Conversion – The Response of Man

Like I said the other day, there are two sides to of the coin when it comes to conversion: the work of God, and the response of man.

What do I mean?  Remember the distinction I made the a few days ago?  “There is a distinction here that is helpful: two historic doctrines, one of which is correct while the other wrong.  Synergism: the conversion of man is the result of the cooperative effort of God and man.  Monergism: the conversion of man is not a result of any effort of man, it is active work of God in the soul of man.”

Rather than seeing the response of man as the cooperative work joining together with God to make conversion possible, the response of man must not be seen as work that creates salvation or cooperates with God to make salvation/conversion possible.  It is clearly from the Bible the work of God  to which man responds to.

Where do we see man’s response in the Bible?  Simple, anytime the Scripture call us to faith we see this taking place.

When Jesus calls us to repent and believe, He’s calling us to conversion. It’s a radical change in what we believe and do.  Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

When Jesus calls us to take up our crosses and follow him, He’s calling us to conversion.  Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

When Jesus tells Nicodemus the reason the Son of God came into the world, He’s calling us to convert and believe in Him.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

This may sound strange to some of you to think in this manner.  God acts, man responds.  God must open the heart before we can believe in Him with our heart.  Yes we do have an active volitional will that makes a choice to follow Jesus, but until God opens our eyes to see the His Kingdom (John 3:3) we will never be born again.

Conversion is the action of God, and the response of man.

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2 thoughts on “Conversion – The Response of Man

  1. Acts 2:47b states, “.. the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” It’s primarily the work of the Holy Spirit to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and of judgment.(Jn 16:8) Is that conviction irresistible? Most fundamentalist would say “yes”. But Jesus said in Jn 6:65 “No man can come unto me except the Father first draw him.” That word “draw” in the greek implies irresistible. I believe it is irresistible, if its a true drawing of the Father. John 3:19 states,
    “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
    I can’t imagine we’re stronger than God, in any respect, even in choosing whether to accept Him or not (especially if we’re not capable). How can such an eternally significant choice really be left up to us- we’re too dead to choose rightly. He has to make the choice for us. “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you…” Christ said to His disciples. Yet we preach with an attitude of faith that He has chosen those to whom we’re preaching.
    Paul says,”How will they believe unless someone preaches. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14) Also,” If our gospel be hid it is hid to them who are in darkness, whom the god of this world has blinded…lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them.”(2Cor.4:4) God does His part (which is everything) and we do our part, whether preaching or accepting Him, only by His grace.

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