Baptists/Is it always by grace?

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Question
Hi Ronald, i was talking to a friend about grace and  he believes that nobody searches for god not even  through the whole bible and he  mentions Romans 3, but there's other verses that says the contrary like acts 17,Isaiah 55:6, I chronicle 28:9. In the other hand we have grace, which means god finds you,
Is that all ways the case for every christian? I believe that it goes both ways , meaning for some peope is by grace and by other is by people seeking god. Am i wrong here?

Answer
Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

It is always of grace.  No one was saved in the OT or NT, but by grace.  There are none that are predisposed to seek after God, but that does not mean that life's circumstances may not make someone look for answers and in the process "find" God.  Even as saved people it is easier to depend on ourselves and trust in the answers of man than to seek God. God never lost us so He does not have to find us, but we do have to find Him as redeemer before we find Him as judge.  

Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me."  so while we do not have a natural impulse to seek God but because He draws all men they will seek Him, but not all will find because they find a false shepherd or if they do understand the Gospel they will reject Him thus "many are called, but few are chosen."  God, in His foreknowledge, know who will respond to the call and be saved and who will not thus the ones who He knew are elect/chosen.  

This is part of the centuries' old debate over sovereignty and free will.  Both positions have some truth , but also some error.  It is indeed sovereign grace for as we see in the verse He, as sovereign, provided a plan for grace by faith, provided us with the ability to have faith and gave us the object/person to have faith in.  So it is all of Him and by Him yet He ordained free will to accept His grace.  He has that right to allow us to accept/reject His offer and plan of grace.  

Adam and Eve made a choice.  Satan made a choice.  Everyone down the pike has had a choice or else "whosoever will" and "make you calling and election sure" and "examine yourselves" are senseless and even deceptive it no one has a choice.  Once you say you will draw all men to you the TULIP dies. Indeed, God is no respecter of persons so none are denied the opportunity to receive grace nor are they forced to take it.  A King can ordain what He wills so if He ordains a plan that allows surrender and signing of a pardon by faith He does not surrender any sovereignty.  Indeed, the sovereign grace people rob Him of His sovereignty by denying Him the right to allow free will.  

Hopefully, this has shed some light on your question.  may God richly bless you as you seek His will through His Word.

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Dr. Ronald E. Shultz

Expertise

I am more of a polemicist than an apologist. I especially desire to answer questions concerning discipleship/holiness, "gray areas", etc. If all you wish is an argument then I am not your man. Sincere seekers only need e-mail me.

Experience

I have ministered in several states since my conversion in 1975. I participate in many forums and have written two books. I recently changed to Assembly of God, but after 40 years, I can still answer questions about Baptists and doctrinal issues that are common to many sects.

Organizations
American Association of Christian Counselors since 2009
Texas Navy Association since 2008
Texas Civil Defense since 2008-10
American Legion since 2002
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, since 1994
Life Member NCOA, 1973
Dover AFB Honor Guard, 1971-73

Publications
Poem, "Cowboy Up" published in an anthology by American Poets Society, 2004
Author, Jail House Religion, Xulon Press, 2004
Author, The Power of Holy Women, Xulon Press, 2003
Messianic Literary Corner published 45 poems, 2003+
Tract “Which Way To God” published on http://www.tracts.com/whichway.html, 1998
Several poems published on various web pages, 1997,1998,1999
Author, Metamorphosis, copyrighted, partially published collection of poetry, 1968-94
Article, “Why I Prefer Expository Preaching”, published in Canyonview Bible Seminary's Expositor, 1988

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Theology, Slidell Baptist Seminary, Slidell, LA, 2001, Summa Cum Laude
Master of Theology, Christian Bible College, Rocky Mount, NC, 2000, Summa Cum Laude
Bachelor of Religious Education , Administration minor, Piedmont Baptist College, Winston-Salem, NC, 1982, Cum Laude
Evangelical Teacher Training Association, Teachers Diploma, Winston-Salem, NC, 1982
Other study: Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, AL - 1975-78
Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA - 1976-77
Interim Ministry For Today's Churches - 2000


Awards and Honors
Heritage Registry of Who's Who, 2006-2007
Editor's Choice Award, International Library of Poetry, 2003
America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals 2001-2002
Stratmore Who's Who, 2001-2002
Guest Class Speaker Texas A&M, Commerce, 1999
Gubernatorial Commendation by Texas Veterans Commission, 1999
Dallas VA Certificate of Pride in Public Service, 1999
Guest on the Kevin Bullard radio program KPBC AM 770,1997
Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1996
Editor's Choice Award, National Library of Poetry, 1995
Who's Who in Poetry, 1992
United States Army Achievement Medal, 1990
Personal testimony dramatized for international radio program Unshackled, 1986
Outstanding Young Men of the South, 1981
United States Air Force Commendation Medal, 1978
Two USAF suggestion awards, 1976
NCO of the Quarter, 1975
Freedom Foundation Award, 1975

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