Class Notes: 8/31/2016
Heb 12:2; Rev 2:7; The doctrine of the winner part 4
In our study of the doctrine of the winner believer. Heb 12:2; Rev 2:7; We noted that winner believers are the unknown, unsung heroes of history. 2Cor 6:9; under the principle of not many wise or noble according to first birth. 1Cor 1:26-29;
We have noted that the winner exploits God's grace to the maximum so we have taken up a study of grace in the context of being a winner.
The winner understands the essence of God rationale that means that for God not to jeopardize his essence His policy toward mankind must be grace.
This is why propitiation is the work of Christ on the cross that frees God to bless mankind and that God cannot accept any works from man. Faith and Grace are mutually excusive of works Eph 2:8-9;
God is free to consistently express His love to mankind without compromising any of the attributes of His essence because he express it through His grace.
Under the principle of grace, God provides a series of blessings for man totally apart from man's merit, ability, planning, thinking, or energy.
Under the policy of grace, God gives and man receives. God does all the work and providing, while man does all the receiving and benefiting.
Grace means that everything depends on God and nothing depends on man.
Under the mechanics of grace, man had a relationship with God in the status of perfection in the Garden of Eden before the fall and outside of the Garden of Eden after the fall man was restored through regeneration.
The initial status in the garden was based on God's perfect creation. God provided everything man would ever need in a state of perfection in the Garden of Eden.
The trees were for stimulation of the soul, good for food, and the tree of lives was given to appreciate God. Man had immediate capacity to appreciate God's grace provision.
Within the Garden of Eden the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a volitional test between God's policy of perfection and Satan's policy of good and evil. For Adam and the woman positive volition was as choice for God and negative volition was a choice for Satan.
God's policy is perfection. Satan's policy is good and evil. The tree was forbidden because the acquisition of good and evil resulted in spiritual death that destroyed perfection.
Good and evil are two things mankind does not need in his perfect relationship with God.
We see from this the issue is always volition. Winners consistently have positive volition and losers consistently have negative volition.
Satan's policy his evil but his intentions are good. Evil is what Satan thinks and good is what Satan intends and hopes that that his policy will accomplish but in actuality his evil policy results in death and destruction.
We see from this that Satan's negative volition makes him the first loser and he is also is the first liberal because he is a progressive do-gooder with evil policies that create unintended consequences because he rejects the perfection of God's Word of truth.
The big issue with satan was that he deceived himself into thinking he could become something he could never become. He deceives people into trying to do the same thing today when he deceives men into trying to become women and women into trying to become men.
Anytime people violate God's Word of truth and sin they are trying to be something, do something, or present themselves as something they have no capacity for from the perfection of God's Word of truth.
Sin is lawlessness so sin is rejection of and noncompliance with truth. 1John 3:4;
At the time of the fall, man ate of the forbidden tree. The first sin was a sin of negative volition to God's plan. After the fall, man's relationship with God starts with regeneration that God provides in grace.
Man immediately understood good and evil, was immediately under the rule of Satan, and immediately performed human good that was demonstrated when he clothed himself with fig leaves and hid from God. Gen 3:7-8;
They hid from God because they now understood that when they obtained the knowledge of good and evil they had lost perfect righteousness. That was an unintended consequence of their negative volition to God's word.
But God had anticipated and had a plan for their negative volition. Under God's plan, grace is all that God can do for man from salvation until eternity on the basis of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Grace is the genius of God, and God's Word of truth aka doctrine or faith is how God reveals and manifests His genius to mankind.
God's grace is deployed toward mankind on the basis of man's status quo starting with common grace that is deployed toward mankind in his initial state of being physically and soulishly alive in the status of total depravity and spiritual death at physical birth.
Because man is born spiritually dead he is in the state of depravity as an unbeliever so he cannot establish a relationship with God. God must do that for him.
At the point of Gospel hearing the unbeliever is spiritually dead and is therefore totally helpless and cannot have a relationship with God. He is dichotomous, and cannot understand spiritual phenomena even though under satan's deception he thinks he can.
1Cor 2:14; "But the natural man (unbeliever) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness. Furthermore, he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."
This passage tells us that the unbeliever cannot understand anything from God so in evangelism and personal witnessing, God the Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive. He will only use what is accurate and true from God's Word.
Just as a living person cannot communicate with a dead person and visa versa, a spiritually alive evangelist cannot cause the spiritually dead unbeliever who is listening to him understand the Gospel unless the Holy Spirit enables it.
In the function of common grace, God the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit to enable the spiritually dead unbeliever to understand the Gospel.
The unbeliever can hear the Gospel, but he must be willing to listen to the Gospel for common grace to function. The unbeliever provides the non-meritorious choice to listen and when he does God the Holy Spirit provides comprehension of the relevant facts.
The enabling ministries of the Holy Spirit in evangelism can be compared to the inhale and exhale of breathing.
The inhale corresponds to when the unbeliever listens to the Gospel, while the Holy Spirit makes it understandable under common grace. The exhale corresponds to when unbeliever believes in Christ, and the Holy Spirit under efficacious grace, makes that faith effective.
At the point of believing in Christ the unbeliever makes a non-meritorious decision to believe in Christ. But because this belief comes from one who is spiritually dead, God the Holy Spirit must make the belief effective; this is the doctrine of efficacious grace.
Without this ministry of the Holy Spirit, the belief or faith of an unbeliever is ineffective because the unbeliever can do nothing spiritual. There is nothing valid in what an unbeliever does or thinks as far as a relationship with God is concerned. But the Holy Spirit makes this belief effective for salvation in every case.
From the human viewpoint we simply believe in Christ for salvation. From God's viewpoint, at the very moment we believe, God the Holy Spirit makes that belief or faith effective by saving us.
The first time the principle of common grace is mentioned in the Bible is in Gen 6:3; "Then the Lord said, "My Spirit (Holy Spirit) shall not strive with mankind forever. For he is also flesh (spiritual death at birth). Nevertheless, his days shall be 120 years (before the flood would occur)."
The Spirit's "striving" refers to the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel information lucid. The 120 years was as long as they would live before the flood would come and destroy them if they failed to believe which is what happened. Only Noah and his family were delivered from the flood.
In other words, everyone has the chance to believe in Christ as long as they are physically alive. If anyone dies physically without believing in Christ, they will be condemned to the lake of fire. John 3:18,36;
The Holy Spirit's "striving", is a reference to the convincing ministry of the Holy Spirit that is part of the Holy Spirit's ministry of common grace.
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