Salvation Is Not Of Men
Psalms 37:39: But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Jonah 2:9: But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Somewhere way north of 90 percent of those that hear the gospel from me do not receive Jesus and do not become saved. If any man could have legitimately claimed that the gospel was of him, it would have been Jonah. When he preached the Bible says that all the people of Nineveh believed God repented and were saved. Notice that it was Jonah that preached but it was God that they believed. The king of Nineveh caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh.
Jonah 3:3-7: So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days* journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day*s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
God does use men in His salvation. God used Jonah, He used the king, He used the nobles and He used those who proclaimed and published.
1 Corinthians 1:21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Because God uses men in the process it is important that we fulfill our part. If one in a thousand who hear the gospel from me receive Christ and become saved, it is worth it. One soul is worth the world. Many of them received Jesus before they ever heard of me and some will receive Jesus long after they forget me. We must never believe that salvation is of us.
Here are just a few details of how salvation works. God sent Jesus to pay the wages of our sin. He provides His word, the Bible to sinners. He provides the people who give them the Bible. The Bible brings them to faith. He works in the circumstances of their lives to prepare them for the Bible. He makes Divine appointments for them. He arranges the time when He puts a preacher and an open-hearted listener together. Jesus baptizes them with the Holy Spirit and with fire and the Holy Spirit causes them to be born again. Fire is not God. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are.
Matthew 3:11: I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Salvation was not of John the Baptist. It was of Jesus who is the Son of God and God the Son.
John 3:5-6: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Salvation is of the Lord. Water is not God. The Holy Spirit is.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Men who preach and who baptize others are doing works. People who get baptized willingly are doing a work. People who bring others to baptism are doing a work. Salvation is not of works. Just because God uses men in His salvation does not mean that salvation is of men. Salvation is of the Lord.