Ephesians 4:3-6; One Faith –the beauty of being born again by grace.
length: 84:02 - taught on Mar, 28 2021
Sunday March 28,2021
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
The Bible allows us to examine the transaction between God and man that ends in a man’s salvation, meaning his deliverance from sin and death and his birth into divine life. For sure, it boggles the mind of men who have never seen an act of pure grace. Man can perceive nothing received by grace.
Therefore, God the Holy Spirit is the one to convict the minds of men who cannot discern grace.
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
This should show us all how hopeless and helpless any of us are to do anything for salvation. We can’t even discern the message of the Gospel without the Holy Spirit’s intervention.
All men are confronted with the gospel and the Holy Spirit who convicts them of it. And, as all of us are witnesses, some believe that gospel, and then to them, the entire world of God and His truth are opened up. It is only after his salvation that a man learns of its reality and magnitude. And for the rest of his life he will continue to learn of that simple and beautiful transaction of grace that happened in moments. Hence, here we are, students of God’s word, again learning of our beginning with God.
Learning more about your salvation by grace is to learn more about the One who offered it to you.
One can understand that the devil would do all that he could to blind the mind of men from the simplicity and graciousness of the gospel. He has done it well. The minds of men have added many stipulations to the gospel. God clearly tells us that salvation is by faith alone. The minds of men, bent on discovering answers to questions that are beyond it, add things, some little, like a bit too much of salt or spice, and some bigger, like whole new ingredients that are not called for, and then profess to have found answers to questions that God never posed.
If God doesn’t ask or stipulate a question, then we should not pose it and then seek its answer.
And when we ask the questions that we all do from natural curiosity, and search the scriptures earnestly to find that there is no clear answer, we easily chalk it up to one of the many mysteries of God and simply apply faith to it and rejoice in God’s ability over and above our own.
Perhaps the greatest question that haunts the minds of the saved, but immature saved, is the bad behavior of so-called Christians. They reason, “Certainly, a believer must have the fruit of his regeneration, and that fruit should be discernable, and so all Christians should show themselves to be so.”
I am not in any way saying that believers do not show any manifestation of their dramatic and supernatural change. I am not saying that a believer should not bother himself about the work he is called to do. Anyone who listens to my teaching would never conclude that I condone a carnal Christian life.
This current study about the “one faith” is not about the life of the believer, which should be holy and blameless, but about the first transaction between him and God.
This is about our rebirth or being born again. Is it like a birth or is it a progressive process over time? Does it have to be proven or shown in order for the one reborn to be sure? The scripture tells us that it happens in an instance and that it is only conditioned upon faith in Christ.
[Zane Hodge, The Gospel Under Siege]
“It does not matter how the insistence on good works is articulated. The result is inescapably the same…
“If works are elevated to the level of a co-condition with faith, then they are clearly indispensable to assurance.” [Zane Hodge]
If they are only seen as the inevitable outcome of true saving faith, they become equally indispensable to assurance. For only their presence in the life can verify the authenticity of the faith from which it is claimed they must flow.” [Hodge]
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
To assert that a man can have faith in the Person of Christ as his Savior and then also not know if he has trusted in Christ is an inconceivable position.
The Bible everywhere takes for granted that a man can know if he has believed in Christ for salvation or not.
Knowing this subconsciously, we can forget how vital and important it is to know we are saved people forever, despite our performances in life.
Points on how deep is faith, type of faith, level of conviction are not addressed in the scripture, and that’s why such questions, rather than freeing a man, upsets him, just as they did to the Gentile believers in Antioch in Act 15. If such questions came from God, we would know that they would be beneficial to us, even if they were painful to consider. But if doctrines come from man that upset the soul, then caution flags should spring up.
The Bible takes for granted that a man can know he is saved by faith in Christ.
And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household."
It is clear that this jailor understood that he was saved by faith since he rejoiced in his salvation.
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
The additions to the gospel, one of which is the proof of salvation through later good works, which again would have all of us waiting until death to find out our salvation status, is a serious issue and not simply a matter of semantics.
Our Lord Himself made the gospel message simple and clear. We would not imagine that He gave a partial gospel, being Himself the source and content of it.
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
Jesus makes clear to her that this is not a repeatable transaction.
Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
In Greek Jesus says emphatically, “will by no means thirst forever.”
It is more emphatic than our English translation makes it out to be. The thirst will never return. The need that this living water will meet will never be a need again.
The beauty of the scene with the Samaritan woman is tied to its simplicity.
There is no discussion about her changing her ways, no analyzation of the reasons for her sinful life, it is just a loving Lord giving His living water without cost and her, an undeserving transgressor, receiving it. If she wants the water she can have it.
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
“The mind of man recoils from so daring an expression of divine generosity.” [Hodges]
Simplicity of the gospel in JOH 3:14-16.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”