1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
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 none who does good,
not even one.
Reading Psalm 14 this morning, I am struck with one simple question: How was I saved? The description that the Bible gives of my condition and the conditions of all people before salvation (all the children of man) is one of utter hopelessness. Not only were we corrupt and foolish, but we were also not at all interested in seeking God. All of us turned away from God. None of us wanted him. At least we did not want him in our lost state.
The answer to my question can only be this: God saved me. I was lost and corrupt. I was dead in sins and disinterested in God. I did not seek him nor did I do good. If I did any of those things on my own, then Psalm 14 is not true (nor is Romans 3:10-17). But I did come to Christ. I did ask him to save me. And the only conclusion that I can come to is that God, by his power and for his glory, reached into my heart, changed it from being one that hated him to one that wanted him, and drew me to himself.
Is this important at all? In my mind it is. It is important because the description of my lost state is in the scripture. It is important because God chose to reveal this. It is important because it takes every last vestige of credit from me in my salvation and places all of the credit for my salvation at the feet of God, where it should be. I praise God more because I know that I was hopeless and he changed me. I think I would praise him less, or at least differently, if I thought that I simply responded to his offer by my will, as to me it would seem as though I were then somehow better than those who did not make the good decision that I made. Instead, I praise him and him alone for saving me completely; and I trust him and him alone to totally keep me in his saving grace.
What impact does my view have on evangelism? Very simply, it encourages my evangelism. I know that all lost people are as Psalm 14 describes them. But I also know that God breaks through those impossible hearts to bring people to himself. I can share the gospel with honesty and confidence since I know that God saves even the most hardened of sinners. If God saved me, he can save anybody.