Christ’s Work for Us; The Holy Spirit’s Work in Us
Gen. James Green
M ODERNISM IS MADNESS! By this, I mean that today’s teachings and preachings about the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit are far from Scriptural…and the Emergent church is the vanguard of this madness. When one examines (closely) what the Emergent church teaches, one will conclude that it is damnable!
Take time to read—from their own writings/teachings—what is meant by words such as:
The meaning of these terms to them has nothing in common with the Bible’s definition. Words like “Savior,” “save,” and “salvation” are not defined the way we would expect. Their audacity of heresy knows no bounds.
You see, by CHANGING these words, they hope to attract new converts. They call their movement the “New Reformation.” This ‘New Reformation’ denies the inspiration, infallibility, and the sole authority of Scripture…a very short journey to embracing doctrines of devils.
TO CALL Jesus’ death on the Cross a “bloody mistake” is demonic. Please allow me to present some New Testament Scriptures. You can read the verses for yourselves:
Mark 10:45; Rom. 3:25; 5:6, 8, 10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:20; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:14, 26; 10:10, 14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; 2:24; 3:18; 1 Jam. 1:7; 4:10. Read these texts. Study them. They are the foundation of our faith.
Without the shedding of blood—the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, there is NO salvation, no forgiveness, no justification, no sanctification, and no glorification. Apparently, the lack of these aspects is exactly what the Emergent church wants!
John states emphatically that: “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). This means to believe the truth of God, as revealed in His Word, and make a sincere and sustained effort by His grace to follow it in Word and deed. This is what I want to talk about for a minute.
Repentance comes first though: “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mk. 1:15). This is not a human command or doctrine: it is divine. Repentance, of course, is preceded by knowledge of sin. Repentance is also preceded by a conviction of sin, it includes a “godly sorrow” for sin (2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance is also preceded by a confession of sin—the entire submission to God is finally implied in the work of REPENTANCE. But the Emergent church mocks this: “Repent means making society and the physical world a better place,” says Brian McLaren in his really STUPID book A Generous Orthodoxy—not TURNING from SIN to FAITH in Christ, or ongoing repentance through the operation of the indwelling Holy Spirit (or Ghost, as the Scriptures teach us).
THERE ARE two aspect of redemption, or salvation:
1. Christ’s work for us;
2. The Holy Sprit’s work in us.
God’s Word uses various terms in application to “regeneration;” “redemption” and “regeneration” come at the same time. When one repents and asks for forgiveness, regeneration/redemption takes place. This act is called “a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17); “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10); “born again” (Jn. 3:3); “born of God” (1 Jn. 5:1); “passed from death unto life” (Jn. 5:24); “born of water and spirit” (Jn. 3:5). So, the Spirit-birth or regeneration/redemption/salvation is necessary for admission into the Spirit-Kingdom of God.
Jesus died for our redemption; The Holy Spirit operates in our heart by faith in Christ, thus, changes and renews it, making us spiritually alive—as opposed to being spiritually dead (read Eph. 2:1-10 please).
Christ’s Work For Us
SOME WOULD have us believe that this “saving” was merely done without our help (Calvinism teaches this). They say: “This work of redemption was done entirely apart from us, and without our assistance.” But this is only half true. Their teaching includes synergism and monergism; man’s inability vs. God’s ability. Forgive me, but we must look at this false ideal before we can proceed!
“The Bible presents a strong contrast between God who is able to save, and to save perfectly through Christ (Heb. 7:25), and man, who is unable to make even the first move toward God due to the corruption of his/her nature, their slavery to sin, and their hatred for God.” This is a quote from a staunch Calvinist. Of course, this statement is only half true. Even though the sinner is “dead” (in sin), he or she can (with the help of the Holy Spirit’s conviction upon us), cry out to be redeemed or saved.
He is “fully able,” but the sinner must do his or her part. This is called synergism—to which I fully ascribe. Synergism is the belief that God’s grace cannot save unless joined in the effort by the will of man/woman.
The concept of monergism is the belief that God is fully able to save WITHOUT the aid of the sinner. What this doctrine teaches, in short, is that God must SAVE the sinner—without any willingness on their part—in order for the sinner to confess/repent! Just where do we find this in the Bible? We don’t!
They tell us that while many are willing to confess the universal existence of sin, man/woman are just too depraved to say: “Jesus save me.” HOW PITIFUL!
The Bible teaches that God is able to save, but that the sinner must do his/her part in confessing and repenting of his/her sins. We’re not saved by God’s work ALONE; we are saved by our synergism—our ability to invite Christ into our hearts. Sure, the Holy Spirit is at work in the plan of salvation, but the sinner must act as the Holy Spirit moves upon them.
When Eph. 2:1, 2 teaches that we were “dead in trespasses and sins,” it does not mean that our human spirit ceases to exist, or that man’s will is no longer active—man is just unregenerate. But these Calvinists would have us believe that man has NOTHING AT ALL to do with their own salvation. Romans 1:16 tells us: “…for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” We must first believe (in our unregenerate state) before we are saved. Acts 2:21 tells us that: “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.” Not a word about being saved in order to get saved!...not a word. Have we considered Hebrews 11:6?
It says: “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe…” Not a word about being saved in order to get saved! We—the sinner—must BELIEVE, not God believe for us.
So, the Bible always presents both:
God’s sufficiency, and man’s responsibility,
God’s love and provision, and man’s repentance and faith,
God’s drawing (through the Holy spirit) of the sinner, and the sinner’s seeking Him.
IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL TO DENY THE HUMAN ABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.
The Calvinist doctrine teaches: “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him” (Heb. 7:25). They emphasize Christ’s ability “to save,” but neglect man’s responsibility to “come unto God.”
The Calvinists talk about “inability” and “ability.” But, is the lost sinner unable to respond to the DRAWING of the Holy Sprit?...they can IF they want eternal life. “Drawing,” as in John 6:44, is not “saving”: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent me DRAW him.” This is one of their “proof texts:” the Father gives people to the Son by drawing them to Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I totally agree that the Holy Spirit draws. I was drawn, but I was not saved UNTIL I personally confessed my sins, repented of them, and invited Jesus into my heart (spirit). But this DRAWING is not irresistible...as they teach. What falsity! Drawing can be rejected (see Mt. 23:37). We all can reject the call of salvation—not that we CAN’T accept it, but we WON’T accept it.
Believing in Christ Jesus, and receiving (note the order) the free gift of eternal life from Him require no ability—WE CAN BELIEVE. Our believing in Christ does not require “aid.” We don’t “aid” God; we merely believe—all must believe in order to be saved (Rom. 1:16).
Old Testament Salvation
WHAT WAS required of the Old Testament people? Well, Deut. 4:29; 2 Chron. 15:2; Hosea 10:12; Zeph. 2:3 etc. all mention man’s responsibility, or ability to seek God.
The New Testament is replete with real “proof texts” that “prove” man must believe before he receives. But what about Rom. 3:11? (their proof text): “there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Read the context—vv. 10-18—people in their natural state are sinners…all are guilty of turning aside from the way of godliness. Simply put, as the many Scriptures the Calvinists avoid make clear, this is the WILLFUL, but not the NECESSARY, condition of man. They avoid telling us that Paul is quoting from Ps. 14, and that 5 Psalms earlier, David wrote: “Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that SEEK THEE” (Ps. 9:10), and 10 later: “This is the generation of them that SEEK (God), that SEEK thy face” (Ps. 24:6; see also 2 Chron. 15:4; 15:15; 19:3; 34:3 and Ps. 34:4).
I could go on and on, but let me get back to Christ’s work for us—which was not/is not done apart from us being the REASON. Of course, this work of redemption/salvation was done by Jesus only—we didn’t suffer or die, He did that. 1 Cor. 15:3 tells us that: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” This was “for us;” He was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Justification does not exist without the life, presence, and grace of Christ operating in our lives.
Christ, it is written: “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption FOR US” (Heb. 9:12). It was “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purges your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?” (v. 14). His innocent blood removes our sins and reconciles us with the Father (Heb. 5:8; Rom. 5:19; Phil. 2:8; see also Old Testament Lev. 16). This He did FOR US. Not only this, but: “He ever liveth to make intercession FOR US (or them)” (Heb. 7:25). Finally, He appears “in The presence of God FOR US” (Heb. 9:24). There are things man could not do, but when salvation is presented, man can choose to reject or receive salvation by his/her own free will.
The Spirit’s Work In Us
ONCE SAVED or born again, the Holy Spirit works in the believer. But this also can be hindered: “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thes. 5:19, see our magazines on the Holy Spirit for more information on this subject). Not only this, we can grieve the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 4:30)…and also resist the Holy Spirit (see Acts 7:51): this in turn leads to despising the Holy Spirit (see Heb. 10:29); the worst yet is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (see Mt. 12:31).
With all this said and done, let us love Christ, the Holy Sprit, the Father, and Scriptures.
“No amount of Biblical evidence will convince the sinner who is TOTALLY UNABLE to believe and repent on his/her own…” is said by the average Calvinist. They then tell us: “only the Holy Spirit produces the certainty of faith in the heart of a man through regeneration,” which means that a sinner cannot believe without the Holy Spirit being FIRST in their hearts. But we have seen that man CAN/MUST believe prior to conversion. I do believe that the Holy Spirit works in the confessed sinner’s heart to produce a greater measure of faith and fruitfulness.
WHY DO CALVINISTS insist that sinners must be sovereignly regenerated BEFORE they can believe the Gospel? Acts 16:30, 31 kills this false teaching—“…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They (Paul/Silas) replied, ‘BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…’”
Come on now, we’re not saved (without our permission) first, and then saved the second time. To BELIEVE is to focus OUR FAITH and commitment on Jesus…turning to Him (first) as a living person/Savior from sin…believing that He forgives our sins AFTER we have confessed/repented, then the Holy Spirit enters into our lives as a help, guide, and comfort.
PROTESTANT AUTHOR Dave Hunt (deceased) once wrote: “We have seen that Calvin, despite declaring that ‘we are justified by faith alone,’ insisted that God regenerates and justifies infants without faith.” Hunt went on to say: “He then declared that God MUST sovereignly regenerate ALL who would be saved, even though Scripture clearly requires faith in the Gospel for regeneration to take place; ‘Being born again…by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever…And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you’” (1 Pet. 1:23, 25). So, this is what I’m doing now—declaring that we MUST repent of our sins, invite Christ into our hearts to be both Savior and Lord BY FAITH! We do this!
The apostle Paul reminded the Galatians that they WERE “all children of God BY FAITH in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). Yet, these Calvinists still insist that regeneration must take place first (one needs to read Prof. James White’s “Potter’s Freedom” (see p. 84). This guy holds several theological degrees, yet is DUMB as they come on this subject.
The Calvinists insist on pushing this false doctrine off as TRUTH! One of their favorite sayings is: “No man can believe, unless he be begotten of God” (“Potter’s Freedom,” [P.F.] p. 183). Hey, I was still a sinner when, by faith, I repented of my sins. I didn’t get regenerated first!!
“BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31); “If thou shalt…believe in thine heart…thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9). We are unequivocally SAVED when we BELIEVE and REPENT. Faith precedes regeneration (see also Luke 8:12; Jn. 3:15; 5:24; 6:40; 6:47; Jn. 11:25; 20:31; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 1:21; Eph. 2:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Heb. 10:39 and others—ALL state that FAITH comes before salvation: “The Gospel…is the power of God unto SALVATION to every one that BELIEVETH” (Rom. 1:16). “In Christ I have begotten you through the Gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15); “begat He us with the Word of truth” (James 1:18); “Whosoever BELIEVETH that Jesus is the Christ is BORN of God” (1 Jn. 5:1).
THINK ABOUT IT. Even Prof. J. White asked: “If a person can have saving faith without the new birth, then what does the new birth accomplish?” (P.F., p. 185). There are not two births, only ONE. We are not regenerated BEFORE we believe; we are regenerated AFTER we believe.
This whole (false) concept that the sinner is totally depraved, and therefore, lacks the ability to believe the Gospel. Hey, I was certainly “depraved,” but in that state, when I heard the good news, I BELIEVED!!! What “ability” is really required to believe in and receive Christ? I’m waiting for an answer...don’t keep me waiting forever. “Eternal life,” dear ones, is a FREE GIFT (Rom. 6:23). We need no special ability to receive it, only a repentant heart and belief in the one who is offering it.
Paul wrote this to Timothy: “…from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Faith does not come as a result of being saved. Again, it is God (and the Holy Spirit) who draws us to the Son (Jn. 6:44). Again, “drawing” is not “saving.” Not a word about regeneration...only drawing.
Prof. J. White cheats a bit by telling us that the unregenerate man can understand the Gospel, but he cannot submit himself to it! What??? This is really STUPID! (see ibid, p. 101).
Actually, I can’t find ONE text that plainly states that the sinner is incapable of believing the Gospel.
Yet, there are literally millions of these folks out there that believe otherwise (the Reformed doctrine of the total depravity of men). It is very strange (queer) that the sinner can do the most out-of-this-worldly-thing, yet he or she cannot utter “Jesus save me!” Wow! that is unbelievable indeed.
We are not promised a NEW nature before we confess Jesus. Faith, dear ones, is the essential ingredient (see Heb. 11:6). Faith MUST PRECEDE coming to the Father.
CALVINISTS POINT us “dumb ones!” to John 8:43: “Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word” (...sounds exactly like the church folks of today). But what is the context? It was about the divine commission of Jesus (vv. 21-59), which the Jews refused to believe, not about getting saved (the Jews considered themselves to already be “saved”). Furthermore, the Calvinists paraphrase what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (full verse). The context here is that the sinner (natural man) does not have the Holy Spirit, therefore he or she, cannot completely understand the things of God. We expect this. But we’re not dealing with all the “Spiritual” things of God, only the Gospel—Jesus died for our sin, raised from the dead and ascended back into Heaven. This is not complicated.
Paul was writing about “a mystery” (v. 7), “hidden wisdom” (v. 7), about “which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (v. 7). True, salvation for both the Jew and Gentile was part of that mystery, but presenting the simple Gospel to a sinner cannot be so “far out” that it cannot be believed and received.
Inability or Cannot?
THE WORD “cannot” is used in Scripture rather than “inability” (...but the Calvinists use this non-Scriptural word. Why?) (Note: see Gen. 34:14; 44:22; Num. 22:18; Jud. 11:35; Isa. 59:1 etc. for the word “cannot” in the sense of moral restraint). Cannot, or unwillingness, is not an impossibility, but a CHOICE, dear ones. A CHOICE (see Joshua 24:19; Ps. 77:4; Jer. 24:3, 8; Mk. 11:33; Lk. 11:7; 14:20; 16:3; Heb. 9:5 etc.).
Paul, in 1 Cor. 2:10 is writing about “the deep things of God,” not merely about regeneration. The apostle Peter, in 2 Peter 3:16, follows up on this theme: “As also in all his (Paul’s) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Paul made the Gospel message plain; other things were deep (like unto the Old Testament Scriptures).
Old Testament People
ALL ONE has to do is look at the Old Testament Israelites: unregenerated, and ungodly! The Calvinists must admit that they (with a few exceptions who had God’s Spirit) were “totally depraved”…and WITHOUT being “regenerated” (and supernaturally given faith), they BELIEVED the Passover promise and left Egypt. Grant you, their unregenerated state soon showed itself in the wilderness, but their “salvation” depended upon BELIEVING the promise of deliverance—BELIEVING in the Promise Land by faith.
Please note: The LORD’s dealings with ancient Israel had zero to do with regeneration supernaturally. Please note: Deut. 10:12, 13 needs to be read. God required them to FEAR the LORD, WALK in all His ways, LOVE Him/SERVE Him with all their (UNREGENERATED) hearts, and with all their souls, and KEEP commandments/statutes, etc…all this was required BY GOD to an UNREGENERATED PEOPLE. If (since) the Old Testament is our shadow and type, we find not the slightest NEEDED SOVEREIGNLY REGENERATE action before they could submit/obey (at least sometimes).
Although the natural man (in his/her sinfulness) is dead towards God (Eph. 2:1), they are still able to believe and receive the Gospel without God’s aid.
WE (who take up God’s command) are commanded to preach the “Good News” to the LOST, not to the
regenerated. Are we wasting our time preaching to those who are mere cadavers, blind, and deaf?? If we’re to
count the sinner as a mere corpse that cannot respond, then we must admit they also cannot sin. So why preach