This devotional is presented in an effort to set forth the truth that “…Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9); not by any work on man’s part, but wholly by the Sovereign Work of the Holy Spirit of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The natural man desires to have an equal part with God in obtaining Eternal Life. This statement is proven by man trying to mix works with grace. One of man’s favorite statements is, “God has done all He could on the cross, making salvation possible, or available; but it is up to man to do the rest.”
The question then arises, “What is it that is required of man to do to be saved?”
However, when you study Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-21; Romans 5:12; 6:23a; you find that Adam sinned (or broke God’s law) and because of his sin, he received the wages of sin, which is “death.” That is, spiritual death; which is a separation from God; brought under the curse of the law; placed under the law of sin and death; dead in sins and trespasses. The soul and the spirit of man were merged together; and the soul (or the flesh, the seat of emotions) reigns in the “old man,” whose will and desire is to fulfill the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. He could no longer discern spiritual things of God; he had no more fellowship or communion with God. Therefore in this position, “dead in trespasses and sins”; the sinner has no will to please God, nor does he have the power to please God. His only will and desire is to please self (Ephesians 2:2-3).
Man, in his fallen state, will not come, nor can he come, to God without God’s Sovereign Work in his soul:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
For the old man, “which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22b) is spiritually dead in sins and trespasses.
Therefore, the spiritually dead sinner must be “called” or “quickened” (or made alive (John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Romans 8:29-30); whereby the sinner is given the ability to hear and see the Word of God). This experiential quickening of the spiritually dead sinner is on the basis of:
- Chosen by God in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6);
- Being Quickened in Christ on the Cross (Ephesians 2:4-5) in His Atonement for sin.
So, on this foundation, the Spirit comes and quickens the spiritually dead sinner:
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
Then the drawing process begins of the quickened (called) sinner:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” (John 6:44-45)
In this process, the quickened sinner has been given ears to hear and eyes to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectually. He is made to face the Law of God (Romans 7:4-14); which reveals him to be a sinner and under the curse of the law (Romans 3:19-20); which produces Godly sorrow; which works to repentance; which leads to believing the Message of the Gospel (or it is called confession, or conversion, or the New Birth) (Romans 10:9-10); and believing (which is trusting, or obeying) is the end of the process. It (believing) is the result, not the requirement. The requirement is the Atonement of Christ on the Cross, whereby spiritual death was atoned for (Romans 3:24-25; Hebrews 2:14). Believing is the result of the Process of Regeneration or what is called the New Birth (John 3:1-8).
The quickened sinner is presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection) (Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4; 15:2-4). Christ is presented as the sinner’s Substitute, Sacrifice, and Savior (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7). In His atoning work on the cross, the sinner was (not maybe) Reconciled, Redeemed, and made Righteous (or justified, declared righteous) in Christ (Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-2; 10:4). Christ was made the “Sin Offering” or our “Sin Bearer” (Isaiah 53:4-11; John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7); giving Himself in the sinner’s place in payment for the sinner’s sin debt for breaking God’s law in Adam.
There are many examples in God’s Word to verify the above truth. The example used in this series is the Conversion of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-39). In this story, preserved for us, is a view of God’s Sovereign Work in the regeneration process; which is from quickening to conversion (or birth), evidenced by confession of the sinner in word (by mouth) and in deed (by water baptism).
As to when God quickens, or makes alive, the spiritually dead sinner is not known, even by the one quickened. But it is later identified as a reality by the words and deeds of a sinner that has been quickened by the Spirit of Christ; and in the drawing process of God unto Himself (John 6:44), where he is taught, and learns of Jesus Christ (John 6:45; 2 Corinthians 4:6).
As you read this series, ask God to open your eyes to His Sovereign Work in Conversion. You may have various and sundry objections or questions concerning God’s Work in Conversion. Search the Scriptures and ask the Master Teacher (the Holy Spirit) to reveal the truth of the matter.
On the other hand, if you have, by the power of God, been revealed this truth already, that Salvation is by God’s Grace and by it alone, apart from any man’s works (Romans 4:16; 11:6):
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)
Then read and rejoice in the finished work of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Christ is “The Faith” (Galatians 2:20). You are saved by, or through, (The) Faith (Christ and Him alone). It is not your faith, meaning something you developed, for “your faith” is Christ living in you. Faith (The Faith, Christ) is a Gift; “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The world is filled with printed material of “How to Get Saved.” However, the belief of the author of this devotional is that the Bible was not written to the lost telling them how to get saved; but it is God’s Revelation of Himself in the face of Jesus Christ of His Attributes. The Attributes of Love, Mercy, Grace, Holiness, and Perfection are revealed in the Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus as revealed in His office works as Prophet, High Priest, Substitute, Sacrifice, Savior, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
These attributes receive their greatest revelation in the vicarious (substitutionary) and expiatory (satisfying) Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross as He made Atonement for our sin debt. These attributes are revealed to those who are reconciled, redeemed, and justified in the Atonement of Christ on the Cross; and verified by His Bodily Resurrection from the grave; when they receive Experiential Justification (or when they receive regeneration; quickening to conversion, or birth) which is witnessed to the regenerated sinner by the indwelling witness of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:5-6); and it is witnessed to others by the confession of the sinner in word, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God”; and by deed, water baptism.
This is not written to tell How; but to reveal the Who of Salvation, God Himself in the Flesh, Jesus Christ. Salvation is a done deed; completed in Christ as far as a judicial transaction; God is satisfied in the ransom price of Jesus Christ as the Sin Offering (Isaiah 53:10-11). Not maybe, but the transaction is complete. Because of this done transaction, on that basis, the Spirit of Christ comes and quickens (calls) the dead sinner in a Sovereign Act of God (John 3:8). The sinner is drawn by God and taught by God and is brought to birth, or conversion, evidenced by confession. Thus is the truth, “Salvation is of the LORD”; in and apart from any work on man’s part (John 1:11-12).
Therefore, this series, “the Miracle of Conversion” is submitted to bring honor to God and to Him alone in the Regeneration Process. To also dethrone the pride of man who thinks he can undo God’s done deed of the Ratification of the Covenant, proven by Christ’s Resurrection from the dead; by his rejection of the Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus. (See Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Romans 8:29-30; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 2:1-4; John 6:37; Romans 11:1-11.)