In reply to:
[color:"blue"]Grace is not mere influence, but I compare it to a lifeboat sent to drowning men. It is true that a decision by the man is necessary for him to be saved (for God has ordained it be so), but whether they accept or reject their salvation, it is still grace that saves. So man does not bring about his own salvation, but the acceptance of God's grace is the only way that he can in any sense 'save himself' (Acts 2:40).

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Let's take your unbiblical illustration; unbiblical as Lazarus pointed out to you in his reply because men are not "drowning" but they are drowned and lying on the bottom of the ocean stone dead. You posed a situation where a man is drowning and someone happens by and throws out a life-saving device. If the person grabs hold of it, he is saved. If he chooses not to grab hold of it, he will perish. However, even granting for the sake of argument that men are merely drowning and not as the Bible teaches, they are long since drowned and dead, let's go with an actual situation where there are more than just one person in the water. The disagreement is over what distinguishes one person from another in the matter of salvation. So, let's put two drowning men in the water. These two men represent the entire human race; those who will be saved and those who will be lost.

God, not being a respecter of persons, by your definition, throws out a life-saving device to both men. This device is representative of what you deem to be "grace". Each device lands exactly the same distance from the two men. Thus, there sits "grace" in the water easily within reach of both men. So far, everything is equal in all respects. Both men in the same water, both drowning, both with "grace" sitting directly in front of them and easily within reach. However, this "grace", as you are wanting to call it cannot save either man on its own. It is but an "aid" to their rescue and nothing more. It is powerless to actually save a drowning man. There is no inherent salvific power in your "grace".

Therefore, if either man is to be saved, there is something which must be added to that "grace", i.e., their determination, decision, and seizing hold of that lifesaving device, aka "grace". To now insist that there is nothing that differs between the two men is ludicrous. For in fact the ONLY thing that differs between the one who is saved and the one who perishes is the one's will and action. Thus salvation is not of Grace but of "grace" + works.

Let's turn this illustration around just to show how erroneous your view is even to plain old common sense. There are three men who are deeply in debt (again ignoring the biblical teaching that all men are born spiritual still-born). They are both equally deeply in debt. All three are given a million dollars with no attachments which is put in trust for them at a local bank. All three receive notification that this money is being held for them and all they need do is go down to the bank and claim it as their own. There are no "strings" attached, thus they are free to pay off all their debts and/or spend it as they will.

One man hurries down to the bank and withdraws his money, pays off all his debts and invests the remainder which will afford him financial security for the rest of his earthly life. A second man totally ignores the notification for one reason or another and consequently remains in his debt and dies poverty stricken. The third man however, like the first, runs down to the bank and also withdraws the million dollars. He sits down and begins writing checks to pay for his many debts. But after awhile he decides he would rather go on a cruise around the world. And in doing so wastes away all the money he had left. He too dies in debt.

Now, what we have here is an accurate display, using your definition of "grace" and why men are saved. The first man accepts the "gift" and uses it wisely and consequently he enjoys "salvation". The second man is one has the same "opportunity" and "possibility" of salvation but rejects it for some reason. And the third is one who initially has "salvation" but out of his love of the world fails to use it wisely and consequently looses it. So, tell me, what makes them to differ? It surely isn't that the one had an advantage over the others as far as "opportunity" is concerned. It surely wasn't that the one had more money than the others! It surely wasn't that the one had "real" money and the others were only offered or given counterfeit money. No..!! That which makes them to differ was themselves. The one's "salvation" was determined by his own will. Bottom line with your view:

[color:red]"grace" + WORKS = salvation

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you are embracing SYNERGISM while God's Word teaches MONOGISM!! (Jonah 2:9)

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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