Man Has No Natural Power To Receive,
Accept, Decide For, Or To Turn To Christ
God must work out every aspect of our salvation both for us and in us
Per Romans 8:7 “…the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Likewise, 1 Corinthians 2:14 states “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.”
No unregenerate sinner, no one who has not yet been born again (born from above) can receive the things of the Spirit of God. In other words, those still in their sins, and who have not been given newness of life, cannot receive (or accept, or take hold of, or grasp, per the literal meaning of dechomai) the truth of God, of His Christ, of His Gospel, of His salvation for sinners, of His Kingdom, etc. No one who is at enmity with God, and who finds His words to be foolish (due to the carnality of their fallen minds by nature), can then somehow cease that enmity and carnality enough to “accept Jesus,” to “make a decision for Him,” “to “let Him rule their life,” etc. God’s people are willing to receive the Lord only because He first gives them newness of spiritual life and makes them willing.
God does not do this for all mankind but only for His people, those chosen in Christ Jesus from before the world was (Ephesians 1:4). It is concerning the elect, the chosen of God, that we read in Psalm 110:3 “THY PEOPLE [SHALL BE] WILLING in the day of THY POWER, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” This is why the Lord Jesus declared in John 6:44 “NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, EXCEPT THE FATHER which hath sent me DRAW HIM: and I will raise him up at the last day.” It is also why we read in Psalm 65:4 “Blessed [is the man whom] THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSEST TO APPROACH [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple.”
The heart/mind is the seat of the will and, per Jeremiah 17:9, the natural “heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?” — No utterly deceitful and desperately wicked heart can “turn to Christ” — every aspect of our natural heart/mind/will is filthy beyond repair. This is why, for anyone to come to Christ, God must first act towards them as follows as He declares in Ezekiel 36:25-27, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A NEW HEART also will I give you, and A NEW SPIRIT will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put MY SPIRIT within you, and CAUSE YOU TO WALK in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].”
So please understand, freewill Christianity is false Christianity; it is a counterfeit gospel (and thus, it is no gospel at all). It is heresy; it cannot save; it most certainly can and will damn. Please be warned, please take heed… I say this in love because any aspect of salvation that is somehow, or somewhat, dependent upon you, grounded in you, is a false refuge, it is sinking sand, and it will carry you down unto eternal damnation. The love of God towards man is in Christ Jesus, it is focused upon Him and through Him. All who are in Christ were eternally loved of God; all who were never in Christ are under the eternal wrath, hatred, and judgment of God. So I implore you, believe the Gospel, cease from believing that your self-will and carnal heart had anything to do, or has anything to do, with salvation. Believe the Good News of salvation based solely upon the Person of Christ; His incarnation; His sinlessness and perfect law-keeping; His propitiation and atonement for the sin of His people as their perfect substitute; standing in their stead; having their sin laid upon him, even imputed to them; enduring the wrath of God unto death for those sins; suffering the equivalent of their eternal damnation (as only God the Word made flesh could); fully paying for and putting away their sin forever; and rising the third day proving that victory was obtained, justice was satisfied, and perfect salvation unto eternal glory was accomplished for all of His people. Believe this Gospel and not one that conditions salvation on something you think, will, feel, say, decide, do, or abstain from doing. Your works “to get saved” are an affront to God; He only wants to see (1) the Peron and finished work of Christ and (2) the faith and love you have in Him and for Him (a perfect faith and love that He must both give you and work out in you, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit). Salvation is all of God; it is either one hundred percent of Him or it is a counterfeit.