Although He was no ordinary man, not all will believe in Him. Why?
The primary work for which the Holy Spirit was sent into the world is : “To reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me [Christ]; of righteousness, because I [as the sinners perfect righteousness] go to my Father; …of judgment because the prince of this world [Satan] is judged” (Jn. 16:8-11), as well as all those who are controlled by him.
We hear and read much today of those who are seeking the Holy Spirit when they should be seeking Christ, Whom the Holy Spirit came to reveal, for they have never bowed to His authority.
The salvation that God gives in Christ is a spiritual thing; it is called in Scripture the New Birth, the creation of a new man, the implanting of a new nature, the giving of a new heart, the passing from death unto life, the bringing in of a new covenant, the drawing of a new hope, the casting down of the strongholds of Satan, the loosing of the prisoner, the delivering of the captive, the giving of sight to the blind, the translating from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, and the walking on the road of holiness toward heaven.
If all this is accomplished in salvation-and it is, plus much more-and if salvation is a spiritual thing, discerned and understood only by a spiritual man, then HOW is all of this going to be done, seeing we read in Scripture that the man to whom salvation in Christ is given is DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS?
HOW is such a marvelous work, as set forth in I Cor. 2:9, to be performed if a man is dead in trespasses and sins? For we read: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
HOW is a man going to believe when he does not know what and whom to believe, seeing he has no spiritual eyes with which to see his own sinfulness and the beauty of the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ?
HOW is a man going to repent when he has no knowledge of what to repent? HOW is a man going to flee from the wrath to come when he has no knowledge of his danger as a criminal before a just and holy God? HOW is a man going to seek Christ when he has no idea how to seek Him or of any need that Christ may fulfill for him? HOW is a man going to be constrained to seek light when he has no knowledge that he is in spiritual darkness? HOW is a man going to love God when he does not KNOW that he hates Him?
HOW is a man going to cry after liberty if he does not know he is in bondage? HOW can a man exercise a free will in choosing Christ when his will is enslaved by Satan? HOW is a man going to seek heaven when he is satisfied to go to hell? HOW is a man going to walk in the paths of righteousness and true holiness when he is satisfied with the paths of self-will, self-pleasing, self-confidence and self-righteousness?
HOW is a man going to pick himself up by his boot-straps and bring himself to God, seeing he lies dead in sin?
Our Blessed Lord says: “YE WILL NOT come to me, that ye might have life?” It is a matter of the WILL, and here our Lord said, YE WILL NOT.” I ask, “Who is going to make the WILL of man WILLING?”
John 6:44 “NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him?” First, it was “WILL NOT,” and now it is CAN NOT.” Who then is going to give us the power to come?
II Tim. 2:26 which says that the sinner is taken captive by Satan AT HIS WILL? First, it was “WILL NOT” then “CAN NOT,” and now we are told that the sinner is UNDER THE WILL, or power and dominion, of Satan.
John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father YE WILL DO?” Put all of these Scriptures together and you will have “WILL NOT,” “CAN NOT,” “UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN’S WILL,” and the positive statement that the sinner “WILL DO THE LUSTS OF HIS FATHER, THE DEVIL.”
“WILL NOT” means that the sinner’s will is depraved and therefore he cannot come to Christ unless a work of divine grace is wrought in his soul by the power of the Holy Spirit. “CAN NOT” means he is helpless within himself to come unless the Holy Spirit draws him unto Christ. “UNDER THE WILL OF SATAN” means that One stronger than himself and Satan must set him free. The lusts of his father, the devil, HE WILL DO until he dies and goes to hell, unless Someone [the Holy Spirit] sets him free.
Again, the Scriptures ask the question, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (Jer. 13:33). If this can be done, then and only then may you do good that are accustomed to doing evil. Since an Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor a leopard his spots, neither can you who are accustomed to doing evil do good without the work of the Holy Spirit in your hearts and lives!
In Isa. 3 we read these questions: “Can the fig tree..bear olive berries? either a vine, figs?” NO, because it is against their nature. So it is in the spiritual: it is against your nature to admit you are a sinner before God and to seek for His salvation in Christ. It is against your nature to love righteousness and holiness and to practice that which God loves.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN SALVATION IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to us if we are ever to be saved. We read in Jn. 6:63: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. Listen again! “…the FLESH PROFITETH NOTHING.” The flesh has no part in the work of God. Listen to Jn. 3:6 where our Lord tells about the New Birth: “that which is born of the flesh is flesh…” We must be born again by the instrument of the Word in the hands of the Holy Spirit. All fleshly activities amount to nothing where the regeneration of dead sinners is concerned. Neither the logical arguments advanced by the MIND, nor the hypnotic powers brought to bear upon the will, nor touching appeals made to the EMOTIONS, nor beautiful music and hearty singing to catch the EAR, nor sensuous trappings to draw the EYE are of the slightest avail in stirring DEAD SINNERS. It is not the choir, nor soloist, nor the preacher, but the SPIRIT that quickens.
This is God’s Word, that the Holy Spirit came into the world for the express purpose to convince, convict and reprove of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, to take the things of Christ and reveal them unto us; and no one else can do the Holy Spirit’s work.
This is humbling because the Holy Spirit sets aside all of our natural ability, and He works upon the heart of man to convince of sin and to show him his need of a Savior. He uses means, but He does the work. Eph. 2:1 it is called the quickening work of the Holy Spirit. He has to make the sinner alive because he is dead in trespasses and sins. This Scripture does not say that the sinner is sick, that he is faint, that he has grown callous and hardened and seared; but it says he is ABSOLUTELY SPIRITUALLY DEAD. It does not say that he needs to rededicate himself or to turn over a new leaf to be regenerated, for he is DEAD. Whatever that term “death” means in connection with the body, it means the same thing in connection with man’s soul, viewing it in its relation to spiritual things. When the body is dead, it is powerless, it is unable to do anything for itself; and when the soul of man is dead in a spiritual sense, it must be-if there is any meaning in the figure- utterly and entirely powerless and unable to do anything of or for itself.
Yes, the work of salvation in the human heart and life is a divine work, for salvation is of the Lord from the beginning to the end; for God’s Word teaches that we are the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:2). This same truth is brought out in II Thess. 2:13,14 in these words: “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 behalf of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Yes, in both of these Scriptures it is brought out that all is FROM God the Father, all is THROUGH God the Son, and all is applied BY God the Holy Spirit. So we can say with the Apostle in II Tim. 1:8,9 that “According to the power of God” we have been saved, and called “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.” Yes, to have a part in this glorious salvation made for poor dead sinners, we must be quickened by the Holy Spirit and made alive in Christ. For us to be made alive in Christ, for us to be partakers of His divine nature, He must plant the incorruptible seed of life in us and bring it forth to everlasting life in Christ.
It is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Not all will believe that He was no ordinary man, so do not be disheartened when you sow the seed of the gospel and not all come to Jesus.