American Christianity Vs. Biblical Christianity
American Christianity: "God helps those who help themselves."
Biblical Christianity: "God helps the low, despised and spiritually bankrupt ... those who are unable to help themselves. But what is impossible for man (faith and repentance) is possible with God. “Flesh and blood” are never responsible for this insight, we can only give God the credit for that.
Visitor: I often ponder about man's responsibility after God has done what was impossible for man to do. I think the truth of what you said here sometimes mixes with the effort and action that the Bible calls us to in living a life of perseverance and holiness. I firmly believe that it is all God's work but I also see man's laziness (myself included) and struggle with living a spiritually disciplined life. How would you respond?
Response: firstly, the quote is focused in on the work of the Spirit in regeneration for which we play only a passive role. There is nothing we can do to become born again. We ACT ONLY BECAUSE we are born again. But the principle of regeneration or the new heart REMAINS in the renewed soul, from which springs all good things, including faith, good works, obedience and love to God and neighbor. The commands of God to believers should be frequently declared and we should strive to to obey them. We will WANT TO if we have a new heart, but we should always be reminded that we do so because God has been gracious to us, implanting in us a new heart which loves God and has adopted us as sons for Christ's sake. The quote above is to show us the good news that Christ has done for us what we were unable to do for ourselves with regard to salvation. It causes us to always be thankful to God. So we do not obey IN ORDER to gain God's favor. No. We have God's favor, therefore we obey. If we are saved our heart will rejoice when we hear the law of Christ.