Archive for November, 2014

Idol of the will

So today in the church we have a religous idol, of our own will-power. R.T. Kendell tells us in his book “once saved, always saved” that he use to believe in a lie that was “If I were to make it up to heaven, it would be up to me. “God has done all He can for you, now it is up to you”.

The flavor of faith is rest. Not willpower. This was a CORE, lifelong message of Martin Luther. His book Bondage of the Will was a cornerstone for the Reformation. All the major Reformers – Calvin, Zwingli, etc. Agreed with him in this battle against the idol of the will.

You see the human will is one of the biggest idols of the church. Will power fuels religion.

All the Israelites exercised an independent will apart from God and they died out in the desert. Yes, you have a human will. But it is not “free” apart from JESUS CHRIST. You cannot even force yourself to be a son of God. When you were born-again, you were born a son. You didn’t chose Him, He chose you, In the same way, you don’t climb yourself into kingdom miracles or mystical experiences. It’s all a gift of grace showered on us. Because he is a God daddy!

Children of God are those, “Who are born, not of the blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13, DRB).

OF HIS OWN WILL he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures (Jas. 1:18 ESV).

If you really want to get technical about it, you were not even saved because of your “decision for Christ” but because of His “decision for you.” You were in His heart and imagination from before the world was created. He is the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:3-6,9 King James Version (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved…… Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Thank goodness salvation had nothing to do with us otherwise we’d all be screwed.
“Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. (Ephesians 1:9-10 AMP)

JB Phillips translation! “For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him.”

Don’t see so much of my will there, more about him….It’s all about His predetermination, His will and His accomplishment. If the so-called “free” will even exists, who would want it? What are you going to choose apart from God? You have been grafted completely into His will. Now, His Spirit owns and possesses you. Paul called himself a doulos – a slave – in fact, he was a slave to love. He was ruled and overmastered by the love of God.

AS a new creation Norman Grubb says “God changes our “want”, and the will follows spontaneously. Once God has captured our wills by drawing us back to Himself through Christ, then it is He in us who “wills and does of His good pleasure.” – Norman Grubb, “Romans 7.” (Sermon recording).

It would be a fearful thing to trust in our own efforts. Charles Spurgeon says:

“….. And I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, “If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.” It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is “Alpha and Omega” in the salvation of men.”- Charles Spurgeon, “Free Will a Slave.” (1855 Sermon).

Charles Spurgeon also tells us how this works in a beautiful way!

“Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul-when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man-that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment- I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.” – “Spurgeon – a defense of Calvinism”.

For an example…. When I was a kid I loved going to the candy shop and buy sweets…. Now I did feel like I was the one buying loads of candy…. But, who was the one driving me to the sweet shop? My sweet mom…..who was the one paying for my sweets? My mom… Who was the one working so we could afford sweets? My mom…. Who was the one allowing how much sugar intake I could have every weekend? My mom….. So in our christian walk, it can sometimes feel like it is us who do things, but behind the scenes our amazing beloved Father is the one in control, it is His goodness that leads us to repentance!

So what now? Do you say Max that I have no free-will? No. You do have a human-will, my question to you is, do you really have a free will outside of Christ? I would say no.

Your will now, is Christ will. Charles Spurgeon writes: “This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, “O blessed change, O sweet permutation this, I say, is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy. In every place the saints are perfectly one with Jesus.” – Spurgeon, “Bands of Love or Union to Christ.”

We are perfectly one with Christ, we have the mind of Christ, we are in perfect union, in oness with Christ himself, Paul even says this in a more extreme way in Gal 2:20 ” I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Haha we have been crucified with Christ it is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives in me! We are Possessed by Christ Alone and we are moving and walking in Him and he is moving and walking in us, through us, on upon us. We are moving and living in the realms of grace and in the spirit. We are sons of obedience and are living in His will.

The new heart

As Christians we have been given a new heart by Jesus Christ, he has done away with that old sinful old heart. And given us a new heart!

Ezekiel 36:26Amplified Bible (AMP) –

A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

This new heart is a new God-willed heart, because it is a God-filled heart:

Ephesians 3:19Amplified Bible (AMP) –

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] [c]unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [d]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

Because of this our former heart is eclipsed to absolutely nothing more than a memory. In fact, the rotten old heart is only called upon as a cause for rejoicing that it has disappeared. Like an empty prison cell, it is only remembered by the former resident as a reminder of how fantastic freedom from that cell really is.

The old heart can be defined as “everything about us that was contrary to the nature of God.” This old heart, that could never please God, has been cut away by Christ Himself.

Colossians 2:11Amplified Bible (AMP) –

In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).

True circumcision is of the heart, we have been heart – circumcised!

Romans 2:17; Romans 2:28-29 (Weymouth New Testament) –

For the true Jew is not the man who is simply a Jew outwardly, and true circumcision is not that which is outward and bodily. But the true Jew is one inwardly, and true circumcision is heart-circumcision–not literal, but spiritual; and such people receive praise not from men, but from God

The lord is not trying to fix your old heart, he has removed it! Amazingly, He does not stop there but places inside of each believer a new heart!

Ezekiel 36:36 – Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the bible –

I will change the whole of your infected nature; and give you new appetites, new passions…… 

 

I will entirely remove this heart: it is opposite to that which I have promised you; you cannot have the new heart and the old heart at the same time.

You cannot have the old and new at the same time; they are opposite of each other and have contrary desires.

But a true Christian has only a heart that is by nature completely new. This heart has new passions and emotions. These are the emotions of the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit.

The new heart frolics in teh presence of God; for it has been made the dwelling place of the Eternal! The new heart is a holy-heart, with only holy thoughts and desires.

There is nothing evil in the heart of the believer! Only Heaven’s goodness can dwell within it.