Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 62) - Eph 3:6; Jud 1:22-23

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.


106. Eph 3:6 A. "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:" (Eph 3:6). B. Does this verse teach that Gentiles are made partakers of the promise of eternal life by hearing and believing the gospel? C. The body that the Gentiles were made fellowheirs to is the local church (Eph 2:11-22). i. The local church is the body of Christ (1Co 12:27). ii. The local church is the building (Eph 2:20-22 c/w 1Co 3:9) of God made with lively stones (1Pe 2:5). iii. The local church is the house of God (Eph 2:19 c/w 1Ti 3:15). iv. The local church is the temple of God (Eph 2:21 c/w 1Co 3:16). v. They were made fellowcitizens with the saints in the local church (Eph 2:19). D. The fact that the Gentiles would be made fellowheirs of the church with the Jews was a mystery that was not fully revealed in the Old Testament (Eph 3:3-5). i. Mystery n. - I. Theological uses. 1. a. in or through his mystery: in or by its mystical presence. b. in (a) mystery: mystically. 2. A religious truth known only from divine revelation; usually (cf. sense 5), a doctrine of the faith involving difficulties which human reason is incapable of solving. ii. It had been revealed cryptically in the OT, but was not fully revealed until the apostles declared it by the inspiration of God in the NT (Rom 15:9 c/w Psa 18:49; Rom 15:10 c/w Deut 32:43; Rom 15:11 c/w Psa 117:1; Rom 15:12 c/w Isa 11:10). iii. The message of the gospel in the Old Testament was that the Messiah would come and would gather the Gentiles together with the elect Jews into the church. iv. Paul clearly revealed this shadowy OT message in plain speech that can be understood by reading his epistles (Eph 3:3-4). E. The Gentiles were made heirs of the local church by learning about it through the gospel and by obeying the gospel by getting baptized and added to it (the church) (Act 2:41-42). F. Paul's commission was to preach the gospel to the Gentiles to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they would receive an inheritance in the local church among the sanctified (Act 26:17-18) (See Act 26:18 - Section III). 152. Jud 1:22-23 A. "And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jud 1:22-23) B. Does this verse teach that we can save people from eternal hell fire by our effort? i. Obviously not: salvation is of the Lord (Jon 2:9). ii. It is Jesus Christ that saves His children from hell, not us (1Th 1:10). iii. No man can redeem his brother by any means (Psa 49:7-9). iv. Sinners are not saved by the will of man, but by the will of God (Joh 1:13; Eph 1:4-5; Rom 9:16). v. Salvation is by grace alone; it is not of works, including another man's effort to save someone else (2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5). C. If Jud 1:22-23 isn't speaking of saving someone from eternal damnation, then what is it speaking of? i. When we see a brother err from the truth, we should correct him (Jam 5:19-20). ii. When we do so we can save him from physical death or death to fellowship in the church. (See Jam 5:19-20 - Section III) iii. There are two different approaches to correcting a brother: the compassionate way, and the rough way. iv. Both of these methods are loving (Lev 19:17; Rev 3:19), although the rough way might not always look like it. v. The situation will dictate which method should be used. a. The compassionate, soft, and gentle way 1. If the offence is minor, or it's the first time it has happened, the soft approach is preferable. 2. A pastor must be gentle, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves (2Ti 2:24-25). 3. A soft answer turneth away wrath (Pro 15:1). 4. Paul used a beseeching approach rather than an enjoining one when he encouraged Philemon to receive back his run-away slave Onesimus (Phm 1:8-12). b. The blunt, rough way 1. Some situations require toughness, such as a serious sin problem, a repeat offence, or a dangerous situation. 2. Sometimes the merciful thing to do is to forcibly drag a person out of a dangerous situation that they are too stupid to remove themselves from (Gen 19:15-16). 3. Sometimes a sinner needs rebuked sharply that they may be sound in the faith (Tit 1:12-13). 4. If the offence is public, a public rebuke is often needed (1Ti 5:20). 5. Sometimes an erring sinner needs smitten with hard words to make him feel pain (Psa 141:5). 6. The wounds that are caused by such tough words from a friend are better than the sweet words of an enemy (Pro 27:5-6). 7. Paul used this rough approach with Peter when his offence was serious and public (Gal 2:11-14). 8. Joab got rough with king David because of his foolish actions that were going to affect many if they were not put in check (2Sa 19:5-8). 9. This rough way of rebuking sinners is justified because we should hate the sin (Psa 119:128) (the garment spotted by the flesh), which is going to destroy them like a fire (Job 31:9-12), enough to strongly intervene to save them from its temporal consequences.