Personally, my battle with this issue came well before the Hodges-MacArthur encounter back in the 90s.
I came to saving faith in Christ’s finished work while an incarcerated teen in the 50s.
Jesus was presented to me, in His gospel, as God and Savior; as one who objectively procured my salvation aside from any action on my part.
I was dead in trespasses and sin. Unable to respond. Spiritually dead.
Jesus was proclaimed to me as Savior, one who had paid the price of my transgressions without any action on my part.
The fruit of His work was presented to me as a gift.
Concurrent with this objective propositional presentation, I was privileged to see these truths lived out in the life of one Jim Larsen, chief/senior counselor on The Victory Farm in Ortonville, MN in the 1950s.
Unfortunately, no data is available on the web regarding this ministry.
My spiritual eyes were opened. I not only understood, but willingly accepted the offer. (Acts 16:14).
Quite honestly, I went to bed one evening, hating God; and awoke next morning, believing.
I believed; I trusted in what was proffered.
In retrospect, my belief and trust were one in the same!
At that moment, in the economy of God, I passed from death to life: from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light all during which I was a passive recipient.
Since that day, it has been one battle after another.
I am not what I once was, nor am I what I hope to be:
But what I am, I am by grace, and when I se Him face to face
I shall be like Him, perfectly.
Such is the awesome power of Grace.