Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Safety in God's Sovereignty

Monday, February 24, 2020

Safety in God's Sovereignty

Irreducible Complexity

Safety in God's Sovereignty

           The only place of perfect safety in this imperfect world dominated by the adversary is living at the center of God’s will.  Since the fall of Satan and millions of other fallen angels with him, every person must understand the essential of perfectly knowing God’s will and being fully consumed with not be “drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed” into defilement before God.  There is not one moment of our existence where a human’s enticement and intended spiritual destruction is not being orchestrated in some way by the satanic “mystery of inequity” existing in this world.  This fact is foundational to the purpose of the book of Genesis (Beginnings). 

           Although the home, the church, and the fellowship of those of like precious faith are all supposed to provide places of safety and security for believers, there really is no safe place.  We all have been infected with pride and carnal lusts.  If our propensity for rebellion and carnality is not constantly checked, maintained, and kept in the center of God’s well every single person will innately become part of the “mystery of inequity” to some degree.  Doing all we can to live in the center of God’s will is that which defines the epitome of the servant model.  The servant model is more concerned with the well-being of others than a person’s own selfish pursuits and carnal pride. 

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:13-18).

           God enlightens.  Satan obfuscates.  God clarifies.  Satan confuses.  Therefore, Satan is called the adversary.  Satan is the adversary of enlightenment and clarity.  The terms “the faith” and “Christian” have become so corrupted, so diverse, and indefinitive that they have little meaning to most people.  Indefinitive terms with broad meaning have no real meaning.  This is the outcome of satanic obfuscation.  The term “the faith” has been reduced to something merely called faith with incredible lack of definition and pluralistic meaning.  This happens primarily because those who have clarity and enlightenment from God’s Word do not ensure that what they know with surety is known by the next generation with equal surety.  If you look up antonyms for dogmatism in a dictionary you would find words like broad-mindedness, liberalism, open-mindedness, and tolerance.  These antonyms are the tools of the adversary to doctrinal clarity and true enlightenment to truth. 

           When God declares that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (II Corinthians 4:4), he is talking about Satan taking truth that comes from God in clarity and taking that clarity out of focus in the minds of men.  It is like having a perfectly detailed marble statute.  Satan first breaks off the hands, then the arms, and then the nose.  Then he slowly erodes away at its details until everything is a blur and that which was originally created can barely be recognized any longer. 

This constant obfuscation is what happens with God’s revelations of Scripture.  The greatest complexity of discipleship is the constant need to keep main things the main thing and clear things clear.  God must constantly give knew revelations to clarify the confusion and dissolution of clarity by theological obfuscation.  God must constantly raise up new preachers that will teach the old truths to clarify satanic obfuscations.  Satan has more obfuscators than those God that has raised up to clarify and purifying.  Unfortunately, even within the Church today, there are more people resisting edification than there are people fighting against obfuscation.  Resisting obfuscation MUST become the goal of EVERY Christian of EVERY generation.  This growing and ever-increasing disinterest in the truths of God’s revelations has been the continuing problem since the beginning of time. 

           It is the nature of fallen beings (sinners) to project fault and transfer guilt and accusation to others.  Adam did this and Eve did this.  Sinners do not like to be responsible for their sins or for the damage those sins cause.  However, because this is the pattern of the fallen nature of all humans, we fail to teach our children to take responsibility for their failures because they fear the consequences and shame of those failures.  To admit failure and accept the consequences for failure is the first step towards recovery and one of the first manifestations of genuine repentance. 

This characteristic aspect of denial and transference of guilt/fault in the fallen nature of all humans is a core descriptor of Satan – the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10).  Projecting, transference, and accusation are also a central satanic evidence that humans have become children of the evil because Satan “is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  To blame others for what you have done is a lie.  Adam and Eve blaming others for their failures is where passing the buck began.  It is the sin of accusation committed by the one who knows his/her own failure but is unwilling to take moral responsibility for that failure and its eternal consequences.  

Satan gets humans to blame God for consequences Satan causes.  Satan accused God of being selfish because God was keeping good things from Adam and Eve.  Satan accused God of not wanting Adam and Eve to have their “eyes. . . opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).   Satan’s corruption of their thinking was that “knowing good and evil” was a good outcome, not a bad outcome.  All sinners know we have learned and seen many things we wish we could unlearn and unsee.  Grace of God means these things can be forgiven. 

Servant Models
This choice provides the potential to succeed where angels failed

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:20-28).

           The ultimate objective of salvation and discipleship is the voluntary submission of one’s self to become the servant of another.  This was the objective of Christ in all His disciples to the place they would be willing to die for the benefit of those they chose to serve.  This is also the greatest difficulty in making true disciples for herein defines being a true disciple (follower of Jesus).  The ultimate free will choice after choosing to receive the gift of being “born again” of the Spirit of God is the choice to benevolently and lovingly serve others.  This is the restoration of the way things ought to be. 

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).

Total Depravity: what is it really?

Everything coming from a poisoned well is poisoned.  When Adam fell into sin, all that is born of his seed is born “in sin” and is cursed of God.  Everything that God does within His creation from the point of Adam’s failure and fall into sin is undeserved.  Herein enters the doctrine of God’s grace and longsuffering.  Total depravity simply means God-kind righteousness (holiness) cannot be produced by a sinner. 

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood {justification is the impartation of Godkind righteous as a gift to the believing sinner}, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled {katallássō, i.e., changed due to a new creation in a new birth; regeneration} to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled{katallássō, i.e., changed due to a new creation in a new birth; regeneration}, we shall be saved by his life {referring to the glorification of Jesus as the ‘last Adam’ and the ‘firstborn’ of the New Genesis}. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement {katallagḗ, i.e, ‘the change’, noun form of the verb reconciled as used in verse 10; the New Birth}. 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: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure {type} of him {the ‘last Adam’ and ‘firstborn of the New Genesis} that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift {justification and New Birth}. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore {picking up where verse 12 ends} as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:6-21).

Is the fall total?  Yes, the fall into sin was total.  However, total depravity does not mean what extremists say it means.  Humanity was corrupted the moment its progenitor’s nature was corrupted.  Adam became a sinner and began to produce “after his kind” (Genesis 1:21-25).  Adam could choose to live righteously, in other words, LIKE righteousness.  Yet, Adam could never BE righteous.  Just as a maid who has committed fornication may abstain from fornication for the rest of her life, she will never again be a virgin.  The best any sinner can ever be is a saved sinner.  Becoming a saved sinner requires a miracle from God. 

We would think we would find mankind’s history riddle with accounts of men pleading with God to be saved.  Instead, we find God pleading with man to receive His gift of salvation.  This defines God’s love and models the epitome of servanthood.  This is true because, as a result of our depravity, we are blind to our condition before God.  We are blind to the holiness of God and the perfect righteousness of God.  Only God truly understands the totality and depth of our fall into sin and condemnation.  Only God understands what is necessary to our rescue from that fallen state.  God requires a supernatural solution.  Only God can supernaturally provide that solution.

The Protoevangelium: The Redemption of Lost Dominion and Lost Souls

God lovingly clothed His fallen sinners with skins from slain animals.  However, the dispensation of innocence ended.  The first creation was cursed, and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  To ensure that mankind did not live forever in a body of sin and under the curse of death, God’s grace drove them out while maintaining His commitment to the seeming impossibility of humanity’s whole salvation; “body, soul, and spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:23).

14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed {the seed, or sin nature, of satanically corrupted man; Romans 5:12} and her seed {here begins what is commonly called ‘the highway of the seed’ to the New Genesis; Galatians 3:16}; it {Eve’s Seed} shall bruise thy {Satan’s} head {dominion of death}, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24; Adam’s sin was that he ate what God forbade and failed to lead his wife in righteousness).

           After the fall of humanity into sin and God speaking to Satan in Genesis 3:15, it is almost as if Satan disappears from human view.  We do not find him mentioned again until the book of Job.  Nonetheless, his constantly effort is the destruction of humanity and to keep humans from reconciliation with God and living in constant enmity with God.  This is the “mystery of iniquity” (II Thessalonians 2:7).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 50 years.

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