I can't pinpoint the date exactly, but it was in late May and early June of 2007 that the Lord brought me around to a more biblical understanding of salvation. It's commonly nicknamed Calvinism, although I prefer to style the soteriology as many others do more accurately as the Doctrines of Grace.
This post, however, is not designed to explore the oft-acronymed five points of TULIP (or as I think I prefer RUPEP), but merely to posit this:
A right understanding of God's grace will cause the Christian to realize a mind-blowing truth.: Every person who trusts in Christ unto salvation is the result of a miracle performed by God himself.
That I am a Christian is a miracle.
It's not because I am smarter than those who reject Christ or more spiritually attuned. It's not because I've dispassionately weighed the options and chosen Christ. It's not because I've chosen Christ or stuck with him after opting to "try Jesus."
No, I'm adopted into God's family not by my initiative but because I've been born again by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. My rebirth spiritually preceded my faith and it made possible and alive my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. [John 3; I Peter 1:3-9]
Before God awakened my heart to believe and trust in him, I was dead in sin. Dead men don't make choices. Dean men don't believe things. Dead men just decay, and so did I, spiritually, until God brought me from death unto life. [John 5:24]
But praise be to God and God alone for [Eph. 2: 8-10; Gal. 3:10-14; Rom. 3:10-12, 21-28; 8:18-30; 10:17; Phil. 1:6]:
- choosing to save me before the foundation of the world
- sending Jesus to die for my sins, bearing God's just wrath against them in my place
- sending faithful messengers to preach the Word of God to me of so great a salvation
- summoning my heart to new life and faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit
- preserving me by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to cling to my only hope, Christ Jesus
God initiated every facet of my salvation, and He'll complete every facet, and it's all for the praise of His glory. [Heb. 12:1-2; 10:19-39]
Soli Deo gloria! To God alone be the glory.