[The Apostle Paul, c. 1657 Rembrandt]
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:1-10
Faith is a gift. It is from God to sinners, who have no way that they could believe otherwise. It is 100% pure grace, God's great grace, that comes to us, so that we are able to trust in His truth. To trust in the Cross of Jesus. To trust that Christ rose from the dead on the third day. And believe that we are deserving of eternal hell, and not heaven in any way whatsoever.
In order to come to believe the Gospel, -the good news of Jesus as my Savior, -I must believe that I am a rebel, and enemy, of God. I must know that I am a child of wrath, and worthy of God's righteous anger and judgment.
And so then, when I also come to embrace and know the trust that He loved me, and gave Himself for me, it becomes overwhelmingly incomprehensible knowledge for me to take into my heart and mind. My heart now undertsand a love beyond measure.
God saves wretches, as John Newton wrote in his hymn Amazing Grace. He doesn't save nice chaps.
Anyhow, that's what I was thinking about during my lunch break. For what it's worth, which isn't much really. But I like to ramble. So there it is.