This is a defense against several accusations that have been brought up against me by Joe; he went through the forum and compiled a list of things that I had written, and then inserted comments after them. This is my defense:<br><br><br>I wrote:<br>"This does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God. If this did happen, that person would be cut off from by God the Father (John 15), for He is sovereign and has the right to do so with what is His."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Here God is NOT sovereign in His power of salvation, for one may walk away and ONLY then is God seen to be sovereign to execute justice??? Thus, JoshT sees himself kept by his own works, which is denied in Scripture: Rom 11: 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."<br><br>Joe attempts to make two points here:<br><br>1. I believe that God is not sovereign<br>2. I believe that I am kept by my own works<br><br>Let me settle the first question right away. I believe that God is totally sovereign, and can do or cause anything He desires. I also believe that in the matter of free will that God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny; thus it is not a question of His sovereignty, but His method.<br><br>The second accusation isn't much tougher to answer. Nothing in a man's power can keep him in the love of God, yet the Bible continuously speaks of enduring to the end, persevering, etc... <br><br>"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:12)<br><br>These two concepts are easily reconciled in 2 Timothy 1:14,<br><br>"That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."<br><br>Notice Paul does not say 'strive to keep the good thing committed to us,' nor does he say that 'the Holy Ghost will keep that good thing that was committed to us,' what he says is to 'That good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us.' So it is not by our own power that we can be saved or even endure; it can only be done through the power of God in us by the Holy Ghost to give us the strength we need. The primary difference between Joe and I is that I believe that God's power can be resisted by stubborn men if they stop their ears to God's word and will not hear the truth (Zechariah 7:11), Joe does not. Again, that is not to say that men can resist God for a lack of power on God's part, I simply believe that He allows it to be so. Do not believe that I think I can endure by my own strength and righteousness; if I am wrong, it is simply about believing that God allows Himself to be resisted, not about serving God in my own power. Even assuming Calvinist doctrine is correct and mine is not, I do not think that my beliefs would be heresy.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"And yes, Christ promises believers His new name. And? He also promises us eternal life, but the promises only apply to those who do not fall away."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So, I am saved today, the next hour I am lost, but now I pray and I am saved again, O’h, just sinned again, I am now lost, I pray an hour later and I am saved again…….I go in and out of eternity??? SO God is only sovereign in salvation when I obey??? This is works righteousness!!!"<br><br>The Bible never indicates being saved, lost, re-saved, etc... Nor have I ever argued that point. Joe is arguing about things he presumes I believe. I believe that God gives even backsliders space to repent (Revelation 2:21). God is sovereign all of the time, but He has told us in His word that He Himself will destroy the disobedient (John 15:6, 1 Corinthians 3:17, and many more).<br><br>I wrote:<br>"As far as what 'draw' means. Yes, I am well aware that God's conviction and pulling us towards Christ are very strong, but nothing in scripture indicates that He cannot be resisted, as I pointed out from Acts 7:21."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Here God is seen as VERY strong, but not sovereign??? Thus, once again MAN”S sovereignty and God’s puppetry is exalted!!"<br><br>Again Joe jumps to conclusions. I have already addressed the resisting and sovereignty issue.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"He recreated me by His grace, but He also requires that I continue in it (Acts 13:43)."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Salvation by GRACE plus CONTINUAL WORKS. And of course OUR sovereignty in the matter is greater than God’s as seen by the examples above???"<br><br>He sure uses a lot of punctuation and caps. I said nothing of continual works, because salvation is not contingent on good works, it is contingent on hearing and following Jesus.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I said that there were conditions if a person would be given to Christ. God foresees our choices, not makes our choices, and it is on this basis that He chooses us so that we can accept Him."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Works Righteousness!"<br><br>I do not see how Joe equates things like accepting Christ or loving God (conditions for being saved) with doing good works. Having faith in God is not doing a work, for it is no longer by the works of the law but the hearing of faith; so I don't see how he calculates this illogical equation: conditions of faith, love, humility, etc... = 'works righteousness.'<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I believe that God gives a person to Christ when they humble themselves and repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit. This passage does not say that a person cannot resist the Holy Spirit's conviction. In fact, the scriptures affirm that this already occurs. Act 7:51 'Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.'"<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"We will not HUMBLE OURSELVES or REPENT (2 Tim 2:24-26) until changed BY the Holy Spirit, as Paul….. The unsaved do resist UNTIL THEY ARE MADE WILLING in the day of HIS POWER (but this is far more than just conviction), and the scriptures teach that all the elect will finally and fully be saved and not resist ultimately to their own destruction for Christ will not lose even one of His elect!."<br><br>It is true that only the Lord can grant repentance. This is why I stated that it is done after one is convicted by the Holy Spirit. The rest of what Joe says is simple speculation without any Biblical backing. By the way, Psalm 110:3 says "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power," not "Thy people shall be made willing..."<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I too believe that a man cannot be saved unless God draws him first. And just as God's many promises of blessing to Israel (Deuteronomy 7:13, 30:16 ect...) were contingent on their obedience to the voice of God, so is the promise of the resurrection of the righteous."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"FAITH plus CONTINUAL OBEDIENCE = salvation? But, if one is truly saved he will desire to obey and has been granted the grace to do so. Not all Israel was elect!<br><br>2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."<br><br>To clarify: Faith + continual obedience by the power of the Holy Ghost = salvation (Romans 6:16-18). Joe is right about the fact that the saved will desire to obey God, but even the love for God in a believer's heart can grow cold through iniquity (Matthew 24:12). Concerning the reference from 2 Timothy, God's keeping of what we have committed (e.g. our souls), just as His salvation, comes with the condition that we abide in Him, otherwise we will be cut off (Romans 11:21-22). If it were not possible to be cut off from Christ, I doubt that the scripture would warn us about it.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"The first premise is only partially correct, for while God does desire that men be saved, He also desires that they do so willingly."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So, man’s will is SOVEREIGN? Man does accept God’s grace willingly, but they ONLY become willing in the DAY OF HIS POWER."<br><br>Been through this before. Next.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"Yielding to God is not a work, just as believing in God is not a work."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"Thus JoshT’s order of salvation, I YIELD, and then GOD RESPONDS. So God is my puppet??"<br><br>See what I mean about the punctuation and caps? Joe has obviously not read that many of my posts thoroughly. It is God who draws people to be saved, otherwise we would have nothing to yield to. So God offers salvation to us and draws us by the power of His Spirit, we yield to Him, He saves us. God is not a puppet at all, but a seeker of the lost.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"The Bible never indicates that God is determined to irresistably draw anyone to Him, He does wish to draw people to Himself, and He no doubt could do it irresistably if that were His will, but this is not indicated in scripture."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"So election does not exist?"<br><br>No. I indicated that unconditional election does not exist.<br><br>I wrote:<br>"I see nothing in the scripture to indicate that a man cannot fully and finally resist the Holy Spirit (they are only elect if they do not). I also see plenty of proof that they can fall away afterwards."<br><br>Joe writes:<br>"May God have mercy and give JoshT grace!"<br><br>Praise the Lord! Your prayers have been answered even before you prayed them. It must have been predestined.<br><br><br>Let me comment in closing that Joe's remarks and baseless accusations towards me are very un-Christlike. I will reserve personal judgement on Joe, as God is his judge, not I; but would like to warn him that ungrounded accusations, especially against a brother in Christ, are a serious matter.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh