The key to a right understanding of God’s work in salvation is to start where the Bible starts regarding our condition outside of Christ. We are not healthy; and not just sick; very sick; or even mortally sick. No, we are dead. All of us were born that way when we came into this world as the fallen sons of Adam. In Adam all die.
Start there in your thinking, recognizing there are no degrees of deadness. See the utter hopelessness and futility of our condition. Anything less than this is a misdiagnosis of the problem. Our condition is way beyond bleak. A doctor prescribed medicine or a coach’s moral pep-talk is foolishness at this point. It’s too late. The doctor has signed the papers pronouncing us dead and there was no mistake. The mortician has placed us in the casket already. We are, in human terms, beyond all hope.
Did you catch that? Do you get that?
If you did, then you would realize that for God to make a Christian, He must raise him from spiritual death. He needs more than healing; he needs resurrection. Every Christian is therefore an act of God – a miracle, a new creation – and something impossible by the power, schemes and efforts of man.
When we understand this to be the Bible’s teaching (which it is), there can be no other logical conclusion except salvation is entirely God’s work from start to finish. It is actually quite ridiculous to think otherwise. It is beyond debate. Salvation is of the Lord.
See this now in the words of the Apostle Paul. Addressing the Christians at Ephesus he writes:
Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.