Saving Faith is God’s Gift

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No one can believe in his heart that God raised his Son from the dead, except saving faith has been given him by God. If given him by God, however, then he is one of God’s elect. If God’s elect, then ‘whoever will’ will indeed come, and will indeed believe—freely and willingly. To this end, the Scripture says:

John 6:44-45
(44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. {Isaiah 54:13} Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

All Who are Given, Will Come

As has been shown, the Bible teaches the following primary truths regarding the plan of salvation:

  1. No one can come to Christ unless a genuine spiritual hunger and thirst (spiritual desire) has been given to him or her by the Father. (John 6:44,65). This intense spiritual desire is created by the Holy Spirit in effectual calling and regeneration.
  2. No one can come to Christ unless the Father has given that person to the Son. (John 17:2,6,9,11,12,24)
  3. All that the Father gives to the Son will come to the Son; and whoever comes to him, Christ will never turn away. (John 6:37,45; 10:26-28)

Only the Elect can be Saved

Thus, from the teaching of God’s Word, we can see that only the elect receive salvation and eternal life. In other words, only those whom God has chosen or predestined to eternal life, and to whom he gives the gifts of repentance and faith, are able to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation, therefore, does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Rom. 9:16)

It is possible, for a time, that other men and women may exhibit some of the common graces or operations of the Spirit. Yet, they cannot exercise saving faith in God’s Son, if God does not grant saving faith to them. However, all whom God has elected or ordained to salvation will certainly inherit that salvation.

Not one of the elect will be missing from the kingdom of God. Once saved by God’s grace, none of God’s redeemed children can ever lose their salvation. Election guarantees that their redemption cannot fail of completion in glory. To this end, God’s Holy Spirit indwells each believer to act as the guarantor of his or her personal inheritance, and to seal the believer unto the day of final redemption. Thus, the Scripture says:

Ephesians 1:13-14
(13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (See vv.11-12; cf. 2 Cor. 1:20-22; 5:4-5)

1 Peter 1:3-5
(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (See vv.2-9)

Those whom God has called, however, have been called unto holiness of life. There is no such thing as a person being called and justified in the sight of God if his calling and justification is not followed immediately by ongoing sanctification and holiness of life.

Ephesians 1:4-5
(4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will…

 

 

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