I am going from reasoned thinking to a free-form exploration here….
In salvation, one point is from Romans 10
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
In the parable of the sower and the seed, the seed is the Word,this same Word that begets faith. It has that life of faith within it.
I’m a gardener. I know that seeds have amazing power to live within them. You can have all sorts of untoward circumstances, but the destiny of that seed is to shoot forth life and grow.
We can say God chose the seed to grow, and in fact we know that it is God that gives the increase, but in between we have some work to do that makes a huge difference in whether that seed produces or not.
It doesn’t need us to work, but it helps. And God set man in a garden to tend it in the beginning.
One of the most important things is soil preparation. You can grow all sorts of seeds in all sorts of soils, but the tilth of the soil matters so much. You dig it up and get it nice and soft, and it’s receptiveness and ability to give forth growth is magnified exponentially. Because the root is better able to take hold.
Once the roots take hold you sometimes need to add your own diligence to God’s favor, you have to cart in water when things get dry, you add fertilizers to make up for what the soil lacks, you care and dig around it.
But God makes it all work together, and you can do all those things diligently, but without the blessing of God it all works for naught.
but the seed was still there, it will produce if God gives what is needed.
My point is, in looking at what scripture says that God has given all that is needed for faith, and for consequent salvation. that this seed went forth the sound of it went out into the world.
The state of the soil, the man, is the only predictably changing factor. I don’t believe we are alone in this. When the paralytic’s friends broke up the roof and used ropes to get him down in front of Jesus, it was lauded by him, that the friends faith had made the difference for that man. Not even the man himself.
I think there is more to plumb on that. I have often wonderingly imagined that somewhere someone, in some generation, must have prayed for me, seriously prayed for me. For God to have reached down in such a powerful intervention to grab my life, with so little effort coming forth from me… the catalyst had to be somewhere. It was that out of the ordinary.
Do we leave people out on a limb, on their own? Do we withhold mercy, and allow the wells of faith to dry up… and then fault the seed? Saying, well, it just wasn’t going to produce for that man? Do we allow so much sin to build up within ourselves and our culture that we create barriers to the lifegiving rains of God’s salvation?
Is it reasonable that we who escape the darkness yet allow the darkness to obscure the truth… and make no real effort to dispel it?
How much is us? How much difference in the fruitfulness in the amounts of the “actually saved” is within this area? Is ‘once saved always saved’ true and does it promote the truth, or the Will of God? In looking at it from this point now, I am less inclined to feel benignly laissez-faire.
All I can say is that it is a good thing we don’t have to understand the how and why of salvation to enjoy it.
But I would like to understand all that helps me to make the best use of it and to be found worthy of it. In that we are in unity, I think.
I do not find the balance yet… it is there, but I do not comprehend how it works to try and explain it to myself. Let alone get anything across to another.