What does somebody have to do to become a Christian?

‘Nothing.’

“Oh come on! You just can’t do…nothing!

“You need to receive the gift, answer the call, make your decision, accept Jesus…right?!”

Wrong.

We are CALLED and CHOSEN. Anyways that’s what the Bible says.

The words “accept Jesus”  “make a decision for Christ” are not in the Bible.

But the words “CALLED” and “CHOSEN”…are.

What does a baby do when it is adopted?  Nothing. But drool over itself maybe.

St. Paul goes to great lengths in the Book of Romans to explain this, much to our chagrin.

Romans 9 is not an easy read for us enlightened, actualized, independent, rugged American types. We do want to tell the “Molder” how to shape the clay. We do want to talk back to God. We do want to call the shots and express our wills. But God will have none of it.   He actually still does call the shots.   All of them.

In his explanation of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed (in his Small Catechism), Luther lays this out quite nicely:

“I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy,and kept me in true faith, just as he calls , gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth…”

You mean we actually do nothing to become a Christian?

That’s right…and the word is NOTHING. 

If there was just one thing that we needed to do of our own accord, then we have a new gospel of works.

It might only be ONE WORK…but that is ONE WORK TOO MANY!

I have to admit, the first time I heard this, I didn’t believe it.  Maybe I still don’t. But thanks be to God He gives me the faith to believe it.

Do you believe it?