"Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).
The salvation of certain sinners to grace and glory is all of the Lord from first to last. Salvation is not, I repeat, salvation is NOT a joint effort between God and sinners. The natural state of man is such that he is powerless to do one thing to help the Lord in his salvation. We have not one thing that we can contribute to our salvation. The only thing we can bring to Christ is our sins. But thanks be to God! He is the Saviour of sinners.
Salvation is of the Lord in its inception.
Such a wondrous thing is beyond the comprehension of the natural mind of man. The truth that the thrice holy and sovereign God, would condescend to save poor sinners is a truth that could only have been conceived in the mind of God. That God would become a Man to die a substitutionary death that vile sinners might rise was never thought of by philosophers and poets. It is one of the great proofs of the veracity of God in His written word that such holy and lofty subjects could never have been thought up by the smartest of men. Only God could have even conceived such a thing.
Salvation is of the Lord in its planning.
It was God who purposed and planned salvation before the foundation of the world. Salvation was no afterthought or reaction with God. But He Who decreed all things in eternity planned salvation. God the Father chose a number that no man can number in His Son in eternal election before He framed the worlds (Ephesians 1:4). None of us would ever have chosen the Lord had He not first chosen us.
Salvation is of the Lord in its execution.
None of us would ever have thought of Christ, the Eternal Son of God coming into a sin-cursed world to work out a perfect righteousness for the elect of God, but that is the way that God executed His plan of salvation. Christ did not come into the world to try to save sinners, but He came into the world to save every one of His elect sheep that the Father gave Him in the everlasting covenant (Matthew 1:21). Not one for whom Christ died can ever be lost, for His blood has washed away ALL their sins and not one charge can be laid upon them (Romans 8:33). Every one for whom Christ died shall be saved without the loss of one.
Salvation is of the Lord in its application.
He sends His Spirit from above to quicken and call every one for whom Christ died (John 6:37). Every chosen vessel of God's mercy shall hear the glorious sound and be effectually called into salvation by the Holy Spirit Who, like the wind, blows when and where He please. The work of regeneration cannot be stopped by men. None can resist the Sovereign workings of the Holy Spirit. There has never been a sinner so stubborn , that God the Holy Spirit could not humble him down and bring him to the foot of the cross, pleading for mercy. There has never been one of Christ's sheep that was so far away, that the Holy Spirit could not draw him back to the sheep fold.
God is absolutely sovereign in salvation, from first to last. Thanks be to our Great God, salvation is of Him!