Solely by the Act and Will of God
It was two weeks ago today when I last wrote anything on this blog. I enjoy writing because it is a venue by which I can impart the thoughts the Lord has given me to others. During the past two weeks since my last writing, I have gone to the Herald Society in Philadelphia, PA, and since then, I have spent the past week reflecting on my calling to go out into the world and preach the most glorious news of all. That is, the gospel of the precious Son of the Living God, Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus has come in human flesh, He lived a righteous life, fully meeting the requirements of God the Father for eternal life, willingly dying in place of men for their sins against God, He was buried, then on the third day from His death Jesus arose from the grave, demonstrating that He is the Son of God, and that the Father was fully satisfied with His sacrifice on the cross as payment in full for the sins of men; “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John1:13 NASB)
The man who has been born again has been granted eternal life by God and it is solely by the act and will of the Sovereign Triune God of Creation. It is not of blood, this to say, it does not matter what family line you come from, it does not matter who your parents are, or who your grandparents are; the Jews thought that they would be saved because of their father Abraham; they thought it was by blood, but salvation and eternal life is solely by the act and will of God. It is not of the will of the flesh; every other religious system on earth is based on the will of the flesh. Follow the rules setup by the deity and just maybe, if he determines that you have dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s then just maybe, you can enter into paradise. You cannot do enough good to please this God of creation, He is righteous, and you have sinned against him, there is not enough good works in all of creation to appease a just and Holy God for the crimes committed against His sovereignty. The process of being born again is solely by the act and will of God. It is not of the will of man; some people believe that if a man makes a decision, if he decides of his own free will to repent of his sins and follow Jesus Christ, God will give him His Spirit and he will be born again. Salvation and eternal life is not the will of man; it is solely by the act and will of the Sovereign God. The gospel call is to tell the sinner to repent (have repentance toward God for their sins), and put their faith (that is their trust) solely in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of their sins. An unregenerate, unbelieving sinner cannot of himself hear and capitulate to the gospel call, he is dead in his trespasses and sins. Oh he might have some outward sign of contrition, because he got caught in an adulterous relationship or something else. He may even put on the Lord Jesus Christ and give the Christian thing a go for a while to see what he might get out of it, but in the end he was never born again. To be born again is solely by the act and will of the sovereign God. God cleanses a man of his sins by the blood of Jesus Christ through faith alone. The Father gave His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. Jesus lived the righteous life that we should have lived, and did not. Jesus then willing gave up His reward; we deserve death, He deserved life, He willing stepped in and took death in our place; we are then granted His righteousness before God by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ Jesus alone.
How does this saving faith in Christ happen? God the Holy Spirit takes out a man’s heart of stone and gives him a heart of flesh. The Word of God is described in Ephesians 6:17 as being the sword of the Spirit. A sword cannot penetrate a stone; if you were to take a sword and wheeled it against a granite stone it would strike the surface of the stone but not penetrate the stone. If you take that same sword and wheeled it against soft flesh, it would penetrate that flesh to the core. So the Lord cleanses a man by the blood of Christ Jesus through faith alone, he does this by taking out his heart of stone and giving him a heart of flesh, so that he can then hear the gospel, not being able to resist it’s call, the gospel penetrates to his core. The Lord then puts His Spirit within the man causing him to walk in His statues, sanctification. And the greatest revelation about all this, the reason God did this. It is for the Glory of God alone!
Ezekiel 36:22-32 is the best description of the process by which the Lord causes a man to be born again I have found in all of scripture, I’ve included it below.
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 I am not doing this for your sake," declares the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!" (Ezekiel 36:22-32 NASB)