Anonymous asked in the comments...
If faith is a gift of God, and faith is a requirement for salvation, only GodGood question! I have run across it many times in witnessing.
saves. If I believe, baptized or not, it's because he's given me the faith to
believe. It's all up to Him.Or, is that wrong?
The common thought of faith being the gift comes from Ephesians 2:8-9 which reads "8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast"
Grammatically, through faith is a prepositional phrase modifying how you have been saved. The "it" is actually referring to the grace that saves you. The sentence could be read "For (by grace through faith) you have been saved, it is the gift of God..."
God is not standing up in heaven saying "I pick Sally and Mark and Becca and Rachel and ... to be saved and everyone else can go to hell, because *I* didn't die for the *whole* world."
There are too many verses that say He died for all. Too many that say it is our choice...
Ez. 18:23 says God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, (2 Peter 3:9 says He doesn't wish for any to perish)
Rev 22:17 says that anyone who wishes to take the water of life without cost may, whereas Matt 23:37 says that He wanted to gather up His people like a hen gathers her chicks but they were un-willing.
I think that people will also single out John 6:44 which says "44“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." BUT if you read the next verse, it explains vs. 44 in that God draws through hearing and learning what has been taught from the Father either through His disciples or His word--vs. 45 "“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."
When you, me, or anyone else study the bible, we need to remember one main point. God will never contridict Himself. Yes, there may be scribal errors from the copying over and over the bible over the past couple thousaind years, but God's meaning is inrefutable. Now, knowing that, we have to take what is black and white (like Christ dying for all people and all sin (Romans says many times Christ died "once for all.") and weigh it against what I would call "grey" or "cloudy" spots in the text. Because in the end it all fits together like a beautiful puzzle.
I hope this helps your question and you won't ever be afraid to ask more!