Since some have been wondering what I believe about conversion, I am going to basically repeat a post I did in August. Hopefully this will explain what I believe the Bible teaches about conversion.
The argument is often made that the commands, “Believe” and the like automatically imply the ability to do what is commanded. If a person doesn’t naturally have the ability to do what is commanded, why give the command? The logic is that a command presupposes the ability of the person to obey it.
But that logic doesn’t always apply when God is added to the equation. Take Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. In John 11:44 we hear Jesus crying out, “Lazarus, come forth.” It would be ridiculous to say that this command implies that Lazarus had the ability to obey it – that Lazarus was lying in the tomb and had a choice: do I come forth or don’t I come forth? No, Jesus’ command was a creative command – through that very command Jesus created life in Lazarus’ dead body.
This is common in miracles. When Jesus told the lame to walk or the blind to see, his command created within them the power to do what he commanded. Again it would be ridiculous to say that the lame or the blind had a choice to make: should I walk or shouldn’t I? Should I see or shouldn’t I see?
The Bible describes coming to faith also as a miracle worked by God. It is a spiritual resurrection: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Ephesians 2:5. It is also equated to God’s creation of light. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) Just like in the examples cited above, God’s commands of “Believe”, “Follow me” etc. are creative commands. That is why Paul wrote: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth’” (Romans 1:16) Even when it comes to coming to faith, the Bible gives God all the credit.