Is God Obliged to Save?
Is God *obliged* to anything to save a guilty sinner? If so, then it ceases to be grace, but debt. If He is not obliged to save any, then is He obliged to save all?
He was asking this in response to my wondering about there being an excuse for those who weren't "gifted" with the ability to believe in the salvation that He has provided. My answer to the question ...
Is God obliged to save any man? Well, if asked that way, the answer I suppose would be "no." But ... I would say that this is the wrong question for this discussion. Let me move away from this question for a moment and then I will drift back over to it. The question is rather, "Is God obliged to give any man faith?" Which, is a question that might seem absurd to some based on the answer to the underlying question, "What is faith?" I would say that faith is not faith if it is something that is gifted to you. The Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Does this sound like something God did to Abraham's mind - opened it up, gifted him with "faith" so that he KNEW what God was saying was true? Or ... does it sound like Abraham allowed his mind to be convinced that God was true. He did not harden his heart and turn off his mind to the light that was given to him, but rather embraced the LORD. Abraham believed God. It was credited to him. Would some have us believe that God gifted Abraham with "faith" and then credited him for it?
Some take this desire to claim no credit a bit too far. The Bible speaks of faith as a non-work, so we can't boast in works. There is no credit. Granted, some will boast in faith, but in biblical terms, faith is belief and is not worthy of boasting. This is something found in your heart and mind after the hearing the gospel. Anyone who hears the gospel can incline their ear to the reasoning therein ... or ... they can turn away with disinterest. Belief is not placed in us by God or it is ceases to be belief, it becomes knowledge ... just as grace is not grace if it is owed, but becomes debt. (God does not owe anyone salvation based on their works - this is what the Bible teaches. )
... which takes me back to the original question. Is God obliged to save a guilty sinner?
I would say "obliged" is the wrong word. Unless you would see Him as obliged by His own Word, for he has promised in that Word, to receive any guilty sinner who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.
... and you can take that to the bank!
Oh, and one more thing!
Was God obliged to keep his promise to Abraham? Call it "oblige" if you like, but below is a good example where the Scripture makes it clear that the LORD does make promises He won't break. This is His sovereign choice to do so!
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie ...