Simply put, it is a miracle that you believe in Jesus as your Savior.
This series offers an overview of the chief teachings of the Christian church.
The same can rightly be said about every single child of God. God Himself d eclares that this is a miracle on par with calling light into existence at creation. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
God uses a number of word pictures to illustrate the miraculous change from the unbelief in which we are born to a living, active faith in Jesus our Savior. Each picture teaches us that we are helpless to help ourselves. Each picture teaches us that God has done everything to accomplish this miraculous change.
We are all born in sin (Psalm 51:5) so we begin our life’s journey walking down a path that leads to eternal destruction. Conversion is the 180-degree turn from that deadly path to walking with our Savior by faith. “You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25)
God tells us that, spiritually speaking, we are naturally dead. “You He made alive , who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Scripture frequently refers to sin and unbelief as darkness (for example, Isaiah 9:2; 1 John 1:5-7). The change from unbelief to saving faith is therefore described as illumination. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8)
God could not be clearer that we are not the agents of change. Walking the wrong direction will not take you to your destination. A corpse cannot breathe life into his own dead body. We have nothing to do with our first birth, how can we accomplish a second one? Without an outside light coming into a dark room, those in the room remain in darkness.
Many churches today teach that the individual sinner chooses Jesus as his Savior. This leads to familiar calls to action such as, “All you need to do is accept the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart.” However, we are incapable of making a decision for Christ in this way because “There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” (Romans 3:11) Jesus adds, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16)
The Gospel, the means of grace (see Romans 1:16, Lutheran Spokesman March 2023 ), is the power behind the miraculous change that transforms our hearts’ natural stone cold unbelief to a living saving faith that bears fruits of faith. The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel to create, nurture, sustain, and preserve such a faith through which the forgiveness of sins flows. Only the power and working of God in the Gospel can call the spiritually dead to life, illuminate the darkness of their hearts, and give them rebirth.
Through the power of His Gospel Word, God has converted us from unbelievers to believers, made us His own, and given us life. “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)