10. 100 percent grace and 100 percent personal responsibility

It is possible you find this very confusing. On the one hand, the Bible tells us our salvation is 100% by grace, while on the other hand it says God asks you to make a decision.

  • Choose you this day whom ye will serve (Joshua 24:15b).

Now how does that work? Is it by grace, or does a person have to make a choice also?

An Example: a rescue operation in 2010
In August of 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped in their mine, at a depth of about 2000 feet. Chances were they were all going to die. But rescue workers decided to dig a 2000 feet deep shaft. They lowered a cage into this shaft, by which all miners were lifted to the surface. Not a single one of them perished.

How do you think these miners were saved? Did they rescue themselves? No, of course not. They were fully dependent on those who dug the shaft and lowered the cage. But if they hadn't decided to step into the cage, would they still have been rescued? No. They had to get in the cage to be saved. So the miners were fully dependent on others for their salvation, yet at the same time fully responsible themselves. They trusted and expected they were going to be saved when they saw the means of their salvation. Once they reached the surface, they were extremely grateful that they were saved because others had helped them.

God's rescue operation in 33 AD
Some 2000 years ago, another rescue operation took place. The Lord Jesus also descended from above to save people. He gave His life on the cross at Golgotha. If He hadn't come, no one could be saved. Not you either. But because the Lord Jesus died on the cross, the penalty for our sins has been paid. This opened the way for your salvation. However, He does ask us to come to Him in faith, just like the miners had to step into the cage. And just like the miners, those who put their trust in the means (prayer, Bible study, going to church) can be confident that God will bless their faith. Those who will not accept Him by faith will perish for eternity, but those who surrender to the Lord Jesus will be saved.

A thought to ponder on your own
What does Matthew 22:1-12 and Matthew 23:37b say about personal responsibility?



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