By Greg Laurie
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”—1 Corinthians 3:6–7
We cannot really find an instance in the New Testament of anyone who came to faith apart from another person’s involvement. Although there are exceptions, it’s how most people become Christians.
Take for example, the Philippian jailer. God could have reached him in many ways, but He chose to use Paul and Silas, who were imprisoned for preaching the gospel. They were mistreated by this jailer, but when an earthquake struck and the prisoners could have gone free, the jailer faced execution. Yet Paul and the others chose to stay in the prison.
The jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30 NKJV). The Bible tells us that not only did the jailer come to faith, but so did his entire household.
We find another example in Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian Regiment who had a heart to know God. An angel appeared to him and told him he needed to talk to someone named Simon Peter, who was in Joppa. So Cornelius sent for Peter, and Peter shared the gospel with him.
Then there is Saul of Tarsus, whom we know as Paul. He was converted on the Damascus road after a direct encounter with Jesus. Yet the testimony of young Stephen opened and softened his heart. As the first martyr of the church, Stephen prayed as he was dying, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60 NKJV).
Yes, God uses people to reach people. But God is the one who saves them—not us. This seems rather obvious, but sometimes we forget it. God will prepare a person’s heart to hear and receive the gospel. He uses us, but He is the one who does the work.
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