The second in a three-part series on vital issues in systematic theology by David Cook, current moderator-general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

Do I contribute to my own salvation? Do I repent and believe and thus God regenerates me or is it the other way around? Is faith my contribution to the whole process – God does his bit and I add my necessary contribution?
This, of course, goes to the heart of the gospel we preach.
Recently I found myself singing a song in our choral group. It said “time after time, He has waited before and now He is waiting again; to see if you’re willing to open the door. O how He wants to come in.” Really, that I can hold at bay the sovereign Lord of all, the one who called creation into being, now held at bay by little old me.
Calvin said, “the first principle of theology is that God can see nothing in the corrupt nature of man … to induce him to show him favour!” God never relates to us on the basis of our desiring or earning.
Salvation begins with God’s decision not mine. It is gracious, effective and powerful. It is not earned or attracted by me. It is entirely generous and contrary to our deserving. I cannot earn it, be religious enough or good enough to deserve it.
This truth gives the lie to every human attempt to impress God or win his attention by our doing. All who will be in heaven will be there in total praise of God; they will not share the limelight with Him.
So, how does salvation begin and proceed?… (Read the rest here).

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