Does Not Depend On Human Effort

Most people agree that salvation is of the LORD but the problem comes when we try to understand the meaning of that seemingly simple sentence, “Salvation is of the LORD.” It means, it is God who decides who to save, not the one who gets saved by God.

On this very truth of God, believers are divided into two groups: One group says, yes, salvation comes from the LORD but the one who is going to be saved by the LORD has to believe in God first before God saves him.
The other group, on the other hand, says, yes, salvation comes from LORD and the LORD is the One to decide who to save.
The Bible says,
“For he [God] says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:15-16 NIV)
Wow! I love it! And listen how NCV (New Century Version) puts this passage:
“God said to Moses, “I will show kindness to anyone to whom I want to show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy.” So God will choose the one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do.” (Romans 9:15-16 NCV)
Did you hear that! Isn’t that insane!
It pretty much says, “Don’t think that you are saved because you did something right to earn your salvation. Rather, by unknown to man reason, God has chosen to save you.”
This jaw-dropping truth always leaves me speechless and sometimes I end up crying out of joy because I ask, “Why God? Why did you choose to save ME, the chief sinner?????” And I always get no answer. The only answer I live with is, “I am saved and my salvation is of the LORD.” Hallelujah!
It is God who decides who to save and He is the One to start and finish the salvation work in us (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 12:2).
So, Jesus said,
“The Father is the One who sent me. No one can come to me unless the Father draws him to me, and I will raise that person up on the last day.” (John 6:44)
My goodness! Jesus puts it clearly!
“So, what is the point,” you may ask.
Well, the point is this, “Salvation is of the LORD,” and if you are saved, that means God had drawn you to Jesus and you believed and you became a follower of Jesus Christ, it is God who did all that work in you. You contributed absolutely nothing to your salvation.
At this point, you may say, “But I have to believe first for God to save me, so faith is something I brought to the table to receive my salvation from the LORD.”
Well, my friend, you forgot something. Faith, believing in the LORD Jesus Christ, itself is a gift from God.
While Paul was preaching the Gospel, God opened Lydia’s heart so she could believe what she heard and be saved. (Acts 16:14) “God opened her heart,” means God drew her to Jesus Christ.
So, Paul says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this [your faith] is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8)
My! My! My! Hallelujah!
At this point, you may ask, “But why do we preach the Gospel then if God is the One to open the heart of the people and put faith in? Our preaching won’t have meaning and purpose.”
Aha, that too, my friend, is a gift of God, a gift to us believers to be co-workers with God. Even if we don’t really contribute anything for the salvation of others, God chose to bring salvation to man in our preaching. That is why the Bible calls the preaching of the Gospel as “foolishness.” It makes no sense to the carnal man but to the one God opens the heart, the Gospel means life.
So, we say, “Salvation is of the LORD.” ///