True Christians Cannot Take Credit For Their Own Belief

I believe that human beings will be judged according to the choices they make. I believe that God in His Sovereignty allowed us to exercise our wills. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of everyone in the world (I John 2:1) and that God genuinely wants everyone to repent and be saved (II Peter 3:9, II Timothy 2:4).

However, I also believe that those of us who are saved cannot take credit for our own belief. We are by nature sinners, and the power to believe is given to us by God. We have been chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (I Peter 1:2). Apart from God choosing us we would not have chosen God (John 15:16). We were not picked because we were smarter or naturally more righteous than everyone else. Therefore, true believers cannot brag about themselves:

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:26-31 NIV)

These two ideas may seem to contradict each other: personal responsibility and God choosing us for salvation. I do not claim to understand it all. I probably never will. But I know that God genuinely cares for everyone and that those who go to hell do so because they refused to honor God in their hearts. Nevertheless, those of us who believe and repent unto salvation cannot be arrogant or boast in the strength of our own will. We did not, cannot, save ourselves.

To God be the glory!

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