Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 082111
The Doctrine of The Divine Decrees
. Part 9.
Another principle in the Doctrine of the Divine Decree deals with being a vessel for honorable use or one for dishonorable use. In order to do that we must understand to what extent is the human will free.
In a sense the human will is in bondage. It is bondage to the potter’s wheel or the rules that God has set up for us to be engaged in.
The Scripture teaches that there are restraints upon human volition and in reality we really do not have freedom as such, but what we have is a choice. We are given options to choose but not really freedom in the sense of God’s freedom.
God can do whatsoever He pleases. Our options are limited. For example, concerning unbelievers it is declared that they, being children of disobedience, are energized by Satan in EPH 2:2. They are not free from God and free from Satan, but they are in one of the two kingdoms.
EPH 2:1-2, And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
The word spirit is the noun pneumatos, (Greek) used as an adjective, and of course it has many meanings, here it refers to a spirit higher than man but lower than God.
It can also refer to demon influence, and in some cases even demon possession, it also refers to the disposition or influence that fills and governs the soul of anyone. The point is that it refers to the fact that the unbeliever is born in bondage to sin and the kingdom of darkness.
This is why in JOH 8:44, the Lord said to a group of unbelievers, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.”
We are also told that in COL 1:13 that we have been “delivered from the domain [kingdom] of darkness, and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
Then on the other hand we have such passages as the ones we noted in detail in PHI 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you an absolute good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
PHI 2:13, for it is God [the Holy Spirit] who is at work in you, both to will [give you motivation] and to work [He gives you the ability to execute] above and beyond His good pleasure.
In reality there is an external power and a system of domination contending for our soul. This means that the entire human race, saved and unsaved, believers and unbelievers, are not really free from a superior influence.
There are only two kingdoms to choose between or to live in:
1. The kingdom of God created by God.
2. The kingdom of darkness developed by Satan.
I say developed instead of create because Satan doesn’t have the ability to create. All Satan can do is take the flawless creation that God creates and pervert it into evil. So, in reality there is an outside power and system contending for your soul. The entire human race, saved and unsaved, believers and unbelievers, are not free from a superior influence.
The mystery is that fact that this influence, as potent as it is, is totally unrecognized within the realm of human experience. The human race thinks that they are free birds. However, the Bible teaches they are in are in cages.
1JO 5:19, We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;
The mystery is that fact that this influence, as potent as it is, is totally unrecognized by those in the cage. For example, the Jews living during our Lord’s day thought they were free. Not only were they in bondage to Roman dictatorship but they were also in bondage to their father Satan.
JOH 8:31-37, Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, {then} you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free?’” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s offspring; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.”
They were the natural seed of Abraham but not the spiritual seed.
There is a natural seed of Abraham and a spiritual seed of Abraham. The spiritual seed is in view in ROM 11:26, and thus all Israel will be saved;
Both seeds are mentioned in ROM 9:6b, For they are not all Israel [true spiritual seed] who are descended from Israel [natural seed];
Abraham’s son Isaac continued Abraham’s seed and two sons were born at the same time through one woman. One was just the natural seed of Abraham, the other was both the natural seed and spiritual seed.
This is why ROM 9:13 states Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
So our Lord goes on, JOH 8:38-39, “I speak the things which I have seen with {My} Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from {your} father [Satan].” They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.”
ROM 4:3, For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
JOH 8:40-41, “But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father. They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication [virgin birth]; we have one Father, {even} God. Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? {It is} because you cannot hear My word. You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
They were in bondage and they didn’t even know it. The Bible also teaches that God influences the unbeliever to some extent as well as Satan and his power influencing believers to some extent. The influence of God upon the unbeliever must be exercised if they are even going to turn to Him in saving faith.
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