“To open their eyes . . . so that they may receive.” This is the Bible’s clearest statement of where the disciple’s work begins and ends. As disciples of Jesus, we have a responsibility to open people’s eyes to the gospel, to help them turn toward the light. But this is only the work of conversion, not of salvation. Conversion is the effort of a roused human being. Salvation requires receiving something—not from another person but from God himself. This is the first mighty work of grace: “That they may receive forgiveness of sins.”

When someone fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because they’ve never received anything. They’ve opened their eyes, but they haven’t accepted God’s gifts. They may make vows and promises, they may swear to walk in the light as God is in the light, they may even succeed for a time, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we have been brought, humble and open, to the place where we are able to receive. The only sign that a person is saved is that they have received the gift Jesus Christ bought for them on the cross.

“A place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Sanctification is the second mighty work of grace, God’s second great gift to us. In receiving the Holy Spirit, the reborn soul deliberately gives up its right to itself, turns itself over to Jesus, and identifies entirely with God’s will. To be born again in the Spirit is to know beyond a doubt that it is only through God’s generosity that we are saved, not through any decision of our own.

Wisdom from Oswald

We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment.
The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption