God Saves All Who Come

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God’s Spirit Enables Us to Believe

…Not of merit; not of works; not of any good in us, but by grace. By the totally undeserved mercy of a holy God we have been saved — and by grace we stand.

“But,” someone may say, “it is by faith we stand.”

To which it may be answered: The faith we have, we have from God. This faith has been freely bestowed upon us as a gift of God’s grace. The work of salvation is the work of God — from its inception to its consummation.

Of ourselves, we were incapable of exercising faith prior to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives: for we were dead, spiritually, in trespasses and sins. Those who are dead cannot exercise faith. They must be made alive to God through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:1-9) Therefore, since of necessity God must take the initiative in our salvation, our salvation is of God’s grace from first to last. (Once, regenerated by the grace of God, however, a believer is expected to demonstrate the reality of his salvation by living a godly life and by bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit in his life.)

Concerning our salvation the Scripture says,

5 he [God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Titus 3:5,6 NIV).

The same Scripture continues:

7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7 NIV; emphasis added)

From beginning to end, then, salvation is entirely the work of God. By grace God saves us. By grace God enables us to have faith — or to exercise faith — in his Son; a faith, however, which God enables us to exercise freely and willingly. It is all a sovereign gift of God, bestowed at his pleasure upon whom he will. (Rom. 9:14-24)

God Saves All Who Come

If God were to act only in accordance with his righteousness and justice (that is, without regard to his love and mercy), then all mankind would justly perish for their sin, and none would be saved. However, with God, mercy triumphs over judgment. Out of his great love, God has chosen to have mercy on whom he will; and he has promised that,

13 …“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10:13 NIV; cf. Joel 2:32)

Again the Scripture says,

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, {Or his only begotten Son} that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

And the Lord Jesus himself has said,

37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37 NIV)

However, while it is true that the Lord will never drive away anyone who comes to him, it is also true that no-one can come to Christ for eternal life unless the Father in heaven has given that person to his Son. (John 6:44,65)

[More to follow]

EPH0208.DOC / HBA04 (6) / D2 pt.4  / 1982-2011 Gordon Lyons

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