Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why Did I Repent and Believe?

Why did I repent and believe?

This is an interesting question for all of us. It is worthy of asking ourselves because of its direct connection with salvation.

I have to wonder: WHY did I repent and believe? There are many, many people around the world who have heard the gospel message (sadly, many have not heard, but that is another blog post). Many have believed in the gospel, but many others have not.

So why does one person repent and believe while another does not? In hearing the gospel, why did I respond positively while another person responded negatively?

The bible is clear that prior to salvation, all humans are wicked. No one seeks God. All are spiritually dead.

How do we go from that wretched state to responding positively to the gospel message?

When a person is saved, something dramatic happens. That person is born again. He becomes a new creation.

Back to our original question - why does anyone repent and believe? Why does he reject his love of sin in favor of a love of God? There are only two possible answers to this question: either the sinful man changes his own heart, or God changes his heart.

Did I change my own heart, and choose to turn to God? Did I, of my own free-will, reject the things of the world in order to repent and believe? The answer is "no." I had no capacity in my spiritual deadness to turn to God. I didn't want God. I certainly did not change the condition of my heart.

In fact, if I were to say that I repented and believed of my own free-will, then what I am saying is that I am better than the person who rejected God. I would be saying that there is something in me that is inherently of more value, of greater good than there is in that person who rejects the gospel. This is the only conclusion.

However, what if someone else brought about the heart change that leads to repentance and faith? If someone else does this, then I can in no way claim that I am better than anyone else. Who would this someone else be?

The answer is clearly God Himself. He brought it about. He caused me to be born again. He caused the radical change to occur. Ezekiel explains it this way.

Why would God do this? Paul tells us here. Paul says that God's saving of people happens, "according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace."

So, why did I repent and believe? It certainly was not because I am of more value than anyone else. I know that I did not choose God on my own. I know first from the bible, and second from my own experience (with the bible being far superior in terms of authority) that I repented and believed because God, in His great grace, made it happen.

Because of this, God deserves all the glory. While I was dead, He saved me! Praise the Lord!

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