Can You Choose to be Saved?
One of the clearest principles of the Christian Bible is the absolute need of each individual to be saved. Whether or not you subscribe to the original sin doctrine or not, it is clear that each one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory according to Scripture. (Romans 3:23-24)
Yet there is a serious question to be answered. Can You Choose to be Saved? Is it up to you? Can you will yourself into God’s good grace?
This article is not going to dive into the concept of free will and the debate of whether or not humans have it. We obviously have the intellectual ability to reason and to make choices based on our surroundings. Yet that is a clear function of our mental/rational faculties.
In this article, I am going to focus the spiritual man. In contrast, a dead man can tell no tales and make no decisions.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.Ephesians 2:1-3
Can You Choose to follow God?
There is a natural push and pull in Scripture about God’s Sovereign Will and Man’s will. For example, in Joshua 24 there is an illustration of Him telling followers that they need to choose which god they will serve. Joshua concludes in a well known quote, “Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Yahweh)” (Joshua 24:14-15)
Yet, this still does not prove that Joshua came to that conclusion without divine intervention. I believe the Scripture when it says that God is immutable, He does not change. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8) Therefore, if He does not change, then Christ’s words stand as much for Joshua as it does for you and me.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”John 6:44
It is impossible for any man to choose Jesus Christ unless the Father draws them to that choice. It is equally impossible for us to be raised (resurrected, glorifed) in the end days by any choice we make.
To bring that into perspective, consider Romans 9:15-16 where God says, “I will have mercy on whom I choose to have mercy. So then it depends not on human will or exertion.“
So then can you choose to be saved? Is it God’s choice on whom he will have mercy, or is it merit based? Do you make choices, struggle and fight for your salvation?
Consider just a few verses earlier in Romans 9 and the well known story of Jacob and Esua. I want you to focus on the emphasis here of choice. Whose choice? It was not Jacob who could choose to be saved (chosen) or Esau’s choice to turn away that choice.
For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”Romans 9:9-13
You are chosen by God
If you believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, you have been called. Do you sincerely believe that by the works of Christ the condemntation of the Law was nailed to a cross? Then you have been chosen by God. For those who believe, it is because the Father has drawn them.
“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”Romans 8:30