The Friendly Fire Room

Presents
Image of a scroll with the words Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God written on it.

 

© Mary J. Craig, 1994


In order to move toward greater comprehension of this issue, I believe it is necessary to use a paradigm rooted in Hebrew thinking/understanding, Covenant and God’s decreed will.  Therefore, I start at the beginning for a bread overview to provide foundation for the commission of Jesus Christ.

A PARADIGM


God is Creator/Origin/Sustainer of all Life.


Gen 1-3
Job
Isaiah 40
Romans
Acts 17
etc.

 

God decrees what will give Him greatest glory, especially as pertains to Jesus Christ, who is the Revelation, focal point, and revealer of God’s plan/purpose.
 

 

 

Gen
1 John 1
1Cor.8:6
Col. 1:16
etc.

 

God creates and upholds the physical realm by the Word of His power.

 

Gen 1cf.
Eph 2

God declares His workmanship to be good, reflecting His glorious goodness.

 

John1

God is the SOURCE of all life, knowledge, light, wisdom, goodness, blessing, etc. He, therefore, gives and provides.

Gen 1-3cf.
Rom 5
Acts 17
etc.

 

God is the Father of all humankind, having created Adam (and Eve).

 

Isa 42:8
ect.

God is jealous for His own glory, which He will not share with another and which He manifests as He pleases, e,g,. in accord with His plan and decrees.


II God established covenant relationship to bless His creation.

 

Gen 1-3
Hosea 2
Ezekiel 36
John1&3
ect.

 

 

 

Gen 1

Satisfied with His work, God rested from His labors.

Rom 9
Isa 33:22
Acts 17:3
etc.

God is self-existent, self –satisfied, all-glorious, God Most High, accounting and responsible to none, Lawgiver, King and Judge.

 

Luke 6:35
Psalm 145
etc.

God desires to bless and demonstrates this desire in His common goodness, kindness, mercy, grace, and love toward all His creation.

 

Matt 11:29
Heb. 4:1-11
etc.

For man to be truly blessed, he must enter into God’s rest, entering into God;s complete satisfaction with His own essence, being, character, glory. All fullness of joy, peace, righteousness, love, light, life, whatever… is in Him.

There is continuity in the covenant idea of relationship throughout Scripture.

Covenant is not merely a creator/creature relationship, but a Father/child husband/bride relationship.
From the first Adam to the second Adam, God is Father of humanity and comes to be Father/husband of His people.

Gen 12
Jer 31
Hosea
Heb. 8
etc.

 “I will be your God and you will be My people” is the hallmark of covenant.
Script

 

In a manner of speaking, God says:
 I am creator/owner/defender/source and sustainer of all life and blessing. Man lives by     every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. DO this and you will live.

Deut 29:29
John 1
etc.

Obedience is the outworking of a belief system and is a matter of the heart, of which God only has true knowledge.

 

OT & NT

The believing heart in supreme loyalty and attachment to God desires, seeks to know, wills, delights to obey God’s commandments/ words in devoted service to Him.

Gen 1-3
Gen 12
Ex 20
Deut
John 14: 15
Rom 6:17
etc.

Therefore, man has AN ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY to God.
               
In the covenant relationship, God establishes HOW man is to demonstrate loyalty/acknowledgment/supreme attachment to Him. Obey the commandments in order to demonstrate you live Me (for I already demonstrate
My Love for you); to demonstrate that I am your Lord and Your God, not someone/thing else; in order that you may live and be blessed.

 

Gen3
Ex 20ff.
Deut.
Ezek 33
Rom 6
Rev 21
etc.

You demonstrate I am your God as I have said HOW, then I will bless you.         Otherwise, you are cursed/cut off from the Source of Life and blessing, and, therefore, die, separated from the source and sustainer of life.

Because God is gracious and longsuffering, despite His agony over any and every rejection of His love…i.e. wrath… and any betrayal whoredom and error, and attachment to another source, which is no source and, therefore, no supply, God desires repentance and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. And

 

Ezek 33

God, the Source and Sustainer of Life, will, then and in that event, become Savior and Seal, redeeming His elect in accord with His way as He has been pleased to decree, for He is Sovereign, King… Lawgiver and Judge.

Exodus
Deut
Eph
Col
Rom
Heb
etc.

 

He will, therefore, demonstrate His glorious justice and His glorious grace in the
provision of a substitutionary atonement system which He accepts on His terms.

 

 

Rom
Col
etc.

Thus, in the promise of a Redeemer, God has graciously provided for forgiveness      of sins and cancellation of guilt/liability by means of a substitute… thus the blood sacrifice OT …Jesus Christ NT, the means of redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, release from liability, and destroyer of all that separates one from God, e.g., sin, self-whatever, satan, the world system, etc.

Joshua
etc.

Because God is faithful to His covenant, He binds Himself to those who obey Him to provide, protect, and slaughter all enemies. In the O.T. God’s subjects slaughtered God’s enemies (unbelievers) as a means of protection from contamination from without, i.e., unbelief. In the N.T. Jesus Christ has abolished the enemies of God and is making His enemies the footstool of God. By His victory, believers are enabled to bring all nations under subjection to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords in the battle of kings and lords.

After Adam, redemptive history drives home the point that no one is righteous, believing, faithful, loyal save those who are the children by promise, i.e., those who are declared righteous by faith in the promise of God according to God’s grace alone.

The moral law is given as the standard of man’s ethical responsibility, i.e., of how he should demonstrate/acknowledge loyalty/belief, etc.

Jesus Christ Incarnated, the final word, leaves humankind without excuse as He is the Revelation and has invaded history and embodies the standard as God/Man.

Rom 5

All humanity is without hope apart from God’s grace and mercy.
Therefore, any righteousness is by imputation.

Because God desires to bless His creation, He exerts influences upon all

1Cor 13
Luke 6
Rom 15
Rom 2
Col 3
etc.

humanity to acknowledge Him and come to Him that He might give them life, as He is the only Source of life and blessing, etc. Thus, the general revelation writ large and the special revelation, the first and second uses of the law and prophets, Jesus Christ.  God, in His compassion and love, “bothers” hearts, even if not having decreed their salvation, that He might the more demonstrate His heart of love and compassion and kindness even to the unbelieving and unthankful.

 

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Second Adam, Creator, Source, Sustainer of Life, Lord of the Sabbath and thus Lord of the Covenant, Son of God, Son of David, Son of Man, Prophet, High Priest, and King/Sovereign.

Romans
Col.
Eph.
etc.

He manifested His preceptive and penal obedience to God His Father in order to redeem the elect.

As Adam’s sin (unbelief) is imputed and corrupts the first (all) humanity… God, by the word of His mouth, declared and pronounced the curse upon Adam and his posterity, and it was so…, such that

Rom 3:23

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

By God’s grace and decree, all sins/corruption/curse, ect. of the elect of God are imputed to Christ (including and especially the sin of unbelief), and

Romans
esp. Rom 5

Christ’s righteousness/obedience/loyalty/perfect, personal, perpetual attachment/love as Son of Father is imputed to the elect, leading to Life Eternal.

The Holy Spirit

As God , the Holy Spirit is also Source, Creator, Sustainer, Supply. Etc. of Life and

Seals God’s covenant so as to remove all doubt, confirm the Word, and ratify the covenant of grace as pertains to the elect.

Rom 8
etc.

He works effectively from calling and regeneration to glorification in accord with God’s decreed will.

 

Acts 1-4
John 14
John 16
Luke 24
etc.

He has been poured out upon all flesh and fills the believer to enable him/her as promised by Christ.

His manifest presence, especially working in and through the Word of God and working in, and through the children of God, convicts the world of sin,

 

John 3
Rom 1
Rom 2
John 16
etc.

righteousness, and judgment, i.e., He bothers people, converting the elect.

 

 

 

Evangelism

All human beings have since Adam been under God’s wrath and curse, have

Eph 1
Eph 2
Jas 1
Rom1

chosen to be and remain unbelievers, stubbornly rejecting God’s general; and specific revelation, provoking God’s wrath and suppressing the truth in their unrighteousness.

By virtue of the Creator/creature relationship, all human beings owe God loyalty and obedience.

God, always the loving loyal Creator, demonstrates HIS love and compassion for

Psa 145
 &
above.

ALL His creation in His desires, restraint, longsuffering, bothering, influences, kindness, etc. towards all.

God, therefore, (and thus we, His servants and messengers) freely offers redemption to any and all who will believe and is not responsible for their rejection of His free offer of gracious provision for salvation. He desires all men to repent.

As Sovereign King and Lawgiver (Source of Life), God will righteously judge those

2John 6
1John
 John 5
 etc.

who have rejected Him as Source of Supply of Life.  Man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Those who reject have cut themselves off to attach to whatever they think/believe offers a source/supply of life. God offers Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life.

 

Deut 8:3
etc.

 

 

John 3
John 14:6

 

 

It is simple economics:

1Cor 4:5
2Tim 4:1
2 Pet 1:16
John10
etc.

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, Lord of all, is judge of both the living and the dead regarding all peoples of all nations, and knows His own.

 

 

The Gospel Message of evangelism:

Rom 1:16

is the power of God unto salvation.

John 1
Rom 10
etc.

is the Word of God revealing Christ from the first to second coming.

 

Acts
etc.

is a call/summons for all people everywhere in all nations to repent and believe and thus have life in His Name.

              

The Motive for Evangelism:

Acts 17
etc.

can be a mere duty and obedience to the commission of Christ, and/or compassion for others and/or and inward and driving passion/zeal by true worshippers filled with the Holy Spirit’s passion as was Paul and the apostles to  bring all nations/peoples to the true worship of God as Creator, Sustainer, Father, King, and Judge.

Means and Method of Evangelism:

Act 17
etc.

Prayer, the confession of both sin and faith, is the means by which the believer, rooted and grounded in love, repents of sin and renounces satan and all other kings and lords, is, therefore, released, renewed, refreshed, and filled with the Holy Spirit, etc., and approaches the throne of God’s grace to appropriate what Jesus Christ has accomplished in redemption etc. in vital spiritual union/communion with God that he/she might enjoy, Him, having entered into His Presence and Fullness.

 

As the children of God offer up to God the sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, and God’s own word in accord with that Word, God, the Holy Spirit “makes it so,” supplying all that is necessary and sufficient for salvation and sealing the covenant of grace.

© Mary J. Craig

 

To God be the Glory, great things He has done.

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