Among the several evangelistic studies we’ve produced and used, one presents a chart to show that every move that man makes is but a response to God’s prior initiative.
Hearing and believing are responses to God’s speaking, his Word. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Repentance is a response to God’s holiness. Think of Isaiah’s cry of unclean lips or Peter’s request that Jesus remove himself since he was a sinner.
Confession is a response to the call of Christ to publicly assume his Lordship. As such, it starts at conversion and continues during one’s life.
Baptism is a response to the invitation to participate in the benefits of Christ’s death. “Arise … wash away your sins.”
Loving the family of God is a response to his adding us to the church.
Making disciples by teaching the world about Christ is a response to his sending his people among the nations with a commission.
Man does something because God has already acted. The initiative always lies with God. This “something” that man does is not his idea, but the action of faithful obedience that follows the directing hand of the Master.
Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female servant look to the hand of her mistress, so my eyes will look to the LORD, our God, until he shows us favor.
Psalm 123:2 NET