Q. Man is in a depraved state and sin was passed down thru Adam to us. Because of our sinful nature, how are we able to make the decision to be saved without God helping us ? Are we that able to have something to do with our salvation ? Wouldn’t that mean salvation isn’t just up to God and that it’s our work and His grace combined?
A. Romans 8:29-30 explains the process and shows God’s involvement in our salvation. It begins before the creation with His foreknowledge of all who would choose to accept Him during the age of man. This shows how our name came to be written in the Lamb’s Book Of Life from the creation of Earth (Rev. 13:8).
With that foreknowledge He predestined us, which means He made sure it would happen. Then at the proper time in our life He calls us to do what He already knows we will do. He’s persistent and keeps after us until we respond, because He promised never to lose any of us (John 6:39). It’s like when you set your alarm but because you have an important appointment you also ask your spouse to make sure you wake up. You make the choice to get up, but your spouse will keep after you until it happens.
When we respond, as He knows we will, He justifies us by applying His blood to our sins, rendering us as though innocent. Finally, at the rapture/resurrection He will glorify us. No one falls through a crack, no one is forgotten, no one is left behind. We make the choice, but He knew we would and sees to it that we do.
Salvation is not just up to God because if it was everyone would be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9). But because He already knows we want to be saved, He will do everything necessary to make sure we are. That’s how He helps us.
But that’s not all. He’ll also make sure we stay saved. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 says it’s God who makes us stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, put His seal of ownership on us, and put His spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.
Our salvation is not a combination of our work and His grace. In the Bible work is defined as something we do in an attempt to earn or keep our salvation. Choosing to be saved involves admitting we don’t deserve it and could never earn it. In Ephesians 2:98-9 Paul was very clear in saying our salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works.