We would have no hope had not God intervened and made a way for us to come to Him. He devised the Plan, He provided the Sacrificial Lamb in payment, and He awakened our spirits so that we could even understand His offering. He has sought after us, even chasing us down, as portrayed in Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven.” If we are even aware of our need for Him, then His Holy Spirit has already done work in us to awaken our sin-killed spirit. He has done all the work. All we have to do is to stop resisting and allow Him to open up the door as we invite Him into our lives. As we open the door of our hearts, submitting our will to Him, we admit to His Lordship or control over our lives, and we commit to the process of sanctification, with daily submission to Him, reflection/meditation on His word, and time spent in prayer with Him. Hopefully, we will willingly submit to do these things so that He can continue to work in us, but it is a fact of life that we often do not, and when we do not, He still continues His work on us, often gradually increasing the pressure and difficulty of our lives until we start turning to Him once again for all things. At the beginning of the work, however, once we submit and are reborn spiritually, He will joyously welcome us into His house just as in the story of the Prodigal Son.
3) Such is the way of salvation through the only door, Jesus. But how do we even know about this Good News? What is our source of truth? God has inspired people who were totally sold out to Him to write the scriptures which we call the Bible. They had probably been in much prayer and study with Him prior to beginning the work of recording His word such that their mindset became His mindset (Philippians 2). There is real truth in this amazing book, truth which begins and ends with the source of all Truth, Jesus. Just as He told us in scripture, He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE (John 14:6). He is not “one of” the ways, truths, and lives, but rather He is the only one. And the written scripture is an expression of His Truth, divinely inspired and manifested in human language. It is the story of man’s sin and frailty and God’s boundless, tireless love. There is miraculous consistency of doctrine throughout the book. There is not “Old Testament God” and “New Testament God.” God never changed, and anybody that puts in the time to study His word, with illumination by the Holy Spirit, will find that His truth has amazing continuity and cohesion throughout the scriptures. I write “amazing,” but it is nothing short of miraculous how the Bible could have been put together so perfectly since it was written over a span of hundreds of years by people in vastly different cultures and life situations. Only God could do something like this. And it has always survived the constant Satanic attempts to have it squelched or destroyed. God is faithful to keep His written truth in the hands of people despite all attacks against it.
But God can, as He chooses, also reveal truth directly to us just as He did with these writers of scripture. We can receive truth directly from God during our prayer times with Him. But any truth that God reveals this way will always correspond with His scripture and with the ultimate purpose of Agape love. I write this because we should not assume that every thought that pops into our heads is from God. So many otherwise Godly men have been diverted off the path of truth by the father of lies, Satan, because they initially saw that God was with them and was empowering them, then made foolish, prideful assumptions, believing that every thought, feeling, or urge they had, then, was from God. Even when God works mighty wonders through us, we have to be ever vigilant, “testing the spirits” (1 John 4:1) to ensure that they correspond with real scriptural truth. The Bible warns in Jeremiah 17:9 that “The [human] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Additionally, Satan is tireless in his deceptions; he can find ways to exploit our weak human hearts and will be able to do so while our hearts are still bound in flesh. So until we receive our glorified bodies, we must always be on guard against our own sin and the thoughts and feelings that lead to sin.