Items posted on 14 January 2013
1 Post found

Ezra 6.22 and Acts 16.14 – Salvation is of the Lord
Posted: 14 January 2013 in Acts, Ezra

And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

Nowhere in the Bible is there any suggestion that we are able to turn to God of our own free will. As in the cases of Darius and Lydia, conversion, or the turning of somebody’s heart to the Lord, is always, and without exception, said to be the result of God’s working. Nowhere is there any suggestion that we are free to remake ourselves. Less frequently, the hardening of somebody’s heart is also said to be the result of divine activity. The obvious example is the hardening of Pharoah’s heart:

“And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.” (Exodus 9.12)

There are, I imagine, a couple of indications that our hearts are being remade by God. One is a genuine and heartfelt acceptance that we are helpless to save ourselves, and that we are wholly dependent upon God’s mercy. Another name for that is humility. A second indication is that we have a desire to please God. As James put it in his epistle, faith without works is dead. We cannot go swanning through life, thinking that we are saved by faith, if we show no sign of that desire to serve God which ought to issue from a genuine faith.

Nevertheless, although there ought to be visible signs of faith, it is the faith which comes from God alone that saves us. Salvation is of the Lord. If we had any part in effecting our own salvation, then some of the glory would rub off on us. As it is, all glory remains with God, to whom alone it is due.

No comments