Thursday, November 20, 2008

I just wanna be a sheep!

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep... But ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." - John 10:11, 26-28.
By linking the previous two posts together, we can begin to understand why it is that only Christ's sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Central to a correct understanding of this is, I believe, that Christ gave His life for the sheep, with the necessary inference that He did not give His life for those who are not His sheep. This is the reason that He gives the Pharisees for their lack of belief. So we see this; that the result of Christ giving His life for His sheep is that they believe.

We found previously from 1 Corinthians 2, how it was necessary for receiving the spiritual things of God, such as the Gospel, that one has a spiritual mind. This prerequisite for belief is therefore having a spiritual mind. We concluded that this spiritual mind (which is life and peace), rather than a carnal mind was a result of having received the Spirit of God. This is the rebirth, or regeneration, which we learn occurs when, by the Spirit's work alone we hear Christ preaching to us (Lazarus, come forth!), and by the Spirit's work alone we believe.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" - John 11:25-26.
Romans 6 to 8 teach us not only that the power of regeneration (the mortification of the old nature, and the quickening of the new) is the power of the Spirit of Christ, but also, since it is the Spirit of Christ, it is the power of being united in the death and resurrection of Christ. We are told that it is by union in Christ's death and resurrection that this regeneration occurs by the Spirit of Christ. But how are we (or were we) united in Christ's death and resurrection, and how is it that some are undeservedly regenerated by the Spirit and others deservedly are not?

We find the answer to these two question in one place: the eternal decree of election and reprobation. This is the fountain of our salvation, the basis by which we are eternally united with Christ, and so united in His death and resurrection. This is union is the basis by which Christ is our representative and substitute, so that not only did He fully pay for all our sins, but that we are now clothed in His righteousness, partakers of Him and all His benefits in the unbreakable covenant relationship of love with the Father, sealed in His blood. And being elect in Christ, we are thereby also united with the Spirit of Christ.

Now we see that it is by being united in Christ from before the foundation of the world by election, that the Spirit worked regeneration in our hearts when the Gospel was preached to us, and not in the hearts of the wicked reprobate. The others had no union with the Spirit of Christ by election, and therefore no union with Christ in His death and resurrection, and therefore Christ did not pay for their sins, and so they will be condemned deservedly for their wickedness.

Therefore, though this union is manifest in the course of history by faith, and by this faith we are consciously in union by the Spirit with Christ (because by faith, the Word dwells in us, who is God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the revelation of the Father to us), it is an eternal union by the fountain of election. And this should greatly humble us who believe by the Spirit, and spur us on with confidence to love and good deeds to bring thanksgiving to God, as we remember that our salvation is entirely undeserved and eternal, sealed by the blood of the Lamb before the foundations of the world in the book of life, though we see its manifestation in the course of history:
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." - Revelation 13:8.
I hope you will correct me if this does not seem entirely accurate.

Love in Christ,

- Samuel W.


Anonymous said...

What about Romans 5:6-10. Christ died for the ungodly. It doesn't say for certian ungodly people who would later become godly people. For the, meaning all, ungodly people.

Wiseguy said...

Verses 9 and 10 tell us that being now (because Christ died for us) justified by His blood, that much more we will be saved from wrath. And verse 10 says that we were reconciled by the death of His Son for us, and therefore much more saved by His life.

Not all are saved, therefore Christ did not die for all the ungodly. Please, wrest not the Scripture. It says, ungodly because that is who we are apart from Christ's death and resurrection for us. It is used to specifically prove that we contribute nothing to our salvation.

Basically, with your view (untenable when interpreting Scripture with Scripture) these verses would be teaching that every single person is saved.

God bless, and do not spout such things.