How did you become a Christian? When did you become a Christian? How did you know when you became a Christian? All of these questions imply a moment of accomplishment. The next question is this: whose accomplishment marked this moment or this event? Was it Jesus’ or yours? If it was, in any part, your accomplishment, you must receive some measure of credit for being saved or becoming a Christian. You did something which in addition to what Jesus had already done made salvation effective for you. Without what you did, Jesus died in vain as far as you are concerned. In the truest sense, you saved yourself by doing what was necessary to be saved. Jesus is impotent as the Savior till the believer acts. God’s redemptive plan is ultimately and therefore totally dependent on human capability, unless God can somehow intervene and prompt men to do what they must do. Any such godly intervention, of course, raises the question of why such intervention is not universally applied so that all would be saved and God’s redemptive plan made completely successful.
There is no way around the fact that if salvation comes because of what I did in obedience to requirements, then I saved myself by that action. Without my doing, I’d still be lost; so my doing brought my salvation. Salvation is a result of Jesus plus me, with my part being the deciding part. Under this paradigm, there is little wonder that Christianity is often marked by a smugness which borders on contempt for the non-believer. No matter how much the church extols Jesus and His sacrifice, what really matters is what I have accomplished in following the church’s salvation process. Salvation is not supposed to be about works; but, until I do the required work, I am not saved. Go figure!