SINCE GOD HAS TO GIVE GRACE TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL…As even the leaders amongst the Arminians and Sacramentalists concede (as opposed to the Pelagians and most Semi-Pelagians, as often found in the pews):
1) It stands to reason that man, by nature, cannot believe without said grace. 2) If man cannot believe without said grace, it stands to reason that man, by nature, is ever-resisting, and ever-rejecting, the very Truth that is to be believed. 3) If the nature of man is such that it resists and rejects (even wars against) the very Truth that is to be believed, it stands to reason that the same nature of man, if it could, would resist the very grace that would enable the individual to believe.
4) Since such grace would naturally be resisted and rejected, it stands to reason that divine, sovereign grace must be *effectual* grace (being of such a nature that it truly overcomes such resistance). 5) Thus, the whole purpose of grace (if it is to be of any real use or value), is to overcome the opposing nature that rejects both the Truth, and the grace needed to believe the Truth. Why? Because if grace can be resisted, and if it is the very nature of man to resist both grace and belief in the Truth, then such grace would be successfully resisted, making it worthless.
6) Moreover, even if said grace is capable of overcoming the resistance that leads to rejection, it isn’t enough that it can do so initially, at the onset, when one first believers. No! That grace (to be truly sufficient) has to be continuously able to overcome the natural resistance that stands ready, and willing, to war against said grace, and thus, said belief. 7) If the grace given is not sufficient to perpetually overcome the natural resistance, it stands to reason that by default (being insufficient to maintain the very belief that grace was required to enable in the first place), such grace would fail (it would inevitably be overcome by the natural resistance, resulting in the return and perpetual continuation of the unbelief). 8) Why? Because if man had the natural ability to not resist the grace, and to not reject the Truth, then man would not need the grace from God to do so in the first place — man would already have the natural ability to resist his own nature (the one warring against the truth), and thus would be able to enable *himself* to believe the Truth.
9) In sum, any grace that can be so overcome is a weak grace, a beggarly grace, a woefully inadequate grace… one that is utterly dependent upon the very nature that opposes it, to sustain it (or, at the very least, to not resist/reject it to the point of overcoming it). 10) Such grace is not of God; such grace can never be deemed spiritually S.A.F.E. (Sovereign, All-sufficient, Free, and Effectual). Such a grace is the false grace of an idol, an idol of so-called “free-will theology” making.
Thankfully, here is the truth concerning God’s S.A.F.E. grace:
1) When God grants newness of spiritual life (i.e., when he quickens/regenerates a person), He grants unto them a new heart and a new spirit (metaphysically-speaking) as we read in Ezekiel 36. 2) Since the heart is the metaphysical seat of the will (as attested to by the Hebrew and Greek believers), when the new heart is received, so is a new will, for (a) God makes them willing in the day of His power and (b) God ongoingly works in His people BOTH to will, and to do, of His good pleasure. 3) When one is born from above, receiving the new heart and spirit (and thus, the new will), they also receive the Spirit of God, who works effectually in them the grace and ability, to spiritually: hear, understand, repent, believe, trust, obey, and so on.
4) God does not give newness of (spiritual) life, a new heart and spirit (and will), Himself (in the Person of the Holy Spirit), S.A.F.E. grace (and all that accompanies it) only to be defeated by the natural will of man, which (if it could) would ever resist both grace, and all that flows it. 5) Instead, God the Father seals His people with God the Holy Spirit, in light of their eternal vital union with, and justification by, God the Son. 6) We are given the promises found in Scripture (of God keeping us, guiding us, preserving us, etc.) so that we can be “…confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in [us] will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ…” [Philippians 1:6].
7) Therefore, salvation, including persisting therein, is not of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of him that willeth (generally), nor of him that runneth (works, attempts to run to and fro doing things to supposedly “maintain his salvation)… No! Salvation is of the Lord and only of the Lord. It is by His effort and might, by His effectual working (all in accordance with His sovereign will, grace, and mercy). 8 ) Anything else, anything less than that which is wrought completely by God (though manifest is/by/through us) is a counterfeit… freewillism (Arminianism, Sacramentalism, Semi-Pelagianism, Pelagianism, etc.) itself is a counterfeit. It is time to put away the counterfeits. May God help those deceived by it, to do so (i.e., to see the deception, repent from it, and to come out from under it). To God be the glory, in Christ Jesus.