The doctrine of believing, obeying and pleasing God

INTRODUCTION
 
Do sinners believe, obey and please God by the ‘power’ of their own ‘freewill’? or do they do so by the power of God’s Grace through the gift of Faith?
 
The answer is found in the bible. In Ephesians 2:8-9, we read, “For by grace are ye saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” In Hebrews 11:6, we read that, “without Faith no one can please God.” In Romans 1:17, we read, “The just shall live by Faith.”
 
Indisputably, the matter is settled. Sinners believe, obey and please God by the power of God’s Sovereign Grace through the gift of Faith; Paul calls such sinners, vessels of mercy, which God had afore prepared unto glory. The faithless and disobedient, are known as vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction, that God might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy (Romans 9:21-23).
 
It is important to remember that the vessels of mercy were once also faithless and disobedient. Dead in trespasses and sins, who walked according to the course of this world. According to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by Grace are ye saved (Ephesians 2:1-5).

Again, indisputably, the matter is settled. A person dead in sin, has no will, let alone a ‘freewill’ to believe, obey and please God. Let God alone be glorified when His Holy Spirit quickens a sinner from spiritual death in order to believe, obey and pleas Him.
 
The bible tells us that God does not save a sinner because the sinner obeys him. God saves a sinner because the sinner believes Him (Romans 4:3). The sinner obeys God because God has saved Him. In other words, obedience is not the cause of the sinner’s salvation; it is the effect of the salvation already present in the sinner’s soul (Hebrews 11:1-31).
 
In the Book of Hebrews 11:17, regarding the obedience of Abraham, it is clearly recorded that it was because of the power of Faith, a gift from God to Abraham, not because of the power of his ‘freewill’ that caused the effect of Abraham’s obedience towards God. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”
 
In Romans 4:3 Paul said that Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Abraham received the righteousness of God even before Sarah his barren wife conceived Isaac. Isaac was offered up at the age of twelve. This means that Abraham was already justified by God through the gift of Faith, at least 12 years prior to his act of obeying God. Thus, Faith is the cause and obedience is the effect.
 
Man’s will is not free to obey God as and when he chooses. His will is enslaved to Satan and his own sinful nature. Both Satan and his own sinful nature controls his will, until one greater than all, sets him free. This is the whole import of the bible. Man is a sinner in bondage, who only Christ can set free and save. All the commandments of God were given, not to disprove but to prove that man has no ‘freewill’ and impotent to obey.

There is a great deception today. The result of which is confusion in thought, understanding and consequently in the worship of God. The teaching of man’s ‘freewill’ is most obnoxious to the teaching of God’s Grace in Christ. The former is a lie, the latter an almighty truth. The two can never abide in the soul of one who is born again of the Spirit of Truth (John3:3-8) and worships God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).
 
Neither can the false doctrine of man’s ‘freewill’, which is a lie, be found in the same converted soul. Only the true doctrine of God’s Sovereign Grace in Christ will be found in the soul of God’s elect people. For Grace has saved them through faith; and that not of themselves: it is the gift of God: Not of themselves, so says the Spirit of Truth.

THE STATE OF FALLEN MAN IN THE KINGDOM OF SATAN

Romans 3:10-19, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher ; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God in their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the commandment saith, it saith to those who are under the commandment: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
 
Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

2 Corinthians 1:9, “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.”

Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard it’s spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.”

The Holy Spirit does not mince His Words. The above scripture passages are just the tip of the iceberg describing the state of fallen man. “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO NOT ONE.” Believing, obeying and pleasing God is doing a good thing. The Spirit says that all without exception are unable to do this. Look at another verse, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard it’s spots? THEN MAY YE ALSO DO GOOD THAT ARE ACCUSTOMED TO DO EVIL.”

This is the Spirit’s Holy sarcasm. Try contending with Him and you would be blaspheming Him. The sin where there is no forgiveness at all. Therefore, what do you suppose is the ability of fallen man of himself to faithfully believe, obey and please God? The Holy Spirit says NIL! What do you suppose, is the ability of fallen of man to commit sins? The Holy Spirit says TOTAL! This is why He calls us sinners.” This is the truthful condition of fallen man imprisoned in the Kingdom of Satan.

"By the Law is knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). The entire design and power of the Law is just to give knowledge, and that of nothing but of sin; not to display or confer any power in the sinner. This knowledge is not of power, nor does it bring power; but it teaches and displays that there is in the sinner no power but great weakness. What can knowledge of sin be, but knowledge of our impotence and badness? Paul does not say, “By the Law comes knowledge of power or goodness”! All that the Law does, on Paul’s testimony, is to make sin known.

Therefore, by the words of the Law, the sinner is admonished and taught, not what he can do, but what he ought to do, that is, that he may know his sin, not that he may believe that he has any strength.

Therefore, when God gives a command in the bible, contrary to what ‘freewillers’ falsely believe, the sinner of himself, who is dead in trespasses and sins is totally impotent to faithfully believe, obey and please God, except, only to faithlessly disobey and please himself; and that God calls sin! This is exactly, why God gives us commandments. To make known the state of our souls. For by the Law is the knowledge of sin Romans 3:20.
Outside of the secret workings of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and through the gift of faith, the sinner remains, absolutely impotent to faithfully believe, obey and please God. The sin of the ‘freewiller’ is, he denies this truth. He denies the work of The Spirit, he commits the unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31) and he makes God out to be a liar.

‘Freewillers’ falsely claim and believe, that they have, in their ‘freewill’, the ‘power’ to obey God’s commands, flatly denying the Almighty and secret workings of The Holy Spirit, who also testifies against them. Here are some examples of the Spirit’s testimony, of the state of the sinner’s power of ‘freewill’ in obeying God’s Holy commandments.

“Be Holy, for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Please, take a close look at the command, “Be Holy for I am Holy.” Seriously, is there in the sinner and of the sinner himself, the power of his ‘freewill’ to be Holy? Look at another command, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37-38). Again we ask, is there in fallen man, dead in trespasses and sins, the power to perform this?

John says no, because he says, “We love God, because, HE FIRST LOVED US.” (1 John 4:19). We are not converted because we love God. We love God, because He converted us and enabled us to love Him. “For God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5) Therefore, God’s Holy and Almighty Love, is our true conversion. It is a God glorifying miracle, to change a sinner’s hatred towards Christ into a Holy love for Christ.

The apostle Paul, the chief of all sinners, was Saul, the greatest of Christ haters. God’s Holy and Almighty Love converted him. Where was the ‘power’ of the apostle’s ‘freewill’? This miraculous work of conversion, Paul calls it, A New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is therefore, nothing short of a miracle. Hey! ‘freewiller,’ go and tell God if you dare! who of sinful man, of his own ‘freewill’, has the power to perform such a miracle? You? I certainly hope not, for your soul’s sake!

Finally, in the case of Lazarus, he was already dead, four days in the tomb, when Jesus commanded him to come forth (John 11:43). Surely, no one, not even the mightiest ‘freewiller’ would foolishly insist that, in dead Lazarus himself, is the power and ability to come forth. It is solely, the secret workings of The Almighty Holy Spirit of God Himself, who raised Lazarus from the dead and caused him to come forth. For what purpose? That God in Christ alone, may be glorified (John 11:4).

In conclusion, it is robbing God of His glory and untruthful to say, that the sinner, in himself and of himself, of his own ‘freewill’, has the power to obey God’s command. Truth compels us to declare, that, there is, but only one freewill and that freewill belongs to God, not man. It is solely up to God alone who shall faithfully believe, obey and who shall not. Amen.

 

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear:

ROMANS 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory...

EPHESIANS 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

ROMANS 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

HEBREWS 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son...

JOHN 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

     

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Romans 3:27,28