There are many pictures of grace in the Bible, by which God illustrates the gospel message of salvation by grace alone. One of the most instructive of these pictures is the resurrection of Lazarus.
Lazarus was dead. That is the state of all human beings by nature, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins, incapable of changing their condition. When the Lord Jesus cried, Lazarus come forth, the dead man arose to live.
There is a general call which goes out to all man when the gospel is preached. But this was not a general call. It was a personal, particular, power-full call, irresistible, effectual and distinguishing. The only way any sinner will ever be saved is if the Son of God, by the power of His Spirit, calls him from death to life.
Once he was called, Lazarus was converted. His conversion was both immediate and gradual. He was immediately changed from death to life. But he was gradually freed from his grave cloth. Sinners saved by grace are immediately transformed into a new creation. Throughout our lives we are being saved, gradually from the grave cloth of sin, unbelief and self righteousness.
Soon after his resurrection, Lazarus is found sitting at the table with his Savior. You will notice that the house and the table belonged to Lazarus, but the Master of the house was Christ. The believing, surrendered heart is the heart with which Christ holds sweet communion.
Because of Lazarus many others believed. But the Jews sought to kill him. Why? Because he had been raised from the dead! This is the last we hear of Lazarus.
Only God the Holy Spirit can call dead man to life. Only the Spirit of God can convict man and woman of sin, of righteousness and judgment. Only the Spirit of God can reveal Christ in you. Yet if He calls, the death shall live. If He convicts, the heart will be convinced. If He reveals Christ, you will trust Christ. His power is invincible. His grace is irresistible. His work is infallible.