From: Jamie Smith
What happens to me if I believe that my independently acquired faith allows Christ to save me instead of believing that Christ alone saves me without my permission or performance? Just consider for a moment: “I allow Christ. He has my permission.” That is quite a disturbing declaration.
Compare the fallout from these two different beliefs and label them FW for “free-will” and SW for “sovereign-will.”
FW: I determine if and when I will be saved. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.
SW: God determines that I will certainly be saved at the proper time. It can be in this life or upon a later resurrection. He will influence me to voluntarily love Him.
FW: After God has done all that He will do and there is nothing more that He will do, I am still not saved until I decide for myself to believe.
SW: God does it all. He saves through the work of Christ. Christ died for all. That act was effective for all.
FW: Christ’s death, entombment and resurrection provides me with an opportunity for salvation.
SW: Christ’s work saves me.
FW: I decided by myself. God responded to my decision.
SW: Faith is a gratuitous gift of God. I possess it through grace without a cause on my part.
FW: If I don’t believe, then at death I will be endlessly tormented in hell by the God Who previously loved me. For me, Christ died in vain.
SW: In this life, if I don’t believe, then I will remain dead until the great white throne at which time I will be raised and remedially judged in God’s love according to my acts. I will eventually voluntarily believe by sight. This results in my justification and immortality.
FW: My unbelieving loved ones will be tormented in hell. It won’t bother God. It won’t bother me.
SW: None of my loved ones will be tortured. All of my loved ones will eventually enjoy fellowship with God.
FW: If I believe that I made a free-will decision to believe, then God is very pleased with me and rewards me.
SW: If I believe that I made a free-will decision to believe, then upon resurrection I will be judged for my self-righteousness and set right. All elements of self-righteousness will be removed.
Free-will and sovereign-will are drastically different as to sovereignty, love, and outcome.
Which gives God greater glory? Which reserves some glory sourced in the human?
Can I still be a member of the Body of Christ if I believe that I made a free-will decision to believe? “God” means “Placer.” God places each member into the Body. This happened before the disruption of the world. All members will possess faith. A member will not become an unbeliever. They may take on myths and humanism and add it to their faith. Rather than mature in the true faith, their faith includes corruption. Even so, members they will remain.