Repent & Believe

Repent & Believe

Friday, March 16, 2012

Did I Find God or Did God Find Me?

  • Every one that Seeketh Findeth - God promised that he will be found by whoever seeks Him. In Deu 4:29 we discover the conditional clause, “if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul”. Jer 17:9 pinpoints the real culprit that prevent us from seeking God with “all our heart”, “The [not regenerated] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately [or incurably] wicked: who can know it?”. Psa 14:1-3 and Rom 3:11b attests and affirms to this fact, “… there is none that seeketh after God”. When we speak about salvation we have to bear in mind that apart from Gods intervention nobody will seek after God with all their heart and with all their soul.

Isa 55:6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”

Matt 7:8 “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Deu 4:29 “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

Psa 14:1-3 “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. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all
gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Rom 3:11-12 “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

  • Whosoever shall Call upon the Name of the Lord shall be Saved - Prior to salvation everyone is spiritually blind and under Satans authority, as 2 Cor 4:4 indicates. Not only Satan blinds the mankind, we learn that God also hides the truth so people cannot become saved unless they are Gods elect, as we read in both John 12 and Rom 10, which quote from Isaiah 6. The Bible tells us that we are “dead in trespasses and sins” and declares “there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee...”, “because of our iniquities”, in Isa 64:7-8. However, this is the goal of much preaching today. Their desire is to stir up the emotions of people by dramatic presentation of the Gospel, to respond. Isa 53:1 states,“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” His “arm” has to do with His strength, or power, as He exerts it in order to accomplish His divine will; and, in particular, the salvation of His elect children. Salvation occurs when God shines the light of the true Gospel into the souls of those He came to save and dispels the spiritual darkness. And Mat 16:17 reiterates this by explaining that the greatest of all blessings is the gift of salvation, which comes down to man from God: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. The same Hebrew word for “revealed” found in Isa 53:1 also appears in Psa 98:2 as “openly shewed”: “The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen”. In the verses from Rom 10, God gives us some insight as to how He executes His salvation program. This passage describes a circular process with three key elements – “Gods Word”, “hearing” and “faith”. The “hearing” has to be with spiritualears to heargiven by the Holy Spirit and the “faith” that is produced, as a result is “believing” and “salvation”. To “call on the name of the Lord” follows “believing” and relates to “knowing” the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal basis through salvation. And “knowing” the Lord means “obeying” the Lord’s voice, according to 1 John 2:3-6.

2 Cor 4:3-4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] 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.”

John 12:37-40 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He [God] hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”

Rom 11:5-11 “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant [of Jews and Gentiles] according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? [National] Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”

Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained [according to the election of grace]; to eternal life believed.”

Rom 10:13-17 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Isa 64:6-8 ““But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we [believers] all are the work of thy hand.”

  • No Man Can Come to Me, Except the Father which hath sent me Draw Him - We are incapable of obeying commandments like “love the Lord”, “seek ye the Lord”, “call upon the name of the Lord” or any other law that God gives such as “repent”, “be holy”, “be perfect”, etc, because God's standard is absolute perfection - with ALL thine heart, and with ALL thy soul. These statutes or commandments are designed to give us the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:19-20), to reveal our spiritual bankruptcy and our desperate need for a Savior (Gal 3:20-24). John 6:44 also reveals, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him...”. The same idea is lovingly expressed in the words of Jer 31:3, “...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”. God intervenes, draws us, open our spiritual eyes and ears to scriptures, gives us hope and faith through scriptures, convicts of our sins grant us repentance through His Spirit, gives us new birth by giving us new heart and new spirit. The Bible in John 11 gives an outstanding example showing that God alone does all the work of saving us. Christ brought to life a man named Lazarus who had been dead for four days. Jesus stood outside of the tomb of Lazarus and commanded, “Lazarus come forth”. Obviously, the stinking corpse within the tomb could not hear Him or obey Him. Yet Lazarus did hear Jesus command and did come out of the tomb, a live person. How did that happen? It meant that when Jesus commanded the dead Lazarus to come forth Jesus gave that stinking corpse physical life, ears to hear, and a will and strength to obey the command of Christ. God is making the point that by nature we are spiritually dead and that only He can raise, or resurrect, our dead souls. This is salvation, and it is the greatest miracle of all! The only reason a person can seek God or call upon God with all his heart and soul is because he has already become born from above!

Deu 30:6 “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

Eze 36:26-27A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

Rom 2:29 “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

John 6:37, 44-45, 65 “37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me 65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”

  • Salvation - Found Of God - We must always bear in mind that no man seeks after God, as we read in Rom 3:11, “... there is none that seeketh after God”. By nature, all men prior to salvation are born spiritually dead, as we see in Psa 58:3, “The wicked [unsaved] are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies”. Isa 53:6 also reveals that “all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way ...”. What does it mean to go “astray”? A similar passage is found in Psa 119:176, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments”. In this verse God adds the very important adjective “lost”; furthermore, the next phrase, “seek thy servant”, emphasizes the good news of Gospel that God has obligated Himself to do all the work of salvation, as we learn in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. This is also evident from a passage such as John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”. This is why John 10:26 adds, “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”.

Matt 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Luke 15:9 [parable] “And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.”

Luke 15:24 [parable] “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Eze 34:16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong [self-righteous]; I will feed them with judgment.”

Matt 18:12-14 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep [elect of God], and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray [already found]. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones [Gods elect] should perish.”

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