Miscellanies 63: I am always astonished when anyone becomes a Christian
I am always amazed when anyone becomes a Christian. It is nothing less than divine power working a miracle as marvelous as the miracle of creation itself. It is ex-nihilo. Once, there was no faith, absolutely nothing, then suddenly as light immediately quenches the darkness, faith appears, birthed in the soul. I am always astonished because when I declare the gospel to one who has no interest nor history or knowledge of Christ, a thought always occur in my mind, namely, how foolish this message is that I proclaim to him – it must make no sense to him although it makes all the sense in the world to me, but I must declare it unashamedly, and not change it in order to please his reasons. I preach on knowing that in his heart that this unconverted person is perhaps offended by my message, for I have just declared to him that He is a sinner, he is alienated from God, that his good works at best are filthy rags, he cannot do anything to merit God’s smile in attaining heaven or in anything else, but that he must beat his chest, understanding his own deep depravity and unworthiness, and that his only hope is in the death and resurrection of Christ and in the mere sovereign pleasure of grace to bestow grace upon his wretched condition. I tell him that God loves him and sent his only Son to die for him. I assure him of a sure peace with God and reconciliation. The reconciliation or his salvation is not merely to do with his own personal interest but with the whole creation. If he doesn’t believe in this message then he must have his miserable portion which is an eternity spent in the chambers of hell because of his own wilful rebellion against God. I am sure that there are many who are in the faith who would not smile at this gospel message but mourn at my sad depiction of the human nature and powerlessness to conjure up even a percentage of their own faith. I am sure that man can only produce unbelief in this regard hence why it is impossible for any man to be saved except by God’s grace alone. This is what I have read in the scriptures and this is why I am surprised and amazed when anyone believes in the gospel. It is nothing short of a divine work.