I want you! Do you remember that Poster?
It was a Poster of Uncle Sam during WW2. I remember it as a young boy with my Mom using those little green ration stamps at the butcher. When I think of that Poster it brings to my mind the conversion of the Jewish Pharisee Saul who became the Apostle Paul.
The point in my writing this blog is to refute the common held belief today by many that all men have a “Free” will. I have heard certain Preachers/Teachers state that God will never violate man’s free will, my reply is; What Bible are they reading, it cannot be the one I read!
Mankind’s free will was *forfeited to Satan when Adam and Eve sinned, they died and were separated from God first in their hearts (spirits) and then later in their physical bodies. Thus the whole human race was condemned by this fallen nature which was passed down to every human born even to this day! Being dead in sins and trespasses no human being can **come to God on their own, they are held captive by Satan to do only his will. Now for the truth and good news, God by the exercise of his own will decided to have a people for his own, he would choose the many from the lowly, abased and not many rich or wise but some! This clearly disproves today’s doctrine of man’s free will, God’s choice is selective by choosing some and rejecting others with ***man’s will not involved. With the fall of Adam and Eve it was God who took the initiative, when they sinned conscience was born, it produced guilt, fear and the need to cover themselves (With fig leaves, a type of religious practice that can’t hide one’s sin from God) and hide from God. The Lord sought after them confirmed their sinful condition shown physically by their nakedness, he rejected their excuses, slew animals (The shedding of blood to cover sins until Jesus would pay completely the ransom by his death on the cross) covered them and preached the Good News that from a woman would be born a child that would be wounded by Satan but he would totally defeat him with a fatal head wound!
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3: 15 NASB.
Saul the Pharisee was not your run of the mill Pharisee; he was trained by the best and an expert of Jewish Law. When Saul persecuted the Christians he truly believed he was doing God’s work because the Christians rejected the Law of Moses and taught the doctrine of grace that came through Jesus. This man’s will was totally against Jesus, his teachings and his followers, no man could change his mind. So when Jesus appears to him on the road to Damascus, his question was who are you Lord? Jesus reveals himself to him and tells him he has been appointed to be his witness to the Gentiles. Acts 26: 15 & 16. Saul’s conversion was totally by God’s will as the scripture declares; “Who can resist his will?” No one!
There was no free will involved with Paul’s conversion, God had chosen and appointed him to be an Apostle to the Gentiles, the Lord took away his stony heart and gave him a heart of flesh. There are other examples of conversions that prove that God takes whoever he wills from Satan’s Kingdom of the world, those in bondage to him, Saul being included. Lydia a seller of purple listened to Paul and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the word. Acts 16:14 NLT. Jesus declared that NO one could come to him on their own (By their own will) they have to be first drawn by the Holy Spirit who ONLY draws the predestined, chosen of the Father from all eternity. These are not all of the world but they are the “Many” Jesus said he would die for, his people only, not the whole world, Jesus prayed not for the world but only for the chosen elect the Father had given him. “Thine they were and you have given them to me” I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. John 17:6 NLT.
When we read of those like Cornelius and Lydia that they were worshipers of God, giving and doing things that pleased God, we must remember that this was only possible by the Holy Spirit working in their lives, drawing them to Jesus. They had to hear the Good News of the Gospel in order to be Born Again and at that moment the Holy Spirit is joined to their spirit and they become one with Christ as Jesus had prayed at the Last Supper.
Even though mankind has a will bound to do Satan’s will they are responsible for their sins before God, when Adam and Eve died spiritually all mankind died with them, having the same sin nature passed on to every person born in the world. Conscience had its birth in the Garden of Eden; it brought the guilt of their sin, separation from God, fleeing him, using fig leaves to hide their nakedness. (The outer covering of the inner darkness). Thus conscience was also passed to the descendants of Adam and Eve, it is the light from God to excuse or accuse those who have not heard God’s word, Paul reveals this also in the Book of Romans when referring to the Natives who have never heard the word. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. John 16: 8 NASB. All mankind are responsible before God and through their conscience they know right from wrong, even when they are convicted by the Holy Spirit they will always reject the Lord due to their fallen nature, being dead in their spirits. This being the case, God by the act of his own will chose to save the many, not all, choosing not many rich or wise but of the abased and lowly, he chose prostitutes and rejected Pharisees and Kings. In the Book of Romans Paul the Apostle wrote that those who were chosen by God obtained salvation and the rest were hardened! He also said that the non-elect were not fit for destruction but “Fitted” for destruction by God, this is hard stuff (Not impossible to understand, but we must accept that God is perfect and what he does is always right, if he made a mistake he would cease to be God!) as Peter the Apostle wrote about Pauls’ teaching concerning salvation as being hard to understand. I highly recommend Arthur Pink’s book called “The Sovereignty of God” He does an excellent job of explaining the deeper things of God and uses the word to prove it. I have a link to it on my home page.
A special note about spiritual death, the human spirit does not die, when God created physical man he gave him a spirit and soul with the spirit being the communication center between God and man. When sin came, the spirit became dead to God, communication with him ended. God is a Spirit and those who worship him must do so “In spirit” and truth. Fallen man cannot do this because his dead spirit has been permanently separated from God due to sin. He cannot come to God nor does he understand the things of God or his word, the Bible, as the word declares, they are spiritually discerned. When the spirit departs, the body is dead. In salvation, God is the only one that can save a dead spirit by making it a “New Creation” a spirit that is joined to Christ is again alive to God. Jesus said you must be Born Again from above (God’s work) through the power of the Holy Spirit, only then is the communication with God restored. Those God has appointed to eternal life though “Dead” spiritually will hear the voice of Jesus who seeks after them and saves them. John 5:25 NASB.
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption 1-Corinthians 1: 30 NASB.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4: 24 KJB
. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2: 26 KJB.
*and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. 2-Timothy 2:26 NASB.
**”No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6: 44 NASB.
***who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1: 13 NASB.
In God’s plan of salvation he alone deserves all the credit and glory, you believer did not choose him but he chose you, like the Apostle Paul you also were his enemy and like Lazarus Jesus sought you out and you heard his voice and came alive. The raising of Lazarus physically is a picture of the Lord bringing to life our dead spirits by the sound of his voice through the Holy Spirit’s power in regeneration, God’s work.
In the book of John Jesus spoke of the “Dead” hearing his voice and coming alive, this is truly God’s work only who alone raises the dead Spiritually and physically. Those who preach/teach that man by his own will or good works can come to God for salvation are in error and do not give God the glory he only deserves. Remember Jesus speaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb and a person there with no wedding garment, they were cast out as will be all those who are not his by election through his will.
God grant that the “Dead” who Jesus spoke about read this blog and that they will hear his voice and come to life, his salvation.
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5: 25 NASB.