Does your salvation depend in any way on man’s actions? Can you just say a prayer to be saved? Is there anything at all you can do to be saved or to merit (even a little bit) salvation from Hell? (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray [lost our way]; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity [sins] of us all.
All of us are lost sinners. None are righteous. God the Father laid our sins on Jesus Christ on the cross, so that whosoever calls on Him will be saved.
Romans 10:13-18 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 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? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things [the gospel]!
Preachers of all types are sent into the world. All have heard the message even when a human preacher was not present. We all have a conscience and our conscience informs us of sin, except where a person has become very hardened against their own conscience.
Romans 10:16-18 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
Then faith grows on hearing God’s words. And the Lord tells us through the scriptures that all have heard, in all the world. We are informed about God as Creator from the creation; we are informed about God as Judge from our own consciences.
But can a sinner decide to be no more a sinner?
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
No more than the leopard can change his spots—it is impossible.
Jesus gives us a perfect illustration of how He saves us. He was late arriving at the house of Mary and Martha, who had called Jesus to come and heal their brother Lazarus. But Lazarus had died by the time Jesus arrived.
John 11:39-44 Jesus said, Take you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says to Him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days. 40 Jesus says to her, Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I knew that You hear Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent Me. 43 And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus says to them, Loose him, and let him go.
Can a dead person hear and respond to someone calling them? of course not. In the same way we were dead spiritually before Christ called us from death to life. It is impossible for anyone to come back to life, naturally, so too it is impossible for anyone to become alive spiritually. But with God the impossible becomes possible. After all God is the Creator of life itself.
Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation [satisfaction, appeasement] through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission [forgiveness] of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
No man is without sin. We are, by faith, saved by God’s free grace given through Jesus paying the price of our sin, hence appeasing the wrath of the Father, who is Judge. Thus our sins are no more—they are washed away by the blood of Christ.
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
No one seeks God. All are in need of a Saviour. We are saved by grace through faith, not any of our own works. There is nothing you can say or do to merit any credit towards your salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained [planned] that we should walk in them.
We are God’s work. Earthly Israel (of the flesh from Abraham) are not spiritual Israel, but only those saved in Christ. Even those Jews who God redeems are those who are saved.
Romans 9:6-8 Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Those who God chooses to save are those He chooses, not because they are of Israel the nation but those whom He calls. Jacob and Esau are given as an example, before they were even born God chose one and rejected the other.
Romans 9:9-17 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls;) 12 It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. 17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.
God chooses whomever He will. He also manipulates and uses people to accomplish His will, as with Pharaoh in Egypt. He was a pawn in the hand of God.
We cannot know the mind of God, except that God might always be glorified. So be thankful that He chose you. All glory to our God!