Class Notes: 11/8/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 28
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 enabling power of God the Holy Spirit that functions as common and efficacious grace so that the unbeliever can understand the spiritual information that is contained in the Gospel and be saved because saving faith comes exclusively from the grace ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
Last time we noted that common grace is the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit breaking through spiritual brain death and communicating the Gospel when it is accurately presented.
The Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive of evangelism. Believers along with those with the spiritual gift of evangelism are the agents of evangelism. Every believer represents Jesus Christ as an ambassador and therefore has the responsibility of witnessing for Him.
Anything the unbeliever may add to faith is works. The works of the unbeliever are dead works that prevent salvation according to Eph 2:9;
Titus 3:5; "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but on the basis of His mercy by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit renewed us by creating for us a human spirit.
Dead works are sourced in human power that is ineffective in spiritual death. It takes God's power to help the helplessness of the spiritually dead unbeliever. God's power and human power are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit is provided in common grace.
Divine and human I.Q. are mutually exclusive. Therefore, God the Holy Spirit provides the spiritual I.Q. that is necessary for the perception of the Gospel.
Common grace therefore addresses the inability of the unbeliever to understand the Gospel apart from the omnipotence and convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. Post-salvation spiritual growth emphasizes the believer's inability to understand Bible doctrine apart from the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit in His filling and teaching ministry.
So in common grace, the Holy Spirit functions as a human spirit to provide the spiritual I.Q. In post-salvation spiritual growth the Holy Spirit is the spiritual I.Q. for the believer who resides inside God's spiritual power system.
Before salvation, the spiritually dead person is dichotomous, 1Cor 2:14; Jude 19; In regeneration, the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit for the purpose of imputing eternal life at salvation and for the purpose of teaching after salvation, Rom 8:6;
The believer is therefore trichotomous, Matt 26:41; 1Thes 5:23; Philemon 25;
When Bible doctrine is taught by ones right pastor, only the enabling power of the Holy Spirit makes the Bible doctrine that is communicated understandable. John 14:26; John 16:12- 14; 1Cor 2:9-16;
In the pre-salvation ministry of the Spirit of common grace, the Holy Spirit teaches the spiritually dead person the Gospel, making it clear, comprehensible and possible to understand. The work of the Holy Spirit in common grace precedes both the call from God the Father and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace.
In common grace, Jesus Christ is presented as the only Savior, and faith in Christ is presented as the only means of salvation. 1Cor 1:18, 1Cor 2:14; John 6:44; Rom 8:7; 2Cor 4:3-4;
Once the unbeliever understands the Gospel under common grace they receive the call of God to believe. The call of God includes the invitation of God the Father to the spiritually dead person to believe in Jesus Christ after the Gospel has been communicated to and understood by the unbeliever and their election once they have believed.
The invitation of God the Father to believe in Jesus Christ is the objective of common grace. When an accurate presentation of the Gospel is heard God the Holy Spirit makes that information clear, comprehensible, and understandable.
It is grace because in total depravity, we are unable to understand spiritual phenomena or do anything to have a relationship with God on our own.
This call is not verbal. No on actually hears a voice from God because during the Church Age God only reveals Himself from His Word that is contained in the canon of Scripture. In order to prevent satanic influence this has been the protocol ever since the Bible was completed and circulated in the post-Canon period of the Church Age.
God the Father's invitation comes to us through the understanding the issue of the Gospel regarding Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and you have eternal life; reject Him and you remain in eternal condemnation where you were. John 3:18,36; This what Scripture refers to as "the call" or "the calling of God."
God the Father knew of the election those who would believe from eternity before time was created. He knew who would believe in Christ and who would not, and He elected those who would believe. Eph 1:4;
God's call follows the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common grace. In Rom 1:6-7, the invitation or calling is described as coming from both God the Father and God the Son.
v6 "Among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. v7 To all who are beloved of God (the Father) in Rome, called (invited) to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." We see here that it is an invitation from both God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
The call of God is generally described as originating from God the Father. Rom 8:30; "And whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
There are many passages where the word "calling" occurs. Rom 11:29; "For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable."
The calling of God is irrevocable in the sense that once the call of God that results in efficacious grace is accepted it cannot be revoked. The same is true of the 40 grace gifts that every believer receives the moment they believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.
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