God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. – II Timothy 1:9.
Get a clear notion from Scripture, Christian, of the way in which the Holy Ghost has kindled faith in Christ in your heart. God has saved you, that is, He has worked saving faith in you. How did He do it? He called you through the Gospel; through this Gospel He called you to Christ. Through this very call He has saved you, kindled saving faith in Christ in you. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
By so calling you, He at once enlightened you with His gifts; He caused “the light” of faith to shine in your dark heart (II Corinthians 4:6.); He mightily, powerfully, and effectively “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9 b). As Christ called Lazarus back from the grave into the life of this body, and with the same power by which Jesus Himself was raised from the dead, God regenerated and converted you (Ephesians 1:19-20).
The Holy Ghost, in a spiritual manner and through the use of His Word, called you from spiritual death into spiritual life with His holy calling, with an unparalleled, divine, divinely powerful calling, with a calling that is in full accord with His divine holiness, and in itself is holy, without spot or blemish.
For He has called you, and converted you, and kindled faith in you, not according to your works; not because you have been willing and even desiring to be called, nor because of your better conduct. That would be teaching contrary to His Word, which says that by nature you are spiritually dead, contrary to the plain words of Scriptures which attribute all to grace, to grace alone. It would not be holy, not in accord with His divine holiness.
No, He has called you according, well, according to what? He has called and converted you according to His own purpose and grace, according to His gracious purpose, which rests alone on His grace, which was given you in Christ Jesus and for His sake before the world began, from eternity. It is due to grace, and to grace only, that the Holy Ghost has kindled saving faith in Christ in you through His Word, grace within and without, grace in time and eternity, grace in Christ Jesus.
Thank Him now and forever and ever for this precious gift!
PRAYER – O Lord, I did not approach Thee, but Thou hast lovingly approached me. I did not seek Thee, but Thou hast sought me. I did not choose Thee, but Thou hast chosen me. It is owing to Thy grace alone that Thou hast called me in Christ and brought me to faith in Him. O holy God, how shall I sufficiently thank Thee? Keep me in true, saving faith and give unto me the certainty of eternal life which Thou hast given me by faith in Christ, that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 b). Amen.
How can I thank Thee, Lord, for all Thy loving-kindness;
that Thou hast patiently borne with me in my blindness?
When dead in many sins and trespasses I lay,
I kindled, holy God, Thine anger every day.
It is Thy work alone, that I am now converted;
o’er Satan’s work in me, Thou hast Thy power asserted,
Thy mercy and Thy grace that rise afresh each morn,
have turned my stony heart into a heart new-born.
(TLH) – Hymn 417, 1, 2