"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 4)
To evidence that one has been made alive and been given the gift of Faith by God to believe God's Gospel, is to believe with the apostle Paul that the Gospel "...is THE power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth..." (Rom. 1:16). Being made alive unto God is something done by no other means than the incorruptible Seed which is the Word of God's Gospel: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God....And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:23,25). As blood is life to the physical body (see Deut. 12:23), there can be no spiritual life without the Gospel of God. Without that incorruptible Seed, the Gospel of God, there can be no spiritual life for the Word is the Seed of spiritual Life. Without belief in the Gospel which says that all of salvation is all by grace, according to the will of God and not of man, there can be no justifying Faith present.
If spiritual death was any different to physical death, God would not have described what would happen to Adam by the single statement, "thou shalt surely die". If what would happen to man spiritually differed with what would happen to him physically, then surely the Lord would have phrased it thusly: 'thou shalt surely physically die but not spiritually'. At the very least He certainly would not have used one word, die, to cover two different outcomes. Seeing that all men die physically, it is a given that spiritual death has also taken place for to be spiritually dead is to be cut off from the Life Source, God. God used the single word die to equally and simultaneously cover both physical and spiritual death. In fact the primary death threatened was spiritual death. "Man lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, was eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to Him and all his Posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal, (Rom. 6:23) . So the Jews interpret this of death, both in this world and in the world to come." None can rightly infer that there are any qualifications of any type which are involved in the word die, no limits of any kind to its scope, or effect, as the Lord has used it in Genesis 2. There are no degrees or levels of death. And so death in all its fullness has taken effect in both man's physical and spiritual experience upon disobedience to God's command. A man that is dead CANNOT... You can tack on anything you like to the end of that sentence and it will make perfect and equal sense whether you are speaking of physical or spiritual death. A man that is physically dead cannot make a choice, he cannot run or walk or crawl or even desire to. A spiritually dead man cannot seek or desire the true God, he cannot have justifying Faith and so can do nothing to please God (see Heb. 11:6). Man can do no good for he has no righteousness because he is no longer spiritually connected to God and so does not even desire God. If man cannot desire God how can he seek God, and if he cannot and does not desire or seek after the true God, why would he, and how could he, ever choose God? Man does not desire God, so even if man did have a free will to choose God there would be no motivating factor which could lead him to choose the True God. The Arminian cannot resort to his lie that he is motivated to choose God by the prevenient grace of God, for he also says that it is not grace that irresistibly makes him choose God. All grace does, according to the Arminian, is enable a man to make his choice but does not ensure his acceptance of God's salvation offer. According to the Arminian, God's grace can only do what the individual will allow it to do. Scripture knows nothing of such 'grace'. Grace is infrangibly connected with God’s Sovereign Will and Salvation. And so, God’s grace goes where God’s will directs it to and always for the purpose of salvation. God has mercy upon whom HE WILLS and not upon one who 'accepts His offer'.
The source from which this whole denial of man’s spiritual death, as a direct result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil originates, is, of course, Satan. Based on this undeniable fact we can immediately see the direct and unassailable connection between Satan's saying "ye shall not surely die" with those who believe and cry out that 'man is not surely dead'. I believe that few, if any, who follow the lie of man's free will to choose God are cognizant of the fact that adopting the heretical and blasphemous view that man is not dead in sin, is to actually subscribe to and endorse Satan's lie that man would not die, and worse still, is to deny the undeniable and eternal words of God and His Promise that man would "...surely die"! All who believe man is merely sin-sick believe and promote Satan’s lie to Eve that she would not surely die, for they say ‘we are not surely dead’! "And the Serpent said unto the woman, 'Ye shall not surely die'" (Gen. 3:4). The foundation of every false religion is the Satanic lie to Eve that she would not surely die if she ate of the forbidden tree, for they say that man must do, and therefore can do, because he is spiritually alive to do, something to either get saved and/or stay saved. This is nothing short of Satanism. Satan's lie, upon which all of religion's false gospels are formed and based, is the lie that man must, thereby surreptitiously teaching that man has the capability to, do something to either get saved or stay saved. ALL OF RELIGION IS BASED ON WORKS—TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS BASED ON GRACE. One focuses on what a man can do, while the other glories in what God has done. All Arminians believe Satan's lie, and reject God's Truth. This is not to call them bad people or insincere in what they believe but to Scripturally label them as being sincerely wrong and therefore not of the Truth.
Clearly, Satan is the god of Arminianism for Arminianism is nothing short of a man-made religion, for like all man-made religions it conditions salvation upon the sinner. The plethora of false religions and false gods is testament to man’s futile and inadequate ‘search for God’. There is no difference between Arminianism and any of the other religions of the world in that it conditions salvation on the sinner and not totally on Christ. Only in true Christianity can one find a difference, for true Christianity conditions salvation on the Sovereignty of God and the Righteousness of Christ, entirely. Arminianism is nothing short of another man-made religion, a wolf in sheep's clothing, that has never saved anyone but which has deceived billions. Wolves do not save sheep, they eat them. "ARMINIANISM IS WHAT THE GOSPEL LOOKS LIKE TO LOST PEOPLE." There is nothing that distinguishes the Arminian gospel from any other false gospel for it says man must do, or he has no hope rather than the Scriptural declaration that man IS without hope and without God in the world, and, therefore, cannot do. I do not say any of this lightly. I do not say it for reasons of sensationalism. I say it because it is true. An ism is founded and built upon the words of its founder, words upon which the organization is built. The origin of the lie that man is not spiritually dead is easily traceable to Satan the father of lies (see Jn. 8:44) in the Garden of Eden for he said "...ye will not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). The word die as used by, and in, Satan's denial is the same word in the original Hebrew used by God in His warning in the preceding chapter and carries with it the exact same meaning. Satan’s statement was in direct contrast to what God had told Adam would occur if he ate of the tree. Doubt is the mother of denial, and doubt is the seed which Satan sowed in Eve’s heart, beguiling her through his subtlety (see 2 Cor. 11:3) and deceiving her into becoming the first subscriber to the vacuous lie that there would be no such consequence as death—spiritual or physical—if she ate of the tree. Perhaps Eve was enticed into believing that Adam had in some way misinterpreted or misrepresented what God had told him. Or maybe she was manipulated into thinking that God had actually lied to Adam and was trying to keep something good from him for she saw "...that the Tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise..." (Gen. 3:6). Eve, according to her physical senses, could see no outstanding feature of the tree that was consistent with God's terrible warning for she saw that it was good for food and pleasant to the eyes, etc. The fact that the tree was quite attractive and had no sinister appearance whatsoever in Eve's eyes coupled with Satan's enticing claim that she and her husband would, far from suffering loss, actually gain from partaking of its fruit, was all Eve needed to convince her to eat of it. According to Eve's judgement how could something so desirable be in any way non-beneficial, let alone harmful?
Satan’s statement to Eve that she would not surely die was, of course, a complete and utter lie for it was a direct attack upon God and a denial of what God had said would, and surely did, occur. By his denial, Satan was of course calling God a liar. The Lord Jesus Christ declares that Satan "...was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the Truth, because there is no truth in him...for he is a liar, and the father of it" (Jn. 8:44). Satan "...was actually a murderer of Adam and Eve, and of all their posterity, by tempting them to sin, which brought death and ruin upon them; and who quickly after that instigated Cain to slay his brother..." God said man would surely die, meaning death, both physical and spiritual, would gain entrance into the man’s life and, left to himself, man would never recover. His relationship with God would be eternally broken, for spiritual death, far from being only a mere temporal rift, is an everlasting separation from God. Man would no longer seek God and call out to Him but he would seek to hide himself from Him. To turn away His face from God unto false gods. Man's insatiable lust for any god but the true God is further evidence of his spiritual death, for the true God is no longer even recognizable as the true God to lost man. If the Gospel is hid to them that are lost, as the apostle Paul assures us in 2 Cor. 4:3, it is of a surety that the God of that Gospel cannot be recognized as the true God, through the agency of man's sinful nature. Man still has a voracious appetite to worship but Scripture tells us that none, by nature, crave after, or worship, the true God, but always and only false gods of the imagination. In spiritual life man sought God but in spiritual death man hid himself from God and sought no communication with Him (see Gen. 3:8). Sin has segregated man from God. Man's relationship with God is now severed for he is forever disconnected from God. Notice how Adam and Eve did not even seek forgiveness from God which would have at least provided some tangible evidence that there remained in them a fragment of spiritual life. But, like spiritually dead Judas whose sorrow was merely a worldly sorrow which caused him to look inwardly, and not a Godly sorrow which leads a man to seek forgiveness from God, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. They sought to hide themselves among the trees which they had once praised God for their beauty. Moreover, Adam and Eve could have done nothing else in their spiritually dead state, but flee from God. They literally wanted nothing more to do with Him. Adam and Eve, just like all sinners ever since, fit perfectly with the words of Jesus "...no man CAN come unto Me..." (Jn. 6:65). THAT is spiritual death, my friend, and that is what lies at the heart of every man by nature.
Satan told Eve that she would not surely die but that, on the contrary, she would benefit from disobeying God and her act of defiance would free her from God and His 'restrictions' and make her and Adam as gods: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5). Satan was saying that God knew that eating the fruit “…would be so far from issuing in death, which He has threatened, that the effect of it would be a clearer understanding, and a greater degree of knowledge of things, which God is unwilling should be enjoyed, and therefore has endeavoured to prevent it by this prohibition; suggesting hereby, even in God, hatred of the creatures He had made, and unwilling they should be as happy as they might…” Satan was saying that God was withholding increased happiness from Eve and her husband. Notice how Satan spoke of them both, ‘ye shall be as gods’. Playing on the woman’s emotions, Satan was saying that not only would Eve be missing out if she did not partake of the fruit, but that also poor Adam, whom she loved, who has ‘naively and credulously fallen for what God had told him', would also miss out on being a god himself. Notice, too, Satan's method of deception here. Satan did not use coercion, nor did he overtly tell Eve to disobey God. He first lies to her by denying what God had said, and then fills her with false promises of a good and beneficial outcome of her eating the fruit, thus drawing her, by promise of personal gain, into sinning against God. As with all temptation, Satan's method was to lie and entice by promising reward, or advantage. Deny the Truth, promise much, give nothing, then take everything! The promise of sin is increased happiness, pleasure and contentment, but its wages bring only death!
Rather than their eyes being opened by eating the fruit and disobeying God, Adam and Eve's spiritual eyes were permanently and irreversibly shut. Today, the lie that man would not die has spawned the popular notion that man is merely sin-sick, wounded by the fall but not fatally, and that he still has a free will, an innate power and desire, to choose the True God. But what deterrent would dying spiritually and physically have been to Adam and Eve if after having sinned they would still be attached to God. Even to admit physical death into their lives and yet still be connected with God spiritually, and to be gods themselves, would have sounded like a pretty good deal. In saying man would not die, Satan was saying that man could enjoy the fruit, become as gods themselves and still have God in their lives. Satan promised them everything, gave them nothing and then watched with glee as they lost everything! In denying death, Satan sold them the lie that not only would they get to enjoy the pleasure of eating the fruit and receive the 'benefits' of doing so, but man would still be spiritually alive to God. And that same blasphemous, nonsensical lie continues to deceive every man by nature to this very day when they stubbornly insist that man is not spiritually dead in sin and dead to God! Any teaching which claims that man can choose God, whether it be of his own accord, or because of God's prevenient grace upon the man, is an offshoot of Satan's original lie that man would not surely die. The biblical reality is that no man calls on the True God for he cannot, and, therefore, no man desires God for there is no man that seeks after God. This is what God warned would surely happen, and what Satan denied. Salvation is about God calling man and not about man reaching out to God. Salvation is of God, ENTIRELY! Salvation is by grace, not works. Grace = God. Works = man. Grace and works are two contrasting terms for one is of God and the other of man. Grace is God doing and works is man doing. Salvation is by grace not by works therefore man cannot boast in anything he has done for when true grace is properly taught it leaves no room for man to do anything and, therefore, no room to boast (see Eph. 2:8,9).
Picture a man whose existence consists of always having been in a dark room. The door is made of iron and is securely sealed and locked. There is no door handle and no key hole. There are no windows, no light and, of course, no light switch. The walls, floor and ceiling are made of 30 feet thick reinforced concrete and steel and no one knows he is in there. What's more, the man is not aware that anything exists other than he and his environment. The man is completely helpless and in a hopeless situation in so far as ever seeing light or even knowing what it is and what it looks like, or of ever getting out of his enclosure. All he can do is stumble around in the darkness. All he can do is think that the darkness is simply the way life is. Then one day, God commands light to fill the room, and the room is instantly flooded with light. Would it be right to then say that once the light was provided the man chose to see the light? That would be silly. Even if the man shut his eyes he could not help but see the light. Man does not choose to see the Light of God for the choice to bring light into man's dark world could only have been, and was, made by Another. The decision for the man to see the light and no longer be in darkness was made for him, and it could only have been made for him, by God. Much like Paul the apostle on the road to Damascus, man has no choice in the matter for the choice was made for him by Another. The choice for Paul to see the light, was made by Another. It had to be for Paul in his spiritually dead state believed that the darkness he had was light. Paul was not searching for the light because he, like every lost man, believed he already had it!
Arminius taught, "The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated (made alive) by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth." Just as Arminius died a lost man, anyone who believes his statement is not currently saved. FAITH IS NOT MAN'S ACT FOR HE CANNOT ACT IN ANY WAY THAT IS PLEASING AND ACCEPTABLE TO GOD. SAVING FAITH IS A GIFT FROM GOD and no one can please Him without it!! (see Heb. 11:6). The Word of God says a man is saved by God and not by himself. That he is saved by the gifts of Grace through Faith, and not of works. Man could only have been saved by grace and not works, only by what God does and not by what a man must do, for again, man is dead in sin and cannot come to God (Jn. 6:44,65). One of the principle teachings of Scripture is that saving Faith is a gift from God and not an act of man's which precedes the new birth. Otherwise, we would have the absurd situation of a man believing before being born again, believing without being born of God, which would then make salvation a reward for a work of man's, and not a free gift from God. None of the people Christ had made alive could do anything to release themselves from death so that Jesus could then make them alive. The Lord did not wait upon Lazarus or the damsel in Mark 5 to do something before He made them alive. IT WAS CHRIST'S MAKING THEM ALIVE THAT PRECEDED THEM DOING ANYTHING!! If a man does not need to be regenerated, made alive by the Spirit, before he believes how can he believe whilst in an unregenerated state? It would then be a case of a man believing God whilst not desiring to seek God. If then a man must first be made alive by God before he can believe how can he offer anything to God whilst in a dead state? How can he choose God before he is given life? Paul states clearly that a man can only trust in Christ after he has believed the Gospel of Christ (see Eph. 1:12,13). And, how can anyone believe in Christ who is without Christ, without hope and without God in the world? One who is dead must be made alive and that by God. Additionally, all this talk of choosing God by one's free will appears to take it for granted that the 'God' chosen will always be the true God. Scripture asks how can one call on the true God if one has not heard and believed His Gospel (see Rom. 10:11-15). Who can call on the true God and believe His Gospel, whilst dead? Who can understand and believe the Gospel whilst in a dead state? One must be born again, made alive, before one can believe for without Faith it is impossible to please God. Spiritually dead man is as inanimate as a car. How can a car start without any fuel? And what can a car possibly do to get that fuel in it so it can start? Answer: nothing. Moreover, no car can start itself! There is nothing a car can do without fuel and someone to start it, and there is nothing spiritually dead man can do before, or without, first being made alive by, and to, God. To say a man must choose God before God can save him is as asinine a statement as ‘the car started itself, and then fuel was poured into it’. Only after a man has heard the truth can he believe, but he can only believe after he has been made alive to God by God. Prior to being made alive, prior to hearing the Gospel, no man can do anything, but continue to rot away both spiritually and physically. The proof of this is seen in the fact that man must be made alive from his spiritually dead state.
Is action the precursor to life or is life evidenced by action? Are we to believe that regeneration is some sort of reward for our act of believing? But, as we have seen, how can any believe before being made alive, regenerated, by God and to God! Do we believe first and then hear what the truth is? Of course not. Then how can a man possibly do anything before being made alive by God? A car must be started before it can go anywhere. Arminianism says that a man does not have to be regenerated, that is, made alive to God, before he believes in God for "...faith is an act of man's and precedes the new birth". It also makes the outrageous and totally blasphemous claim that "Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation". So, a man does not have to be saved in order to believe, he is not ordained to eternal life but must first believe so that he may acquire eternal life. Arminianism would have us believe that a man needs no gift from God so that he can, and will, believe, but that man's inherent faith is his gift to God. God is not sole Savior for man is co-Savior with Him in that his believing is his contribution to salvation. Such teachings are among the most evil doctrines to have ever come out of the carnal mind of man. They have reversed everything so that man can boast in his salvation. That he can and, therefore, must do something to contribute to his salvation and so is not solely reliant upon the grace of God, but also upon himself. The desperately wicked heart of man is thus laid bare by such teachings for all to see.
There is nothing in the world, nay, the universe which can do anything before it is made alive. Everything needed to be created. There is nothing which came into being of its own accord (see Gen. 1). There is nothing and no one that can do anything to get to God, or entice God, to make it alive. LIFE COMES FIRST before any activity can take place. THEREFORE, LIFE ALWAYS PRECEDES ACTIVITY! AND NOTHING PRECEDES LIFE BUT GOD! First God, then life and then action. And so it is proven that GOD's WILL comes before the will of anything, or anyone. Thus we see Scripture declaring that God's saints are chosen by Him "...before the foundation of the world..." (Eph. 1:4 cf. Rom. 9:11). GOD’S CHOOSING MAN IS THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL DOCTRINE IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE WHICH DECLARES MAN COULD NEVER HAVE CHOSEN GOD! That no man would ever have the capacity, let alone the will, to choose God. This clearly and distinctly teaches that a man's salvation is not conditioned upon what he does, for he can do nothing, but solely upon what God has done. God’s choosing aligns perfectly with Christ’s teaching that ‘no man can come’. Salvation is not in any way conditioned on works for it is a salvation which wholly comes by the will and grace of God. There is, and can be, no action without life, or before life, but only after life is given. All action comes out of the life which is given. Life is the precursor to every action, thought, desire or intention. God is the precursor to life, therefore, life is given to those whom the Lord wills to have it. Man does not choose God so that God can then make the man alive for how can one do anything before life. Man is made alive because he is chosen of God. And, if God has made one alive, then it is perfectly clear that one has been chosen of God for the purpose of salvation according to God's will and has no need to choose Him, for the choosing has already been done. The resuscitation of a clinically dead person is not conditioned on that person’s will, but on the efforts of the resuscitator. Salvation is not of man. It is not dependent on man or conditioned on what a man does, but is of God. Election "...is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Rom. 9:16). If then election is not of the will of man, if man cannot and so does not elect himself to be saved via his free will, then it is clearly not conditioned or reliant upon man. It is not man who makes the first move for then election and salvation would not be according to God's will and grace but of man's will and works.
Salvation is of God, for it is by His mercy, and not our choice. Salvation is dependent upon a work of God, not a work of man's. Salvation is, therefore, by the will of God, and not at all by the will of man. Man does not move God, but it is God Who moves the man. God’s Kingdom has been promised to all those who love God (see Jas. 2:5), and the only way anyone can love the True God is by His having loved them first (see 1Jn. 4:19). If it were necessary for man to choose God it would show that man is spiritually alive before he makes that choice. How can one do anything physical without physical life and how can anyone do anything spiritual without spiritual life? And why pray tell, if man by nature is not dead but spiritually alive, do the Scriptures refer to man in his natural state as being "...dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1), thus highlighting the fact that a man must be made alive by God unto God (see Eph. 2:5). If man in his spiritually dead state can choose God of his own free will what possible reason could there be for a man to be made alive? Why would the Scriptures bother to teach that a man must be made alive by God, if before that very life is given, man can somehow manage to desire and choose God whom he does not, and cannot even seek! This is all nothing but salvation by works and makes up a gospel which is in no way authored by Almighty God. It is also said that human nature was seriously affected by the Fall damaging relations with God but not eternally. Many of the cords which bound man to God have been broken, they say, but man has not been completely cut off from God for there still remains a spiritual thread linking us to God. WHERE IS THEIR PROOF? Where is the proof, the Scriptural evidence for such boasting for there is NO RECORD in all of Scripture which shows a spiritually dead man choosing God? Death cuts off all ties! Death is the ultimate in separation. When we die physically, our bodies are eternally separated from all life, and when man died spiritually he became utterly and irrevocably separated from God, from the life of God, and life in God. The reality is that there is no proof for any Arminian lie except that which exists in a spiritually dead man's delusionary, carnal, mind.
All are agreed that Satan’s attempt to assure man that he would not surely die if he disobeyed God was a lie. Satan is the father of lies and there is no truth in him (see Jn. 8:44). One can be certain that if Satan says something will not happen, it either has happened, or will happen. In light of John 8:44 none can refuse the biblical fact that what Satan said in the Garden was a lie. So, the only alternative any man has, who believes man is not spiritually dead, is to change the meaning of one of the most unmistakeable words in any language, the word die. Satan's denial, in part, was comprised of the lie that man would not die physically, so what makes anyone think that Satan’s lie did not also mean that Eve would not die spiritually? He totally lied about the one, so how can any argue that Satan’s lie about death did not also include the cessation of spiritual life? No one denies that he was lying about physical death, for all know that man does not live forever, that his mortal body eventually dies. So how can anyone even begin to make valid an argument which says that Satan’s lie about spiritual death meant that there would not be an utter cessation of life there also?
If Satan's lie meant that man's eating of the tree would not cause his spiritual death one must also accept the ridiculous assertion that man would also not die physically. That Satan’s denial included physical death only serves to expose Satan's pathetic and utterly exposable lie that man would not suffer spiritual death. Isn't it plain and obvious that in using the one word, die, God was saying that what would happen to man spiritually if he disobeyed Him, would also, as a direct consequence, happen to him physically? Why do you think God linked both physical and spiritual with one word, die? How could anyone logically reason within themselves that physical life would not be affected in one who is spiritually and eternally separated from God, Who is the Source of all life? Likewise, how could anyone think that the curse of spiritual death would not also result in physical death? Therein lies the key to rightly understanding what would, and has, befallen all of mankind. Even after the most extensive and exhaustive examination a man would be a fool to suggest that the word die in Genesis 2 does not mean physical death, so why and how could it mean anything other than death when it comes to man’s spiritual condition also? Any who agree that die means physical death MUST also believe it contains the exact same denotation as well as connotation when it comes to one's spiritual condition. ONE word was used to describe both the physical and spiritual consequences of man's disobedience: die. Physical death cannot and does not leave any life at all in its wake, and spiritual death has left no life, no desire at all, toward the true God. One must keep in mind that before the Fall, both physical and spiritual death were unknown. There was no reason for either, and, therefore, no evidence of either. Before sin, there was no curse upon man. Before sin there was no wages of death for no one had sinned. The person who believes in man’s fictional state of spiritual sickness, or wounding, and not spiritual death, has absolutely no ground, except for the sandy foundation of Satan's lie, upon which to build such an irrational doctrine. The teachings of spiritual wounding but not spiritual death, and the consequential lie of free-will is like having a house without walls whose roof is on the floor for it has nothing to support it. It is as unbiblical to believe in the non-spiritual death of man as it would be to deny the reality of physical death!
Physical death is being dead to physical life, the absence of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God, which is, being dead to spiritual life, which is being dead to God. There is simply no way of getting around that. "And you, being dead in your sins...hath He quickened (made alive) together with Him..." (Col. 2:13); "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 (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" (Eph. 2:4,5). The born again man has “…passed from death unto life…” (1 Jn. 3:14; 2 Cor. 1:9,10). The elements behind a man being made alive, in these two Scriptures, are God's mercy and His great love which He has chosen to direct exclusively to His people seeing that Paul is writing here to the saints at Colossae and Ephesus and the apostle John is writing to the churches at and around Ephesus. A MAN IS MADE ALIVE BY GOD'S MERCY, LOVE AND GRACE AND NEVER BY A MAN'S CHOICE. Notice again the language of the Scriptures: man is dead, not ill, and must be made alive, not well. To confirm man's hopeless condition we are told by God's Word that a man is saved by grace: only by God doing. Saving grace is God doing, and not God enabling man to do. Naturally a man must be saved by God doing, for man is dead and can do nothing. To be saved by grace is to be saved by God. It is to be saved only by what God does and NOT by what He allegedly enables a man to do. If a man is saved only by grace then it is of a surety that a man MUST be saved by grace alone, for there is no other way.
Colossians 2:13 echoes the words of Ephesians 2: "And you, being dead in your sins...hath He quickened together with Him..." The Lord Jesus declared: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (Jn. 5:25). "...this is to be understood of a spiritual resurrection, and the rather, because this sense best agrees with the foregoing verse; and a corporeal resurrection is expressed in somewhat different words, and seems to be distinguished from this in (Jn. 5:28, 29) besides, the hour, or time of the resurrection of the above particular persons, was not strictly come; nor could they, with propriety, be said to be dead; to which may be added, that the phrase, 'they that hear shall live', and none but them, best agrees with this sense: so then by the 'dead' are meant such who are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins; who are separated from God, alienated from the life of God, and in whom the image of God is defaced; who are dead in all the powers and faculties of their souls, to that which is spiritually good; and are without spiritual breath, sense, feeling, and motion. And by 'the voice' of Christ is intended His Gospel, which is a voice of love, grace, and mercy, of life and liberty, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Him; and which being attended with His power, is the means of quickening dead sinners; who may be said to hear it, when it comes not in word only, but in power, and works effectually in them (see 1 Thess. 1:5); and is spirit and life, and the power of God unto salvation to them; when they receive it, understand, believe, and obey it by the grace of God: and such persons 'shall live'; comfortably, pleasantly, and delightfully, a life of faith in Christ, a life of communion with Him, and shall live eternally with Him hereafter."
John the apostle writes: "We know that we have passed from death unto life..." (1 Jn. 3:14). Again we see death contrasted with life and not sickness with health. "From a death in sin, a moral or spiritual death; which lies in a separation from God, Father, Son, and Spirit; in an alienation from the life of God; in a loss of the image of God, of righteousness, holiness, and knowledge, in which man was created; in a privation of all true sense of sin, and in a servitude to it, which is unto death, and is no other than death: and from a legal death, or death in a legal sense, under the sentence of which all men are, as considered in Adam; and which God's elect are sensible of, when convinced by the Spirit of God, and are in their own apprehension as dead men. Now in regeneration, which is a quickening of sinners dead in sin, a resurrection of them from the dead, the people of God pass from this death of sin, and the law, to a life of sanctification and belief of the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:13,14), having principles of grace and life implanted, as well as the Righteousness of Christ imputed, in them; and to a life of justification, and of faith in Christ, as the Lord their Righteousness; and to a life of communion with Christ; and to such a life as is to the glory of Christ; and to a right to eternal life. And this passing from the one to the other is not of themselves, it is not their own act; no man can quicken himself, or raise himself from the dead; in this men have no input: and so the words are rendered in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, 'we know that we are translated'; that is, by God the Father, who delivers from the power of darkness, and death, and translates into the Kingdom of his dear Son, which is a state of light and life; or by Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, Who is the Author of the resurrection from the death of sin to a life of grace; or by the Spirit of life from Christ, by whom souls are quickened, and of whom they are born again through the Gospel: and this passage from death to life, or regeneration, is a thing that may be, and is known by the regenerate man; who, as he knows surely, that whereas he was blind he now sees, so that whereas he was dead in sin, he is now made alive..." Indeed, every truly born again Gospel believing man knows that he was dead, and has now been made alive by God. Man's carnal understanding, his inability to rightly discern the Scriptures, which inevitably leads to his twisting, and twisted understanding of, the Scriptures, is the only way he can make any 'sense' of the doctrine which denies spiritual death and promotes free will and the death of Christ for all.