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Christmas Services on 12/24/17
9:00 AM and 10:45 AM

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Jun 25

Zaspel on How We Come to Believe

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Quote,Recommended Link,This Sunday

In view of our Sunday evening talk and Q&A with Fred Zaspel on Romans 9, let me point you to an article Fred wrote on a similar passage — John 1:11-13.

He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

What does it mean to be born of God? How do we come to receive Him? Fred answers these and other similar questions in a methodical, progressive, and clear way. His conclusion is:

To believe in Christ unto salvation requires much more than anything human life can produce. It is not a matter of ridding ourselves of our worst habits. It is not a matter of moral improvement. It requires such a drastic, such a thorough-going transformation that it cannot be brought about by anything we do or will. It is not a matter of human excellence; it is a matter of divine grace.

And so the Biblical writers are careful to tell us not only that “it is not of him that wills or of him that runs,” but also that “it is of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:16). They tell us not only that we must believe, but that “God works within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). They tell us not only that we cannot do anything to birth ourselves into God’s family but also that God in Christ and by His Spirit does for us what we would not and could not do ourselves. They tell us that those who savingly confess Christ do so only “by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). True confession of faith in Christ is something that is entirely beyond us until we are so enabled by God the Spirit.

In other words, all this comes down to that one big word which we find everywhere in the Bible, and that word is grace. Salvation comes to us entirely from God’s side. “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). It is His doing for us not because of us or even with us. It is His doing for us and in us. It is all a work of His grace; it all stems from His loving kindness.

Read the whole article to see how he comes to these conclusions from the passage itself. Some great, helpful, grace-glorifying stuff!

And we hope to see you Sunday. Fred will be preaching from Job in our Sunday AM services and, again, on Romans 9 that evening.