Class Notes: 10/28/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 25
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we can understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation exclusively by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
We are now in a study of the of the last judgment that reveals what God must do with those who reject His peace offering of salvation in time by means of grace through faith alone in Christ alone and as a result remain in conflict with God's justice.
We have noted that when the unbeliever believes in Jesus Christ and becomes a believer they are aligned with God's justice because of the imputation of God's righteousness.
The divine solution for the unbeliever in spiritual death is faith in Christ. The divine solution for the believer in cosmic or carnal death from post salvation personal sin is to acknowledge any known sin to God. God always provides the perfect solution that matches the situation.
The believer priest who is out of fellowship follows divine instructions, while the unbeliever in spiritual death believes in Christ. It does not take faith to name your sins to God it only requires the function of your royal priesthood that is based on your position of possessing God's righteousness.
Salvation is by the function of faith alone in Christ alone and the function of the last nine problem solving devices is by the function of the faith-rest drill.
The only exception is the first problem-solving device of rebound because rebound is only used when the believer is under OSN control of the soul and as a result is not listening to God the Holy Spirit. This means that rebound does not function by means of the filling of the Spirit or by faith because that power is unavailable to the believer who is functioning in carnal or cosmic death.
There is no filling of the Spirit when the OSN controls the soul because OSN control of the soul and the filling of the Holy Spirit are mutually exclusive. Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16;
The function of faith in the spiritual life is connected to the function of the stages of the faith rest drill. There is no promise to claim in rebound there is simply the mandate to follow God's instructions to acknowledge any known sin to God.
Believers who are under OSN control of the soul cannot deploy the faith-rest drill because they are not functioning under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. God's solutions are not emotional they are doctrinal. Believers simply obey God's mandate.
Rebound is based on the function of the believer's royal priesthood. To recover a believer priest simply fulfills the function of the Greek verb "homologeo" that means to admit, name, cite, or acknowledge your sin to God.
"Homologeo" does not include the concept of faith, because all post salvation faith only functions under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The recovery of the filling of the Spirit through rebound recovers the power of faith-rest.
When believers name their sins by simply following instructions, God is faithful and always does the same thing. God forgives you and purifies you from all wrongdoing.
Forgiving believers when they name their sins does not compromise God's righteousness because God does all the work. When believers rebound under God's grace policy they meet God at the appointed meeting place and recover fellowship. Amos 3:3;
In our relationship with God the appointed meeting place is always the foot of the cross where God imputed all of our personal sins to Jesus as our substitute. Rom 5:8;
The principle is that God's integrity or His Holiness is never compromised by mankind's failure. If any human works were included in God's provision for mankind's failure God would be compromised but He is not because there is no human merit or human works involved.
God's' integrity is not compromised by faith alone in Christ alone at salvation.
God's integrity is not compromised by God's personal love for the believer.
God's integrity is not compromised when believers' acknowledge their sins for recovery of fellowship with God.
The only people who are judged at the last judgment are unbelievers. Effectiveness and clarity in witnessing depends upon the believer's understanding of why there must be a last judgment and why God has no alternative but to consign unbelievers to the lake of fire at the last judgment. Rev 20:11-15;
The only reason that anyone stands before Jesus at the last judgment is because they have refused to obey God the Holy Spirit and believe that Jesus is the Son of God at any point during their physical life in time. John 16:9;
The indictment against unbelievers is based upon their insistence on relying on human good works. Sins are never mentioned because Jesus was judged for all sins on the cross. The only topic of discussion at the unbeliever's last judgment will be the unbeliever's good works and God's rejection of those good works.
The unbeliever is condemned to the second death with its eternal separation from God in the lake of fire because the unbeliever has rejected God's grace solution of believing in Jesus Christ and as a result missed out on the imputation of God's perfect righteousness. Rom 4:5;
There is no place left for them (Rev 20:11;) except for the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels because Gods integrity cannot ever be compromised Rev 20:14-15; Matt 25:41;
The next thing that believers need to understand to witness properly is that God the Holy Spirit is the sovereign agent of witnessing so believers must recognize that it is impossible to witness effectively apart from the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
For the believer to properly understand this they must themselves be functioning under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8; 2Cor 3:3; so that they have the capacity to wait on God for the desired result to be accomplished.
Believers should never try to force a decision for Christ. It is God the Holy Spirit's responsibility to convict.
Remember that divine institution #1 is free volition that includes both freedom and privacy in decision-making. Believers provide the Gospel information and leave the results with God. The Gospel is designed to persuade, not to compel the unbeliever to believe in Jesus Christ.
Avoid gimmicks, emotional begging, and public invitations to raise hands or walk aisles. These are psychological and emotional and have no legitimate part in witnessing.
The convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit functions in the categories of common and efficacious grace so this brings us to the doctrine of the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit and the doctrines of common and efficacious grace.
The reason God the Holy Spirit's ministry is required is because the naturally born person is in the state of real spiritual death and therefore cannot properly understand anything about God even though many think they can. 1Cor 2:14;
Real spiritual death is the condition of all mankind at the moment of physical birth when God imputes Adam's original sin to the genetically formed old sin nature that resides in the cell structure of the human body of every naturally born person.
Being born spiritually dead means we have spiritual brain death that results in the inability to understand anything related to the spiritual life or to Bible doctrine, including the Gospel.
The total depravity of real spiritual death also establishes trends toward both moral and immoral degeneracy.
Real spiritual death creates total separation from God and total helplessness to establish a relationship with God. We cannot comprehend anything spiritual. We cannot contact God. God must contact us.
Every person will eventually become either morally or immorally degenerate apart from restraint from the laws of divine establishment that motivates a certain category of virtue in unbelievers and regeneration or being born again that motivates an even greater virtue in believers who learn and apply Bible doctrine.
Because every person begins physical life in the status of spiritual death, the work of salvation must be the work of God on behalf of each one of us. That work begins with God addressing our spiritual brain death.
All three persons in the Godhead are involved in helping us to have a relationship with God. God the Father is the author of the plan to save the human race that called for Him to impute and judge all our sins in Jesus Christ on the cross.
God the Son willingly received that imputation and judgment for our sins, and His shout of " tetelestai" on the cross proved that salvation was completed on the cross. He willingly took our place in judgment.
God the Holy Spirit's ministries address the entire spiritually dead human race. His first ministry is the pre-salvation clarification of the Gospel. This is classified theologically as the doctrine of common grace.
When there is a positive response, God the Holy Spirit takes the faith of the spiritually dead person and makes it effective for salvation. This is classified theologically as the doctrine of efficacious grace.
These two enabling ministries of the Holy Spirit in evangelism can be compared to breathing. The inhale corresponds to the unbeliever in a state of spiritual death hearing the Gospel, that God the Holy Spirit makes understandable.
The exhale corresponds to the spiritually dead person believing in Jesus Christ for salvation when their faith that is not their own (Eph 2:8;) is made effectual for salvation through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
The efficacious grace of God the Holy Spirit only makes faith effective for salvation; He does not make any system of human works effective. Eph 2:9;
The spiritually dead person is dead to God so all of the works that the spiritually dead person does are dead works. They are dead works because they depend upon the power and ability of the spiritually dead person who is in a state of total depravity, total separation from God, and total helplessness so from God's point of view they are unable do anything.
Most believers understand the work of God the Father and God the Son in providing salvation. None of us would have eternal life were it not for the fact that God the Father sent God the Son, and God the Son willingly went to the cross to be judged for our sins. Mark 14:36;
The grace ministry of God the Holy Spirit in our so-great salvation is not as clearly understood. In the process of evangelism there are two categories of volition required from the spiritually dead person.
The volition of the unbeliever, who in spiritual brain death cannot comprehend the Gospel, but still chooses to listen is a totally non- meritorious decision that is compatible with grace and faith. He cannot comprehend the Gospel, but the Holy Spirit makes it understandable.
The volition of the spiritually dead person who responds to the Gospel exhales faith in Christ. Though that faith is ineffective because it is coming from a spiritually dead person God the Holy Spirit makes it effective.
These two functions of the spiritually dead person are noted in Eph 1:13, "In whom also, when you listened to the message of truth (common grace), the Gospel of your salvation (content of common grace), having also believed (efficacious grace), you were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise."
The sealing ministry of God the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of the validity of common and efficacious grace. It is the guarantee of eternal salvation, it is the guarantee of eternal security, and it is the guarantee of the conveyance of the portfolio of invisible assets including escrow blessings for time and eternity.
The grace functions of God's sovereignty in evangelism include the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel understandable, lucid, and comprehensible.
It includes the invitation of God the Father and God the Son to believe in Jesus Christ. This is classified as being called and it means the God the Holy Spirit has made the spiritual information that is contained in the Gospel understandable to the spiritually dead person..
It also includes the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit in making faith in Jesus Christ effective for eternal salvation. The spiritually dead person can listen to the Gospel and believe in Jesus Christ. But these decisions are incapable of providing salvation apart from the work of God the Holy Spirit.
The spiritually dead person is impotent, incapacitated, and powerless to be saved through his own works, merit, and ability. Man constantly wants to do something to impress God. But God the Father is only impressed with the work of God the Son.
The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit provides the ability to accept the invitation to believe in Jesus Christ. Common grace is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel lucid and understandable to the unbelieving person who is spiritually brain dead.
Efficacious grace is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the faith of the spiritually dead person effective for eternal salvation. Common and efficacious grace emphasize the total helplessness of the spiritually dead person. No matter what a spiritually dead person can do, it is not sufficient for salvation.
Salvation is accomplished exclusively by faith alone in Jesus Christ because faith alone in Christ alone is the only thing that God the Holy Spirit makes effective for salvation.
The spiritually dead person can make legitimate decisions to listen to the Gospel and to believe in Christ. But these positive decisions originate from spiritual death so they have no efficacy apart from the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
This emphasizes the importance of God the Holy Spirit in evangelism. The Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive of the Gospel.
The works of a dead person have no place in evangelism. This means that both hearing the Gospel and believing in Jesus Christ are non- meritorious and therefore compatible with God's grace.
God has decreed that the free will of mankind and the sovereignty of God coexist in human history. The free will of mankind is totally separated from God and totally helpless to do anything about it in spiritual death.
Therefore, common grace is the work of the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel understandable. God's calling is the invitation of God the Father to believe in Christ and efficacious grace is the work of the Holy Spirit that takes faith Jesus Christ and makes it effective for eternal salvation.
Since mankind is born physically alive in spiritual death the only opportunity for eternal salvation is during the period of time that unglorified humanity resides on the earth. This means that the opportunity for eternal life only exists when individuals are physically alive between their physical birth and their physical death.
The positive volitional decisions that the spiritually dead person can only make in time are the decision to hear the Gospel and the decision to believe in Jesus Christ.
Once the spiritually dead person dies physically, God's Word tells us that the door is closed forever. There is no purgatory or halfway house. No one can buy anyone out of or pray anyone out of the torments section of Hades that results in consignment to the Lake of Fire at the Last Judgment.
2Cor 6:2; "Now is the time of acceptance (while we're alive); behold, now is the day of salvation."
The spiritually dead person must make those two decisions in time, for only in time will God the Holy Spirit validate those decisions with His ministry of common and efficacious grace.
In common grace, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel understandable. In the calling that follows common grace, God the Father invites the spiritually dead person to believe in Christ.
It is an invitation that the New Testament calls "the calling of God." The gifts and "calling of God" are irrevocable; Rom 11:29; God never changes His mind. He always invites everyone to believe in Jesus Christ. This invitation is issued through the communication of the Gospel.
In efficacious grace, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit makes faith in Christ effective for salvation.
2Cor 6:1-2; "We also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
v2 For He says, (Isa 49:8;) `At an acceptable time, I listened to you (positive volition at common grace), and on the day of salvation, I helped you (efficacious grace).' Behold, now is the time for acceptance (while we're alive); behold, now is the day for salvation."
The fact that this statement is quoted from an Old Testament passage indicates that God the Holy Spirit's grace ministry is trans-dispensational. Salvation is the same in all dispensations.
This grace ministry or "help" is required because of mankind's spiritual brain death. At the point of Gospel hearing, the unbeliever is spiritually dead which means he has spiritual brain death. Spiritual brain death he has no ability to comprehend spiritual things including the Gospel.
The reasons why the unbeliever is in a state of brain death regarding spiritual phenomena is because everyone is born in a state of total depravity, total separation from God, and total helplessness.
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