|The only stupid question is the unasked question."- my dad -|
A classic example of Tolstoy's statement is this:
So very many seemingly intelligent Christians cannot understand nor accept the basic and most obvious fact that life must precede the activity of that life, i.e. that eternal life must precede the activity of believing spiritual things.
And why is this?
They have already formed in their mind the perverse idea that one must believe in order to have eternal life, thus explicitly embracing the lie and delusion that spiritual activities precede eternal life (which is spiritual in nature).
The most slow witted man, whose mind has not been poisoned or deluded can easily understand the obvious and plain maxim that LIFE MUST PRECEDE the ACTS of that LIFE. The evidences of this truth is beyond dispute. However, many seemingly educated and intelligent Christians can't! And the reason is this: they believe they already know the truth: the acts of life PRECEDE life itself; i.e. a spiritually dead man can believe in order to have eternal life!
It is God's activities ALONE that purposed, executed and secured, and apply the eternal salvation to each elect, and this at His own appointed and accepted time.
The activities of God's children (those already given eternal salvation by God) secure temporal salvations (plural, like deliverances from errors and lies, ignorance, temporal consequences of sins here in this life, etc) pertaining to this life here and now by their obedience to God's word.
Most people cannot distinguish the two - and they confuse the eternal salvation (singular) which is worked out entirely by God's free grace, and the temporal salvations (plural) that are worked out through the obedience of God's children. They claim they believe in monergism - salvation by grace; but in reality, they actually embrace synergism in eternal salvation, salvation by God's grace made effectual by man's responses. Thus, making man the final determiner of his eternal salvation.
Consider carefully the things I have written. Take time to grasp what I have said above, and it will help you to rightly divide the word of truth, and save you from much lies and fables!