Amazing Grace – Part 2
Obviously, man‑in his natural ruined condition does not love God,‑fear God,‑or seek God. “…God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalms 10:4). In order to be delivered from this miserable condition, God must do all the‑saving. Man, left to himself,‑does not and cannot do anything to save himself. Man in his natural condition cannot accept Christ, start believing, have faith, repent or do anything else in terms of pursuing God. Preaching to‑man, in this condition, is‑useless (1 Corinthians 1:18 & 2:14). The only one who can help man in his naturally depraved condition is God.‑Remember, as a result of Adam’s sin we are truly wretched. According to the Bible we are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). If a person is dead spiritually they can no more respond to spiritual stimuli that a person who is dead physically can respond to natural stimuli. A dead person is not bothered by the touch of hot or cold objects because they are dead. If you scream in their ear there is no response because they are dead. In like manner a person who is dead spiritually cannot be motivated to seek after God because they are completely oblivious to the Spirit and spiritual things.
If someone loves God, fears God, or seeks after God that‑proves they are alive spiritually. It is too late to “save” someone when they are responsive to spiritual stimuli such as preaching or witnessing because they are already alive spiritually. The question is: How did they pass from spiritual death to spiritual life? The answer is, by God’s amazing grace. Since Jesus suffered the consequences of our sins two thousand years ago, God bestows his grace upon us sometime during our life in this world (Galatians 4:6). This is often referred to as being born again. Notice that this matter of being born again is not a decision someone makes but rather a‑work that God performs (Ephesians 2:1). People do not ask to be born again any more than a dead person asks to live. God doesn’t ask someone if they would like to be born again, he simply bestows spiritual life in a heart that is dead spiritually (John 3:8). When Jesus said, “Ye must be born again”, he was not instructing people to get born again. To the contrary, he was saying that unless someone is born of the spirit, they cannot comprehend spiritual things. Read John 3:1-8.
Once someone is alive spiritually, as a result of God’s amazing grace, they begin to manifest that they are alive. In the same way a newborn baby cries and hungers, a person who has been born of the Spirit begins to feel poor in spirit, mourn over their sins, and hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:3-6). It is at this point in their life that preaching the true gospel unto them can be of great benefit. The word gospel means, “good news” or “glad tidings”. The gospel is not instructions on how to be born again. It is a declaration of what Jesus did to save his people from their sins. The gospel informs the person who is hungering and thirsting after righteousness that Jesus is their righteousness. In other words, it lets them know that Jesus has already made things right between them and God by bearing their sins in His body on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:19 &‑1 Peter 2:24).‑We are then commanded to be baptized in the name of Jesus‑Christ as a profession of what we believe Jesus accomplished on the‑cross for us (Acts 2:38 & 1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is intended to be a picture of‑death, burial, and resurrection‑(Romans 6:3-11).‑It signifies what we believe Jesus did for us.
Obviously to any serious Bible reader, not everyone will be born of the Spirit (John 8:41-47 & Matthew 25:41). However, the Bible does teach that Jesus saved everyone the Father loved (Matthew 1:21 & John 6:38-39) and that the Spirit imparts spiritual life to all that Jesus saved (John 5:25 & Galatians 4:6). How comforting are the words of Mr. Newton’s hymn, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.” If you see yourself as a “wretch” that has been saved by God’s “amazing grace”, we think you will enjoy worshiping with us at the Fort Wayne Primitive Baptist Church.
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