If God elected those that freely chose to follow him, then they are not elected. For there to be a select few that are elected, there cannot be salvation open to all.
So, did God elect us before we made the choice or afterwards?There's a difference between God knowing something, and God acting upon something.
James 2:14-25,'14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?'
While not placing primary emphasis on works, it seems to me as if James is citing the importance of both faith and works in tandem.Let us consider Judas Iscariot, a man who walked with Jesus, prayed with Jesus, fellowshipped with His people, presumably teaching and healing, performing miracles in the name of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10:1'Jesus called together his twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness...'Was Judas Iscariot covered in salvation? After he betrayed Jesus and took his own life, was he still covered in salvation?
The first command to obey, not a work, is to accept what Jesus did on the cross.
Interesting...Would you assert, then, that one who believes in Jesus is free to live a life of their own choosing, so long as they never stop believing in Him? That even though the demons believe in the name of the Lord, and they have faith in His promises - which for us leads to hope and salvation, and for them it is their greatest fear - they are covered in salvation for believing in Jesus?
I do not believe works are what saves you - only Jesus' sacrifice on the cross can do that. All throughout Scripture, God demonstrates His love for us - I believe we are to follow His example. James 1:22'Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.'4:17'Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.'As you already know, sin separates us from God. I agree the bible allows for backsliding, but there are numerous warnings against living blatant sin-filled lives. Jesus' message to us when He walked the earth was "...'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'"What would be the fate of those who believed in Jesus but did not repent?
I am curious what you are referring to as 'loss of rewards' for those with unrepentant sin.To what rewards do you refer?
I appreciate your passion - it fires me up to read what you type! Your comments have driven me to seek the wisdom of God through prayer and His Word.Yet please do not place words in my mouth - I have only stressed the importance of acting on our faith, not just saying we believe then doing nothing to advance the kingdom of God. Though I have no need of justifying myself to you, I will assure you I have not once claimed works alone can save anyone. Reread my comments - you will not find that statement anywhere. Again, please do not put words in mouth.
I do not believe works bring about salvation. I believe salvation leads to doing .I would say I agree with you in this - if someone claims to have faith in their own salvation, yet does nothing in response to that salvation, I would question if they were ever really saved to begin with.
Hear me in this as well: I boast not of my own strength. I do not believe my deeds have any merit in and of themselves - the only merit they possess is that they would glorify God and point others to Him.
I cannot think of any examples of men or women throughout the Word who accepted Jesus and did nothing in response to that acceptance - again, I am not saying that what they did do in response to their salvation saved them, only that their salvation caused them to act - because of their salvation, they became doers of the Word. And no, I am not offended by what you think you know about me. You are bold in your words - I pray you continue to be bold for the sake of Jesus!
What have I said to lead you to assume that I believe works are what keep me saved?
Salvation comes by faith in Jesus the Christ - 'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works...' Ephesians 2: 8-10We are not saved by anything we do, or by our own power - we are saved by God's grace!Side note: faithfulserver, you have raised a curiosity for me, that is, the salvation of the 12. When were they saved?