Saving faith is not the result of a human decision but of a divine gift. Today, R.C. Sproul beckons us to admire the miraculous mercy exhibited in every Christian’s conversion.
If you have faith in Jesus Christ, you didn’t conjure it up. That faith did not come forth or emerge from your state of spiritual death. For the first time maybe that you really heard the gospel and responded favorably to it and embraced it, maybe you thought, “Well, I finally decided to believe in Jesus.” No such thing. Saving faith is not the result of a human decision. It is the result of a divine gift.
Let me remind you how Paul expressed that in his letter to the Ephesians: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, according to the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph. 2:1–3, NKJV).
Do you hear what Paul was saying here? That God has made you alive. He’s quickened you. That’s the biblical language for regeneration. It is God who has made you born again. When? After you left the pigsty of the Prodigal Son and came home? No, while you were dead in sin and trespasses. While you were still following the course of this world, the prince of the power of the air, and obeying the lusts of your flesh, just like everybody else. While you were in that spiritually dead condition, God, in His unspeakable grace and mercy, visited your soul and brought you to spiritual life.