I saw a post on facebook recently that kind of bothered me. It was a discussion question and I don’t get involved in debates on the computer because you don’t have the non-verbal communication on a computer that you have in an open conversation, so things said can be taken the wrong way (I had in the past and repented). I commented once and left it at that, allowing others to take part in the discussion. What mainly bothered me was not the question itself but some of the responses. The question was: “How many people would be interested in moving if a new Christian nation was to be established somewhere with the precepts of the Bible as the core founding document?”
The bible; the only authority of God on earth teaches; grace by faith in Jesus Christ alone, that salvation is not of ourselves but is solely a gift from God. It's not, Jesus plus something nor is it something, then Jesus, nor is it a choice we make. The bible is clear that we are dead in our transgressions and sins; but God made us alive together with Christ. I am writing about how God saves a man according to scripture so that we as believers in Jesus Christ will have love and compassion towards our fellow men that remain dead in their sins. I have two passages of scripture that I often meditate on.
1. Romans chapter 3 which I use in presenting the gospel to unbelievers.
2. Ephesians 2:1-10 to remind myself who God is, what I was, what He did, and what I am now to be about.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB)
Salvation is solely the act of God's will where he takes a man dead in his sin, through the gospel call breathes life into him by the Holy Spirit creating a new creature changing his heart and mind causing him to believe by faith in the son of God Jesus Christ; justifying him by faith. “By grace you have been saved.”
The bible describes us as having been dead in our transgressions and sins prior to God making us alive with Christ and it says that God made us alive; not a choice, God made us alive. If you told a dead man to get up and walk could he do it? You know the answer is no, he could not get up and walk because he is dead. What about free will, the idea of free will is an unbiblical idea, I have the nature of a man so I can only will to do what is in my nature to do. Have you ever seen a bird fly? When I was a child I was a dreamer, I would go to a park by myself on a warm summer morning and swing on the swing set or just lie on the side of a hill and watch the birds fly. As I watched, I strongly desired to be a bird and fly, but no matter how much I wanted to fly I could not, because I was not a bird I was a boy.
I can remember being dead in my sins before God gave me life. I just went through life and did what felt good to me and made me happy, I had my pet sins and didn’t commit some of the sins other people committed so I was convinced I must be better than them; I didn’t steal or take drugs (the sins our culture at the time considered to be wrong) I had however many sins that I kept secret from the world and did not allow anyone to know that I committed them, but did often; I rarely unless I went to church even gave a thought about God. Then I went through a period in which God through His word made me aware that I was sinful. I saw what was good and wanted to be good, I knew what was bad and wanted to stop doing what was bad. I would commit my sins, pray and ask God to forgive me knowing full well that I would do it all over again the next day. No matter how badly I wanted to do good and not do bad I could not stop doing bad, I could not turn from sin to Jesus Christ no matter how much I wanted to. Looking back now I know that what I truly desired was my sin and not Christ, my nature was one dead in my sins so I could not choose to be alive in Christ.
Then one day I knew I belonged to Jesus He had paid for my sins in full, I was His and He was mine. I know longer had to sin, I could choose not to. The same sins that I could not stop doing before were now detestable to me and the Christ I once ignored I desired Him above all things. The sins in my life over time became less and less I could now turn away from sin when before I could not. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means sinless; if anything I’m now hypersensitive to my own sin because the Lord has caused me to hate it and desire Him. I sin every day the difference is my will, I fall into sin every day, I catch myself thinking something I should not think, saying something I should not say, or doing something I should not do or not doing something that I should be doing and when I do that I turn from that to Christ by faith and now have the ability to do so because my nature has been changed by God.
So why am I writing this? I am not writing to tell you about my conversion, I am writing to show you that a man dead in his sins cannot choose anything else he is lost. His nature is sinful so he must do what is in his nature to do. Sin! There is much talk among my brethren about God’s law in evangelism and it is indeed useful. God's perfect Holy Law does not show me simply that I have sinned; it does that, but more than that, it shows me that I am a sinner. We humans are not simply people who have sinned; but by are very nature we are sinners. Any sin that you or I have not committed it is because God did not allow it, our nature is sinful therefore our propensity is toward sin. When we get angry with unbelievers for their sin it shows that we think we are better than they because we may not sin in the same way. Should we be angry with a sinner for their sin because God restrains us but not them? Yes, every man is responsible for his own sin and deserves Hell; do not forget that you deserve Hell and God by His grace made you alive together with Christ. So our reaction when we see men in reprobate sin should be one of thanksgiving and glorying in God that we are not the same, that He has given us a gift, because without the grace of God we might be the same. God’s common grace keeps all of humanity from destroying itself. Can you imagine a world without a sovereign God, heaven forbid? The Law of God was given by our Lord to bring the knowledge of sin, showing us that we are by nature sinful. Yes what is going on in America and in the world is very frustrating and can be bothersome, I know. Pain and sorrow are difficulties but the pain and suffering of this world are temporary. Don’t forget our Lord left heaven and walked as a man through the sloth of this sinful world, and the word of God in Isaiah 53:3 says that He was a man of sorrows. Cast off the frustration brethren, cast off the bothering and preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to His glory, calling His sheep out of this sinful reprobate world, but you must be in the world to do it.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ