Faith By Effectual Hearing
“Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth as crucified…” (Galatians 3:1b)
Christ has not been preached unless the cross has been preached. And the cross has not been preached unless particular redemption and imputation have been preached. You can say “blood, blood, blood”, but still not know Christ.
Most of those who did the bloody animal sacrifices did not receive Christ as crucified. The Arminians who say that Christ died for those who will perish do not believe in Christ and His precious blood.
To know Christ, you must know that God requires a righteousness that you cannot produce and that God in Christ for the elect brought in a righteousness that demands salvation for the elect. The law demands death, even the death of One who was never a sinner, but who was imputed with the sins of the elect. The death of Christ demands that the elect be justified.
There are only two kinds of people in the world -those whose works will be accepted because they were not working to get God’s blessing, and those whose works (and persons) will be condemned because their “good deeds” are wicked attempts to establish their own righteousness.
Those who thought they could do God some service also thought that killing Christ was a “good deed”. John 16:1-3. If you think you can begin, help or complete your righteousness by your good deeds, then you are as guilty and corrupt as those who killed Christ.
“Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law?” (3:2)
We receive the Spirit by the “hearing of faith”. We do not receive the Spirit by believing a lie. When Arminians tell lies about God and about sin and about righteousness, the Spirit does not use those lies to bring people to life. The Spirit uses the word of truth.
Ephesians 1:12: “in Him, you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…” (see also Romans 6:17, I Thess 2:12-13, II Thess 2:12-13; I Peter 1:22-23; James 1:18).
To judge by the flesh is to judge by some other standard To judge by the gospel is to examine if we and others agree with God’s testimony.
It is the Spirit who convicts us that God requires a righteousness that we cannot produce. John 16:8-13. It is the Spirit who takes away our confidence in the flesh so that we have NO confidence that we ever did or ever will do anything (even with God’s help) to make ourselves better than anybody else. Phil 3:3. The only reason we are different from others before God is that Christ died for us and not for others.
It is the Spirit who causes us to confess the true Christ and the true gospel. (I Cor 1:23-24) Unless we are called by the Spirit, we will consider Christ crucified to be foolishness.
I Cor 2:11-13: “No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received (antithesis) not the spirit of the world”
Not the spirit that says Christ died for everybody and now it depends on us but the Spirit who is from God, that we would know the things that have freely been given to us by God.
The righteousness is a free gift. If we say that the accepting of the free gift is something different from the free gift, and that this accepting is “MINE” and what I did (with God’s grace) to be saved, then we may CALL that “salvation by faith” . But what we call “faith” and “grace” is really still self-righteousness.
“I am a good chooser. And the reason for that is I am a good wanter. And the reason I want what’s right ( “of course sometimes i get a cold like everybody else and of course I sin but I don’t want to and don’t really choose to and God is gracious and will overlook it…”) is because IGod has given me a heart that is better than that of others…”
NO! We were not saved by being in the right place at the right time and reading the right book . If we are saved, it was a SUPERNATURAL WORK OF GOD. So no excuses like ” don’t blame me for not knowing the gospel when I got saved”. What the Spirit produces is repentance to see that our “mistakes about the gospel” were motivated by our wicked hearts that wanted to condition salvation on ourselves instead of TOTALLY on the righteousness established by Christ for the elect.
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (3:3)
The typical Calvinist thinks that people can begin as Christian in error and then (maybe as an option) MOVE TO THE TRUTH. But here we have a different case: people who begin with the truth (Paul’s’ preaching of the gospel, Romans 1:16-17-faith is no part of the righteousness, circumcision is no part of the righteousness), but who are now in danger of being bewitched by error.
Let me make two exhortations here:
1. Let us examine our calling. Is it really true that you can be saved by believing a lie? Is it really true that God the Spirit teaches the sheep that Jesus died for everybody but that they are themselves the condition of salvation? Is it really the Spirit that teaches people that Jesus waits for their decision?
2. For those of us who are convinced that we do believe the true gospel, why do we fellowship with and hear the preaching of those who do not know the gospel? Why do we think we will grow by listening to a false gospel? Why do we think that we can learn something from a false gospel about how to raise our children and love our wives? Is it because we have confidence in ourselves that WE would never be bewitched, that now we are too smart for the devil to trick? Do we worry about bad influences on our children, but have no concern for the influence of Arminians on ourselves?