Dear Lazarus,<br><br>I wrote:<br>"You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works)."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"The Bible also teaches that the works AS WELL AS the exercise of our wills (which you erroneously equate with 'faith') are NOT formal causes of our salvation....<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>It's God's mercy/grace that SAVES.<br><br>Nobody can work hard enough to earn God's favor ... no one can want/will it enough either."<br><br>Erroneously equate with 'faith?' You lost me. But as far as Romans 9 goes, it is saying that salvation is not from man's will, but from God's; so it is only by God's grace that a man can be saved. So it does not matter how I would have responded to God's grace; if He had not chosen to save me, then I would not and could not be saved no matter what I thought/believed/did/etc... What I have been saying, that not this scripture, nor any other will contradict, is that God has chosen His elect based on His foreknowledge of their receiving His grace (1 Peter 1:2). To put it in a nutshell:<br><br>1. Salvation is of God's will, not man's; so man can never do anything to earn it or will it<br>2. Whom God wills to be saved is based on His foreknowledge of how men will receive Him<br>3. So essentially, God resists the proud (whom He knows will refuse His grace), but gives grace to the humble<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh