LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

But God,

Regular batteries are an illustration of human physical life and rechargeable batteries are an illustration of human spiritual life.

In the photo above, the regular batteries on the left are manufactured fully charged and can be used immediately after being purchased. With use and over time they will gradually become weaker and weaker and will eventually die. Regular batteries cannot be recharged. The rechargeable batteries on the right are designed so that they can be recharged many times. They cannot be used immediately after being purchased because they are dead and must be charged up with the charging unit. Unless an outside source (charging unit) charges them up they will never have life. Once they are fully charged they get weaker and weaker and must be recharged.


The physical life of human beings is similar to the life of the regular batteries. Human beings gradually get weaker and weaker as they age and eventually die. Likewise, the spiritual life of human beings is similar to the rechargeable batteries. Just as the dead rechargeable batteries must be charged in the battery charger to be made alive, spiritually dead men must be quickened by the intervention of God to be made spiritually alive. This is called regeneration or being born again. Man cannot regenerate or cause himself to be born again. It takes God to make a human spiritually alive just as it takes a battery charger to make a dead rechargeable battery alive. This is shown in Ephesians 2:4-5 where Paul says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—“ While we were dead in sin, God made us alive. Notice, the passage does not say man does something and then God acts. It says that God intervenes while we were dead in sin. God’s grace brings dead sinners to life just as the battery charger brings dead batteries to life.

Jesus in John 3:3 told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Notice, the passage does not say man sees and desires the kingdom of God and then he is born again. No, it says that he will not even be able to see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This passage affirms that God’s work of regeneration is radical and powerful. Notice, it does not say that someone who is in Christ may be or should be a new creation. It says they are totally changed and totally new. They have a new attitude, new desires, a new world-view and a new heart. In 1 Peter 1:3 Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” Notice, this passage does not say man must do something to be born again. It says that God caused it unilaterally. In John 6, Jesus says that no one can come to him unless granted by the Father. He states further that all that the Father gives him will come to him. When these two dots are connected it is apparent that all that are enabled to come do come. Since all (100%) do not come, the only conclusion is that God’s drawing power is irresistible and perfect in it’s power. Paul validated in Romans 8:30 that all that are called are justified.

The external call goes out by preachers, evangelists, and the Bible. All those who have had their spiritual battery charged to life by God have ears to hear and respond in faith. This is grace. It is the power of God that regenerates and gives a new heart to sinners that are dead in sin.

New Christians, that come to faith and are justified through the power of God’s grace, are then sanctified by the same grace. New Christians have spiritual life and Paul tells us in Romans 8 that this spiritual life will prevail. God through his grace recharges the spiritual life of Christians just like a battery charger recharges weak batteries. That is why the sanctification of a Christian may have peaks and valleys.

The power of God is at work in saving and justifying sinners by giving them spiritual life that enables them to willingly come to saving faith. This same power is also at work in sanctifying redeemed sinners. However, many are pushing a powerless gospel that leaves man alone in coming to faith in Christ. While they acknowledge that God tries to woo sinners, the ultimate power is left with man and not God. Man decides and God responds is the bottom line of this gospel. Since no effective power is available from God in justification, they conclude there is no effective power from God in sanctification. They claim that it is possible that a redeemed Christian may (in some cases) not be sanctified at all. Even if such a person renounces Jesus and becomes a life long atheist until death, he is saved due to his brief moment of faith.

Question: Do you believe God intervened in your life by giving you spiritual life or do you believe that your salvation was decided by you making the crucial decision in and of yourself?


11 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Thankfully, God is the author and the finisher of my faith. If it were left up to me, well, I see what a mess I make of things. He is faithful when I am not. I continually am reminded of this.

Only He could knit me together in the womb to bring about my physical birth. Likewise, only He could bring about my spiritual birth - and continual ongoing sanctification.

The more I live, the more I am intensely aware of my total and utter dependence on him - even down to every breath I take. Until my last one.

November 28, 2007 8:53 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Btw, Jazzy, good post.

You articulate your thoughts so well.

November 28, 2007 8:53 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Your post gives the answer as you see it, and I would agree this is what the Bible teaches...

A: The power of God is...giving them spiritual life that enables them to willingly come to saving faith.

I would add that all who are given life as this willl indeed come...

The only reason we can respond to Life is becasue we have been made alive...

November 28, 2007 9:12 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
The last two paragraphs address sanctification. Perhaps they answer your question from the previous post.

Have I portrayed the FG view accurately? Also, I invite you to answer the question at the end!

Susan,
Good points. I believe you are describing grace, which is an action of God that man responds to rather than an action of man that God responds to……

JD,
True and I believe there is no other conclusion to many passages such as Rom. 8:30 that grace is irresistible. “Those he called he justified”.

November 28, 2007 9:36 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

No, I do not think that is an accurate statement of FG theology.

I would answer the question with a YES. God has intevened in my life to give me new spiritual life.

God Bless

Matthew

November 28, 2007 11:05 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

One day, suddenly, there was the deepest fear I ever knew. I knew that I was going to Hell when I died. Where did that fear come from?

Also, at the same time, there was a desire to "get right with God". Where did that come from?

A month after all of this I was told that Jesus Christ was my only hope of salvation, my only hope for the forgiveness of sins. I'd heard that before, but this time it was making an impact. Why?

"But God"...

November 28, 2007 11:51 AM

 
Blogger donsands said...

"That is why the sanctification of a Christian may have peaks and valleys."

Some more valeeys than peaks. But that's under God's gracious sovereignty.

Good post.

As the Lord said of Saul, " .. for he is a chosen vessel unto Me", He says to all whom He chooses. It may not be as dramatic as Saul, but it will be exactly the same in that a dead in his sins sinner was born again, and made alive by the Holy Spirit of God, so that repnetance and belief, which are not manufactored, but genuine, will take place unto eternal life.

November 28, 2007 12:12 PM

 
Blogger Ender said...

Hi Jazzycat!

Thank you for putting up with me throughout my blogging journey, so far. You have been a very gracious visitor, even with our disagreements.

To answer your question: Yes, I believe it was God. I thank Him for putting in me the desire to seek Him. I thank Him for His faithfulness even when I mess up. He initiated my salvation and will complete it. He made it possible for me to respond in faith. I boast not in my faith, but in His goodness, mercy, and love. Salvation is truly a precious gift.

November 28, 2007 1:19 PM

 
Blogger Missy said...

No doubt, God intervened - although I am more apt to say He masterfully directed and that I destructively intervened. :)

November 28, 2007 2:21 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Where did I miss the mark on describing FGT? Would you re-phrase and show my error?

Did your new spiritual life unilaterally change you to the extent that you willingly became obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ? In short was the sanctifying grace you received irresistible as shown in Romans 8:9-11?

Romans 8:9-11 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (10) But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

November 29, 2007 9:32 AM

 
Blogger Kristine said...

My soul was dead to God. He breathed new life into me; removed the blindfold, and I responded to the sight of the glory of His son, in faith and deep repentance. My salvation belongs to Him, and to Him alone.

January 16, 2008 1:01 PM

 

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