Bible Ballistics: Alert? Pt. 2, March 23, 2014 Vol.3 #19
Continuing our discussion from last week, ‘Is the belief in the ‘Trinity’ essential to salvation?’ Our questions deal with the relationship of the Holy Spirit to salvation. We must realize that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the ‘trinity’ and that He is a ‘person’ of the Godhead and has a distinct part in our salvation.
This principle is partially addressed in Romans 8:9, which we discussed last week, but is also seen in other references, some of which we’ll consider today. I hope these will help us see the work of the trinity in bringing men to salvation. God initiates salvation; He initiates this work in us—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 3:5-8, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
John 8:23-24, “ And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
And John 14:6, “ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The new birth comes via the Holy Spirit. When we are born of the Spirit, He comes to reside in our heart. We receive the New Covenant and become ‘sons of God’. Ponder these things.
Now the other part of our question. “What about the people who have never heard the gospel message?” “Will all people need to ‘be saved’ to go to heaven, or are they exempted because they have never heard?”
If we are saved only by Jesus, if there is only one way to the Father—that being Jesus, what about those who have never heard? To answer to this question is imperative, as it either makes us responsible to share the good news of the gospel of Christ, or it removes all obligation to evangelize the lost peoples of the world. It’s either the reason we send missionaries (or go ourselves when sent) throughout the world, or the reason that we remove ourselves from all obligation to share God’s truth. How, you might ask, does this work? Well, if there is an exemption for those who have ‘never heard’, then we are doing the world a disservice to spread the gospel, and cause them to incur the judgment of ‘having heard’. Follow with me as we look at Romans 1, the ultimate passage in regard to this question.
Romans 1:16-32, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
We see here the progression of sin. When men reject God, the spiral is never upward, but always downward into more and more sin. But God continues to speak to them through HIS creation (verses 19-20) when they reject His person and His Word. God also says here, that when men willfully reject His knowledge, He accommodates their desire to reject Him; but when men walk away there are generational consequences. They are responsible and so are we.
Romans 14:12, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
This initiator of salvation is still reaching out….
Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.“ God is faithful to reveal His truth to those who seek Him.
So, praise God for His grace and mercy, which He sends to the world, delivering the Good News of the Gospel, through His servants, to those who have been led into this spiral of sin & rejection. We are obliged to share (Matt 28:19-20) wherever God may lead us–because there are no ‘exemptions’. And we are obliged to support those called to places and ministries when and where we cannot go.
When God saves us and reveals His truth to us, we are responsible to reach the ‘unreached’– with our time, our talents and our resources as God leads us. To give sacrificially to missions—at home and abroad. We are responsible to share the Gospel wherever we are—first in our homes, then our jobs, neighborhoods, schools, sports venues, and every circle of influence that God opens to us. Reaching out to the countless masses that are rejecting God even now with those resources at our disposal.
I hope this will give food for thought, and that you will have a renewed urgency to share the truth of the Gospel. That you will see your responsibility to share this ‘ONLY WAY’—Jesus, because there are no exemptions. I invite you to spend some time this week thinking on Romans 1 and what it means to YOU.
If you have questions you can email them to me, message me on the Facebook page or Blog website anytime. I pray that this has been helpful, and may God lead you in all your ways.