“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth…”
and belief in the truth
The second way whereby God chose us for salvation is “belief in the truth.” This is the human side of salvation. However, God ordained even the human side of salvation by giving us the capacity of faith. It takes two simultaneous actions for salvation to occur: 1) the ministry of the Holy Spirit and 2) the execution of our faith in the finished work of Christ.
We enter into the state of sanctification by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 6:11). Our sole entitlement to sanctification is through faith in the cross of Christ (Ephesians 5:25,26; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:10,29; 13:12).
We see in this passage both the responsibility of God and the responsibility of man in salvation. While Paul’s team preached the gospel, the Holy Spirit convicted the hearts of the Thessalonians that the cross of Christ is the only means of salvation. That work of the Holy Spirit launched their faith.
God places responsibility on the individual to believe in the death of Christ to forgive sins.
The Bible offers salvation to “whomever.” Although God elects certain people for salvation, He extends the offer of salvation to everyone.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 ).
Dwight L. Moody, the founder of Moody Bible Institute, used to say, “The whosoever wills are the elect and whosoever won’ts are the non-elect.”
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…” (2 Timothy 1:9).
If you decide to receive Christ’s death as your only hope of salvation, you will know that you are elect! Why not come to Christ now? Settle the issue once for all. God has allowed you to continue to live for this moment, the decision to receive Christ as your Savior. God from eternity providentially brought you to this point. What will you do with this decision? You have everything to gain from embracing Jesus as Savior.