One of the core beliefs of Christianity is:
The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all persons: (a) the requirements of the law are written by God on every heart, (b) Jesus Christ knocks at the door of every heart, (c) the Holy Spirit calls and convicts each person and (d) God's eternal power and divine nature are evident in the world around us. Nevertheless, many resist the grace of God. (I)
- The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all persons (Titus 2:11):
- (a) the requirements of the law are written by God on every heart (Rom. 2:15),
- (b) Jesus Christ knocks at the door of every heart (Rev. 3:20),
- (c) the Holy Spirit calls and convicts each person (John 16:8) and
- (d) God's eternal power and divine nature are evident in the world around us (Rom 1:20).
- Nevertheless, many resist the grace of God (Mat 25:46; 2 Thes 1:8-9).
The grace of God that comes before salvation is called prevenient grace. Prior to salvation, God initiates, advances and perfects everything that can be called good in man. God leads the sinner from one step to another in proportion as He finds response in the heart and disposition to obedience. Some men allow God to quicken, assist and nudge their free will to facilitate confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience so they may receive the great gift of salvation (1 Pet 1:9). Other men choose to resist and reject the grace of God (2 Thes 1:8-9).
The second bullet item states: the requirements of the law are written by God on every heart (Rom 2:15). We sometimes refer to these requirements as the moral law which is really God's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself (Mat 22:36-40). This commandment embodies the sum total of the Law given to us by God (Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14). To make sure no one missed the instructions, he wrote His Law on everyone's heart (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14, 15). But who can obey this law?
In the words of Oswald Chambers:
“Conviction of sin always brings a fearful binding sense of the law, it makes a man hopeless – sold under sin. I, a guilty sinner, can never get right with God, it is impossible. There is only one way in which I can get right with God, and that is by the Death of Jesus Christ. I must get rid of the lurking idea that I can ever be right with God because of my obedience -- which of us could ever obey God to absolute perfection!” (Chambers, December 1st)
(See also Sections 11.1, 11.4, 11.5, 11.8, 11.10 and 11.12 of Theology Corner)