Studying exactly what salvation is from the Holy Scriptures point of view deepens our gratitude and love for God. We become witnesses of His Sovereign choosing and calling on our lives. He is the only Power that could ever have delivered us out of darkness and into His light. Man has no place to boast but in Christ alone.
Too often man’s focus is on themselves as they list all they have done or did to be saved. They will claim, “I made a decision for Christ.” Or they may say, “I invited Jesus into my heart, I accepted the Lord, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, I’ve been a Christian since I was a child, I belong to _______ church, I prayed the sinners prayer, I cast out demons, I was baptized, I am saved by proof of my material blessings, I go to Bible studies, I teach Bible studies…etc.” We see that this glory for their salvation is not going to God but has become centered on themselves.
When we were dead and desperate is when He reached down and pulled us out of darkness and into His light. Dead men have no power in and of themselves to do anything but be dead. It is only by His mercy and grace that He chose us to be His children. To see this truth we must fully rely on the Word of God alone and not on the many opinions of man.
Ephesians 2:1 and you He made alive (or quickened), who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Acts 9 tells us about Paul being a chosen vessel. He was pulled out of darkness while he was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.
Acts 16:14 shows us how Lydia’s heart was opened to the things of the Lord.
John 9:1-12 the man only knew he was blind but now had sight. He was annointed by Jesus not by his own efforts.
Only God can supernaturally enlighten a soul and make it conscious of the darkness in which it naturally dwells; only God can give life to a spiritually dead soul. God is the ONLY agent in the work of regeneration! Ephesians 2:1, John 1:12-13, Romans 9:16, 1 Peter 1:3, Titus 3:5-6.
Note: An intelligent assent to spiritual things, a “personal” decision for Christ (Matthew 13:20-21), or an external knowledge of Divine Truth as revealed in scripture (consider the life of Judas) is NOT regeneration or a proof of salvation.
As we continue our study of salvation we see how a person who is spiritually dead cannot resurrect himself into spiritual life by a decision of his own. This is also a comfort to those who are saved, who are His witnesses, from attempting to force salvation unto others. No amount of persuading is going to save any man. And His word also states that the wrath (or anger) of man does not bring about the righteousness of God (James 1:20.) Salvation rests in God and God alone. He calls those out of darkness that he foreknew (predestined) and those He wanted a relationship with.
There are many, many other scriptures for us to read and study as we continue to look into salvation. May His Word be the living testimony to what He has done, can do, or will do in our life. This also by no means claims we are to be complacent about our salvation and not be about His works. He has chosen works for us to do before as stated in John 15:16, Ephesians 1, and Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”