Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 38) - Eph 4:24; Phi 1:19; Phi 2:12Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, January 14, 2015.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 96. Eph 4:24 A. "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Eph 4:24). B. Does this verse teach that a child of God has to accept regeneration from God or do something to be saved eternally (put on the new man)? C. No, for the following reasons: i. The book of Ephesians is written to saints (Eph 1:1) who are elect (Eph 1:4) and predestinated children of God (Eph 1:5), who are born again (quickened) (Eph 2:1) and saved by grace (Eph 2:5), and who are believers in Jesus Christ who were sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:12-13). ii. The new man which the Ephesians were supposed to put on was already created by God (is created) (Eph 4:24). iii. Therefore, they were already new creatures in Christ Jesus (Gal 6:15). D. The Ephesians didn't need to become the new man, but rather put on the new man. i. They were already created in Christ Jesus; now they needed to walk in the good works which God had ordained for them to do (Eph 2:10). ii. They needed to work out their own salvation which God had already worked in them to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phi 2:12-13). a. God had wrought (worked) all their good works in them (Isa 26:12). b. They needed to work out what God had worked in (Phi 2:12). c. Work - 38. work out. a. trans. To bring, fetch, or get out by some process or course of action; to get rid of, or effect a riddance of; to expel, deliver, efface, etc. d. In other words, they needed to bring out the good works in their lives which God put in them in regeneration when He created them in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10). e. Their good works were the effect of salvation, not the cause of it (Tit 3:5-8). f. This also applies to the word of God which God writes in the hearts of His elect (Heb 8:10 c/w Rom 10:8). 1. God writes his laws on the hearts of His elect when he forgives their sins and regenerates them (Heb 8:12 c/w Col 2:13). 2. When one confesses the Lord Jesus and believes that God raised Him from the dead, he is working out the salvation (confessing was is already written in his heart) (Rom 10:9-10) which God worked in him when He saved and regenerated him (Tit 3:5; Eph 2:5). 3. This saves him temporally from his ignorance of God's righteousness and from trying to establish his own righteousness (Rom 10:3-4). (See Rom 10:9-10 - Section III) iii. This is the practical end (purpose) of salvation; that we should bear much fruit (Joh 15:8,16) and walk in God's statues and keep His ordinances (Eze 11:19-20; Eze 36:26-27). E. At the same time that the Ephesians were supposed to put on the new man, they were supposed to put off the old man (Eph 4:22). i. Paul gives five practical examples of how saints are to put off the old man and put on the new man. ii. Stop lying (put off the old man), and instead speak truth (put on the new man) (Eph 4:25). iii. Be angry and sin not, and deal with it before the day is over (put off the old man and put on the new man) (Eph 4:26). iv. Stop stealing (put off the old man), and instead work so that you have to give to the needy (put on the new man) (Eph 4:28). v. Stop using filthy language (put off the old man), and instead speak words which will edify others (put on the new man) (Eph 4:29). vi. Stop being bitter and angry and screaming at people (put off the old man), and instead be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (put on the new man) (Eph 4:31-32). 97. Phi 1:19 A. "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ," (Phi 1:19) B. Was Paul's eternal salvation dependent on the prayers of the brethren? i. Obviously not. ii. Prayer is a work (something that is or was done; what a person does or did) and eternal salvation is not of works (Tit 3:5) (See Section II,7,A on Eternal Salvation). iii. Paul already had eternal life and when he departed he would be with Christ (Phi 1:23) because Christ loved Paul and gave Himself for Paul (Gal 2:20). iv. Paul was a premier example of a sinner saved by grace (1Ti 1:13-17). C. So if Paul wasn't going to be saved eternally through the prayers of the brethren, then to what salvation was he referring? i. Paul wrote the epistle to the Philippians from prison (in bonds) (Phi 1:7,13,14,16) in Rome (Phi 4:22). ii. Bond - 1. a. Anything with which one's body or limbs are bound in restraint of personal liberty; a shackle, chain, fetter, manacle. arch. (and only in pl.). b. abstr. Confinement, imprisonment, custody. (In later times only in pl.) iii. Paul would be delivered (salvation) from prison through the prayers of the church (Phi 1:19 c/w Phi 1:25-26). a. Salvation - The action of saving or delivering; the state or fact of being saved. b. This happened to Peter when he was in prison (Act 12:3-12). c. The effectual fervent prays of righteous men availeth much (Jam 5:16). 98. Phi 2:12 A. "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phi 2:12) B. Does this verse teach that it is up to us to bring about our eternal salvation? C. Absolutely not. (See Eph 4:24 - Section III) For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace