“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven, it is a way to get people to God . . . If we don’t want God above all things we have not been converted by the gospel.”

John Piper

“If all you have is a decision for Christ and no delight in Christ, you don’t have Christ. We are not saved by mere decisions, we are saved by the sovereign work of God, by his Spirit, causing us to be born again which brings into being a new creature who has new affections for God and less affection for the world.”

John Piper

As a child growing up in church it was common to hear sermons expounding on the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus as recorded in the gospel of John. The theme of those sermons was the answer to the question “What must a person do to be born again?” And the popular answer to that question was “To be born again you must believe upon Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” The preacher emphasized that being born again is a choice that a person makes to follow Christ. In other words, upon being convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit, a person decides whether or not they want to be born again. That is, a person has free will to accept or reject the new birth being offered to them; they have decisive control over their eternal destination. Some may understand this as the doctrine of self-determination. Continue reading

“God just doesn’t throw a life preserver to a drowning person. He goes to the bottom of the sea, and pulls a corpse from the bottom of the sea, takes him up on the bank, breathes into him the breath of life and makes him alive.”

R.C. Sproul