Class Notes: 9/21/2016
Heb 12:2; Rev 2:7; The doctrine of the winner part 9
Lam 3:21-23; I recall this to my mind, and it gives me confidence. Because The Lord's mercy never fails; His grace provisions never cease, they are renewed every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
In our study of the doctrine of the winner believer. Heb 12:2; Rev 2:7; We have noted that winner believers are the unknown, unsung heroes of history. 2Cor 6:9;
The winners are those who are not considered by the world to be wise or noble 1Cor 1:26-29; but they are the crisis personalities who stand in the spiritual gap and preserve the nation during the course of human history. Ezek 22:30-31; because they glorify God by learning how to exploit God's grace system to the maximum. 2Pet 3:18; 2Pet 1:2;
Since the winner exploits God's grace system to the maximum we have taken up a study of grace in the context of exploiting it and becoming a winner.
God's means of blessing the believer is accomplished by a series of grace imputations that occur in both time and in eternity.
God's call is initiated under common grace when He enables the spiritually brain dead unbeliever to understand the relevant issues contained in the Gospel message.
Mankind's non-meritorious positive response to that call in the status quo of spiritual death is faith in Christ or simply believing that Jesus Christ is who God's Word of truth says He is which is always effective.
Every time and any where anyone believes that Jesus Christ is who God's Word says He is, God the Holy Spirit makes it effectual. John 3:16;
In the status of spiritual death the unbeliever is completely helpless to have any relationship with God. Through the function of efficacious grace God the Holy Spirit makes the dead faith of the spiritually dead person effectual and alive.
God the Holy Spirit is alive to God the Father and God the Son and always has been. Therefore, only a member of the Trinity could make human faith effectual.
It couldn't be God the Father since He sent the Son; it couldn't be God the Son because He was judged for our sins on the cross. So God the Holy Spirit is the only one who could do this.
The natural human being does not have anything that God needs but when we believe the doctrine His grace comes to us making our faith effective.
We have noted that the work of common grace occurs first and is therefore antecedent to God the Holy Spirit's work of efficacious grace at salvation.
The unbeliever in effect "inhales" the Gospel message that is being made clear by the Holy Spirit and then "exhales" non-meritorious faith in Jesus Christ that God the Holy Spirit makes effective for salvation.
Grace is God's side of salvation; "faith" or believing the doctrine is the human side of salvation, Eph 2:8-9;
Believing God's Word of truth or "the faith" always results in some category of grace. God targets faith with grace. This is why faith and grace always work together in tandem.
One of the problems in understanding this doctrine is understanding the role of mankind since the unbeliever is spiritually dead and in a state of total helplessness and total depravity to do anything spiritual.
Spiritual death is much worse than personal sin. Personal sin is simply a symptom of spiritual death. Personal sin is the inevitable result of spiritual death. We should never be shocked at the personal sins that people commit in spiritual death.
Mankind is in a situation of complete helplessness and unable to have anything to do with God. Were it not for the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, there could be no eternal life there could only be eternal condemnation in the lake of fire. John 3:18;
Because of this God does all of the work for salvation. This work is described as God's love. John 3:16a; This love is integrity love.
Because God is integrity love He did everything that could be done to save mankind and extract mankind from spiritual death but this provision can only be appropriated by "faith" or believing the doctrine.
Not only was Jesus Christ judged for our sins on the cross, but the God the Holy Spirit also makes it possible for the unbeliever to understand the Gospel and if there is a positive response He goes on to make the unbeliever's dead faith effective for salvation.
The unbeliever starts by choosing to hear and listen to the Gospel message. Every time the Gospel is communicated God the Holy Spirit makes a call the spiritually dead person who listens to it. The call is heard when a person actually takes the time to listen to the information that is contained in the Gospel message.
But because of spiritual death there is no human spirit and therefore no capacity to understand the call so God the Holy Spirit must assist so that the spiritual information that is in the Gospel message can be understood.
1 Cor 2:14; So God the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit to make the Gospel understandable.
Rom 10:14; "How shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?"
Rom 10:17; "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Common grace begins with the hearing of the Gospel and ends with the Holy Spirit making the Gospel comprehensible.
The point of decision is reached once the issue is understood. If there is positive volition or belief in the message then God the Holy Spirit to makes that faith efficacious.
The unbeliever simply responds to God's call to personally believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God with non-meritorious faith. Non-meritorious personal faith in Christ is linked with the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace thereby making it effectual.
God the Holy Spirit inserts enough information into spiritual brain death so that the Gospel can be understood and when the information is accepted God the Holy Spirit transforms spiritual dead faith into spiritual living or effectual faith for salvation.
Some people have problem with how simple it is because they are arrogant but mankind can do nothing in the state of spiritual death and inability so salvation must be extremely simple.
It can only be faith alone because unbelieving mankind cannot do any spiritual work. God must do all of the work because it must be completely grace. That is why Paul stated it the way he did in Eph 2:8-9;
John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear My voice (God's call under common grace) and I know them (in eternity past) and they follow Me (efficacious grace) and I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand."
Salvation only applies to those who are physically alive. There is no plan for eternal salvation offered to those who have died physically. Jesus Christ was alive on the cross when He was judged for our sins and provided our salvation.
Common and efficacious grace only applies to members of the human race who are physically alive. As long as a person is physically alive he can be saved. But once he dies physically, spiritual death plus physical death equals the second death and conveyance into the lake of fire.
The human responsibility therefore is to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation sometime while they are still physically alive in a mortal sin infused body. Everyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ while they are alive on this earth will be consigned to the lake of fire.
In every case where common grace is rejected, efficacious grace does not occur. You must have a minimal understanding of the Gospel before you can believe who Jesus Christ is.
This issue is simply whose Son is He? Matt 22:42; The Pharisees remained in spiritual death because of their refusal to recognize Him as the Son of God. They were losers because they rejected God's grace and if they did not change their mind before their physical death they are in torments and they will be transferred the lake of fire.
The sovereignty of God and the free will of man coexist by divine decree as the extension of the prehistoric angelic conflict into human history.
Human responsibility in relationship to God's sovereignty is explained by God's grace provision that was placed on deposit before anything was created. Eph 1:3-6;
Saving grace is God's response to the non-meritorious positive to God's call in common grace that results in being saved through efficacious grace. Eph 2:8-9
Once saved the new believer possess eternal life that is expressed with the "+" that connects the X radial of the equation of grace to the "Y" radical of the equation of grace.
X [ HL + AOS = P1 + D = H1 ] +
HL: Imputation of human life at physical birth.
AOS: Imputation of Adam's original sin to the sinful nature.
P1: Potential for salvation.
D: The Gospel that is the relevant doctrine in this case.
H1: Confident expectation of receiving eternal life (Hope 1)\
+: The actual grace imputation of eternal life at salvation
Y [ J1 + J2 = P2 + D = H2 ] +
J1: Judicial imputation of all personal sins to Christ.
J2: Judicial imputation of God's righteousness to the believer.
P2: Potential to execute God's plan for your life.
D: The relevant doctrine: The Mystery doctrines of the Church Age.
H2: Confident expectation of receiving escrow blessings for time (Hope 2)
+: The actual grace imputation of escrow blessings for time.
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