Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forever Eternally Imperishably Saved Part Dos

Second, let’s consider scriptures that talk about the “How” of Salvation:

Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

See all the “I wills” of God here? God does all those things not believers. If you can reject God after salvation what happens to the new heart and God’s Spirit He gave you? That which is eternal cannot die by nature of the fact that it is eternal.

John 1:12  But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Faith produces sonship, but new birth (regeneration) is strictly the work of God. It has NOTHING to do with man’s will. We do not ‘choose’ to be born. (1st time or 2nd) What happens to a New Creature if he rejects Christ? Can he cease to be a new creature?

Eph 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2. in which you once walked, following the course of this world...
Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love... 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
We were dead. We could not repent and believe until we were made alive. Drowning men can grab a lifeline, but Dead men can’t. Also see: Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights... 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

Salvation is a gift, as are repentance and faith[1]. The word “Grace” means gift. If you ‘could’ choose to believe it would not be entirely of His Will.

Act 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira... who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Why did God open her heart?

1Co 2:14 the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

            You see, the ‘natural’ man cannot receive the things of God. That would include the gifts of faith and repentance. He must be changed by regeneration in order to understand, believe, repent, follow etc.

            Yes! People do have a will. There are many places where choices made by humanity are called for and even required. “Choose you this day whom you will serve...”, “Come unto me all who labor...”, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ...” There is such a thing as man’s will, but no where in scripture is man said to have a free will. Maybe, in the Garden before the fall, man had a free will. (I still don’t think he could fly so his will has always been limited to some degree, because our will is always limited by our abilities.[2]) But after the fall, man’s will was limited all the more.
            What did the Fall of Adam produce?

Gen 6:5 “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

            Man’s fallen will is corrupted and has little to do with Salvation. Man was bent toward sin.[3] He sinned “Freely” not under compulsion to sin, but sin was a necessary outcome because his nature was sinful.
            God’s nature is Holy. Does God have a free will? Well, let’s consider this. He only does good and He does not sin, why? Because, He acts according to His nature; which is Holiness and Love, He is merciful and just, and all powerful.
            The whole idea of "Totally Free" will in man is false and irrelevant. In effect it wants to say, Man doesn’t need God’s intervention. And THAT makes it dangerous, too. Satan may be said to have started this delusion when he said to Eve, “You shall not surely die.”
            Men who insist on their Free Will are insisting in contradiction to the Sovereignty of God, or the Perfect Foreknowledge of God, or both.[4] Being locked into the idea of "Free Will" People often come to scripture and force the paradigm they they believe in onto what Scripture says. All of us are capable of doing that. But we need to see scripture for what it truly teaches not what we want it to teach. 

Once one realizes that salvation begins with God’s initiative and God’s act to regenerate, however, one realizes what God makes eternally alive, no man can kill!

[1] Eph_2:8 by grace you’ve been saved through faith. And it is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
[2] God, it could be said, has no limit on His abilities.
  Rom_5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam.... 1Co_15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 
[4] I used to hear God described as a Gentleman who won’t force you to do His will. First, nowhere does the Bible say God is a gentleman. Second, He does in fact force Hell on sinners who don’t repent.

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