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Are we to exalt the teachings of Jesus during His earthly ministry above those of the RISEN Jesus through the Apostle Paul? Yes or No?

 

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Content

Free Will, Sin, and God, in The Dispensation of Grace PDF Print E-mail
PastorDavid

Click Here to watch the VIDEO on this message

We here at the Lion and Lamb Ministry get asked this question quite frequently, so, here is the big question that divides many Christians: Does it lie within the power of the will of man to accept or reject The LORD Jesus Christ, as Savior and King?

So...when the Gospel of Grace is preached to the sinner, does it, ultimately, lie within the power of that person’s own will to resist or accept God’s plan of Salvation, by accepting The LORD Jesus Christ, as their God, King, and Savior?

It is how we answer THIS very question that establishes what and how we understand the Fall of Man. That man, in his natural state, is fallen...to this the great majority of Christians will agree. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". Now, here’s where it gets sticky. Very few today even know what “fallen” means! How far down is “Fallen”? To determine a Christians understanding of "fallen” is often a very difficult task.

Now, what a good deal of religious people believe is that Man is no longer in the condition that he was in when in the Garden of Eden, "So God created man in his Own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" Genesis 1:27 , "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" Genesis 1:31 . But now, after Man sinned, (and the Bible tells us, "But 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" Genesis 2:17 ; "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it..." Genesis 3:17 ), many of the religious have the general idea that Fallen means that man is no longer immortal, that he gets sick and contracts diseases, and that man from one generation to the next inherits evil “tendencies” and sins, BUT, that if he uses his strengths to the best of his ability, somehow, SOMEHOW, he will be able to want to accept God’s plan of Salvation, and attain eternal life in God’s Heaven.

Wow! How WRONG that is! Diseases, sickness, and even death, are nothing in comparison with the moral and spiritual effects of the Fall of Man! Our conception of the terrible calamity of the Fall of Man should be based on the Holy Scriptures, and not on what we want to think or how we feel about the issue. When the Scriptures say that man is totally fallen, lost, and helpless, The Scriptures are saying that the entrance of sin into humanity has affected every part and ability of a man’s being. Psalm 51:5 tells us, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me", and then in Psalms 58:3, "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies". Now go to Jeremiah 17:9 , "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?", and Mark 7:21-23 tells us, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man". And of course Romans 3:10-11 , "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God".

Total Fall, Full Fall, No Climbing Back Up Fall, means that man is, in spirit and soul and body, the slave of sin, (..."Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" John 8:34 ; "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 ), and the captive of the Devil, "...according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" Ephesians 2:2 . And so..."the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead" Ecclesiastes 9:3

As a result of all of the Fall, man is not able to attain his “dreams”, have his grand ideals materialize, and THEN hold onto them. The natural man cannot do the things that he wants. Why? Because SIN...making up the very essence of man’s being...is manifesting itself in moral inability, thereby paralyzing him and stifling his efforts. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 ; "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12 . And most importantly, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh CANNOT please God" Romans 8:7-8 ; "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither CAN he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Corinthians 2:14 .

So, what we have before us is that Fallen Man, Natural Man, is NO Free Man, but instead, the servant of Sin and Satan. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" John 8:44 .

You see, Sin is more than an act or a series of actions. Man is not a sinner BECAUSE he sins, Man sins BECAUSE he IS a sinner.

Since The Fall, Sin is Man’s very make up. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 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 all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:1-3 ; "For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their INWARD part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue" Psalm 5:9 ; "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity" Psalm 10:3-7 . Sin has blinded man’s understanding, “there is none that understandeth”, Sin has corrupted the heart, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”, and Sin has alienated the mind from God, Because the carnal mind is enmity against God”.

The natural man wants the things he or she does, and man’s will chooses those things, as a result of the condition of the heart, AND because “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" Jeremiah 17:9 ; “There is NONE that seeketh after God" Romans 3:11 .

So, we ask again, does it lie within the power of man’s will to accept or reject the Lord Jesus as Savior? The answer is NO! Man’s “will” cannot choose God, on its own. Period!

Man’s will has not escaped the servitude of Sin. Man’s will is the servant of Sin and Satan. Therefore, the will is NOT free. ONLY "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM!" 2 Cor. 3:17 .

***

In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )

 

Comments  

 
+1 # SonShine 2009-06-12 18:28
Another excellent message, brother David! :lol: Acts 2:47 comes to mind," ...and the LORD added to the church daily such as should be saved. It doesn't say anything about choice there, no does it say the believers added to the church those who should be saved. " It is the LORD God who draws all men unto Himself. We, the church can save no one, it is the LORD alone who saves. God bless you as you continue to bring forth the truth! ;-)
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+1 # jjbreunig3 2009-06-13 03:56
A marvelous message; loved the closing line of "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM!"; AMEN! --Joe
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# PastorDavid 2009-06-13 15:32
Thank you SonShine, and thank you Joe, for the Kind words and Praise the LORD!
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+1 # Daniel Michael 2009-06-20 03:27
Great word! Thanks
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+1 # Choicemaker 2009-06-26 05:31
Except the Spirit draws him he cannot be saved. Free will is a gift of the Spirit. So be it!

"No one is smarter than their criteria." selah JFB
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+1 # PastorDavid 2009-06-26 05:56
You Got it Choicemaker. Exactly! ;-)
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# isaiah66 2009-07-03 06:51
While there is a lot of truth being spoken here I do not believe in irrisistable grace. I believe in prevenent grace. that God offers ALL men salvation through his grace because his Son has already died for the sins of the world. (1 John 2:2)

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" is certainly true and denies Pelegianism but 5 point Calvinism sorry but that is Gnosticism!
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# jvsaputo 2009-07-06 16:18
Great study: when you look at all the verses of Scripture you see a dynamic of the total mercy and soveriegnty of G-d verses the man dead and helpless in his trespasses and sinful state. But at the same time you see God's invitation to ALL of mankind and His compassion in that it is NOT his will that any man perish.
No one on Earth can understand this completely.
Calvinism though it may make a few good points leaves me cold. Armenianism though it makes a few good points does not seem to grasp the total depravity of man and the infinite riches of the grace of G-d. I think you should be thankful that God chose you in Him before the foundation of the world and gave you the faith and drew you in the Spirit to understand enough to believe and get regenerated by the new birth BUT we need to witness and plant the seeds of the Good News as if God were dependent on us to fulfill the Great Commission. I once heard a preacher say, it is like seeing two columns with an arch way titled, "Whosoever will may come…" but once you walk thru and look back at the otherside of the title head board says, "You have not chosen me but I have chosen you before the foundations of the world…" When we push to try to understand we fall into extreme camps of Armenianism or Calvinism but it just isn't that simple. :cry:
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+1 # PastorDavid 2009-07-06 16:31
Brother Johnny,

Thank you for the well thought out comment, and kind words, and Praise the LORD!

It seems to me, that ALL becomes crystal clear :-) once we delineate between the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ, between the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the Gospel of Grace. ;-) And you are correct when you say that neither Calvinism NOR Arminianism accomplishes this fully! :cry: :sigh:
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# RennisTheMan 2009-07-26 02:32
Being saved and doing what you know is not of God will catch up with you. To keep it simple; what is in your heart so does your actions portray. When doing wrong, in the site of God, knowing it is wrong, he will always convict you heart, in the end. God knows your heart, he knows if you are his child or not. I am a man of simple words, which I say in a way a child can understand. The Holy Spirit has blessed me with God's blessings and the knowledge of what will happen, if I do what does "NOT" please him. Short and simple, that is the way it is.
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+1 # MikeGrijak 2010-08-17 19:33
Very well done! Total depravity in a nutshell!
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+1 # MikeGrijak 2010-08-17 19:36
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
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# StillLearning2010 2011-11-29 06:51
Thank you for this teaching. I was just going through the articles and jumped to the back and decided to send this out to my contacts for contemplating what the Christmas season's really about and why and this was so excellant. The true Gift we so desperately need/needed. And yes time is short!!!
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