|How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?||How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?||What is effectual calling?|
|A: We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us (Jn. 1:12) by his Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5, 6).||A: The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us (Eph. 2:8), and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling (Eph. 3:17; 1 Cor. 1:9).||A: Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit (2 Tim. 1:9), whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery (Acts 2:37), enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ (Acts 26:18), and renewing our wills (Ezek. 36:26), he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the Gospel (Jn. 6:44).|
I. Salvation is the result of the power and grace of the triune God.
A. The Father gave His Son to redeem those He gave to Him (Matt. 1:21; Jn. 3:16; 17:2, 6).
B. The Son purchased redemption (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
1. Redemption is deliverance by payment of a price, and consists of two parts: deliverance from sin (Matt. 1:21; Rom. 6:6-7); restoration to the good lost by Adam, i.e., peace and favor with God and all benefits purchased by Christ.
C. The Holy Spirit applies redemption (Tit. 3:5).
1. Every system of teaching which claims to be Christian can be judged by its faithfulness (or lack of)
to the honor and glory of the triune nature of God.
II. Two basic views regarding the new birth: man-centered, God-centered.
A. Arminianism is a man-centered view that teaches salvation depends partly upon man and partly upon God, taught by Jacobus Arminius (d. 1609).
1. The activity of the sinner must precede that of the Holy Spirit. It is not the Spirit who enables the sinner to repent and believe in Christ, rather the sinner allows the Holy Spirit to regenerate his soul because he repents and believes.
B. Calvinism is a God-centered view that teaches man is solely dependent upon the saving work of the Holy Spirit for salvation, taught by John Calvin (d. 1564).
1. The action of the Spirit must precede that of the sinner, for he is spiritually dead and unable to repent and believe (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1).
C. The contrast between these views is exemplified in explanations of Rev. 3:20.
1. The Arminian essentially says that it is the Holy Spirit knocking at the door and the sinner must open it by his own natural power so that He can come in and regenerate him.
2. The Calvinist says that it is Christ who asks to come in, and the Spirit enables the sinner to open the door.
III. The Holy Spirit applies redemption through the Word.
A. The gospel is the means that the Spirit ordinarily uses to work faith in the sinner (Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21; Ja. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23).
B. The gospel only brings some men to conversion, while the rest are hardened (Mk. 4:9-12).
1. The reason for the difference between men is not in the gospel. Jesus is freely preached to all, and the offer of salvation is sincere (Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13). As Calvin put it, “the blindness of unbelievers in no way detracts from the clearness of the Gospel for the sun is no less resplendent because the blind do not see it.”
2. The reason for the difference between men is not something that finds its source in them. The one who accepts does not have a better nature than the one who rejects. All alike are dead (Eph. 2:1), and left to their own power no man would ever accept the gospel (1 Cor. 2:14).
IV. The general call and the effectual call.
A. The general call comes to all men (externally) whenever they hear, read, or have the gospel explained to them (Isa. 65:12; Matt. 22:14).
B. The effectual call comes to the elect (Jn. 10:3-4, 26-27; Rom. 8:28ff; 1 Cor. 1:9, 23-24; 2 Thess. 2:13-14), and is irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
1. The act of the Spirit by which men are brought into saving union with Christ is expressed by the term “calling” (Eph. 1:18; 4:1, 4; Heb. 3:1).
a. This work of the Spirit is described as that which “gives life” (Jn. 6:63), “washing” and “renewing” (Tit. 3:5), being “born again” (Jn. 3:4, 7), “made alive…raised” (Eph. 2:1, 5-6).
2. The call is by divine initiative (1 Cor. 1:9; Ga. 1:15; 1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Pet. 2:9), envisioned from eternity, and not dependent upon works (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 1:9).
3. Those who are subjects of this saving influence of the Spirit are “the called” (Rom. 1:6; 8:28; 1 Cor. 1:24); called to be “saints” (1 Cor. 1:2).
a. The “called” are synonymous with the elect (Rev. 17:14; 1 Cor. 1:26-27).
b. To “call” is to effect or cause to be: God speaks and it is done (cf. Gen. 1:3).
(1). A person becomes by the call that which he is called to be: prophets become prophets, Paul became an apostle, and saints become saints.
c. The church (Gk., ekklesia) are “called out ones.”
C. The nature of the effectual call: twofold work of the Spirit, on the understanding and the will.
1. Understanding: the leading faculty of man which is overspread with darkness (Eph. 4:18; 5:8).
a. Soul is illuminated from Sinai with the law to its sin and misery (Jn. 16:8): matter, effects, means, and depth of conviction.
(1). Matter: Spirit sets particular sins before the sinner (Ps. 50:21); the Spirit convinces sinner he is lost and undone (Lk. 15:17).
(2). Effects: remorse and anxiety (Acts 2:37), terror (16:27).
(3). Means: the law is used to convince of sin (Rom. 7:7) and misery (Ga. 3:10).
(4). Depth: not only convinced of sins of life, lips, and heart, but also of nature (Rom. 7:14); convinced of absolute need of Christ (Jn. 16:8).
b. Soul is illuminated from Zion in knowledge of Christ (Acts 26:18; Matt. 13:45-46): matter, effect, means, and measure of this illumination.
(1). Matter: Christ’s ability (Heb. 7:25); willingness to save (Jn. 6:37).
(2). Effect: hope (Matt. 13:46).
(3). Means: gospel in hands of Spirit (Acts 26:17-18)
(4). Measure: varies, but some degree is necessary (Mk. 9:24).
2. Will: which is depraved (Rom. 8:7): nature, effects, Author.
a. Nature: renewing the will (Ezek. 36:27); implanting new qualities (Eph. 4:23-24) that are bent towards good (Jer. 31:18; Ps. 119:26).
b. Effects: sinner closes with Christ (Prov. 8:4), at his highest peril (Mk. 16:16).
c. Author: Spirit enables (Jn. 6:44; Eph. 1:19-20).
A. Use, dangers to be avoided.
1. Making some emotional feeling or religious experience the basis of our assurance. Men may have strong feelings (Matt. 13:5, 20-21), and religious experiences (Heb. 6:4-8; cf. v. 9), without being regenerate.
2. Excusing yourself from accepting the gospel by claiming that you will if God gives you the Spirit. Such in essence says that one must feel he has the Spirit before he can have the duty to repent and believe.
a. God commands all men to repent and believe without delay (Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 6:2).
b. It is by obeying the gospel invitation that one can have assurance of being regenerate (2 Pet. 1:10).
B. Use, of knowledge.
1. We are poor miserable creatures without Christ (Rev. 3:17), enslaved to sin and captives of Satan. Sovereign grace calls. Calvinism is the correct position, for it is most glorifying to God.
2. The Spirit who wrote the Word sovereignly employs it in the call.
C. Use, of testing.
1. Mark one. Where redemption is applied the wound is fully opened and then Christ’s redemption is fully applied. Work may not be carried through by the Spirit. Judas exemplified despair of wound opened without redemption applied. One’s wound may not be sufficiently opened to see sins of heart and nature, convincing the soul of its powerlessness unto good. But where wound laid open in point of guilt and inability the soul is brought to Christ for both righteousness and sanctification (1Cor. 1:30).
2. Mark two. Where redemption is applied the reigning power of sin is broken (Rom. 6:14). Though sin may yet prevail, the heart is habitually loosed.
D. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. See the need you have of redemption, as much as a prisoner needs a parole date, or the sick man a cure; without which the former will ever be confined, and the latter die sick. Seek redemption, be not satisfied without it.
a. Motive one. Consider: the sinful society you are called out of (Tit. 1:5); the high calling your are called with (Phil. 3:14); and who it is that calls (Isa. 55:1; Jn. 6:37; Heb. 12:25); the effectually called have a joyous state forever (Rom. 8:28); those not effectually called are miserable and the gospel offer may not be made tomorrow (2 Cor. 6:2); without the Spirit you are undone forever (Rom. 8:9), but if you get the Spirit you are eternally blessed (Jn. 4:14).
b. Motive two. Do not resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51) by sinning against the light and continuing in obstinacy.
(1). Directions. Pray earnestly for the Spirit (Lk. 11:13), as God calls for such to be prayed for (Ezek. 36:27, 37). Wait and look for the Spirit in all appointed ordinances. If one would feel the wind blow he must go outside and wait for it to blow (Jn. 3:8). Especially attend to the preaching of the gospel (2 Cor. 3:8).
2. Saints. Consider your high calling and walk worthy of it (1 Thess. 2:12).