Tuesday, November 27

But God........

Regular batteries are an illustration of human physical life and rechargeable batteries are an illustration of human spiritual life.

In the photo above, the regular batteries on the left are manufactured fully charged and can be used immediately after being purchased. With use and over time they will gradually become weaker and weaker and will eventually die. Regular batteries cannot be recharged. The rechargeable batteries on the right are designed so that they can be recharged many times. They cannot be used immediately after being purchased because they are dead and must be charged up with the charging unit. Unless an outside source (charging unit) charges them up they will never have life. Once they are fully charged they get weaker and weaker and must be recharged.

The physical life of human beings is similar to the life of the regular batteries. Human beings gradually get weaker and weaker as they age and eventually die. Likewise, the spiritual life of human beings is similar to the rechargeable batteries. Just as the dead rechargeable batteries must be charged in the battery charger to be made alive, spiritually dead men must be quickened by the intervention of God to be made spiritually alive. This is called regeneration or being born again. Man cannot regenerate or cause himself to be born again. It takes God to make a human spiritually alive just as it takes a battery charger to make a dead rechargeable battery alive. This is shown in Ephesians 2:4-5 where Paul says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—“ While we were dead in sin, God made us alive. Notice, the passage does not say man does something and then God acts. It says that God intervenes while we were dead in sin. God’s grace brings dead sinners to life just as the battery charger brings dead batteries to life.

Jesus in John 3:3 told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Notice, the passage does not say man sees and desires the kingdom of God and then he is born again. No, it says that he will not even be able to see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This passage affirms that God’s work of regeneration is radical and powerful. Notice, it does not say that someone who is in Christ may be or should be a new creation. It says they are totally changed and totally new. They have a new attitude, new desires, a new world-view and a new heart. In 1 Peter 1:3 Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” Notice, this passage does not say man must do something to be born again. It says that God caused it unilaterally. In John 6, Jesus says that no one can come to him unless granted by the Father. He states further that all that the Father gives him will come to him. When these two dots are connected it is apparent that all that are enabled to come do come. Since all (100%) do not come, the only conclusion is that God’s drawing power is irresistible and perfect in it’s power. Paul validated in Romans 8:30 that all that are called are justified.

The external call goes out by preachers, evangelists, and the Bible. All those who have had their spiritual battery charged to life by God have ears to hear and respond in faith. This is grace. It is the power of God that regenerates and gives a new heart to sinners that are dead in sin.

New Christians, that come to faith and are justified through the power of God’s grace, are then sanctified by the same grace. New Christians have spiritual life and Paul tells us in Romans 8 that this spiritual life will prevail. God through his grace recharges the spiritual life of Christians just like a battery charger recharges weak batteries. That is why the sanctification of a Christian may have peaks and valleys.

The power of God is at work in saving and justifying sinners by giving them spiritual life that enables them to willingly come to saving faith. This same power is also at work in sanctifying redeemed sinners. However, many are pushing a powerless gospel that leaves man alone in coming to faith in Christ. While they acknowledge that God tries to woo sinners, the ultimate power is left with man and not God. Man decides and God responds is the bottom line of this gospel. Since no effective power is available from God in justification, they conclude there is no effective power from God in sanctification. They claim that it is possible that a redeemed Christian may (in some cases) not be sanctified at all. Even if such a person renounces Jesus and becomes a life long atheist until death, he is saved due to his brief moment of faith.

Question: Do you believe God intervened in your life by giving you spiritual life or do you believe that your salvation was decided by you making the crucial decision in and of yourself?


Craver Vii said...

What?? Am I to be the first contestant? Very well then, here is my answer:

This battery was dead. The Father chose me, and by the quickening of the third person of the Trinity, I responded to Christ. But God definitely initiated the relationship, and it was not just a passive, open invitation.

The thing is, it took about fifteen years before I understood that. In other words, if you had asked me the same question ten years ago, I would have given a different (wrong) answer, even though I had been truly and genuinely saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

jazzycat said...

Good description. It probably fits a lot of Christians like you and me.