own, and if the reason that some were saved and some not was because some chose God on their own and some didn’t, then I see no way one could avoid the conclusion that the reason some are saved and some...
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