For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
1….What makes me smarter (better, more faithful, etc.) than my neighbor?
2.... Why did faith arise in me, but not the one next to me?
3.... Was I truly dead in my sin (or just a little sick)? How fallen is mankind?
4....Is it the grace of God (alone) that saves me? Or do I think that I am able (in some small way) to save myself?
5....Grace is God's unmerited favor toward undeserving sinners like us.
6.... Being unmerited, people can do nothing to obtain it. In other words, grace is not conditioned upon anything God sees in us, like our merit or even our good will.
7.... If God left men to their boasted will we would all perish, for no poison-filled well, like us, would freely use their polluted will to choose God, for the Scriptures affirm that the natural man hates the light and will not come into it (John 3:19, 20).
8.... Therefore, in His great mercy and, in spite of ourselves, God regenerates His people through the work of Christ's grace wrought in us.
9.... Exercising faith is our responsibility so, of course, we affirm that all men have a will and make voluntary choices, but since our will is broken and spiritually bankrupt, if we are ever to exercise faith in Jesus Christ it will mean that God must do a supernatural work of grace in our heart to disarm our natural hostility and restore our brokenness lest our hearts remain like stone, and we as a stiff necked people will refuse to come to Jesus Christ.
10.... We do not repair ourselves and then believe.
11.... Rather, we believe because God has repaired us, has illumined our mind that we might see and believe.
12.... God commands men to come but, of themselves, none of themselves, want to. "It is not Him who wills or runs but of Him who shows mercy (Rom 9:16).
13....Why is this important? - Because it gives God all the glory for our salvation. Grace cannot be separated from our election in Christ. Romans 11:5,6 says, "at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace."
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