IRT: "You see to believe that God has already taken care of everything for His elect involves a something called Faith. Your friend who said that no one could know for sure whether they were elect or not wasn't showing much faith at the moment."
Read my letter more carefully, the 'friend' you speak of was John Calvin.
IRT: "You say 'how can you know that you are elect and that God has secured you?' I say 'by faith.'"
Good. Then when asked how I can abide knowing that my salvation is conditional, then I can give the same answer.
IRT: (concerning love not being a work) "That is odd, I thought that the two greatest commandment on which all the law and the prophets hung on dealt with love. The first is to love God with all your heart, and the next is to love your neighbor as yourself. If you tell me that these are not law, then I will say that Christ calls them the greatest commandments. If you tell me that you can even come close to keeping these every second of everyday, then I will say that you have decieved yourself."
You are confusing law and commandments. Many commandments are in the law, but many (such as the greatest) exist apart from the law. Even after the law was abolished through Christ, this commandment still stood (1 John 3:10-15). But if you still think that love being a commandment makes it a work of the law, then I would also point out that believing in Jesus is also a commandment (1 John 3:23), yet faith is separated and contrasted with the law (Romans 3:27, 9:32, Galatians 2:16, 3:2-5), and with works (Ephesians 2:8-9). So being a commandment does not make it a work of the law, simply a requirement of God. And you are right, no one can keep these commandments all the time, this is why God sent the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we may remain in His love.
I wrote: "So the will is not what saves us, though its compliance with God's will is essential for a man to be saved."
You wrote: "This is a contradiction of statements. For you, man's will is what salvation hinges on. God has done all he can, but now it is up to man to help himself. So now the will is what saves man. Christ blood doesn't save anyone, because Christ died for everyone and that didn't help."
Completely wrong --this is no contradiction, but is harmonious with itself and scripture. You have totally misconstrued a few half truths to make your point, as I will now prove.
Let's examine your points about what you think I believe:
1. For you, man's will is what salvation hinges on. 2. God has done all he can, but now it is up to man to help himself. 3. The will is what saves man. 4. Christ blood doesn't save anyone, because Christ died for everyone and that didn't help. 5. God's love didn't save anyone because God loves everybody and that didn't help. 6. The Holy Spirit drawing people got everyone up to par, but really didn't secure anything so now it is up to man. 7. So now it is man's will that makes salvation possible
My replies: 1. No, salvation hinges primarily on God, for while man must decide to follow Jesus, God must draw him first. So salvation is primarily dependent on God.
2. The only way a man can save himself is to let Christ save him (to 'save yourself' is a Biblical term). But as I have already made abundantly clear, God must call us before we can come to Him.
3. No, it is Christ who saves man, He simply requires that man's will yield to His before He will save him.
4. Christ's blood does save --those who will believe. Of course it helped --those who believe. That argument made no sense.
5. See point 4 (where do you dig this stuff up?)
6. Salvation is contingent on man accepting Christ. Not because it is his acceptance or lack thereof that saves him, but because acceptance is a requirement that God has ordained be necessary before God saves.
7. See point 6
To sum it up:
1. Man's will cannot save him, for man cannot even begin to accept God unless God draws him first 2. Only Christ's blood can save a man 3. God put conditions on receiving salvation through Christ, one of which is receiving Christ Himself 4. Therefore it is necessary for the man to make a decision to follow Christ to be saved, even though it is Christ, not his decision that saves him
IRT: "1John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."
They fall away to show, as evidence, that they are really not Christians in the first place."
Not really. What did they go out from? The only thing that could manifest (make plain for all) that they were not of Christ's elect was an outward action, namely, leaving the church. This does not refer to falling away, but to breaking fellowship with the body of Christ. Besides, the presence of some who were never really saved does not preclude the existence of some who were saved and then fell away.
IRT: "I would also harden my heart, I would also abide in unbelief forever if I were still a lost sinner dead in my sins. But while I was dead in my sins, God by grace through faith, which was a gift, made me alive in Christ(Eph 2:1-8)."
Praise God. So how does that contradict my statements?
IRT: "John 6:44 'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.'
I sure hope that you believe God will raise up beleivers on the last day, or maybe you assume that just because God wills to raise up believers on the last day dosen't mean it must happen.
John 6:40 'For this is the will of My Father, that everyoe who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life...'
The Father wills that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, but I guess maybe that wont' happen either. Maybe some who behold the Son and believe will not have eternal life."
Your statement does not follow. I didn't say everything about God's will was conditional, I simply contend that some things about it are. In Luke 13:34, Jesus says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (NKJV)
So while gathering and saving the children of Israel was definitely the will and desire of God, it was also contingent upon Israel's obedience. Hence, it can be easily seen that some things of the will of God are immutable (e.g. the resurrection), other things require compliance on the part of the creature (e.g. salvation). Concerning 'Maybe some who behold the Son and believe will not have eternal life,' you are quite right, for the Spirit expressly says that some will depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1).