WHO IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR SALVATION?

I have been a Christian over 60 years. I have seen it all and I see an endemic problem that captures the mind and hearts of people, whether lost or professing believers. What is that? It is the idea that humans have the ability to rise up out of our jail cell, the home of our fallen nature, and defy the head of our family Satan, when we are lost and without Christ and God!

To even think we can by our own power and abilities rise up and shake off the power of Satan over us and make God save us is astounding, especially since the Word of God states otherwise.

An illustration which hopefully can create what the Bible teaches about the status of a human being from conception is as follows:

Human beings since the fall of Adam and Eve, are conceived in sin. That means they are as bad off spiritually as they can be, even though they may not act out in the worst way possible for being in such a state because God in HIS grace keeps them back from being as bad as they can be. Think of it this way; a person who is lost is NOT like a person floating on the water about to sink and drown and all we have to do is throw them a rope of hope so they can save their life. This is NOT a good illustration at all but in fact, an absolute false illustration of ones spiritual reality as a sinner on this earth. What would be more correct would be this: a person lost and without Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, is not floating on a sea of water and drowning, but rather, he or she is on the bottom of the sea or lake, dead, drowned, not alive at all. They are bound by sin, controlled by sin, in darkness, separated from God and spiritually dead, in the family of Satan, and locked in chains and bondage in his jailhouse and doing his bidding! That is where people are until the Commander in Chief of Heaven’s Armies comes and rescues them!

The facts are that God in the Garden of Eden told Adam that if they ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they would die! They did. They died spiritually, meaning God was no longer their God and Lord and Master and they fell into darkness, the bondage of sin and Satan and immediately became members of Satan’s kingdom.

Immediately, they became cognizant of their sin, and God became someone whom they feared and sought to hide from. As we think on that scene, we see Adam and Eve hiding, recognizing something was wrong. They knew they were naked and they felt shame, and so worked hard to escape and hide from God, because they could “hear” God walking in the Garden.

Man today, knows there is a power above, but will not come toward Him, but rather, seeks to hide from Him and do his own thing which is to continue in sin and let Satan lead him. God states so clearly through the prophets and also through the Apostle Paul, that “No man seeks after God” (Romans 3:11; Psalm 14:1-3). That is a fact period! God said it so it is! No man seeks God!

Humans, consist of a soul/spirit and heart (innermost being of mankind) and a mind. Man has desires, wants, and, lusts as part of their DNA. Adam and Eve desires were holy and right until they sinned in the Garden of Eden and those good desires and wants and wishes turned into sinful desires and wants and wishes. Man’s entire being was corrupted by sin. We call it depravity and that depravity was total and not partial.

So, the above brings us to a discussion of the human will. I acknowledge this is a hot topic. But, it really is so simple if we put aside our emotions and think logically. What comes first? I contend our desires, our wants, our wishes, our lusts are the dictators which motivate the “will” to function, in order to carry out our desire, wants, and wishes. So, whatever our nature asks for our “will” will carry it out. Unbelievers act out of their sinful nature. They do nothing for the glory of God. The only things that may restrain them are their conscience, fears, culture, or the consequences of sin. So, those things control their will. For the believer, from the moment of salvation God starts changing our want tos and our desires through the Holy Spirit and the word of God. So, when temptations and sin rises up in us we call on the Spirit to give us strength to resist.

In other words, the will of man is NOT free and in control. It is our human desires that control our wills. The will obeys our desires, which can be good or bad. They can be holy or sinful. The strongest desire will control our will. It is not the other way around. The will doesn’t sit back and search out what it wants to do and then act, but rather, it is in bondage to whatever is the strongest thing that is presented to it. It will be either God’s will or the power of the flesh and sin. Our sinful nature is always seeking to express itself, but through the power of Christ within us we overcome it. That is why Martin Luther stated, “The Will is in bondage” for it is bound either by the power of the flesh and sin or by the power of the word of God.

Also, the word teaches that Spiritual truths cannot be understood by an unbeliever. If they should read the word of God, they cannot understand the spiritual meaning of it. Without the Holy Spirit in them they cannot be taught Biblical truths and facts and understand them. It is all foolishness and something strange to them.

So, how does a person become a Christ follower and be saved from the wrath and judgment of God? What has to take place? Who starts the process and makes it happen? Is it the person who lives in bondage to sin? Is it the person who lives in darkness with no spiritual understanding? Is it the man or woman who figures it all out and knows how to be saved by doing some human work, like walking an aisle, raising your hand, signing a card? Is it the person “making” God come down to him and save him and forgive him of his sins?

God says NO! No man seeks after God. That is what God says!

So, how does it come about? Romans 9 and many other places throughout the Word tell us that GOD HIMSELF GRANTS MAN FORGIVENESS AND REPENTANCE AND FAITH. Faith comes through God bringing His word, the Gospel, to a person, which then produces the New Birth. That is, LIFE is given to the DEAD soul and spirit of a person. Then, due to God’s First Cause work of the New Birth, that person is enabled to choose Christ, call on Christ, believe and trust in Christ, repent of his or her sins, and ask forgiveness, and submit and worship Christ. Without God coming to us, and calling, drawing, and opening our hearts and minds and souls and spirits, making us ALIVE to God, we would NEVER come to Him. The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation.

We would NEVER even desire to know Christ Jesus. So, it is BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, BY CHRIST ALONE, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE, WE ARE SAVED AND FORGIVEN AND FOLLOW JESUS.

It is all about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit doing their work in a wicked, evil, sinning unbeliever. Yes, we make a choice to follow Jesus, but He gives us the ability to make that choice. Our choice was first a divine work from God upon our dead innermost being which enabled in us a desire for Jesus.

Also, our choice was a guaranteed choice. When God through the Holy Spirit takes out our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:25-27), so that we may know Him there is no way a guilty sinner is going to say, “No God, don’t do that. I don’t want to redeemed and spend eternity in Heaven with You. I will resist the Holy Spirit’s drawing. Not going to happen!

A crude example is this: Your vehicle may have a battery and a fuel tank, but if the battery has no power and is dead, and there is no gasoline in the fuel tank, it will NEVER start. It won’t respond no matter how many times you try to start it. You have to have gas in the tank and electricity in the battery or it won’t work ever! God has to place within us the power and ability to repent, trust in and believe and have holy faith or it will never take place.

God is a choosing God!! He could save all mankind if He so chose to do so. But He didn’t. Someone will say that this is because man makes the choice to be saved or not and not God. But, I hope we have seen that can’t be true.
And you can’t use 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” because then that would make humans more powerful than God. It would mean God is wishing for people to be saved and they are having none of it. This would mean God is not God! For the Bible teaches there is NOTHING that GOD can’t do.

Besides, that would be taking that verse out of context and misinterpreting it. Who is Peter writing to? The same people he wrote to in 1 Peter, the elect exiles. In 2 Peter, he tells them to make their calling and election sure. He is writing to saved people, the elect, they are the “you” and “any” and “all” of verse 9.

Here is another point. When Adam and Eve sinned they died spiritually AND BOTH WERE CONSIGNED TO THE WRATH OF GOD IMMEDIDATELY. God performed a sacrifice so He could pass over their sin until Jesus’ once for all sacrifice was made. AND SO VERY CHILD BORN TO THEM DOWN THROUGH TIME UNTIL THIS VERY DAY IS IN THE SAME SITUATION!

All humans are conceived in SIN and are under wrath and condemnation from God the Father. So, it is NOT just when they begin to think about things and make choices whether good or bad, but rather the opposite. They are born sinners.

That means that unless some outside source comes to their rescue they will have to be eventually sent to hell and the lake for eternal punishment. We were there in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. We all were represented by Adam. In other words, Adam acted on our behalf, and if we had been there we would have done the same thing he did. So, we need a helper, a savior, a God who will come and rescue us. That is what the Gospel does.

It is Jesus who sees dead people at the bottom of the sea of sin and comes to the rescue. He says to us, “LIVE” and we come alive. We are forgiven and made into the Children of God and we follow Jesus our Lord and Savior because of God’s choice and power not our own. A key verse of Scripture states, “11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).

In all this, we must address the justice of God. The holiness of God demands justice upon the whole human race for their rebellion. We are cosmic traitors. All people should be sent to hell for our rebellion. EVERY LAST ONE OF US DESERVES THE eternal punishment! The angels who fell have no Savior and they are consigned to the Lake of Fire.

But, GOD chose to save some humans, His supreme creation, made in His image. He has forgiven us and saved us from His own wrath and has given us to His Son Jesus as a love gift (John 17) and we are now called the sons of God, children of God, joint heirs of everything with Christ Jesus, new creations, priests of God, holy people and a holy nation.

THE ONLY question I am left with is, why me. I don’t deserve to be forgiven by a holy God. I am no better than anyone else. I am a sinner like all of us. Why save me? Nothing in me merits salvation. Why me and why all of us who are saved? Why not all? Why didn’t He save everyone? I can’t answer that. No one can answer that question. God acts according to His own good pleasure (Ephesians 1). His secret will covers the question. But, because we know His revealed will, we know what He wants us to know.

Romans 9 and Isaiah 64:8 tell us God is the Potter and we are the clay, and He says He does what He wishes and wills with those whom He has created. In doing so, HE CANNOT BE CHARGED WITH A WRONG. FOR THE LOST ARE JUSTLY CONDEMNED FOR THEIR SIN AND REBELLION, AND THOSE HE CHOOSES TO SAVE HAVE THEIR SINS PLACED ON JESUS WHO PAID FOR THEIR CRIME AGAINST GOD AND SO THEY GO FREE. THIS IS ALSO JUST AND HOLY FOR GOD CAN SHOW MERCY TO WHOM HE CHOOSES TO SHOW MERCY AND CAN’T BE CHARGED WITH WRONGDOING.

A human judge, or President, or ruler of a nation can make a decision and let someone be set free from jail or even a death sentence if they wish to do so. It is called mercy. He or she doesn’t do that for all criminals, but sometimes mercy is shown to some. If they can do that and be correct and right, God certainly can, but remember Jesus paid our price we owed for our sinful rebellion by shedding His blood and paying the price by dying for us, in that way we can be shown mercy.

God then transfers Jesus’ holy righteousness to our account making us acceptable to God.

THIS IS THE GOD WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH AND HE IS ALWAYS RIGHT IN WHAT HE DOES. HIS WAYS OR NOT OUR WAYS AND HIS THOUGHTS ARE NOT OUR THOUGHTS. SO BOW TO HIM AND REPENT OF CHALLENGING HIM AND HIS WORKS!

Don’t even think of saying that’s not fair, because we don’t want God to be fair! If he was fair, He would sentence all of us to hell and the Lake of Fire, because we deserve it. So God shows love, compassion, mercy and unmerited favor (Grace) to unworthy sinners whom He calls, draws, and brings to the Light granting them the ability to believe in Jesus and call upon Him for salvation.

Thank God we had our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world, for if it were not done by Him, we all would perish. Thank God for these wonderful truths rather than call Him into question about anything! We are from the dust of the earth and only mortals, HE is GOD, so let God be God and quit trying to be God by thinking for Him!!

Our pride takes us all to destruction, so let it not be rising up in indignation, but rather, let us humble ourselves in thankful submission for our great God who loved us enough to die for us and rise from the dead giving us eternal life.

All my words can be substantiated by reading the Book of Romans, the Gospel of John, the book of Galatians, the book of Ephesians, the book of Genesis, and the book of Revelation. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you light to see God’s truth in His word. He will answer that prayer.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALONE AND NOT MAN!

THE GOSPEL OF GRACE!

THE BOOK OF ROMANS, GALATIANS, COLOSSIANS AND THE GOSPEL OF JOHN ARE GREAT BOOKS TO STUDY CONCERNING THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

David is prominent in the Old Testament, especially the book of Psalms. I love David and God’s teachings to him! He said in Psalm 32 the following:

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty”.

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat! Finally, I confessed all my sins to you, and stopped trying to HIDE my guilt. I said to myself, I will confess my rebellion to the Lord, and you forgave me! ALL my guilt is gone! Therefore, let the godly pray to you while there is STILL TIME, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are My Hiding Place; You protect me from trouble, You surround me with songs of victory!”

Hallelujah what a Savior! Amen!”

Was David a sinner? No, he wasn”t. David was a Saint! Does David sin after being saved by God’s grace, Yes! Why? He still lives in a body that has sin dwelling in it called the Flesh! David had a new heart, a new soul and a new spirit. God saved Him by His grace.

Yet, David had many personal sins during his lifetime. The fact is, salvation is FROM the penalty of sin, but sin still dwells in our flesh. That part of us is not born again! We struggle with sin. We do not wish to sin!

In the Garden of Eden when God called Adam and Eve to account for their sin, what took place? GOD came and found them. God came and called them. God killed a Lamb and shed its blood and took its skin and put it over their bodies to cover their nakedness.

One of the lessons for us in this is God is the one who grants mercy and grace. He did so through the shed blood of an animal which pointed to the Lamb of God (Jesus) who was to come and shed His blood for His peoples’ sin. Adam and Eve did not even blink an eye. They didn’t do anything. They were worked ON by God alone for His glory alone!!

The same today. God calls. God grants us faith and repentance. God grants us mercy, grace, and a new birth, covering us in Christ’s blood. He puts us into Christ and into eternal life never remembering or holding us accountable any longer for any sin whether it is past, present or future.

David was saved, redeemed, justified by faith, regenerated (made alive unto God), had God in his daily life, had the Holy Spirit, for no one can be saved and not have the Holy Spirit abiding within them!

In other words, we get a new identity. Sinners are turned into Saints.

In no way am I advocating sinless perfection. Our flesh or our fallen or old man, which ever phrase you prefer, still produces sin. When we do, we bring those sins to the light and confess them, but not in the sense that they have NOT already been forgiven. Jesus died ONCE for those sins (past, present, and future). No re-crucifying Jesus again, and again and again by acting like you haven’t been forgiven. You have. The O.T. High Priests had to sacrifice the lambs daily, but Jesus sacrifice was once. It is finished. We have been born again. We are new creations.

Paul called us Saints. Peter called us Saints.

Even though we are new creations, we still live in unregenerate, fallen bodies and sin dwells in them.

We confess those sins to the Lord and to each other when need be, but those sins are forgiven. David confessed his sins to the Lord, but David also knew he was forgiven.

The Word teaches us not to hide our sins, but to bring them to the Lord, to the light, and confess them. As a Saint, hiding such sin brings guilt, shame, and difficulties in our lives, until we confess openly we have failed the Lord.

But, remember always, those sins are already forgiven. When we confess them we are agreeing with God that we need to seek to slay sin, stop sin, and walk in the Spirit with Him!

We don’t we start begging God to forgive us of our wretchedness. We confess and thank Him that He has hidden them under His blood and never to be remembered again. The idea of being laden down with sin and failures, and thinking we are wretched, terrible, awful sinful wicked people is to “smear” God and His message and Jesus’ finished work done for us on the cross. We are not under wrath, not under condemnation, not under shame and disgrace, not under sin’s power, not under Satan’s control. We are not to be depressed, or shamed, or feel lost because we sinned.

Let us agree with God that we are His righteous saints. His righteousness had been IMPUTED to our account. He lives within us and we are in Him and He in us.

The Scriptures tell us God’s heavy hand of discipline was on David until he confessed his sins.God didn’t leave him when he sinned. God didn’t leave him when he did not confess. Instead He made sure David did confess. God was always with David, as He is with us. If we try to hide our sins and not confess them, He will make a way for us to do so.

David could have been perfectly obedient for a 1000 years, but that would have not made him a bit better in the site of God than He was after confessing, for he already had ALL of his sins forgiven, PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

Yes, David was disciplined by the Lord. Yes, he grieved the Holy Spirit. Yes, there were consequences for his sins, especially within his own family.

But, knowing we are not under condemnation and all our sins have already been forgiven at the Cross spurs us on to serve Jesus even more and love Him even more. This is AMAZING GRACE.

Christ is in us, and we are in Him. We Abide in Christ and He abides in us! He always LOVES us, with never a lapse in that LOVE! He never leaves us and He in fact, keeps us in the faith. We can’t go in and out of fellowship with God, for He is always there.

Do you believe the word of God on this?

Lamar Carnes – A fellow believer in the journey of life on planet earth! Praise be unto God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost)! Amen! Selah! Maranatha!

The Holy Triune God from Heaven Sent a Savior!!!

THE LIFESTYLE OF THE BELIEVER!

May 1, 2020:

Today, as I read 2 Corinthians 6: 1 – 18, was reminded by my Lord how I should live, and how it should actually be fleshed out in real time life in my home, local congregation and city.

INTRODUCTION:

Paul instructs the Corinthians that both he, along with Silvanus, Timothy and even Titus and are workers together with Christ as being ones that have received the Grace of God! He emphasized too that he hoped that grace was not in vain (empty and meaningless in their lives) as well! In other words, did they really receive the Grace of God or had their messages and work among the Corinthians been in vain? Receiving Grace means it works every time and brings about many spiritual realities which can be visibly observed in people.

Paul emphasizes also that “today is the day of salvation” i.e., I think, specifically emphasizing that the Gospel dispensation, the New Covenant, is here and is alive and well. God is saving souls! He is building His ‘called out body or people’ who will make up the bride of Christ and they are to band together as one local visible group to carry out the ministry also! He had spoken of this subject to the Ephesians also. The ministers and Apostles in that day were to be teaching, training, encouraging, and praying for them to be able to do also the “work of the ministry”! Grace in other words “works”!

I. MARKS OF THE JOINT MINISTRY OF PAUL THE APOSTLE AND HIS FELLOW HELPERS, DEVELOPING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD AND THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL BE SEEN IN WHAT TAKES PLACE IN PAUL AND HIS ASSOCIATES!

  1. THEY ARE SENT BY GOD! – 1 CORINTHIANS 6:2-3

For He (God) says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you…….”

2. NOTICE THE OUTWARD DISPLAYS OF WHAT TAKES PLACE NOW AS THEY SERVE CHRIST IN THIS WORLD! – 1 CORINTHIANS 6:4-18.

Much Patience – In Tribulations – In Need – In Distresses – In Stripes (beatings) – In Imprisonments – In tumults – In Labors – In Sleeplessness – In Fastings – By Purity – By Knowledge – By Longsuffering – By Kindness – By the Holy Spirit – By Sincere Love – By the word of Truth – By the Power of God – By the Armor of Righteousness – (On the right hand and on the left, i.e., all around them were these things taking place and also upon them! HE is NOT through, notice more:

By Honor – By Dishonor – By Evil Report – By Good Report – Considered as Deceivers and Yet they were Truth Tellers – AS Unknown – Yet Well Known – As Dying – Yet Behold they Live – As Chastened – Yet Not Killed – As sorrowful – Yet always Rejoicing – As poor – Yet making many Rich – As having nothing – Yet possessing All things!

After all of this he encourages and warns the Corinthians about being unequally yoked up with those who are in Satan’s family, unbelievers! Warning to not become closely associated with them so that they got involved in their evil habits and way of life. If they observed this note God’s promises to the Corinthians and even to us this very day:

“Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU. AND YOU SHALL BE MY ‘SONS AND DAUGHTERS’, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY!” – VERSES 17-18.

In this day of Covid-19 plague, may we remember all of what the early body of Christ had to endure and go through at their time. Throughout the history of God’s people we notice all of the struggles and problems they had to face as they served Christ Jesus. This was NOT what the Prosperity false Gospel teaches people in this generation.

What happens when we do not follow what God said would be our plight in the real world as we serve Him? People can get discouraged, think God has abandoned them. When HE hasn’t! All of the negatives that take place are designed for our spiritual welfare and to push us forward into the maturity He has designed for us spiritually, while on planet earth. We are at war with sin, Satan, the world system and our own flesh in which sin dwells! We wait for our new bodies which the Resurrection of Christ will bring about! During the heavy weight of this world and its evil along with sin, we sense its futility and vanity.

But HE said, ” Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I an gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my Yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11: 28-30.

Along with all of the negatives comes great joy and peace and comfort, even during pain and suffering, knowing our God and Lord is always with us! HE will conquer all of the things which seek to take us down! We will overcome! In the Lord Jesus Christ the Commander in Chief of Heaven’s Armies! He is the winner for I read the last chapter of the Holy Word of God! Rest in HIM! Pray for His soon coming! Amen!