Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bible Truth #129 - Ephesians 2:4-6

Ephesians 2:4-6
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
6  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Point #1 - ...because of His great love for us - not for everyone on the planet*, not for every human who ever lived, but because of His great love for US. Ephesians 1:1 makes it clear to whom Paul was writing - to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. He was not writing to everyone who lived in Ephesus. The verses immediately preceding those above (Ephesians 2:1-3) also make reference to two distinct groups of people - us and them, saved and lost, chosen and NOT, Elect and NOT. In many passages of Scripture when Paul writes “us,” too many Christians believe “we humans” when they should instead understand “we Christians.”

Point #2 - ...made us alive when we were dead. Obviously Paul is referring to our spiritual state. A spiritually dead man can make NO spiritual decision at all (because he’s dead) and nothing he decides or does in the flesh is pleasing to God, NOTHING. This is supported in many places elsewhere in the Bible which I’ve already pointed out (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 13:23; John 1:13; John 3:20; John 8:43; Romans 3:10-11; Romans 8:7-8; Romans 14:23). And this list of Scripture is NOT all inclusive.

Please, let’s combine #1 and #2 - Because of His love for us, God made us alive when we were dead. While we were dead we could do nothing spiritual. We couldn’t see, we couldn’t hear, we couldn’t understand - we couldn’t believe because believing is a spiritual act, something that is impossible by someone “in the flesh” ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE. Without any credible Biblical support, the Arminian simply assumes the lost man can do what God's Word says he can't.

Point #3 - it is by grace you have been saved. It is NOT because a man made a decision to accept Christ. The first point in the order of salvation is God choosing whom to save and placing them IN Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). It’s already done. All those placed in Christ at that point WILL be saved and all of those who were NOT placed in Christ haven’t got a snowball’s chance in the Lake of Fire of being saved, they have NO HOPE (1 Thessalonians 4:13, Ephesians 2:12). The second thing that happens is at a point in time of God’s choosing - He quickens our dead sprit and MAKES us believers (John 6:29). It has NOTHING to do with us, it wasn’t because we “accepted” Christ, it wasn’t because we believed, and it wasn’t because we repented - we haven’t done a thing to merit His choosing us. AFTER those two things, we responded because we were drawn (dragged - Strong’s #1670) to Jesus like a moth drawn to a light bulb. It is NOW our nature to love Him where before, when we were dead, it was our nature to hate Him (John 3:20). A man who’s nature has not been changed WILL NOT believe because he is unable to understand (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Point #4 - And God raised us up with Christ... God raised US up, not them. AND again, it’s past tense, it’s already done. How can someone whom God didn’t choose get himself raised up when it has already happened? This is another reason that we can’t lose our salvation. It’s already done!

We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life and we were placed in Him - NOTHING will, nor CAN anything, change that. If Christ died a substitutionary death on the cross (and He DID), how can anyone who wasn’t chosen, who wasn’t placed in Christ at the foundation of the world, how can any of those people get in Christ? There is no method in the Bible that provides this opportunity. People who were chosen were placed in Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world and people NOT chosen were NOT placed in Christ. That’s why when Christ was made alive, we also were made alive because we were IN HIM (Ephesians 2:5). And there were billions NOT placed in Him who literally don’t have a prayer of being saved, they were NOT made alive when Christ was resurrected.

With all due respect, if the Arminian doesn’t think that’s “fair” then he can renounce His salvation. He can tell God that he doesn’t like the way He designed salvation.

* I know the Arminian will claim God DOES love everyone on the planet because of their misunderstanding of John 3:16. As I’ve written in the past, Psalm 5:5 and 11:5 both cover whom God hates (Bible Truth #66). That is irreconcilable with their understanding of John 3:16.

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