GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

WEDNESDAY 09-21-2022

GBIBLE.ORG

 PDF: EPHESIANS0290-008NOTES

EPHESIANS - 0290-008

DIVINE DECREES, PART 5.

LAPSARIANISM; SIMPLE & LOGICAL MEANING.

EPH 1:1; HEB 2:5-10; GAL 6:15-16.

 

 

The Doctrine of Divine Decrees.

Point 1. Definition and Description.

 

And we noted that;

 

The decree of God refers to;

His eternal (He is always existed),

He is Holy = (perfect integrity),

Wise = the application of omniscience to creation)

 

Then the last half says;

 

and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others), relations, and determining the certainty of their future.

 

Point 2.  There are Five Characteristics of the Divine Decrees.

 

(1.) The decrees of God are all‑comprehensive which means that they are go together and are held together perfectly.

 

(2) The decrees of God are eternal which means that God knew all of the decrees at all times and He is not gaining in knowledge.

 

(3) The decrees of God are perfect because God is perfect which means that He can never do anything that is imperfect; DEU 32:4.

 

(4) The decrees of God are unchangeable and certain meaning that nothing can possibly occur to necessitate a change; MAL 3:6; HEB 13:8.

 

(5) The decrees of God are the free choice of God in eternity past because He is sovereign, which means He has the power and the authority to do whatever He pleases.

 

Point 3 is where we are right now which we covered half of it and have another half to complete, so we pick it up on;

 

Point 3. The logical order of the divine decrees known as lapsarianism.

 

Now, bear with me, I told you that this doctrine would sound technical at times but it is also really simple to understand if you listen carefully.

 

Let me give you a basic definition of Lapsarianism.

Lapsarianism refers to the doctrine that mankind is a fallen being and it also refers to the 5 elective decrees of eternity past.

 

It deals with the logical order of these 5 decrees, which were all simultaneous in the mind of God in eternity past.

 

Lapsarianism is a technical theological term that deals with logical order of the decrees in eternity past but doesn’t deal with any chronological order in time.

 

It refers to the doctrine that mankind is a fallen being.

 

Lapsarianism deals with the logical order of these 5 decrees, which were all simultaneous in the mind of God in eternity past.

 

Lapsarianism is a technical theological term that deals with logical order of the decrees in eternity past.

 

Remember not to let Satan blind you from the simplicity found in Christ.

 

2CO 11:3 But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

 

The Bible presents to us the principle of a pre-creation reality or what happened before creation, including before the angels were created.

 

Inasmuch as the decrees were simultaneously known by the omniscience of God, they were also simultaneously decreed by God.

 

Lapsarianism is a theological subject dealing with the logical order of the divine decrees.

 

This is the subject of the doctrine of lapsarianism, which is a practical and phenomenal doctrine.

Lapsarianism provides the logical environment as well as the logical order for the divine decrees or God ordaining every one before the foundation of the world.

 

Remember that all decrees occurred simultaneously in the mind of God.

 

The decrees are the logical order that God used in the creation of the universe and how God created the order of creation, step by step but the entire decree is one thought in the mind of God.

 

The principle of cause and effect is involved in human perception and in human understanding.

 

So, let's note the correct order of the elective decrees as it relates to the human race and the angelic race.

 

First of all;

 

  1. God decreed the creation of all mankind with free will in the status of perfection for two reasons: (1) To resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict, (2) to bring many sons into glory. 

 

As a part of the decrees dealing with bring many sons to glory, we read again HEB 2:5   For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.

 

HEB 2:6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him?

 

HEB 2:7 "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels;  Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands;

 

 

HEB 2:8  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. "For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

 

HEB 2:9 But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

HEB 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

 

 being brought into glory," means there is a Christian way of life, a way to glorify God after salvation that God has placed within man.

 

So, The first order of the events was the creation of man.

 

  1. God decreed to permit the fall of mankind through the function of man’s own determination and his own volition as the extension of the angelic conflict into human history. 

 

The “sovereignty of God” and the “free will of both angels and man” co-exist by the divine decrees.

 

Angels had a fall; therefore, man must have a fall to resolve the conflict by placing man in the same type of environment that Satan had to see if man can help God by becoming witnesses in the historical phase of the Angelic Conflict.

 

In fact, do you know that the angels had two major falls.

In eternity past, when Satan fell by promoting independence from God and leading one-third of the angels in His rebellion against God; ISA 14:12-14.

 

Here is when Satan was as the “anointed Messiah’s angel,” whose role was to guard God the throne of God, failed to do so.

 

His second major fall was when He led one-third of the angels in heaven to rebel against God; REV 12:4.

 

REV12:4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth.

 

This duplicates Satan's first fall and the subsequent existence of fallen angels.

 

In the correct order of the elective decrees as it relates to the human race and the angelic race is that;

 

  1. God decreed to provide eternal salvation for all mankind under the doctrine of unlimited atonement. 

 

God is fair and provides for all.

 

God doesn't arbitrarily assign creatures to Hell.

 

That’s blasphemous to even think that way.

 

By unlimited atonement is meant that all sins in human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged, so that Christ is the issue and not sins, 2Co 5:14-19; 1Ti 2:6, 4:10; Tit 2:11; Heb 2:9; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jo 2:2.

 

We read all these reverences on Sunday morning.

 

The fourth order of lapsarianism is;

 

  1. God decreed to leave the reprobate (those who reject Christ as Savior) to their just condemnation.

 

God decreed simultaneously in eternity past both election and predestination for believers only.

 

Under this point we have the decree for the historical election which includes the election of true Israel; ROM 9:6.

 

ROM 9:6   But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all (spiritual) Israel who are descended from Israel;

 

God chose the Jews to be a race but only those who believe in the Christ as their Messiah are the chosen ones because all Israel is not Israel.

 

There is a tremendous difference between spiritual Israel and natural Israel.

One speaks of the race the other speaks of the spiritual   Israel which Paul writes Gal 6:15-16.

 

GAL 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

 

GAL 6:16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

 

Who is he talking about?

 

He is talking about “the Israel of God” which refers to “spiritual Israel” because when the Jews become saved, they are spiritual Israel, just like this passage states.

 

So, The election of the humanity of Christ in the dispensation of the Hypostatic union, and the election of the Church-age believer as Royal Family of God was known to God in eternity past when the divine decrees were given.

Remember that election is not a violation of your free-will but that election is the expression of the sovereignty of God Who wills the highest and best for every believer in Jesus Christ; 2PE 1-2:12.

 

Now, this is the passage that we began concerning His calling and election as they relate to the divine decrees.

 

So, we will begin the passage again in 2PE 1:2, where the apostle Peter gives us some insight into this particular principle, when he writes;

 

2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

Now, grace is the policy of God toward man.

 

Grace is God’s right to deal with us on the basis of the cross which satisfied the Justice and righteousness of God which freed Him to operate in love through grace.

God is free to express His love to you and me through grace because of what his son accomplished on the cross, namely propitiation.

 

Propitiation is the work of Christ in salvation when the Father is satisfied with the sacrificial ministry of our Lord on the cross.

 

Propitiation is the work of Christ on the cross which deals with the integrity of God.

 

In propitiation, the justice of God judges our sins and the integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment.

 

Propitiation frees the justice of God to immediately give anyone who believes in Christ one‑half of divine integrity, which is the very righteousness of God; 2CO 5:21.

 

This is the basis payment on our salvation.

 

2CO 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

Therefore, this is an expression of God’s love to us and for us.

 

Grace always depends on the character and nature of God.

 

It depends on who and what God is, not you!

 

Grace is what God can do

 

2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

Notice the phrase “grace and peace be multiplied to you”

 

For the believer who resides in the PPOG, grace must be multiplied.

 

And this is because;

 

The believer cannot execute or fulfill the divine plan from his own ability, human energy, or talent.

 

TIT 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

 

The believer cannot execute or fulfill the divine plan through good works, or a pleasing, sweet, holy, personality, or any other system of self-righteousness, morality, or sacrifice.

 

So again, in 2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

The next phrase in the original is, “to you and peace.”

 

The correct word order of the translation from the original language should like this;

 

2PE 1:2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

peace is “eirene” in the Greek which means many things such as peace, blessing, and prosperity.

 

But the basic meaning of the word is prosperity.

 

Verse 2 should read; 2PE 1:2

 

2PE 1:2  Grace to you and prosperity be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

This prosperity is spiritual prosperity, social prosperity, mental prosperity, economic prosperity.

 

So, we have, grace to you and prosperity be multiplied”

 

 “be multiplied” = the aor-pass-optative of the verb plethuno which means to multiply, to increase,

 

The aorist tense refers to a specific point of time when the believer increases in grace and prosperity because of residence and momentum in the PPOG.

 

It refers to the imputation of fantastic blessings to the believer who is properly motivated and who has momentum.

 

When a believer spends the majority of his time in the PPOG, he becomes very teachable and therefore, grace and prosperity are increased.

 

Once a believer is teachable, he can metabolize doctrine on a consistent basis and this plan was put into effect in the divine decrees.

 

And with that metabolize doctrine momentum occurs in the Christian life.

 

However, along with these doctrines there are also passages that we must study in detail, like the one in 2Pe.

 

Here Peter begins to reveal how to have proper momentum directed toward God.

 

The spiritual believer has momentum NOT from "wanting to be envied" but from "loving God” 2CO 5:14.

 

2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ motivates us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

 

That is every member of the human race because;

All of us sinned when Adam sinned in the garden, and we became sinners because Adam passed down to us his OSN to every member of the human race.

 

And once you are motivated by personal love for God your desire for doctrine will increase.

 

Only metabolized doctrine will give you your very own personal problem-solving ability.

 

It is very important that you learn to solve your own problems and that you do not go outside of your own soul for counsel.

 

When you go outside of your own soul for counsel, you usually get bad advice.

 

The only way you can take responsibility for your own actions in a sensible way is to come to a place where you have metabolized doctrine to solve your own problems.

The "passive voice" of plethuno means the mature believer receives the action of the verb, ei. multiplication of grace and prosperity increasing.

 

And then we have a rather rare mood in the Greek which I told you on Sunday about the optative mood.

 

The optative mood presents the action as conceivable but not definite, it also expresses the mood of strong desire by God for the believer, but in this mood, it is not being fulfilled at the time it was written.

 

So 2PE 1:1 Grace to you and prosperity be multiplied to you

 

Now, next we have a prepositional phrase which describes how God reveals to us his perfect power and perfect plan.

 

“en plus the instrumental of epignosis” = through the instrument of metabolized doctrine.

Epignosis translated knowledge is metabolized doctrine.

 

So, it should read,

 

2PE 1:2 grace to you and peace be multiplied by means of the epignosis knowledge of the God and of Jesus our Lord.

 

In other words,

 

You may have gnosis knowledge but you cannot grow until that gnosis knowledge because epignosis knowledge, which is believing and living in divine wisdom.

 

Prin - Multiplication of grace and prosperity comes through residence, function and momentum in the PPOG and the momentum comes from metabolized doctrine.

 

 

Note that grace and prosperity are multiplied by means of the knowledge of God the Father and of Jesus our Lord, not by means of knowledge of ourselves and our weaknesses.

 

The entire verse should say;

 

2PE 1:2 Grace to you and prosperity be multiplied to you in the epignosis knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

Epignosis knowledge is wisdom from metabolized doctrine.

 

Next in 2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

 

This is a recognition of the power God the Father has provided for the believer to become a winner.

granted – perf-mid-part of the verb doreomai which means to give, to bestow graciously.

 

The perfect tense recognizes the completion of the action of the verb which means he has already given us everything that we need from his divine power.

 

And when did He grant us all these things, everything pertaining to life and godliness?

 

He did it in eternity past in the divine decrees.

 

And that is why when we get to the final verses in this section, we will read concerning the divine decrees;

 

2PE 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you (Election); for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

 

2PE 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

 

When Peter finishes this section, he will talk about two major doctrines, God’s calling and election.

 

The point is:

 

Every believer has been graciously given the power and the ability to receive fantastic things from God.

 

The middle voice of the verb “granted” emphasizes the subject of the sentence, which is the divine power of God, doing all the work, but we must give it our consent and allow the Lord to do it in our lives.

 

His divine power does all the work, while man receives all the benefits.

 

The participle denotes that there is a purpose for receiving divine power and that is to glorify God.

 

So, it says  “seeing that His divine power has been graciously given to us.”

 

Please notice what His divine power has given to us, everything pertaining to life and godliness.

 

The word life is “zoe” and it refers to one's s of existence in the natural realm.

 

It refers to possessing the “zoe life”

 

Zoe comes from zoology which means the function of life, here it refers to the supergrace life which is the objective of all doctrine.

 

Here’s where we go back to the principle of the exegesis or the original language;

There are three Greek words for life: bios, psuche, and zoe.

 

These three words have different meanings.

 

(1) Bios refers to the existence of life.

(2) Psuche refers to thinking of life.

(3) Zoe refers to the supernatural way of life.

 

The word living here is the word “zoe” which is the type of “life” our Lord revealed to us when He handled the temptations that He faced.

 

The zoe life!

 

What is it?

 

The objective of doctrine is to take the believer to the supergrace life.

The “zoe life” is God's fantastic grace provision which is far beyond even your most fervent prayers.

 

You have never prayed for anything that even comes close to the "zoe life” or the life that God has designed for you.

 

The “zoe life” came from the doctrine of the Hypostatic union when our Lord as a man operated in the Doctrine of Kenosis which says that our Lord denied himself of the proper function of His deity.

 

Kenosis was when our Lord revealed the uniqueness of His Hypostatic Union by living in the “zoe life.”

 

The "zoe life” is God's fantastic grace provision which is far beyond things for which you have asked from others.

 

You ask parents, people, friends, spouses, and children for things throughout your lifetime.

However;

 

The "zoe life” or the "life that God has designed for you" is far beyond anything for which you have ever asked from anyone.

 

EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

 

TLJC said;

 

JOH 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have [zoe] life, and might have {it} abundantly.

 

The "zoe life” is also God's fantastic grace provisions which are far beyond your fondest dreams.

 

No matter how wild and seemingly impossible your dreams may be;

 

God has provided something far greater than any thinking or imagination in any dream you have ever had.

 

And What God has provided for the mature believer in the "zoe life” staggers the imagination.

 

The "zoe life” is the direct result of fulfilling the life beyond gnosis or knowledge into epignosis.

 

Prin: It's one thing to know something, it's another to experience it.

 

The life beyond gnosis of Eph 3:19 is the means of entering the “zoe life” of Eph 3:20.

 

In EPH 3:18, Paul says that we:

EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

 

EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

 

The life beyond gnosis or knowledge is the means of executing the PPOG, and the "zoe life” is the result of executing the PPOG.

 

In the "zoe life,” God does infinitely more than two things stated in Eph 3:20.

 

  1. He does infinitely more than all we ask, whether the asking is toward God in prayer, or toward man by request.

 

Secondly:

 

  1. He does infinitely more than all we think or imagine, which is our personal desires, expectations, and our thoughts associated with happiness symbols.

 

Dreams can represent:

 

What we want to be!

What we want to have!

With whom we desire to associate!

 

To what we want to be promoted to.

And where applicable, with whom we desire to marry.

 

Dreams carry us to the farthest extent of our imagination.

 

Therefore, For every member of the Royal Family of God, there is a "zoe life” which goes beyond anything for which we can ask of anyone, whether God or man.

 

For every Church-age believer, as a member of the body of Christ, there is a life beyond our dreams and our imaginations.

 

It is a fantastic life.

 

A life that is in view in;

 

COL 3:3 For you have died and your life [zoe-life] has been hidden together with Christ by means of God.

 

This is the ultimate life, and it is what God expects for every believer to have.

 

And for this life, God has made complete and total provision.

 

The provisions come in three spiritual mechanics and the four spiritual skills.

The three spiritual skills:

 

  1. The filling of the Holy Spirit,
  2. The ten problem-solving devices,
  3. The execution of the PPOG.

 

The four spiritual mechanics are:

 

  1. The utilization of divine power
  2. The three spiritual skills
  3. The deployment of the 10 PSD.
  4. The execution of the three stages of spiritual adulthood; S.S.E.; S.A.; S.M.

 

Now, Dreams are often an escape from reality, but there is nothing but reality and indescribable blessing in the "zoe life”.

 

In other words,

The “zoe life” doesn't escape from reality, but it is fantastic, indescribable reality.

 

We cannot even have the imagination to dream or the power to ask for the things that God has prepared for us in the “zoe life.”

 

1Co 2:9 "However, as it stands written, `no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

 

"Those who love Him" here refers to mature believers.

 

ISA 55:8 "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways,' says the Lord."

 

This means God has done some thinking way beyond our thinking.

 

And His thinking becomes a reality for us once we enter the “zoe life.”

 

And the ways of God are way beyond our understanding.

 

But;

 

Once we reach the “zoe-life”, we begin to comprehend God's ways in a way which gives worship and gratitude and appreciation for God an entirely new meaning.

 

ISA 55:9 "`For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.'"

 

But those ways of God, though higher, are not beyond our grasp.

 

Because…..

In the “zoe-life”, we learn about those ways and experience some of those ways that are higher than our ways.

 

The point is that you cannot even begin to think, imagine, or dream of the fantastic things that God has provided for you in the “zoe life”.

 

This is all because our Lord chose to live in the Doctrine of Kenosis and gave us the power and the ability to do so.

 

In the life (zoe life) beyond gnosis which is epignosis or possessing the wisdom of God, the Church glorifies God through the attainment of spiritual maturity.

 

Think about it;

 

All of these fantastic principles of doctrine have been decreed by God in eternity past in the Divine Decrees.

In the “zoe life”, the church glorifies God through receiving their escrow blessings for time and in the eternal state.

 

And;

 

The poor attempt of the pastor to teach about your escrow blessings doesn't even begin to describe what God has for you personally in the “zoe life,” 1CO 2:9.

 

Your blessings for time are infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine.

 

They are life beyond our dreams.

 

Now, if you are normal, you want things in life.

 

People dream about what they want or desire in life.

 

These dreams are associated with happiness symbols.

 

And there is nothing wrong with having dreams providing that:

 

These dreams do not inhibit your relationship with God or and come between Him and your assigned personal sense of destiny.

 

People dream about what they want or desire in life.

 

And these dreams are associated with happiness symbols.

 

And this is where we will pick it up on Sunday morning.

 

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