Author Topic: Is Saving a Co-operative process?  (Read 4597 times)

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Offline legoman

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Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« on: March 05, 2009, 07:20:05 PM »
Is saving a co-operative process, between the one who is saving (the saviour) and the one who is being saved (the savee)?  I would have to say no... its ultimately the responsibility of the saviour whether or not and whom he saves.

Example:  I slip on the rocks, knock myself unconcious, and fall into the river.

I cannot save myself, infact I may not even be aware that I need to be saved (if I remain unconcious).  Yet I clearly do need to be saved and will die if I am not saved.

Someone comes along, jumps into the river, and pulls me out.  Did they need any help from me to save me?  Did they need to ask my permission or ask if I wanted to be saved?  Not likely, as I am probably still unconcious - effectively not even realizing I need to be saved.

Am I responsible at all for my own salvation if I slip and fall unconcious into the river?

Just trying to understand the correct usage of the English words "save" and "saviour".

Thoughts?
Legoman

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 07:33:05 PM »


In my opinion one of the objections christians can sometimes make or is an underlying cause for their dislike of the concept of universalism is that an unbeliever does not have to make any sacrifices, or live a clean life to reap gods benefits.


However, we have to see this in the light of unconditional love and forgiveness.   


It is the very work of believers running the race and forgiving others that says  "I'm willing to sacrifice my flesh for all those who will not"




Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 08:31:52 PM »
Hi Paul,

In some ways I can agree with that argument, although I believe it misrepresents the truth.

Just because God will save all doesn't mean we can run around doing whatever we want sinning all over the place and then "get into" heaven.  (I don't think that's what you were implying either).

This is kind of like the OSAS doctrine - once saved always saved, therefore LETS PARTY!  I can sin whenever I want and still get into heaven blah blah blah...

As you said, we need to the run the race, let God transform us, and with God's help, we will enter the Kingdom - when God wants us to.

Legoman

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 08:35:32 PM »
Legoman,

I think you falling of the rocks isn't the best of examples because that just happens.

The saving part requires repentance.
I think repentance has some sort of interaction between the person and Jesus.
You can't accidently/unconcious repent.

Just a my devaluated  :2c:
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 08:37:28 PM »


What happens if I live however I like?



Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 08:45:21 PM »
To get back on topic:

Ignoring the spiritual importance of salvation for now, are there practical physical examples of salvation where the salvation is co-operative? ie. the saviour asks/requires permission to save the savee?  I can't think of any practical examples.

For example:
1.  Does a lifeguard ask the drowning swimmer if he should save him or not?
2.  Does a fireman ask the little girl in a burning building if he should save her?
3.  Does a policeman ask the victim of a robbery (in progress) if he needs help?

Even if the savee in the above scenario's was insane and refused help, no self-respecting lifeguard/fireman/policeman would not save the person in question, to the best of their ability.

I believe, by definition, when one saves another, no permission is required, it is completely up to the saver to save the savee.  In fact, you might say the saver saves the savee against his will  :winkgrin:

(hmm I now see there are 2 more replies above this already that going off topic again LOL)

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 08:51:34 PM »
I'm not so sure its quite off topic.

Maybe a better question is  "What exactly is living however you like?"





Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2009, 08:53:13 PM »


What happens if I live however I like?




What do you mean by "however I like"?  If you mean giving into sin, giving into your flesly desires, then there will be some work that needs to be done.  You will learn the error of your ways, and you will eventually learn righteousness.

Then you will still live "however you like", but now the way you like to live will be in accordance with how God wants you to live.

Thats what is happening to all of us.  God is giving us experience and slowly changing us from doing things according to our fleshly desires, to doing things God's way.

Legoman

Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 09:04:38 PM »
Legoman,

I think you falling of the rocks isn't the best of examples because that just happens.

The saving part requires repentance.
I think repentance has some sort of interaction between the person and Jesus.
You can't accidently/unconcious repent.

Just a my devaluated  :2c:

Hi WW,

Just to clarify, my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.  We all know the mainstream doctrine:

Jesus died for the sins for the world - he is the saviour of the world - but, but, all we have to do is accept him as our saviour.

Effectively this make us our own saviour as it is all up to us.  Did Christ die in vain only hoping that someone would accept him?  :winkgrin:


I don't think my example is that far off.  Any example where someone is saved should make the point.  The "savee" never "accepts" the salvation offered by the saviour.  Effectively, the saviour says:  I'm saving you whether you like it or not! Now human saviours (ie. firefighters, lifeguards, etc) do sometimes fail.  That's because they are human.  I don't think God would have that problem though - would He?  :Sparkletooth:

Legoman

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 09:23:52 PM »

hi legoman,

Your saying that what I said misrepresents the truth when you said this.

Quote
Just because God will save all doesn't mean we can run around doing whatever we want sinning all over the place and then "get into" heaven.  (I don't think that's what you were implying either).


My question pertains to unconditional forgiveness.   What if we do run around doing whatever we like?   In terms of this cooperative salvation, firstfruits, Gods control, gods soveriengty I think it is an appropriate question.





Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 09:43:01 PM »
Hi Paul,

Sorry I think there was some confusion - I didn't mean you were misrepresenting the truth.  I'm actually a bit confused about what you were getting at?

Let me clarify my position:

A common arguement against universalism (used by mainstream Christiantiy) is that if God will save everyone, then we can all do whatever we want and still get into heaven.  ie we can sin daily, as much as we want, right to the day we die, and then BOOM we are instantly in heaven.

However I believe this argument misrepresents the truth of UR (or at least my understanding of UR).

There is a process that has to occur, a change of heart, repentance, before anyone will enter the Kingdom of God.  If one chooses to keep on sinning and not repenting up to the day they die, then they will awake from resurrection to find themselves being judged in the lake of fire.  The lake of fire experience will then lead them to change and repent, and eventually enter the Kingdom of God.

So you can see you can't live "anyway" you want and then "get into heaven".  There's only one way in - God's way - through his son Jesus - which involves a lot of change and repentance.

Cheers,
Legoman

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 09:44:03 PM »
Hi WW,

Just to clarify, my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.  We all know the mainstream doctrine:
I understand what the topic is.

Quote
I don't think my example is that far off.  Any example where someone is saved should make the point.  The "savee" never "accepts" the salvation offered by the saviour.
That kind of saving is forced upon and not mentally.
That's not what Biblical saving is about IMO

Quote
Effectively, the saviour says:  I'm saving you whether you like it or not! Now human saviours (ie. firefighters, lifeguards, etc) do sometimes fail.  That's because they are human.  I don't think God would have that problem though - would He?  :Sparkletooth:
Sure He suceeds. But without forcefully saving someone.
For me salvation is an interactive process that requires that the savee takes some action. Either by searching actively or being convinced by the saviour. The savee is not forcefully kicked into paradise.

So to summarize:
The savee makes the last step.
And everyone will make that last step.

Quote
my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.
IMO 100% impossible.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 09:55:59 PM »
Hi WW,

Just to clarify, my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.  We all know the mainstream doctrine:
I understand what the topic is.

I'm not sure... I think people are missing the topic.  I'm trying to keep it focused (without much luck) on the definition of generic (biblical or non-biblical doesn't matter) saving.  ie. saving someone from a burning building or from drowning... etc.

Quote
Quote
I don't think my example is that far off.  Any example where someone is saved should make the point.  The "savee" never "accepts" the salvation offered by the saviour.
That kind of saving is forced upon and not mentally.
That's not what Biblical saving is about IMO

Quote
Effectively, the saviour says:  I'm saving you whether you like it or not! Now human saviours (ie. firefighters, lifeguards, etc) do sometimes fail.  That's because they are human.  I don't think God would have that problem though - would He?  :Sparkletooth:
Sure He suceeds. But without forcefully saving someone.
For me salvation is an interactive process that requires that the savee takes some action. Either by searching actively or being convinced by the saviour. The savee is not forcefully kicked into paradise.

Yes I get what you are saying.  In biblical salvation, eventually, everyone will willingly want to be saved.  No one will be forced.

Quote
So to summarize:
The savee makes the last step.
And everyone will make that last step.

But that last step is only by the inspiration of God - this the crux of biblical salvation - there is nothing we do of ourselves that can save ourself - it is all of God.

Quote
Quote
my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.
IMO 100% impossible.

Not sure why you say 100% impossible?  Sticking with the non-biblical saving example - the fireman most definitely does not ask permission when saving someone from a burning building - he just does it.



Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 10:07:18 PM »

Quote
my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.
IMO 100% impossible.


I believe it is a misunderstanding of what occurs.   We as humans do not like to be forced into anything.   Yet, what if someone was to save us from an occurance that we could not predict or see.

If someone in a fire is so gripped with fear and hallucinating from poisons in the smoke, they could see the fireman as a monster.  Does the fireman ask permission?

This is taking a leap and saying talking about situations that are 100% known.   There is no question what a fireman must do with every ounce of his ability.

Now on another level,  does God kick someone into paradise and then they come to love that paradise, or has God patterned life in preparation to our accepting that this (john 6:44) drawing is inevitable?    In essence we are forced, but through the perfect knowledge of whats right.



Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 10:21:33 PM »
I believe it is a misunderstanding of what occurs.   We as humans do not like to be forced into anything.   Yet, what if someone was to save us from an occurance that we could not predict or see.

If someone in a fire is so gripped with fear and hallucinating from poisons in the smoke, they could see the fireman as a monster.  Does the fireman ask permission?

In that case the fireman might resort to punching out the person, so that he could properly save them without interference.  A little extra temporary pain for long-term good.  Ever had God knock you out for your own good?  :winkgrin:

Quote
This is taking a leap and saying talking about situations that are 100% known.   There is no question what a fireman must do with every ounce of his ability.

Yes these are hypotheticals and there are lots of situations where a fireman cannot save someone due to circumstances beyond his control.  But when it comes to God, nothing is beyond his control - he is the ultimate saviour.

Quote
Now on another level,  does God kick someone into paradise and then they come to love that paradise, or has God patterned life in preparation to our accepting that this (john 6:44) drawing is inevitable?    In essence we are forced, but through the perfect knowledge of whats right.

"Forced" or "influenced"?  Same thing?

This word "forced" is a tricky concept.  If God tied our arms up and pushed us into heaven while we kick and scream, you might say you were forced into heaven, but you didn't really want to go.

But what about if God surrounds you with his love, shows you the error of your ways, shows you humility, shows you the wonderous beauty of his plan, and then you decide to follow Him.  Were you forced?  Well you weren't going to follow him until God did all that great stuff.  So God did influence you... hm influenced/forced - same thing?

So maybe its a question of positive or negative reinforcement - either way though God is going to save you.

Anyway back to my OP, what I have been hoping to show or determine is that a saviour will save, and its not up to the savee to decide if that happens or not - the savior is the one who is in control.

Cheers,
Legoman

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 10:29:52 PM »
Anyway back to my OP, what I have been hoping to show or determine is that a saviour will save, and its not up to the savee to decide if that happens or not - the savior is the one who is in control.



Just wondering,  I am not sure how this is off topic,  if God cannot influence or force us to do anything against our will then it does affect what your trying to demonstrate.

If this line of reasoning is annoying I will back out of the thread as I won't spoil things for you, but would have to disagree that they are off topic.



Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2009, 10:34:52 PM »
Anyway back to my OP, what I have been hoping to show or determine is that a saviour will save, and its not up to the savee to decide if that happens or not - the savior is the one who is in control.



Just wondering,  I am not sure how this is off topic,  if God cannot influence or force us to do anything against our will then it does affect what your trying to demonstrate.

If this line of reasoning is annoying I will back out of the thread as I won't spoil things for you, but would have to disagree that they are off topic.


Oh no problem Paul.  I think I was defining my "on-topic" too narrowly so carry on. :bigGrin:

So I'm trying to understand what you are suggesting - are you saying God cannot influence or force us to do anything against our will?

I suppose I would agree with that.

However would you also consider that it is very easy for God to change our will?  Then he can influence us to do something that is not against our will? (where as previously it would have been against our will)

Legoman
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 10:36:45 PM by legoman »

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2009, 10:50:26 PM »

Well, I'm not trying to promote my thoughts as they must be right, but in order to provoke conversation in the thread.


I'm suggesting that God does what it takes in the sense of how we can understand it.   It is not so much an issue of forcing as often the word is used in a negative aspect.

The Christian argument "God does not force us to do anything"  is a perspective that they know there are people who die not professing to accept christ. So in their doctrinal perspective, "all being saved" would be a forcing of someone to accept christ under duress.


In reality,  we are forced in the sense that Jesus pointed out  "they know not what they do"  But that forcing ultimatly wins them over?

I know in my own life, in a sense I was forced to change how I thought in the light of seeing plain truth,  I did not like how I felt about that at the time, but now I have been won over to see its positive aspects.

I think the largest issue to over come with people is the idea of this taking place after death.   Or perhaps, there are things at the point of death that we cannot perceive that happen between a person and God.

Offline Doc

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2009, 11:06:38 PM »
Hi WW,

Just to clarify, my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.  We all know the mainstream doctrine:
I understand what the topic is.

I'm not sure... I think people are missing the topic.  I'm trying to keep it focused (without much luck) on the definition of generic (biblical or non-biblical doesn't matter) saving.  ie. saving someone from a burning building or from drowning... etc.

Quote
Quote
I don't think my example is that far off.  Any example where someone is saved should make the point.  The "savee" never "accepts" the salvation offered by the saviour.
That kind of saving is forced upon and not mentally.
That's not what Biblical saving is about IMO

Quote
Effectively, the saviour says:  I'm saving you whether you like it or not! Now human saviours (ie. firefighters, lifeguards, etc) do sometimes fail.  That's because they are human.  I don't think God would have that problem though - would He?  :Sparkletooth:
Sure He suceeds. But without forcefully saving someone.
For me salvation is an interactive process that requires that the savee takes some action. Either by searching actively or being convinced by the saviour. The savee is not forcefully kicked into paradise.

Yes I get what you are saying.  In biblical salvation, eventually, everyone will willingly want to be saved.  No one will be forced.

Quote
So to summarize:
The savee makes the last step.
And everyone will make that last step.

But that last step is only by the inspiration of God - this the crux of biblical salvation - there is nothing we do of ourselves that can save ourself - it is all of God.

Quote
Quote
my purpose for this thread is to determine if someone can be saved without permission from the savee.
IMO 100% impossible.

Not sure why you say 100% impossible?  Sticking with the non-biblical saving example - the fireman most definitely does not ask permission when saving someone from a burning building - he just does it.




I understand what you are trying to do with your focus of the question.

Perhaps part of the problem is with our somewhat limited definition of salvation. At least in some senses, there are degrees of salvation, and I think most of us recognize that it is a process as well.

God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2009, 11:14:33 PM »
I understand what you are trying to do with your focus of the question.

Perhaps part of the problem is with our somewhat limited definition of salvation. At least in some senses, there are degrees of salvation, and I think most of us recognize that it is a process as well.


Yes good point about degrees of salvation.  Are we saved now?  Are we saved when we die?  Are the unbelievers saved now or only when they emerge from the lake of fire?

The main thing to know is that God will save us all - and its up to him to do it - not us.  IMHO mainstream christianity makes another big error there - ie. Jesus can only save us if we allow him to, and if we don't allow Him to, then we won't be saved.

But God can work all circumstances so that each person will come to Jesus on their own terms, precisely when God decides.  God influences all and God will save all - on his timeline.

Legoman

Offline Doc

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 11:31:10 PM »
I understand what you are trying to do with your focus of the question.

Perhaps part of the problem is with our somewhat limited definition of salvation. At least in some senses, there are degrees of salvation, and I think most of us recognize that it is a process as well.


Yes good point about degrees of salvation.  Are we saved now?  Are we saved when we die?  Are the unbelievers saved now or only when they emerge from the lake of fire?

The main thing to know is that God will save us all - and its up to him to do it - not us.  IMHO mainstream christianity makes another big error there - ie. Jesus can only save us if we allow him to, and if we don't allow Him to, then we won't be saved.

But God can work all circumstances so that each person will come to Jesus on their own terms, precisely when God decides.  God influences all and God will save all - on his timeline.

Legoman

Yes, and seeing the end of our salvation is something that probably most of us will not have happen until after we physically die. I think there have been just a few examples, Enoch and Elijah IIRC, that probably saw the end of their salvation before they passed from this life.
I believe it is still possible for some of us to be 'translated', if we are enabled to allow God's life to fill us that completely before we stop living in these flesh bodies.

But yes, we all came from God and we will all return to Him, one way or another. His word does not return to Him void.  :cloud9:
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 11:39:34 PM »
Here are all the definitions of "save" I could find at dictionary.reference.com:

1.    to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning.
2.    to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king.
3.    to keep from being lost: to save the game.
4.    to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of: to save fuel.
5.    to keep, as for reuse: to save leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.
6.    to set aside, reserve, or lay by: to save money.
7.    to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.: to save one's eyes by reading under proper light.
8.    to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: to come early in order to save waiting.
9.    Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.
10.    Computers. to copy (a file) from RAM onto a disk or other storage medium.
11.    Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one's goal.
–verb (used without object)
12.    to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.
13.    to be economical in expenditure.
14.    to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.
15.    to admit of being kept without spoiling, as food.
–noun
16.    an act or instance of saving, esp. in sports.
17.    Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team's victory by holding its lead in a game.


Not all of these may apply directly, but they do give a good idea of what our saviour Jesus will do for us: rescue from harm, keep safe, keep from being lost, not waste, preserve from injury, not spoil, deliver from sin.

Note that not one of these definitions specify that the object being saved has any control over its salvation.  Perhaps I misnamed my thread.  Saving is co-operative in that there are two parties involved.  However the real question is: Is the savee in control of his own salvation?

Legoman

Offline Doc

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2009, 12:21:27 AM »
Here are all the definitions of "save" I could find at dictionary.reference.com:

1.    to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning.
2.    to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king.
3.    to keep from being lost: to save the game.
4.    to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of: to save fuel.
5.    to keep, as for reuse: to save leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.
6.    to set aside, reserve, or lay by: to save money.
7.    to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.: to save one's eyes by reading under proper light.
8.    to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: to come early in order to save waiting.
9.    Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.
10.    Computers. to copy (a file) from RAM onto a disk or other storage medium.
11.    Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one's goal.
–verb (used without object)
12.    to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.
13.    to be economical in expenditure.
14.    to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.
15.    to admit of being kept without spoiling, as food.
–noun
16.    an act or instance of saving, esp. in sports.
17.    Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team's victory by holding its lead in a game.


Not all of these may apply directly, but they do give a good idea of what our saviour Jesus will do for us: rescue from harm, keep safe, keep from being lost, not waste, preserve from injury, not spoil, deliver from sin.

Note that not one of these definitions specify that the object being saved has any control over its salvation.  Perhaps I misnamed my thread.  Saving is co-operative in that there are two parties involved.  However the real question is: Is the savee in control of his own salvation?

Legoman

It would seem plain to me from the scripture that we are not in control of it. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. So we don't start it, and we don't complete it. All that is left is for us to "accept" it.
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline Nathan

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2009, 08:23:45 PM »
So . . .could we then say that repentance does not bring salvation . .that already exists whether repentance is there or not . . .but that repentance "activates" that salvation in us?

How does that fit for ya?

Offline legoman

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Re: Is Saving a Co-operative process?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2009, 08:38:04 PM »
If you take a step outside of time, then our salvation is a done deal.  We will all be saved... as part of that process we will all repent.

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

We only repent because God's goodness leads us to repent.

All part of God's plan - so whether we are saved now or later, its a done deal.