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None Seek God? How Does One Come to Christ? A look at Romans 3:10-18
I was asked “how do they seek God if the Scripture says “none seek God?” (from Romans 3:10-18)
Romans 3:10-12 is a quote from Psalms 14:1-3: “1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. 2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
What Paul was stating goes back to what he was saying prior, “who truly is righteous?” Paul is talking about the nature of man, no one is good of their own. Paul said “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Paul said “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” (Romans 7:18) Jesus said in Mark 10:18no one is good but God alone. Paul was addressing the true understanding that no one is righteous of his or her own deeds or nature, but it comes through faith in Christ. (Romans 3:21-4:5) “How does one then come to Christ if none seek Him?” There are many Scriptures that make this clear. We on our own do not seek the Lord, it is Him who draws us unto Him. In John 1 the Apostle John wrote this: “9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John states that Christ is the true Light that comes into the world that enlightens every man, and in that some will receive Him into their lives, and many will not. (Matthew 7:13-14) These that come to Him do not do it of their own doing, meaning they do not all of sudden say I want to know Jesus (God), but is it through the true Light which enlightens them. What enlightens people? God ultimately of course, but also through the preaching of the Word of God. That is what the Church preached, Christ crucified and risen, and that message is what opens their minds and hearts to receive the Word, and come to Christ.
The way someone comes to Christ is also the leading of the Holy Spirit as Jesus taught. In John 16 Jesus was speaking to His disciples said: “8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” (John 16:8-11) The Holy Spirit is the one who convict people of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and through Him testifying of Christ to people will come to the Lord. Man of himself can not do it, but God does not hold back from people the message and the light of who He is, and it is through the Spirit that people come to Jesus. It is a decision they make for themselves, they are not forced to believe, God is no respecter of persons, and gives all human responsibility. Jesus said: “For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The Scriptures affirm that it is God who begins the work in our life, and we either accept it and commit our life to Him, or we reject Him. Paul said in Ephesians 1:13: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.” That is the message of Christ, and Paul says after they listened, and believed, they were sealed in Christ, the wonderful promise of eternal life. Paul said: “6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) God is the one who leads us to Him, and in that when we come to Him we have the promise that He will perfect or complete it.
None truly seek the Lord of their own, but it is God who comes to us, leads us to Him, and draws us to Him, and gives us the choice to accept Him or reject Him. The Lord said: “1 “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, `Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name. 2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts.” (Isaiah 65:1-2) Paul quotes this in Romans 10:17-21 showing the love of God that He extended Himself to those who are disobedient and not seeking after Him. Jesus in Revelation 3:20 says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus stands at the door of mankind’s hearts, and knocks, and those who open the door Christ comes into their life.
Acts 2:22-37: 22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 “For David says of Him, `I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN. 26 `THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE; 27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. 28 `YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’ 29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. 32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: `THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”‘ 36
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter preached to the crowds on the day of Pentecost, testifying of Jesus being crucified and risen, and they were pierced in their hearts, and wanted to know Jesus personally. That is the Gospel, the Word of God that leads people to Christ, and is powerful: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) People come to God by His Word being preached, the Holy Spirit convicting them, and them receiving the message. No, there is none good, and none who seek God, for we all have fallen short to the glory of God, and it is God who says I am Here, come to Me.
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