16. GOD DOES NOT DO IT ALONE
Even though God does everything, He does not do it alone, He does not only do it with our participation. It is not only God and the individual, who are responsible for salvation. He does it all, but in and through us. It was the Lord who opened the heart of Lydia. But it did not end there, He opened her heart to pay attention to Paul's message. She responded to the message: she believed. (Acts 16:14,15)
The Lord saves us through faith. (Eph 2:8,9) He justifies the wicked whose faith is credited as being righteous. (Rom 4:5) Mention is made here of his faith. It is through the faith of the sinner that he accepts the redemption (Gal 2:16,21) and Jesus Christ as Lord. (Col 2:6) Faith is therefore the instrument by which we accept Christ. (John 1:12)
It is true that Christ was delivered over to death because of our sins and that He was raised to life for our justification (Rom 4:25). But it is through our faith that we receive and appropriate the absolution as our own. (Rom 5:1) The importance of believing is maintained in Scripture. (Cp. John 3:36) We must believe, those who do not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
It is the Lord who knocks, but it is up to us to open our lives for Him so that He can enter to enjoy the feast with us. (Rev 3:20) By believing, we open our hearts so that He can dwell in us (Eph 3:17) and do this when He knocks and we allow Him to enter.