Bible Lesson 166

THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

AS FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
“BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED , GRACE ABOUNDED MUCH MORE.”

“Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God, and all the benefits, delights, comforts which flow from it. It means that while we were sinners and enemies we have been treated as sons and heirs.” R.P.C. Hanson

The doctrine of grace is best remembered by the acrostic “TULIP’

God’s grace is amazing and because it is, we often pass over it and never realize that it is the only hope of glory. So before you brush aside these states and the scripture that backs them up, be sure that you are standing on Holy Ground.

T.U.L.I.P. The acrostic that reminds us of what grace is and who it is that extends grace to those who strive to know it. It comes directly off the pages of the inerrant, infallible Word of God and it cannot, must not be overlooked.

T stands for the Total Depravity of man, which means that in the fall of Adam in the garden we all inherit a nature that has the potential to do anything that our minds can conceive. Thankfully, we do not all descend to the depths of depravity but we all can and would under certain circumstances and conditions. The inspired and inerrant and infallible Word of God documents this truth in the following scriptures. Certainly there are some deeds of fallen man that in human terms we can classify as good; but in the sight of God anything that is not done by a person who has faith in God is depraved or in sin.

We have to remember that since Adam fell, everyone who has been born of the flesh (all except Jesus Christ), were born dead in trespass and sin (Ephesians 2:1). All of us were born under the wrath of God because of our inherited nature from Adam, and we remain under the wrath of God, unless and until God regenerates us in salvation(Ephesians 2:2-3). At birth and until God calls us to Spiritual life, our Father that we follow, is the devil (John 8:37-45).

Read the following scriptures. . Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-11; John 3:19; John 5:40; 2nd Timothy 2:26; 1st Corinthians 2:14; John 3:3; Ephesians 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; We must always remember we are not saved by Faith, We are saved by Grace. .through faith and both of these are gifts of God. Adam and Eve had free will, but they used it to sin and so none of us has free will, we think we do but anything that we do or think prior to salvation is sin because it is not done because God has worked in our lives and given us faith (Romans 14:23). Man cannot and would not without the unction of God ever seek his own salvation. Salvation is all of God (Philippians 2:13; John 10:26-28; John 8:47).

U stands for Unconditional Election, which teaches us that before the foundation of the world, before there was anything except God, He chose a people that would be saved, in time, and be the people of Christ, these people we call the true church. We have to be careful to note that the visible churches, these brick and mortar buildings that belong to denominations and which in their minds represent the true church are a mixed multitude. In true salvation, when God saves a person, that person becomes a member of Christ’s church which is invisible and can be known only by the lives and actions of it’s members. God chose those who would be saved before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:1-9; Romans 8:28-30; 1st Peter 1:2; 2nd Thessalonians 2:13; John 1:11-13; Matthew 1:21; Romans 9:11; 1st Corinthians 1:26-29; 2nd Timothy 1:9; John 15:16; John 6:44; Acts 13:48; John 5:21; John 6:29; John 6:37; John 5:40).

It is important that we remember that God elected or chose those who would be saved in eternity past; however God did not put a mark on anyone either those chosen or those passed by, therefore we are to witness and teach everyone who will listen, then God decides all the rest, but regardless everyone is responsible to God to obey what He has left for us in the Bible. The elect are only recognizable by their love and obedience of Christ and their walk in newness of life. Ephesians 2:10; 2nd Corinthians 5:17; John 14: 21-24. The question always arises that asks “why would God elect some and not others?” The answer is because He is God and He made us and He can do with us as He pleases. It was not because of anything in us or what we would do, God simply chose to choose us.

*note. ..often when we find people that just will not believe that God would and did choose some people to be saved but allowed others to go their own way, it is because their view of God is diminished. Most of them would have no trouble believing that God spoke the worlds into being, but to trust Him to make decisions such as election and reprobation is beyond their capacity. It should be evident to most of them that those who never seek the face of God would not be happy if God allowed them to go there.

L stands for Limited Atonement. . Which means that Christ died on the cross for only those who are the elect. Now, we come to the place in our society, that we are confronted with a subject that is probably the most argued point in the doctrines of Grace. The visible church of our day has preached cheap grace sermons, to the point that we want to take grace away from God and use or misuse it for ourselves. Denominational beliefs, preaching and effort has been such that we are trying to save everyone regardless of whether God works in that salvation or not. We seem determined to equate church-membership to full blown salvation; because that is what most people would like to believe. Whenever we or any other preacher, teacher or evangelist goes past the point that God has given us in saving people we can know that we have insinuated ourselves into the business that belongs exclusively to God. God gave us the job of simply preaching the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as it is contained on the pages of the Holy Bible.

Then we, as slaves to God, are to humbly back up and God does the rest. Apparently God works too slow for us, and we want to appear more successful than anyone else, and so we simply forget God and begin to save people regardless of what they believe or will not believe. What we must believe is that when the Bible uses the expression “world’ that it is speaking of every person in the world that was elected. For instance in John 12:19, where we read “Behold, the world is gone after him” the Pharisees were speaking about Jesus Christ and His small group of followers, but they said that the whole world had followed Him (John 12:19). Jesus Christ tells us Himself in Matthew 7:14, that, since the gate that leads to salvation is strait or narrow, and the way difficult, that only a few would find it. That does not speak of a world that follows Christ. Let’s look now at the most favored verse of scripture in the Bible. John 3:16 is the favorite verse of those who want to think that they or anyone else can “decide’ to be saved. But if we examine the verses in John 3:16-21 it becomes clear that only a few will be saved.

Those verses in John 3:16-21 makes it abundantly clear that only those who believe (not mental belief but a heart and mind belief that leads to obedience and submission)will be saved. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17), and that points to the fact that Jesus did not come to pronounce judgment, but to save a people who were elected in eternity past, The Father had already condemned the world and now Jesus came to save a remnant by dying on the cross. Some hang their Armenian belief on 2nd Peter 3:9 which says . “God is . ..not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” that verse points out that only those who have truly repented, which takes a work of God in His Sovereign salvation, so that speaks of those who are truly saved.

God will save everyone who was elected before the foundation of the world, He will save all of the elect and no one else. Again let me say that God elected all who would be saved by electing us personally, by name and gender and national origin. Revelation 5:9-10. God did not look down the channels of time and see each one that would come to belief and then elect that one! Instead God elected the people that would be saved from every tribe, tongue and nation, without distinction but not without exception. Then God predestined the how and when and where for their being called out of sin unto righteousness (Romans 8:28-30). The atonement was limited to those and those only who were elected in eternity past, and Christ died only for those who were elected, because only those would be able to obey (Hebrews 5:8-9) Now check these scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:31-33; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 1:4; Galatians 1:3-5; Psalms 23; John 10:14-15; John 10:26-27,29; 1st Peter 2:9; John 17:1-26

I stand for Irresistible Grace, which simply means that God is Omnipotent and Omniscience, He is Almighty, He is the Creator and we are His creatures; and His Grace is sufficient. No man, woman, or child could ever resist His Grace. In short when God calls a person out of sin unto His obedience, that person will always come to God in repentance and be saved. Grace is unmerited favor from God, Grace is something that is a gift from God in our salvation and it can not be obstructed. We cannot work or scheme, or steal, or in any other way obtain God’s Grace. I said before that Grace is accompanied by Faith and both Grace and Faith are gifts from God in true salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). God speaks to us through the Apostle Paul and makes it clear that works will not save us and in 2nd Timothy 1:9 we read, “Who (God ) has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”

There is a bad misconception around today that thinks that the creature can take what has been written, and reinterpret, or set it aside and go about our own way with no consequences. Too many of us find real grace kind of hard to accept and so we insist upon being saved by our good works. Things like what a good man or generous man, or how good a husband or wife we are is never good enough to save us, in fact, the only thing that can save us is God’s amazing Grace. Prior to God’s salvation, everything we do including what the world around us would call good, is in fact sin (Romans 14:23). Those who were elected or chosen before the foundation of the world find Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) irresistible and they are drawn to Him by the Fathers drawing. John 6:44, those who were passed by do not have that drawing from the Father because to them the devil is irresistible. Who would dare think that our Omnipotent God could be put off, resisted, or defeated by a lowly creature?

P stands for Perseverance of the Saints (Those who have been called, justified, sanctified and born again unto obedience) Romans 8:28-30; Philippians 1:6; James 1:18; Philippians 3:20-21. The elect are Saints which means they are “set apart’ by God for His Holy use, and since God never changes whatever He decrees never changes. God is not an “Indian giver’ or one who gives a gift and then takes it back. God has given the elect eternal life in heaven, and that eternal life begins on this earth at the moment of our salvation. John 17:2 tells us that God has given power over all flesh, that Christ should give eternal life to as many as God has given Him, and John 6:39 assures us that Christ would not lose any that the Father has given Him. Those who were given to Christ are the elect. Again in John 10:28, Jesus Christ assures us that He gives eternal life (to the elect) and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of His hand.

The Apostle Peter speaks to our perseverance in 1st Peter 1:4-5 and says we (the elect) have an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled , that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. The Apostle Paul speaks to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and says in 2nd Timothy 1:12, that He knows whom he has believed and was persuaded that He is able to keep that which he had committed to Him until that day. We are assured by 2nd Thessalonians 2:14 that we ,as the elect, are called to the obtaining of the glory. Ephesians 1:11 says that the elect have received an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will. What happened to those who were not elected before the foundation of the world? The Bible tells us in Romans 11:7 that the elect received it (redemption) and the rest were blinded. Other Scriptures dealing with Perseverance are 2nd Thessalonians 2:13; 2nd Timothy 4:18; Jude 1; 1st Thessalonians 5:23-24; Jude24-25.

Are you interested in living or dying? Before you answer that question let’s make sure that you understand what the question really asks you. First living does not refer to those precious few years that mankind is allowed to live on the earth and enjoy the beauty and grandeur of God’s handiwork. Many people never stop to realize that the time we have on the earth is short, but life goes on after that. Never forget, that once you close you eyes in physical death, your spirit lives on. Once we die, the flesh decays and goes back to the dust from which God make it, but there is a spirit that immediately goes to one, of only two (2) places. Those who have received God’s grace and been reborn and lived obedient lives . will have their Spirit go to their Father in Heaven; but those who have failed to pass the test of desiring God more than the world, will go immediately to hell.

I don’t say that to scare anyone, although it should and would if we know anything about God and Judgment and Grace and blessings. The time that we spend here on the earth must be a testing ground for heaven and only God can fit a person for heaven. Now, you may have so much going for you in the world that you don’t have the time or won’t take the time to seek, knock and ask for God’s Grace. Perhaps you are accumulating money and gold and property and such, but will that be of any help or hope when you are dying? Whose will that be when you die? We have lost our grasp of values in this fast pace world where the devil is always leading us toward hell. We must be willing to strive for that reconciliation that can exist between God and His creatures.

You will never be able to say after reading this Bible Lesson that you did not know. .because it is clear in this lesson. .you are now responsible to God and the only good response is to flee from evil to God, run to the cross of Christ where He spilt His precious blood and died in your place to reconcile you to God. Don’t put it off . .do it today. .and you don’t need me or you preacher or anyone else . you can go directly to God asking for repentance and salvation.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob