Salvation is God's work
"Salvation belongs to the Lord"
When someone appeals to God and seeks forgiveness in Jesus,
his sins are removed, he is cleansed, his relationship with God is restored, and he is
made a new creature (2 Corinthians. 5:17). All of this is the work of God, not man.
The Bible has a phrase that describes the non-Christian. It
is 'natural man'. In 1 Corinthians. 2:14 Paul says, "But a natural man does not
accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot
understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."
Our human condition can be compared to a drop of poison in
a glass of water: all the water is poisoned but it is not as bad as it could be. The water
is incapable of being good. We, too, are incapable of really being good.
When Jesus' disciples asked Him who can be saved, He
replied, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible"
(Matthew. 19:26). That is why salvation rests in God alone by grace through faith
About now you are probably wondering what this has to do
with witnessing. Why do you need to know all this? I am glad you asked. It is helpful to
know because you must realize it is God who saves people. Specifically, it is the Holy
Spirit who convicts the sinner of sin -- not you. "And He [the Holy Spirit], when He
comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment"
Remember, the gospel is preached after sin is made known.
Because the sinner cannot come to God on his own, he must be convicted of his sin, and
thus be made aware of his need for salvation. The conviction of sin is beyond our control.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8).