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The Book of Galatians III 9/11/2016

We studied last week the verses Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul is reinvesting the Galatian church members with the knowledge they had received of him previously. This knowledge is encapsulated in what is known as and called, “The Gospel”. The Gospel consists of Jesus Christ, the actions He took while He lived on the earth, His death, burial, and His resurrection. These acts include those things He did and taught while He dwelt on earth after His resurrection, such as; Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
He continued, explaining why He needed to do this; Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

It is, then, from this same opening of their understanding that the gospel message has been transmitted from saved people to saved people, through the generations until even now. That is why and because of Christ’s promise, Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

We had studied the salvation experience of the believer, that while it is an individual, particular experience, there are certain things that must happen. The quickening of the spirit, (Eph 2:1) seeing the light, (2 Co 4:6) the immediate knowledge that the Lord is LORD, ( Acts 9:5) and a knowledge that the LORD has things for us to do. (Eph 2:10, Acts 9:6)
We have studied in depth previously that one thing comes first, and is first to all who are saved. That is, Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We then began to look at some of the many verses that speak of Christ being made manifest to the elect of God. Manifest is the Greek word fan-er-o’-o
From G5318; to render apparent (literally or figuratively): – appear, manifestly declare, (make) manifest (forth), shew (self). Romans 16:26 has a great bible definition of the word manifest,
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Then in second Timothy we see Christ manifested to bring salvation.

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2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Note also the proximity of the word gospel in these verses. Why is that important, one might ask? Because, Jesus, the word of God, the image of God, Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Because Jesus, God in the flesh, is how God is speaking today. And as the words of Jesus Christ were passed on to His disciples, so that same word is to be passed on today. Remember Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, then pair that with Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
And we have, then, the blueprint for the transmission of the great saving gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Another reason to make sure that the gospel we preach and teach is the one from the bible, not from the wishes and desires of man.

As we looked at the conversion experience of the Apostle Paul, we note an interesting thing. As with all who are saved, converted from the wrath of God into the light of God, this apostle had to learn the things that come with a call. In Paul’s case, his was a call to be an Apostle. This teaching then, came from the LORD Jesus Christ as is seen in the last part of Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. This brings up interesting points. What was he taught? How was it taught? How long did it take? Finally, what did this Apostle of Christ do with the teaching? Since the answer to each of these questions could take several weeks, let me just say that the rest of this letter to the Galatians details much of the answers to these, and so many more, questions. What he was taught was the gospel, as we had studied in 1 Co 15. The first things, as we saw, were the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and all the teaching surrounding these events. The secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc, follow as we gain wisdom from preachers and teachers who were in turn taught and so on. These things became Christian doctrine, of correct baptism, correct candidates for baptism, church membership, church doctrine, doctrines of grace, even to the point of teaching the Christian person how to live on the world but not in it. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but we, the saved elect of Christ, have the completed word of God available to us at every hand, with the indwelling Holy Spirit of God to guide and correct as we walk in faith.

How, then, was the Apostle taught these things? Primarily as he states, by revelation of Jesus Christ. What does that mean, we might ask? Let’s look and see in God’s completed word. apokalupsis
ap-ok-al’-oop-sis From G601; disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
But I thought the apocalypse was a terrible thing about the end of the world! Well, if you were of the world and not saved by God it would seem a terrible thing that the LORD brings upon you. For the elect, however, it will be a time of wonderment, of light, of love…

Apokalupsis is simply a revealing, an opening up, of sorts, of things to be. Look at what the Apostle John says in the opening verse of the Book of the Revelation. Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: this “revelation” is the same word that Paul uses in Gal 1:12c. But Jesus was dead when Paul claims to have received his revelation. What about that? Revelation is necessarily supernatural in aspect, something from beyond what humans would call normal communication. All true revelation comes from God. Though this verse in Deuteronomy is a prophecy of Christ’s coming (a revelation) the process remains true for all prophets of God.
Deu 18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Please note that this verse19 is still in effect also, that those who will not hearken to the name and words of Jesus Christ, that will be required of them at the Great White Throne judgment.

That may be well and good, one might say, but how does a person know that the prophets are true prophets?
Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
That there have been many self-proclaimed prophets in our day is well known to us. A quick look at wikipoedia will show hundreds of people claiming or being claimed to be messiah. More modern ones would be Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Susan and Tony Alamo, Jim Jones, even Charles Manson. Their claims have all proved false by the bible’s definition.

But Christ Jesus was the true Messiah, the true Son of God, the True God made Flesh. A beautiful description was given Jesus by Simeon at the temple. Look at
Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luk 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Luk 2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

The ideal of revelation centers upon the disclosure of truth by means of instruction concerning things that are unknown and is used in regard to events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all.; Thayers Greek-English Lexicon.

We are living in a time when very few people believe in revelation from God. So very many refuse to believe that the bible is God’s word, or Revelation, and that God used a few, very few, men to record God’s word for us. If they did believe they would practice biblical principals more readily. Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
But, the unbelief of people puts the truth of God’s word in the ready hands of His elect for, Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Then;
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

This, then, is the direct word of truth that the Apostle, Paul, seeks to reestablish in the hearts and minds of the Galatian church. This word is to have an impact on the hearer, and a direct impact on the elect. Today, we have to inspired, revealed, recorded word of God with us, in our hands. We have to ask ourselves daily, “What am I doing with this word that God has given me?” I say “me” here because this is a personal word, a particular word. It is important that we, in modern parlance, internalize God’s word. Do I read it every day? Do I meditate on it every day? Is God’s word the standard by which I live my life every day? Let’s understand something very basic. If the bible is God’s completed word to man, if it has a divine origin and was transmitted by divine means, shouldn’t we, then, make it our first priority to learn what He has to say? Our second priority, to obey what the word says? Well, Kenny, it says an awful lot. Can’t I just find a verse or two and try to memorize those?

I know that we in this church are not like that. But we all have to admit, as I admit, that there are times that it would just be simpler if the world would go away and leave us alone. But, this is where we live, temporarily. God has given instructions to His people on how to live here. Doing anything else is disobedience and is thus sin. The goal of the Christian from the quickening on is submission to Christ.

*****************************************9/18/2016

In our last study we had looked at the gospel as it had been taught to the Apostle Paul, that Jesus had taught him by revelation. We had seen that this was, truly, the proper way for an apostle to be taught. We saw that in this way, the truth and purity of Jesus’ message was kept. We had seen that Paul was, in a way, reinvesting the Galatian church members with this same truth, a truth that they had learned before. They had been visited by Judaizers, men who sought yo instill false teaching, that is religion, upon and into the minds of these saved church members. The exhortation to remember, remember, remember, the teaching of the truth is paramount to a spiritual walk in the LORD. The error of works based salvation allows and even encourages unsaved people entry into the church, which can only lead to more degrading error as the years go by.

Our lesson today begins with the Apostle Paul telling of who and what he was before his salvation, part of his witness to people the LORD sent him to. His conversion is detailed in Acts, chapter nine. We had studied last week how, that while everyone’s salvation is individual, particular, there are certain common elements that must take place. In a very real way we see the light. This is akin to the quickening of the spirit. We recognize the LORD as LORD. We know that we have been sinning in every thing that we did previous to salvation. And we ask the LORD, what must I do?.
Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Our lesson today, then.

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own
nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

We had ended our lesson last week with a simple statement, that “The goal of the Christian from the quickening on is submission to Christ.” I think that anyone who claims a faith walk can agree with that. What Paul is explaining in these following verses is that we need to know and understand the correct faith walk before we can actually walk in that faith. Was Paul a faithful man before he was saved by God? By many people’s understanding, yes he was. To the Jew, he was a most faithful servant, doing “exceedingly zealous” works for his belief. They would say that Paul lost the “true” faith when Jesus converted him. To a works based Christian, Paul would have had faith, just slightly misadjusted, and so Jesus had to give him some spiritual chiropracty to set him straight.

I’m not trying to make light of this. Faith is as much misunderstood as grace is. In the minds of most people, it is “my faith. I made it, I use it as I see fit.” they may not use those exact words but when push comes to shove, and a Christian tells them of real faith they will clam up, close up. “you can’t judge my faith, you can’t judge me”. And we, God bless us, we will argue with them and pour out our verses on them and beat them spiritually until one of us has to give up. Maybe this will help give meaning to Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. In our faith walk we must understand that 1) not everyone will be saved, 2) we can not save anyone, 3) God will save whom He chooses when He chooses.

If you remember, when Paul went to Damascus to arrest men and women of that way, he hadn’t been sent. It was his own idea, as is seen in Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
Damascus was in Syria, not Judea. Was it faith that drove him to this pass? Or was he under the false impression that zeal and works brought him closer to God?

Let’s look at the Apostle’s own quick view of his pre-salvation life. We can see that prior to his salvation, the man Paul was a very unusual person. In several other passages we see this; Act 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
Act 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
Act 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Act 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
Then we look at;
Act 26:1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
Act 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
Act 26:3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
Act 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
Act 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Then in our passages of study;
Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Paul is not bragging of his life in these passages, he is beginning his exposition of the gospel. This is a great teaching tool for us in our time. This book is truly a guide to our witness. As we study through this I will try to point out the important parts. This part that we are lookin at is important. Paul. In speaking to the various people and groups describes what he was before God saved his soul. He is identifying with his hearers. What this does, in a way, is preempt the hearers objection, “I am just as good as you!” (what they are really saying, in essence is, you are just as bad as me)

In verse 13 the Apostle recaps his religious efforts as a Jew. Remember that in the following verses, Paul describes the common values of people, common moralities, common ethics, and their common ethos. Paul reminds the Galatians that they knew of his past, of his persecution of the people of Christ, and of his deliberate attempts to eradicate this “scourge” of Christianity from the face of the earth. When we first meet Paul in the bible, we find him thus; Act 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The bible describes this Saul as a young man. The word used is for what was called a youth, someone up to about 40 years of age. It is very probable that Saul was about Jesus’ age, and had heard the LORD preach and teach, though the bible doesn’t say that. We had seen that Saul had been taught the way of the Pharisee, supposed to be a strict, law abiding group. Jesus points them out as hypocrites, though, requiring strict adherence in others while getting fat and rich themselves, adhering only in the presence of others. There were exceptions, I believe, Saul being one of them. I think he was sincere in his religious belief and as he self describes, was “ more exceedingly zealous” of most of his contemporaries. However, though, sincere he was, he was still sincerely wrong in belief.

The word conversation in this sense means a “way of life”. the Greek word here is anastrophē an-as-trof-ay’
From G390; behavior: – conversation.
Which comes from the word anastrepho
an-as-tref’-o
From G303 and G4762; to overturn; also to return; by implication to busy oneself, that is, remain, live: – abide, behave self, have conversation, live, overthrow, pass, return, be used.
Part of Paul’s conversation, his way of life, was to persecute Christians. In this letter he is making sure that the Galatians and we know that it was personal, purposeful. We are also to be sure that in particular it means that he lived by the interpretation of the Mosaic Law of the Jewish leaders of his day before he was saved by God’s grace. Spiritually this belief system was an abnormal belief for two reasons.
1) As we have previously seen, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and others, twisted the law to their own purposes and benefit, and had substituted much of their own teachings for God’s actual standard of judgment and righteousness. Saul, as an elect of God not yet saved and zealous for God, would have felt the twinge of cynicism of their acts.
2) Jesus had died on the cross, He had fulfilled the ceremonial law by His sacrifice, and the SPS law group were not and did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah. If you remember from the study of the Book of MalachI God had cursed the priests and priest class. He turned their blessing into cursing. Think of the sacrifices the people of Judea continued to bring, think of the Day of Atonement. All these had been dead sacrifices, putrid to God’s nostrils since that time. Only a truly blessed of GOD person could have made a correct sacrifice. Here we can think of Joseph and Mary offering the two doves to redeem Jesus. Both of these people had been directly impacted by the word of God, and were thus able to make a sacrifice.
It was from this post-Malachi legal system, religion, that Saul, the elect but yet unsaved man had come from.

Saul Paul then states that he persecuted the church “beyond measure, and wasted it.” He wasn’t simply running around slapping injunctions against prayer. He wasn’t running to his local HOA complaining that those Christians are meeting in a home on my block. Paul had a vendetta, seemingly, against this usurper of the law, Christ, and His followers. The phrase, “beyond measure” is from two words, kata kat-ah’ Kata is a word that intensifies a word that it is paired with, similar to the French ne plus ultra, no more beyond.
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined): – about, according as (to), after, against, (when they were) X alone, among, and, X apart, (even, like) as (concerning, pertaining to, touching), X aside, at, before, beyond, by, to the charge of, [charita-] bly, concerning, + covered, [dai-] ly, down, every, (+ far more) exceeding, X more excellent, for, from . . . to, godly, in (-asmuch, divers, every, -to, respect of), . . . by, after the manner of, + by any means, beyond (out of) measure, X mightily, more, X natural, of (up-) on (X part), out (of every), over against, (+ your) X own, + particularly, so, through (-oughout, -oughout every), thus, (un-) to (-gether, -ward), X uttermost, where (-by), with. In composition it retains many of these applications, and frequently denotes opposition, distribution or intensity.
And; huperbolē hoop-er-bol-ay’
From G5235; a throwing beyond others, that is, (figuratively) supereminence; adverbially (with G1519 or G2596) pre-eminently: – abundance, (far more) exceeding, excellency, more excellent, beyond (out of) measure.
This is the word we get the English hyperbole from. Hyperbole is a gross exaggeration, deliberate and obvious, used for effect. “I told you a million times” is a example.

The Apostle is telling this Galatian church, as us by extension, that in his zeal he went far beyond any reasonable persecution, up to and including round-ups and murder, to clean up what he felt to be a scourge against the Law. He wasn’t the first person to use religion and or public opinion to tyrannize a group of people. History is rife with examples. But, and this is important, he may well be the only one who admitted that what he did was not only wrong but went against the very teaching of the God he was trying to “protect”. And then there is this. Our God is the only “god” that can take a weakness in us, His people, and turn that to His strength. The very zeal that, believe it or not, God had instilled in this man Saul, who became in the Christian man Paul, this very zeal became an ability to go beyond himself in his called work as the Apostle to the Gentiles. Only God can do that.

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Last week we looked at the life of Saul before he had been saved. He self describes in his testimony of the life he led, his “conversation as a man of the Jewish nation, as a practitioner of the law as interpreted by the Pharisees, of how with zeal he persecuted the church that Jesus started beyond measure, far above what a “normal person would have done. In these passages we see a template, as it were, for anyone to use in their personal testimony. What did God save me from. What did he save me to. We studied, briefly, the salvation experience, that it is particular to the individual being saved and that there are some common elements involved in God’s process.

In this lesson, then, we will begin to study the next verses, 15 and 16, how that it is in God’s own sovereignty that He saves some, but not all. But for now, let’s finish
Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

As part of his explanation to the members of the Galatian church, Paul can say, and does, that this system of religion that those who are bringing to them ( Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. ) this system is the very one he had come from, was saved out of, and had preached to them before. He had very personal knowledge of Judaism. He knew the pros and the cons, that the law was a schoolmaster bringing the elect to Christ. (Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.) He knew that the law defined and convinced all people of their personal sin, (Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. ) Paul knew the law very well. He had been trained in it, he had steeped himself in it, and as we have seen, was exceedingly zealous of the traditions of the law that had been added. But beyond that he knew the grace of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. He knew the chains of sin and the law, as now he knew the freedom of the LORD. Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
All this, then, because the flesh would have us all be in bondage again, the state of being it knows naturally.

Being zealous for the LORD, though, was not his idea. A person can be a seeker of the truth of God and still have to wait to find it. Later in the lesson we will study in depth the next verses which say, Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
For now let’s look at this word, this idea, zealous. The Greek root of this word is zeo, dzeh’-o
A primary verb; to be hot (boil, of liquids; or glow, of solids), that is, (figuratively) be fervid (earnest): – be fervent.
This then becomes that other word we know through zēlos
dzay’-los properly heat, that is, (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively of God], or an enemy, malice): – emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal. The noun of this becomes zealote, zealous, and the capitalized noun one of the major sects of Israel in Jesus’ time. Paul was saying that in his religion he was boiling hot, glowing red with fervor for the law. But as we had seen last week this zeal was worked as a smith works iron, that is God had given the basic elements of zeal, but until the LORD saved his soul, all he did, however zealously, was done to gain the favor of the Lord and the rulers of Israel. Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Paul hadn’t yet gained the Spirit given meaning of Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
This verse, this prophecy, cannot be understood by the unsaved. It is only gained at the hand of Christ. But, there are pre-leanings, I believe, from the LORD upon those whom He will save. In my own case the LORD made me an avid reader and writer, one who likes words, their usage and meanings. I can seem, perhaps, a tad haphazard to those of a more mathematic or scientific bent, but it works for me. It is because of my reading skills, guided by the Holy Spirit, that I am able to bring a semblance of a lesson to you here. The LORD gave me the ability to sing and to make music. I feel, now, that I must share that ability with others. Paul, the Apostle, was gifted with zeal. And this zeal had to be immense because, as the Lord tells Ananias of Damascus, Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
If you had no zeal, no ardor, nor fire, would you do the things Paul did to fulfil Jesus works? Well, he was chosen, he was blessed. Certainly, but look at 2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

It took the power of God in the man Paul to get through this stuff and still have the zeal to do God’s work. The twelve had Jerusalem and Judea to minister in, until they were scattered. Zealous Paul had the rest of the world. He took three missionary journeys around Greece and Asia. Even his journey to Rome under captivity could be said to have a missionary element as he preached and taught, wrote letters, corrected errors while there. His zeal, such a weakness before his salvation, became a driving force from God to do the many works of Christ, to suffer the great things for Christ’s name’s sake.

Knowing, then, from whence this man Paul was saved he turns to his conversion testimony and the time of his salvation.
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
In these verses the Apostle speaks of separation and calling. We have to be careful when using the word convert and it’s conjugations. The bible does speak of being converted in both the Old and New Testaments. Look at Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then;
Jas 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Notice that this word is a verb in the bible. epistrephō ep-ee-stref’-o
From G1909 and G4762; to revert (literally, figuratively or morally): – come (go) again, convert, (re-) turn (about, again).
It is a new word construct to use it as a noun, as in a person being a convert.
Conversion is used once in Act 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
And again this usage is a verb. The word converted is used nine times, first in Psa 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
And finally in Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Which is a repeat of the verses in Isaiah 6:9-10, which is typically the reference with this word, positively or negatively.
Even the verse in James, which seems to point to the speaker as the agent of conversion, had God as sovereign in the action. God is the one that allows one to hear, see, and understand. James is speaking of saved people pointing out and assisting in the repentance of sin in another saved persons life, God giving ability to both. So, while it is alright to use the word conversion when speaking of someone being saved, I think it more accurate to use “saved” or “called”. A result of salvation is separation.

It pleased God to separate Paul. To be separated is a hallmark of salvation, a result of salvation. aphorizō af-or-id’-zo
From G575 and G3724; to set off by boundary, that is, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.: – divide, separate, sever.
But, we might ask, if wasn’t saved until he was 30 or 40 years old, then how was he separated from before he was born? Well, it is that thing we always talk about and marvel at while we are on this earth. In God’s economy the action of calling, saving, and glorifying are already completed. In his letter to the Romans in chapter 8, the Apostle speaks of this clearly. Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Foreknowledge, of course, is knowledge of something before it is. Some people don’t like this thought because it takes away their ability to choose, to be of indispensable assistance to God in their own salvation. Other people don’t like it because they want God to still be creating things, themselves particularly, and their kids and grand kids. People have sayings about this. “God broke the mold when He made you.” Song are written about it. “On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.” But, the bible declares that when God had finished the Creation after six days, it is truth. Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

What happens, instead, is that things come to be, events happen, in the “fulness of time.” There is no domino effect, as all things were ordered before the world began, in God’s eyes these are already done. They happen as they were created to happen and nothing can change that. This is what Paul means when he said,
Gal 1:15a But when it pleased God… To believe in a sovereign God necessitates that God is sovereign in all things. All things. It is kind of funny, in a sad way, that the Arminians, if asked, will say that they believe in God’s sovereignty. Over what? All things. Over people? Yes. Over the wicked? Certainly. Over His elect? Whoa! Wait a minute. I have a choice! Then God is sovereign over all things, EXCEPT, his own people? Yes, we must have a choice. Then God is not sovereign, is He?
Enough of that.

I believe that God is sovereign in all things, including His elect. Let’s look again at . aphorizō af-or-id’-zo
From G575 and G3724; to set off by boundary, that is, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.: – divide, separate, sever.
To set off by a boundary. Pastor points out that this is the same, in essence, as what the adversaries complaint about God’s relationship with Job. God had made a boundary around Job, a separation, if you will. śûk sook
A primitive root; to entwine, that is, shut in (for formation, protection or restraint): – fence. (make an) hedge (up).

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
You have job marked off, fenced away from the world, as it were.

*****************************************************************************10/2/2016

Last weeks lesson ended the study of verses 13 and 14. We had studied that he knew the law and was thus able to argue against the old system of works and for the new system of grace. We saw how his zeal, a weakness under the law, was made God’s strength in him in Christ, granting strength to work the tasks preordained by God from the foundation of the world. (Eph 2:10) this Godly strength, working in Paul, allowed the Apostle to make three missionary journeys, to overcome in his body the deprivations from being whipped, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked, to overcome mentally the abuses from the Jews and Gentiles who opposed him in his Christianity, and to make sure of the churches over which he was a God called Overseer.

We began our study into verses 15 and 16, and looked at separation from a biblical point of view. We saw that separation from this world is an Old and New Testament ideal of God, that it is God who separates, builds a hedge around, fences in, His elect Person. Job was separated, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, all those who are listed in Hebrews chapter 11 were separated from the world, spiritually, as are all those whom God has elected to salvation after Jesus. Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
This is what our separation is, as Jesus describes it here in these verses. Which brings us, then, to this weeks lesson, beginning with God’s sovereignty in separating His elect from the world.
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Sovereignty. Sovereignty tells us that Paul had no “choice” in the matter of his salvation and calling. What did happen is that it had “pleased God” to create this to be. It certainly didn’t please Saul, who thought in his own mind that his works were correct and perfect in the law. The “but” is used to separate the former action from the latter, in this case a pre to post salvation position. The apostle does use several personal pronouns, me and my, but we are to see clearly that God was acting in his life, directing and completing this part of his life.

We are also to recognize the implied “fulness of time” in this action. The phrase “when it pleased God” lets us know that while these actions, as seen from God’s perspective, are already done, there is a timed aspect to we who live in space and time. I’ll point us again to Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
These verses tell us that creation was finished, it had ended. Mathematics, as slow as it is to catch up, tells us that this is true. The first law of thermodynamics demonstrates that in a closed system (and our universe, as big as it is, is a closed system) energy is neither created nor destroyed. Einstein’s equation, E+Mc2 shows that matter and energy are just 2 states of being of the same thing, energy. This is another way of saying that the bible is right, creation has ended. When you throw in time, then, the second law kicks in, that entropy increases in a closed system. Entropy is that the excited state of stuff, energy, will run down slowing and cooling into matter. The cooler it gets the quicker entropy occurs. As energy and matter slow to a point the entropy of a system then approaches a constant value, absolute zero, where there is no movement at all in the system. This would be the eventual end if God allowed. But, what these scientists and mathematicians overlook is the infinite mind of God outside of this closed system, our universe, interceding at a soon to be point in time, the “fulness of time”, as Peter shows in 2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

So we see that time and God’s pleasure are in His hands only. The action of His pleasure was Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. This separating and calling speaks of what we term predestination. proorizō pro-or-id’-zo
From G4253 and G3724; to limit in advance, that is, (figuratively) predetermine: – determine before, ordain, predestinate. I’m not sure if you remember from the lesson last week that we looked at separation, . aphorizō af-or-id’-zo
From G575 and G3724; to set off by boundary, that is, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.: – divide, separate, sever. These words both come from the same root, horizō hor-id’-zo
From G3725; to mark out or bound (“horizon”), that is, (figuratively) to appoint, decree, specify: – declare, determine, limit, ordain.
This is important because it shows the unity of the scripture in election, predestination, and glorification. Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Then jump to;
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
We can also look to Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

If we look at the phrase, “that He Might” implicit in these verses, we see that it is God’s pleasure to have done these things. A very short study through the New Testament shows many, many places where this phrase is used.
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
There are so many more. All of these reference back in some way to the Christian’s election, predestination (to adoption) and glorification.

Just a quick note regarding the Apostle being “separated from his mother’s womb”. this doesn’t mean that God caused the infant Saul to be born. This is a spiritual separation, an operation performed by God. We can view this separation as being in the fulness of time, but the election of Paul was from before the foundation of the world.

In all these actions we see the sovereignty of God. Each step of God’s people is ordered by the LORD. 2Sa 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
2Sa 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
2Sa 23:4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
2Sa 23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
David also said this in Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
This order is another way of speaking of the sovereignty of God. In the verse in 2Samuel the Hebrew word used is ‛ârak aw-rak’
A primitive root; to set in a row, that is, arrange, put in order (in a very wide variety of applications): – put (set) (the battle, self) in array, compare, direct, equal, esteem, estimate, expert [in war], furnish, handle, join [battle], ordain, (lay, put, reckon up, set) (in) order, prepare, tax, value.
Imagine a chess board and the pawns and pieces. If we just throw the pieces on the board with nor order there would only be chaos. The second order, then, the one in Psalms speaks of the ordering that occurs after the first. It explains the moves of the pieces and then the moving of the pieces. God doesn’t just set pieces on the board of life, He moves them in a ordered fashion to the conclusion that He desires.

kûn koon
A primitive root; properly to be erect (that is, stand perpendicular);. hence (causatively) to set up, in a great variety of applications, whether literal (establish, fix, prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous): – certain (-ty), confirm, direct, faithfulness, fashion, fasten, firm, be fitted, be fixed, frame, be meet, ordain, order, perfect, (make) preparation, prepare (self), provide, make provision, (be, make) ready, right, set (aright, fast, forth), be stable, (e-) stablish, stand, tarry, X very deed.

One of the moves that God made in Paul’s life then, was separation. Another move, not necessarily the next, was Paul’s calling. We should be familiar with the idea of God’s calling from other lessons and sermons. There are several usages that are implied by this word. In our verse 15 of Galatians the word used is
kaleō
kal-eh’-o
Akin to the base of G2753; to “call” (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): – bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]).
The meaning from scripture is that God the Father did the calling, bidding Paul to the work God had prepared him for and prepared for him to do. The other word used for this is calling, klēsis klay’-sis
From a shorter form of G2564; an invitation (figuratively): – calling.
From this calling of God comes the Spiritual calls that we are familiar with. First, the external call or what might be termed the general call.

This general, or external call, is what most believing people today will say is a saving call. That everybody who hears this call is saved. This is the call that God sends by preachers, teachers, friends, and most especially, in His word, the bible. John 3:16 is a great example of this type of call, Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
As is Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
These verses can be pair for consideration in learning what this type of call is. Like, what is a call? John 3:16 is a call. Who are chosen? Whosoever believeth is chosen. Don’t let any argue that God so loved the world that He saved everyone. Neither of these verses allow for that. Something I will point out is that John 3:14 speaks of the brass serpent that Moses was commanded to make and lift up in the wilderness. Jesus is giving us a context for His death on the cross. Let’s look at that a little closer. In Num 21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Num 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Here in verse 19 we see something. That is, it wasn’t just because Moses made and raised up that serpent of brass, people’s lives were saved. Rather the people had to look upon the brass serpent. Why would a person look, one might ask? Because he or she believed. A lot of people died before the serpent was made. We can infer that lots died after, also, because if the serpent bit, when the person looked. Well, God is a loving God. Why would he allow that some would look and that others could not? Num 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

*********************************************************10/9/2016

We studied last week about the good pleasure of God and the different ways that concept is written in the word. It speaks of God’s will, His decree, of His foreknowledge, and of foreordination. We know from our study that God finished His work at the end of the sixth day and from the seventh day of creation on He rests from that work. But we also know that from our perspective the future is not yet. God declares several times that Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: His pleasure, then, has already been decreed from the foundation of the world and He allows men to see His handiwork coming to be through the medium of time. To us it appears that God is working something new for Him, but rather it is only new to us, new to mankind, as His will comes in the fulness of time. Look at these verses with me.

Isa 61:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Our task as believers is to ferret out the when of this action. The word “will” in the English language has a future tense when used as a verb. This everlasting covenant is Jesus, whose everlasting covenant with the elect was made before the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Look with me now to;
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Again the time tenses in this verse seem to point to a near past, the beginning of the work in me, to a future time, until the day of Jesus Christ.

This next verse explains this very well, I believe, showing that this is a work of God, His will, for His glory and purpose.
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
That this is God the Father doing the work is plain in the previous verse, Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
God created all things to bring glory to Himself, and Himself alone. This is found in the Old Testament as well as in the New.
Psa 19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Eze 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
Joh 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Well, this is a study that could go on for weeks, or as Solomon said, Ecc 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Give God the Glory, and live the life He chose for you.

We ended our study last week by beginning to look at the different usages of the calls that the Lord makes. The first is a calling with reference to the external call. Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen. This references that the call goes out to the multitude, but only the elect of God respond.
Second, the message that falls upon the outer ear is not sufficient to save the life and soul of a lost sinner. It takes much more that that. Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which takes us to;

The next usage is an internal, or particular call to those whom He has elected to save. This call is heard because God has opened the inner. Look at Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. This call is an imparting of spiritual life to the inner heart by God’s Holy Spirit. 1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
The fourth usage is the whole work of God in salvation or in conversion is sometimes seen as in 1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: also in Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. These usages seem to parallel the what is meant by sanctification, how we walk through this life after our salvation.
The fifth usage of a call is being called into the service of the LORD, as in Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Each of these usages can be further broken down into three distinct calls, 1) the general call, 2) the particular call, and 3) the service call. We have touched on these but need a closer look to solidify in our selves, our minds, what these are and how God uses them. A type of general call is found in Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
This call is directed towards every person and can be made by preachers, teachers, family members, friends, and the bible. It does not even need to be made by a saved person. And it can be shown in the bible that even creation itself witnesses of God’s majesty and sovereignty. Look at Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
But what Jesus spake is still a direct commandment from God. This call will not be heeded by most who hear it. Similar to what Jesus speaks of in Mat 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Mat 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
As was pointed out last week, a great deal of talk has sprung up in some Christian circles that because of the cross, Jesus died to save all people. There will be none who go to the lake of fire. But the bible is clear that not everyone who hears the gospel will be saved, and just as clear that those have died and will die without election to salvation will, in fact, go to the lake of fire. Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The second call, the effectual, or particular, call is what Christians know as the call to salvation. See Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
And we see that salvation is to those who are called into that salvation.
Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are just a very few of the verses that speak of this particular call to salvation. This call is, of course for those who Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The third call is the call to service. This call is made to those whom God has made preachers and teachers. This, too, is a particular call. In Paul’s letters, in Roman’s and 1 Corinthians, he says that he was called to be an apostle. In his following letters he says he is an apostle by the will of God.
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
Then look to Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Other ways to see this call to service as are in the bible can be seen in 1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
And in Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
God’s purpose in having these service called pastors is found in the following verses of Ephesians chapter four.
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
As we have been studying in our Wednesday evening service, we know that these service called men were not called for any special human reason. As Pastor has pointed out, our human wisdom gets in the way of our spiritual walk, our strength, also, deludes us, and any thought of nobility for the work is immediately quashed BY the work. It is explained to us in 2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
So we see that pride of mind is not ours to take, nor is strength of body, and certainly personal beauty cannot win souls for the LORD. It is only the LORD, working in weak vessels of clay, that He, and He alone, can get glory by His calling of the saints.

*******************************************************10/16/2016

Our lesson last week was about the different calls the LORD makes towards His people. We had started by looking at the usages of the word, that is, the implications inherent in the scripture. The external call is the usage in Matthew 22:14, Many are called, but few are chosen. It can also be named the call to culpability as it goes out to people in general. Most do not “hear” this call, being absorbed in their own selfish existence. The second usage is that this external call is not sufficient to save the sinner, that it takes more than that. This is described in Tit 3:5a,b Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Some work such works that in a Christian would be true works of righteousness, but to the unsaved are sin. God doesn’t allow for man to have part or parcel in salvation, it is from Him and Him alone, that 1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. The word says that this flesh we wear is corrupt, it is rotten. 1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Having been a chef for twenty years I know, personally, that rotten meat cannot become not rotten. There is no thing that any man can do to change that. It takes a true miracle of God, and He will do it by a complete change. The verse which precedes this one states, 1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The external call is, therefore, not sufficient to save.

The third usage is the efficient or efficacious call. Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
This is the saving call, sent to and heard by the elect of God. This is the quickening of the Spirit, the making alive those who were once dead in trespasses and sins. The giving of light to those who were blinded (2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.)

The fourth usage of the word call is seen in 1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
This call is used to show the whole work of God in the salvation of the elect. It is akin to the word “sanctification”, the working out of our salvation in our daily Christian walk. Colossians chapter three deals with this subject and should be read at least occasionally. The fifth usage is seen as the call to service. Hebrews 5:4 is representative of this type of call, stating; Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Just as the efficient call is to few, so this service call is to fewer still. Not every Christian is called to pastor one of Christ’s churches. But, every Christian is called to witness to those around him or her, to those God puts in our path. Family, friends, acquaintances, God will let us know when we should speak. But the responsibility is not as great. 1cor 12:18,28

One other type of call I want to look at, the call to place. This is a secondary call that God makes to His saved saints. Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Just as God does the saving, He does the placing. I don’t think any one in SBC is here by personal choice. Most people going to church today want their programs, children’s, senior’s, married’s, single’s, etc. they want coffee and donuts, they want the praise band, anything that can take away from the purpose of church, studying the word of God. I have been in hour long Sunday school’s where we got our coffee and donuts first, then had announcements, then prayer requests, then prayer, then refills, then a lesson that might last 20 minutes. We can’t learn much in that 20 minutes because we are thinking of all that other stuff that came before. By the time you are settled enough to actually learn something it’s over. And you move on the church service where it starts again, except the only coffee and donuts there are what have been brought in from S.s. After the announcements, prayer, songs, specials, there isn’t much time left for preaching. Then prayer, alter call, prayer. It’s lollipops instead of meat. We don’t get lollipops here. Thank God.

Another of this type of call, a call to place is seen in Act 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Just as God places His called saints to a church, He will call saved people to do His work in a place other than where we are. Pastor Hiebert has been called from his home to do missionary work in Barbados, Then to do mission work in America, finally here in SBC. It was just a few short years ago that we organized into a local church rather than being still a mission.

We see, then, that God’s call of whatever sort, are important to His will on this earth. It is through the work that the LORD has given us that a part of His will is done. Firstly, that we be obedient to His will and purpose for our lives Eph 2:10, Rom 10:17. None are exempt from doing the work that the LORD called us to do for this is how we, the Christian, are rewarded. Look at 1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
So we must ask ourselves, what kind of salvation do I want? A rewarded salvation or a fiery salvation? Each of us has to answer that question for ourselves, since no other person can be saved for you, and no other person can share his or her reward. Just as salvation is particular so to is the reward. Your call is your own to work out. Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Oh look! There it is again, God’s purpose and God’s will working IN you for His good pleasure.

We know that salvation is by grace through faith, by a divine call from God, who sends His Holy Spirit to quicken our sin dead souls, shining the light of truth from us. Then and only then are His elect able to understand the depravity from which they have been lifted and can cry out to God in repentance. It is then that we understand that God had a purpose in saving us, which brings us to;

Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
As the apostle continues his salvation testimony he speaks of God’s purpose for himself, firstly a purpose common to all who believe, “To reveal his Son in me…”
Let’s look at two convergent verses. Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Then;
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It is this light shining out of the elect person’s heart the is the revelation of Christ in the believer. Again, we are to see that the light shines from, out of, particular people, those who are saved. And this lighting is from God. This is another way of saying Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
The bible doesn’t ever say that God quickened everyone when Christ died, nor at Pentecost, nor does it say that He will quicken everyone at their death or the rapture or before going into the new heaven and new earth. What it does say, however, is that some, who He elected before the foundation of the world, will be saved from the wrath to come, and indeed will receive rewards for doing the works He had planned for them to do. Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. The idea that God loves everybody is false, for;
Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
Psa 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Psa 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Psa 14:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psa 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
Psa 14:5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
Psa 14:6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
Psa 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Psa 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
Pro 10:29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Luk 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
Luk 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
Luk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
The “workers of iniquity” spoken of in these verses are those who are not of the elect to salvation. Their end, their eternal end, is the lake of fire.

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