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Salvation is of the Lord
by C. H. Spurgeon

.... And if God does require of the sinner -- dead in sin -- that he should take the first step, then he requireth just that which renders salvation impossible under the gospel as ever it was under the law, seeing man is as unable to believe as he is to obey, and is just as much without power to come to Christ as he is without power to go to heaven without Christ. The power must be given to him of the Spirit. He lieth dead in sin; the Spirit must quicken him. He is bound hand and foot, fettered by transgression; the Spirit must cut his bonds, and then he will leap to liberty. God must come and dash the iron bars out of their sockets, and then he can escape afterwards, but unless the first thing be done for him, he must perish as surely under the gospel as he would have done under the law. I would cease to preach if I believed that God, in the matter of salvation, required anything whatever of man which He Himself had not also engaged to furnish....

I am the messenger, I tell you the master's message; if you do not like the message quarrel with the Bible, not with me; so long as I have Scripture on my side I will dare and defy you to do anything against me. "Salvation is of the Lord." The Lord has to apply it, to make the unwilling willing, to make the ungodly godly, and bring the vile rebel to the feet of Jesus, or else salvation will never be accomplished. Leave that one thing undone, and you have broken the link of the chain, the very link which was just necessary to its integrity. Take away the fact that God begins the good work, and that Hesends us what the old divines call preventing grace -- take that away, and you have spoilt the whole of salvation; you have just taken the key-stone out of the arch, and down it tumbles. There is nothing left then.