"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 3)

 

 

Every lie is vulnerable and exposable. Every lie contains within it the seed of its own destruction. A lie, like all liars including the father of lies, Satan, is its own worst enemy. Eventually, somewhere down the track every lie meets with a dead end. It cannot travel any further for its track runs out. The things employed to maintain the lie eventually stop making any sense at all and ultimately the lie reaches the point where even the most naive among us can see right through it. The truth is irrepressible, always invulnerable and defendable. Truth fears nothing. It will always find support and that support never changes or is ever weakened or exhausted. Truth is eternal and all lies are, comparatively speaking, ephemeral. The only time a lie has any power is when a person is fool enough to believe it. The Truth has power whether one believes it or not. Satan's lie that man would not die, from which comes the lie that man's Fall in the Garden produced only a kind of temporal, or partial, separation from God and not an utter death to God, is a lie which is easily exposed by the Word of God. Where there is no life there must be death. Otherwise, the whole meaning of the word life would need to be changed. To change the meaning of the word die one would of necessity also require a change in the meaning of the words live or life. The following statement could not be true if the first were not right: where there is no death there is life and where there is no life there can only be death. Life is the opposite of death and death is the opposite of life. One can be alive and dying but no one can simultaneously be alive and dead. Either God was right when He said man would surely die or Satan was right when he said that man would not surely die. One spoke the truth and the other was lying. Whom do you believe? Your gospel will reveal whom you believe.

 

Arminianism, founded upon the Satanic lie of non-spiritual death, speaks without the support of Scripture and so it must go outside of Scripture to where the lies and imaginations of men exist and then weave its God-less understanding into the very fabric of the Word of God, IGNORING the glaringly obvious Scriptures and the countless others which support them, that show that man IS dead to God and without ANY hope in this world, not within him or without. To deny all this because of one’s long history of believing the erroneous teaching that man is not dead in sin but merely sin sick, not drowned in sin but only drown-ing and able to reach out for the life saver which, theoretically, has been thrown to him, is to deny the clear word of God on the matter and, as we shall see, gives a nod of approval to Satan’s God-opposing claim that man would not surely die. Theories and experience-based teachings spawned by the mind of spiritually dead men make logical sense only to the carnal mind. But they make no BIBLICAL sense at all for they are not defendable by the Word of God, but only by a warped idea of what God's Word says. There is no basis, my friend, no Scriptural reason, to believe that man is not dead in sin but merely sin sick and therefore able to come to God of his own free will. Nothing in the whole of God’s Word will stand with you on that. Moreover, there is no Scripture which can be employed to explain away all the scores of Scriptures which clearly teach the deadness of man towards God and thus the utter absence in any man, according to his sinful nature, of desire for the true God. The only ones who fall for the lie that man is not dead, and can choose by his free will to come to God, are those to whom the Gospel of God's Grace is hidden. To those who simply do not know the Truth. Salvation is by Grace through the gift of Faith. What God provides for a man is SALVATION itself and not merely the opportunity to choose it. God's grace always refers to God doing and never to a man's choosing. A man saved by grace means that without God, without His grace, no man can even come to Him. An example of this may be clearly seen in Christ's words when He said "...No man can come unto Me, except it were GIVEN unto him of My Father" (Jn. 6:65; cf. Jn. 6:44). Man coming to God is because of God coming to the man first. Without the Father no man can come. This Scripture is clearly teaching the spiritual state of man: without the Father coming to a man, no man can come to the Father, for he is evidently, and intrinsically, without the Father.

 

"The nature of the death...(God warned of)...can be determined only from a consideration of all that was involved in the curse actually inflicted. This we know to have included the instant withdrawal of the Divine favor and spiritual intercommunion upon which man’s life depended (see Gen. 3:24). Hence the alienation and curse of God; the sense of guilt and corruption of nature; consequent actual transgressions, the miseries of life, the dissolution of the body, the pains of Hell. THE CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN ARE ALL COMPREHENDED UNDER THE TERM DEATH, IN ITS WIDEST SENSE. Paul gives us the summary testament that "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). The full import of the death which was threatened to Adam can only be seen by considering all the evil consequences which have since befallen man. It was primarily spiritual death, or eternal separation from God, which was threatened; and physical death, or the death of the body, is but one of the first fruits and relatively unimportant consequences of that greater penalty. Adam did not die physically for 930 years after the Fall, but he did die spiritually the very moment he fell into sin. He died just as really as the fish dies when taken from the water, or as the plant dies when taken from the soil." Man is completely disconnected from God, hiding himself behind a mirage of false teachings and man-made traditions which present to him an assortment of false gods whilst he, in his ignorance, blissfully denies the only true God.

 

The words "thou shalt surely die" found in Genesis 2:17 are literally translated, 'dying you shall die', in the original Hebrew (see Num. 26:65). Rather than go into an extensive study of this, suffice it to say that one is right in concluding "...that the construction 'dying you shall die' and beyom in Genesis 2:17 do not require us to conclude that God was warning that 'the very day you eat from the tree is the exact same day that you will die physically.' The Hebrew wording of Genesis 2:17 allows for a time lapse between the instantaneous spiritual death on that day of disobedience and the later physical death (which certainly did happen, just as God said). Scripture consistently teaches, both kinds of death (spiritual and physical) are the consequence of Adam’s rebellion." (see Rom. 5). Seeing that man’s immediate death was spiritual, it is apparent that God was warning of man's spiritual death in that day, and of a consequent future physical death. Spiritual death is the eternal separation of man from God. That is, not only is man eternally separated from God and His love, but man is also eternally separated from having any desire for the true God. Man is spiritually, and mentally separated from God, and now has only a carnal mind which, by its very nature, can only ever be at enmity with God (see Rom. 8:7). Man's turning from God has placed him at the dead centre of God's Wrath. Man's sin of disobedience was an abandonment of God. Arminianism denies the termination, or cessation of spiritual life after the Fall merely referring to what happened as a temporal separation. Arminians go on about the word 'separation' but what they fail to realise is that separation IS death when it comes to being separated from the Giver of Life, from the Life Source, for God is the One Who sustains all life, both physical and spiritual (see Col. 1:16,17). Separation from God IS separation from life. When you disconnect a power cord from its source the appliance simply will not operate. It becomes lifeless and useless. The appliance cannot do anything to reconnect itself to the electrical source. So too, man in his disconnected from God state can do nothing to reconnect himself to God and become operational in a spiritual sense. If you are disconnected from God you are disconnected from life. If you are separated from God you are separated from spiritual life, and if you are separated from spiritual life you are spiritually dead and will physically die. "...by Him all things consist" (Col. 1:17).

 

Prior to being given eternal life by the Lord Jesus man is unregenerate for all he has is eternal death residing in him (see Eph. 2). If this were not the case, if man is not dead in sin and dead to God, what need would there be for man to be made alive? Why would a man need to be made alive if he is not dead? Christ explains eternal life thusly: "And THIS IS eternal life, that they might KNOW Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3). Man who is dead in sin and dead to God does not know the true God, and, therefore, does not have spiritual life residing in him. He does not recognize the true God, and, therefore, does not desire, or seek, Him. No such existence could possibly be described better than dead to God. To know the true God, as He is defined and described by the doctrines of His glorious Gospel, is to be made eternally alive by Him and to Him. Those who are spiritually alive to Him, know Him and obey only His Gospel, and no longer have any need to be given eternal life, for in knowing Him it is obvious that they already have it. To know God is to understand, believe and obey His Gospel of grace in the salvation of His people. To not know God and to not, therefore, obey His Gospel, is to draw the Wrath of the Son for the Lord Jesus will return "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess. 1:8,9; cf. Heb. 10:27; 1 Pet. 4:17). To not be made alive is to be a child of Wrath (see Eph. 2:3-5). To not know the true God is the strongest evidence of not knowing the true God's Gospel and, therefore, of spiritual death.

 

The Word of God teaches that man died spiritually after he sinned against God and was consequently and eternally separated from God. There was no more remaining desire in man toward God. No one denies that physical death is being dead to life, yet curiously many denounce the doctrine which teaches that spiritual death is just as literal, just as substantive as physical death and means being dead to God and without hope of ever being alive to God. It is as simple as when seeing the word die read LOSS OF ALL HOPE. The Scriptures speak of man being without Christ, having no hope and being without God (see Eph. 2:12). There is no instance in which any Scripture speaks, or even vaguely refers to, being without the Father and the Son but nevertheless still having some hope. If one is without God it shows that one has no hope: neither intrinsic or extrinsic. Christ said no man can come to Him except the Father, (see Jn. 6:44,65) which demonstrates the completely hopeless state of being which every man is in by nature—without God—which is the only accurate description that can be Scripturally concluded of a person being spiritually dead to God. In terms of anything man is able to do when it comes to God, man simply cannot. With man salvation is impossible, he cannot come to the Father nor can he come to the Son (see Matt. 19:26; Jn. 6:44,65; Jn. 14:6). Immediately after having sinned, Adam and Eve clothed themselves with fig leaves in some vain effort to cover, or hide the shame of their sin, and yet they knew within themselves this would not satisfy God and so in some futile attempt to escape God's Wrath sought to hide themselves from Him (see Gen. 3:7-10). They knew something had changed within them. They were in a hopeless state of spiritual death, and the only thing they knew to do was to go away from God and not to Him.

 

"And they heard the Voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the Day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, 'Where art thou?'" (Gen. 3:8,9). "Which is said, not as ignorant of the place where he was, nor of what he had done, nor of the circumstances he was in, or of the answers he would make; but rather it shows all the reverse, that He knew where he was, what he had done, and in what condition he was, and therefore it was in vain to seek to hide himself: or as pitying his case, saying, 'alas for thee'., as some render the words, into what a miserable plight hast thou brought thyself, by listening to the tempter, and disobeying thy God! thou that wast the favourite of heaven, the chief of the creatures, the inhabitant of Eden, possessed of all desirable bliss and happiness, but now in the most wretched and forlorn condition imaginable; or as upbraiding him with his sin and folly; that he who had been so highly favoured by Him, as to be made after His image and likeness, to have all creatures at his command, and the most delightful spot in all the globe to dwell in, and a grant to eat of what fruit he would, save one, and who was indulged with intercourse with his God, and with the holy angels, should act such an ungrateful part as to rebel against Him, break His laws, and trample upon His legislative authority, and bid, as it were, defiance to Him: or else as the Saviour, looking upon His straying sheep, and lost creature, man: or rather as a summons to appear before Him, the Judge of all, and answer for his conduct; it was in vain for him to secrete himself, he must and should appear; the force of which words he felt, and therefore was obliged to surrender himself, as appears from what follows." In eating of the fruit Adam and Eve were cursed with independence from God. Yet with this gullible striving for independence, and to become as gods themselves, came not godship and freedom, as Satan had promised, but a subservience to the dark world of alienation. Alienation from God.

 

No one denies physical death for it is all around us. Most have known someone who has died and that one day they, too, will experience death for themselves. But natural man has a huge problem with spiritual death for as he looks around him, at all the religions and alleged spirituality and good deeds being done in, and for the glory of whichever god is believed, man by nature sees nothing but spiritual activity and a determined, committed seeking after a 'higher Power'. 'Man's desire for God is not dead', they say, 'but merely misdirected'. As we shall see for ourselves man's desire for the true God is dead, however, man's desire for a god, for a higher power, is very much alive. This zeal for false gods has come about because of the inherent ignorance, resident in every man by nature, of the true God which is a consequence of man's spiritually dead state. Man's spiritual death, his eternal separation from the true God, is perhaps nowhere more clearly evidenced than in the following verses of Scripture: "As it is written, There is none Righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...There is no  fear of God before their eyes" (Rom. 3:10-12,18). Anyone who does not, or will not, see the picture that has been painted by these Scriptures is living proof of their status as fact. "If a man were dead, in a natural and physical sense, it would at once be readily granted that there is no further possibility of that man being able to perform any physical actions. A corpse cannot act in any way whatsoever, and that man would be reckoned to have taken leave of his senses who asserted that it could. If a man is dead spiritually, therefore, it is surely equally as evident, that he is unable to perform any spiritual actions..." (equally as evident, for the Lord used the same word 'die' in His description of what would befall man should he eat of the tree).

 

Whilst this statement is true, it does not go far enough in explaining fully what being spiritually dead to God means. The apostle Paul's words from Romans 3 show clearly that according to man's sinful nature, not only are there none Righteous or who understand, but that there are NONE who even seek after the true God. THIS is a statement which truly, and clearly shows man's utterly spiritually dead state before the one true God. Man is not only without God but he does not want God. Mankind does not seek the True God for man is comprehensively and in every way dead to God! "The Lord looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are ALL gone aside, they are altogether become filthy (stinking; like putrid or corrupt flesh): there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psa. 14:2,3). THERE ARE NONE WHO SEEK HIM FOR THERE ARE NONE WHO KNOW HIM OWING TO THE UNAVOIDABLE FACT THAT ALL ARE DEAD TO HIM. The phrase gone aside meaning to depart, or to be removed. The corresponding passage, found in Psalm 53:2,3, says: "Everyone of them is gone back..." That is to say, "... from God; have revolted from him, and turned their backs upon Him, and have gone back from His commandment, despised His law, and cast away His word. The Apostle Paul (in Romans 3) interprets it, 'they are all gone out of the way'; out of God's way, into their own way; out of the path of truth, righteousness, and holiness, into the way of sin, error, darkness, and death". “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Rather than rightly punishing His people for their sin, He has laid them all upon His Son, the Sacrificial Lamb of God.

 

Man's sinful nature has never had one single moment of desire for the true God. This is plainly demonstrated in the Scripture passage from Romans 3 by the words "...there is none that seeketh after God". Every time one returns to this verse it still says the same thing. It does not say that there are none who seek after a god, nor does it say that there none who are religious, but that no man by nature has any knowledge of, or any inherent desire, to seek after the True God, hence he is without hope. Some would attempt to convince us that, 'In a sense man's craving after a higher power does display a desire for the true God'. The problem with such an assumption is that seeing no man understands, and, therefore, knows, the True God, his seeking and craving are without knowledge, and so, in his ignorance, man, thinking he is seeking after the true God, is actually heading in the opposite direction chasing after false gods that cannot save. Natural man's ignorance-riddled sense that he needs to connect with a higher power is in fact a symptom of his spiritually dead state, for he does not know who the true and only Higher Power is, thus his seeking after false gods is nothing less than confirmation that he is without the true God, and so his zealous, yet ignorant, search for a higher power only serves to hide him from the reality that he does not know, and is without, the True God. Zeal for 'God' without the right knowledge of the true God is ignorance of the Righteousness of God and always involves a seeking to establish a righteousness of one's own (see Rom. 10:1-4), and Romans 3 tells us that there are none righteous, none who understand and therefore none who seek after the true God. By nature, every man's 'search for God' is piloted by his belief that he must do something in order to get saved which is why he can never find the True God, or recognize Him, for the True God saves by grace alone and not through any work of man's. This is why every religion out there conditions salvation in some way, and to some degree upon what a man does. All who are involved in such religion simply do not know the true God.

 

Because of  a distinct lack of righteousness and any desire for the true God, it may be biblically discerned that man is said to be without God, therefore unprofitable and without hope. No man can come for no man seeks the True God evidencing the fact that all are without God. Moreover, there are none that do good, in God's sight, for they are without the fear of God. Not only are men not able to perform any spiritual actions toward the true God, for seeking after false gods is not a commendable act but a carnal act and not a spiritual one, they no longer possess the will to do so. Scripture says no man has a will towards God, for no man seeks after God! Nothing man does in this condition is of any profit to him whatsoever in terms of his coming to or desiring God. How then, in light of this compelling evidence, can any man say that he has a free will to choose God? Again, nothing highlights the spiritually dead state of man more than the actions and beliefs of all men by nature. We shall look more closely at this later but the question which, at this point, literally begs to be asked is: WHAT GOOD IS THE MYTHICAL FREE-WILL OF MAN WHEN THE WORD OF GOD EMPHATICALLY STATES THAT NO MAN SEEKETH AFTER GOD!!! No free will advocate has any Scriptural defence in light of this unavoidable and unchallengeable truth which mockingly stares him right in the face every minute of every day of his spiritually dead life, and I openly challenge anyone to provide me with even one verse that denies the fact and implications of this Scripture. No true believer in God's Gospel has ever claimed to have chosen God. Many may have done so prior to their being saved but after they have become believers in God's Gospel they have all repented of this deadly lie which is only found in the hearts of spiritually dead men. No one by their so-called free will has ever chosen, or even sought after, the true God. It is always a false god whose 'salvation' is always conditioned on what a man must do and/or refrain from doing.

 

True spirituality, being spiritual, simply means living a life of obedience to the true God. To be truly spiritual is to be "...filled with and governed by the Spirit of God...men in Christ who walk so as to please God" (see Gal 6:1). But seeing that Scripture says "...There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10), man, by nature, no longer possesses true spirituality. There is no obedience for there is no righteousness for there is no fear of God before man's eyes for there is no spiritual life. Man cannot work his way back to God "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccl. 7:20). Natural man does not have the saving Faith which comes from, and is given by, God and so cannot please God (see Heb. 11:6; cf. Rom. 10:17). As a consequence, man cannot choose his way back to God but must be made spiritually alive to God, by God. Man must be born again, made alive, made a new creature so that he will desire the True God, and only the True God. The apostle Paul, writing to the saints at Ephesus, told them "And you hath HE quickened, who were DEAD in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). The only way to be brought back from a state of spiritual death is to be made spiritually alive by God. Obviously then the need to be made alive provides clear and unequivocal evidence of man's natural state of spiritual death. There is no other way of escape from a hopeless and without-God state but to be made alive by God. Paul goes on to say "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were DEAD in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" (Eph 2:4,5). God's making a man alive is purely by grace and requires no assistance or nod of approval from man before it can be done. Here we see further confirmation that before God saves a man, the man is in an utterly dead state toward God and must be regenerated: made alive so that he will come to God. It is because of God's great love for His chosen that He makes them alive to Him. He it is Who '...produces and preserves them alive' to Him and not because of their love for Him. God endues His chosen with life by His love for them, and they are born alive unto Him. How can man love the true God first when Scripture says man is dead in sins and that not one man, by nature, has EVER even sought after God. How can man love the true God before the Lord makes him alive unto Him? How could any man 'choose' the true God before he is made alive by God? And, what need is there for a choice to be made by man, when it is obvious that in being made alive by God, it is God Who has made His choice of man. A man is made alive/saved by a work of God and not by his free will choice of God. Man is saved by grace, not by himself through means of his 'free will'. Man is saved by God doing, and not by man choosing. To be made alive could not be a reference to man's previous state of being unwell, or of being wounded, but not fatally. Born again, made alive, are synonymous phrases and are something which no man can be the catalyst of. A man can only be born again, he can only be made spiritually alive unto God by an act of grace by God Himself, based not on what a man has done, or allegedly can do, but solely upon the will and eternal purpose of Almighty God upon those He chose from before the foundation of the world to be merciful towards. Hence, the words of Christ found in John's Gospel: "NO MAN CAN come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him..." (Jn. 6:44). Man is without any hope of salvation without the grace of God that makes him alive to God. All ANY man does in denying this statement is simply provide evidence of its veracity.

 

To live a spiritual life one must be made spiritually alive: born again. And, to be born again one must be born of the Word of God: His Gospel. "Being born again...by the Word of God....And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:23,25). James shatters any notion that man must and, therefore, can do something to instigate his own salvation by his free will, when he says: "Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth" (Jas. 1:18). Of God's own will, not man's, is a man born again. GOD DOES THE CHOOSING AND GOD DOES THE WILLING! Man is not born again by anything he does for it is God Who gives birth to us. Being born again is something which is only by and through the grace and Gospel of Almighty God. God gives birth to every one of His children by His Word of Truth which Peter describes as His Holy Gospel. The Apostle John confirms all this when after referring to saved people, he writes: "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). Not of blood meaning, "... not to the blood of circumcision; or of the Passover, which the Jews had an high opinion of...", but which do not produce a new creature in Christ; "...nor is regeneration owing to the blood of ancestors, to natural descent, as from Abraham, which the Jews valued themselves upon; for sin, and not grace, is conveyed by natural generation: all men are of one blood, and that is tainted with sin, and therefore can never have any influence on regeneration; no blood is to be valued, or any one upon it, but the blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin". Abraham, Moses, David and others were not saved by their will but, as with any who have been, and will be saved, these also were saved by THE WILL OF GOD through the Word of God!

 

Not one person in the whole of Scripture was made alive by their will but only by the will of God. And yet people remain convinced that man has a free will that can draw him to God! Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the natural spiritual state of mankind: dead to God and dead to His Truth. Scripture teaches with abundant clarity that a man is saved not by the man's choice of God but by God's choice of the man. God chose man BEFORE the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). In light of this single verse how could any person confuse the issue of who chose whom? How can anyone still fall for the lie that man chooses God? There can be no other answer but that those who believe man chooses God are spiritually dead, and that only those who have been made spiritually alive by God see clearly that it was God's choice of them. GOD CHOOSING MAN IS GRACE AND MAN CHOOSING GOD IS WORKS. It is as simple as that: "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)" (Rom. 9:11; cf. Eph. 3:11). Election is according to grace and not what a man does. In other words, election is according to God, His will: "...I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy..." (Rom. 9:15). For many people, the doctrine of election is one that simply does not make any sense, for it appears to contradict the teachings that God is Love and no respecter of persons. Salvation is based on the Will, Love and Grace of God, and is not conditioned on anything a person does which would make them to differ from others. Therefore, election cannot rightly be said to be an example of God being a respecter of persons. However, God’s saving those who have ‘chosen Him’ would indeed be a case of God’s being a respecter of persons for His saving them would not be based on His grace, but upon what they have done. Election is even seen as a doctrine which shuts many people out of heaven who desire entry. Thus, it is concluded by many that the doctrine of election is just not fair; that God would be unjust to select only some people to show His grace and mercy towards, in granting the gift of salvation, and simply leave the rest to themselves, or worse still, appoint them to His Wrath and consign them to Hell. The reason behind such a conclusion is the flawed foundation upon which these notions are based—a foundation which contradicts God's very clear and succinct warning to Adam that "...of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE" (Gen. 2:17). Again, man is not a neutral creature, but one who is dead to God and at enmity with Him. All those who hate election are subscribers to the satanic lie that man is not dead in sin and dead to God. Consequently, they believe that, as in every area of life, man has the freedom, ability and capability to choose God. What they fail to accept is the fact that man is dead in sin and cannot choose God, nor can he even seek Him, for his will is in bondage to sin and heavily biased against the true God and toward false gods. All Arminians, and those like them, believe in election. Their idea of election is that man elects God rather than the Scriptural teaching that God elects man. The satanic lie, upon which the teachings of man's free will and Christ dying for every individual ever born are based, is seen in Satan's conversation with Eve wherein he replies to God's warning to Adam: "And the Serpent said unto the woman, 'Ye shall not surely die'" (Gen. 3:4). Those who remain firm believers in Satan's lie, rather than in the fulfilment of God's warning to the letter, shall die in their sins.

 

God chooses man according to His purpose and will. Writing to the saints at Ephesus, the apostle Paul said "...we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own Will" (Eph. 1:11). Paul also wrote: "(God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, which was GIVEN US in Christ Jesus BEFORE the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9). God has never, will never and can never save anyone based on what they do but only upon what He has done. Saving someone based upon what they do is not the biblical description of grace. A Salvation conditioned upon what a man does, makes salvation a reward through works and not a gift by grace. Salvation is not according to our works so it cannot be according to our will. Salvation does not come because of what we will but always and only by the will of God: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). All that a man does prior to his being spiritually made alive by God is without profit. A man is saved not according to his will but the will of God: "Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth..." (Jas. 1:18). Man is not saved by his will and works but by God's will and grace. If it is by man's will, it is by man's works, if it is by God's will, it is by God's grace. A man is not born again by his own will but by God (Jn. 1:13). Just as no man can will another man into Heaven, so too, he cannot will himself into Heaven. This is something which only the Sovereign God can do by His will and through His grace. Man can only be saved by being made a new creature and the only Creator is God.

 

There is no room in Salvation for a man to boast in anything he has done to gain or maintain it, for salvation is by the gift of the Grace of God through the gift of the Faith which comes from God according to His Will and Purpose. No truly saved man would ever dare say 'God saved me but only after I did this'. ALL the glory for salvation belongs to God so how could man have any role in it other than being a vessel made unto honor by the grace of God. True Christians are those who "...worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3; cf. Jn. 4:24). The true Christian trusts only in the Lord Jesus Christ and in nothing and no one else, including himself. Again, exclusively addressing believers, Paul wrote: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath BLESSED US with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as HE HATH CHOSEN US before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: HAVING PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL, to the praise of the glory of HIS GRACE, wherein HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED in the beloved" (Eph. 1:3-6). True Christians are blessed because GOD has chosen them; because GOD predestinated them; because GOD has made them accepted and  because of GOD's will to the praise of the glory of HIS grace. There is nothing more that can be said which these Scriptures have not said, other than the words of Jesus to His disciples "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you..." (Jn. 15:16), and those of Peter to the brethren: "...ye are a chosen generation..." (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. Acts 9:15). It is God Who predestinates (predetermine, to foreordain, appoint beforehand), God Who calls, God Who justifies and God Who glorifies and all by HIS will not a man's will! (see Rom. 8:30). God does not wait upon a man's will but does whatsoever He pleases when He pleases. Scripture informs us that what God does is in accord with His will alone. God does not seek counsel from man as to what the just thing to do is. He does not seek advice from any but does whatsoever He pleases in Heaven and among men. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” (Isa. 40:13,14). No one can resist God's will or rightly question what He does (see Job 21:22; Psa. 115:3; Dan. 4:35).

 

Man is made alive unto God, born again of God and saved by God. Any man who is not born again by the Word of God, His Gospel, cannot have been made alive to God, and therefore a new creature in Christ, and so is yet dead in his sins and dead to God. "...if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature..." (2 Cor. 5:17). It stands to biblical reason, therefore, that everyone prior to salvation is NOT a new creature, is not born again, born of His Gospel and has not been made alive unto Him by Him. "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). There can be no saving Faith without the hearing of the Gospel. So too, "...Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of Faith?" (Gal. 3:2). The Spirit of God does not come in response to anything a man does, to a man's 'free will decision', but only according to the will of God. The Holy Spirit comes only by the hearing of Faith. Surely if man remained spiritually alive to God after the Fall there would be some righteousness left in him, some fear of God before his eyes? But there is NO righteousness because there is NO life. There is NO spiritual life in man, nothing he can do that will please God, before he is made alive by God, and begotten by God through His Gospel (see 1 Cor. 4:15). He that is begotten, born, of God, is taken from a state of no hope to one of "...LIVELY hope..." (1 Pet. 1:3). How can one who is alive be made alive? Any man who does not know and believe the Gospel, any man who does not believe that the Gospel is God's sole power and means to the salvation of a man (see Rom. 1:16), any man who counts himself or any other saved based not on their belief of the Gospel, is a man who is currently in a lost state for "...if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3).

 

 

 

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