Class Notes: 11/11/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 29
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;
Last time we noted that the calling of God 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.
God's call 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.
1Cor 1:2; "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus (baptism of the Spirit), saints (Holy ones) by calling."
1Cor 1:9; "God (Father) is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
1Cor 1:24; "But to those who are called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God."
1Cor 1:26; "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble." What you were before salvation in your human attractiveness or achievement is not a factor. The issue is God and His grace provision in Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:6; "I am amazed that you so quickly have deserted the One (Father) who called you by the grace of Christ, and have now turned to a different Gospel." God the Father called them when Paul gave them the Gospel. The "different Gospel" that is "not really a Gospel" adds human works to faith.
Eph 4:1; "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, exhort you to walk in a manner worthy of your station in life, for which you have been called." Every believer in Jesus Christ is a member of God's royal family, and to walk worthy of that calling is the expectation for every believer after salvation is to learn how to live as a member of God's royal family.
Eph 4:4; "There is one body (royal family) and one Spirit (ministry of Holy Spirit in common grace), just as you were called in one hope (confidence) of your calling." This confidence is that you have the irrevocable gift of eternal life because you have believed in Jesus Christ.
We see from these passages that the invitation comes from God the Father, and God the Son during the Hypostatic Union. God the Father's calling is obvious. The invitation to salvation, or the doctrine of calling, follows the principle of coming to Christ by believing, not by inviting Christ to come to us in some way such as in "inviting Jesus into your heart."
God's call is an invitation to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Therefore, inviting Christ into your heart or into your life is blasphemous. Spiritually dead unbelievers can't invite Christ anywhere. That is the reversal of the true calling of God that places emphasis on the person rather than God.
An example of the calling of Jesus Christ was expressed during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, aka His First Advent or Incarnation in Matt 11:28; Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and heavy-laden (under pressure), and I will give you rest."
This is a reference to the faith-rest drill as the critically important basic problem-solving device. It is an invitation from our Lord Jesus Christ to believe that He is the Messiah during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
John 6:35; "Jesus said to them, `I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst.'"
Both of the above passages have the phrase "Come to Me." So when we believe in Christ for salvation, we go to God; we respond to God's invitation. No one is saved by inviting Christ to come to them, by inviting Christ into the garbage dump of our heart, Isa 64:6; or into the spiritual death of our life, Rom 5:12;
Inviting Jesus Christ saves no one. It is the quintessence of human arrogance, and it is a distortion of the passage in Rev 3:20; about knocking that is an invitation exclusively for the believer to recover fellowship by "opening the door." Every passage in the Scripture, is very clear that salvation is by believing not by inviting. God invites, we believe.
John 6:37; "He that comes to Me I will never cast out." That means that once you believe in Christ, you have eternal life, and there is nothing you can do to cancel it. It is arrogance to think you can do something to cancel your salvation, or that you have the power to in some way cancel God's grace.
John 6:47; "Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes keeps on having eternal life."
John 10:9; "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture." Pasture refers to the peace, prosperity and tranquility that come from the perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.
Before God's invitation or calling is heard the Gospel must be presented and understood through God the Holy Spirit's ministry of common grace that focuses on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. John 10:11; "I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd lays down his life as a substitute for the sheep."
John 14:6; "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."
Scriptures that document God's call include: Col 3:15; "You were called into one body." This invitation to the believer in Christ includes becoming a member of the royal family of God.
1Thes 2:12; "So that you may walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."
1Thes 5:24;"Faithful is He who calls you, who will also bring it to pass." In other words, when you respond to God's invitation and believe in Jesus Christ, God is faithful to irrevocably provide the forty things that every believer receives at the moment of salvation.
2Thes 1:11; "And to this end, we pray for you always, that our God may count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire for integrity and the work of faith with power."
"Worthy of our calling" means that, we are advancing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and executing the protocol plan of God. For this to occur we must reside in the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit inside God's spiritual power system.
The challenge to believers is to fulfill the objectives of our calling in association with Christ. Being worthy means we are facing and overcoming those challenges with God's power.
2Tim 1:9; "Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to works, but according to His purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus from eternity past."
No one is saved by faith plus anything else. God does all the work. Faith is the only non-meritorious system of perception. Faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only means of receiving eternal salvation.
Heb 3:1; "Therefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling."
Heb 9:15c; "Those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance." When we are called, we respond by faith in Jesus Christ. At that moment, we receive an eternal inheritance from God.
1Pet 1:15; "The Holy One who called you." 1Pet 5:10; "The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ." 2 Pet 1:3, "Seeing that His divine omnipotence has given to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the epignosis knowledge of Him who called us to His glory and virtue."
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