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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

The Everlasting Covenant
 

Part 4

    

The Holy Spirit also has its part in this grand work. Man is by nature dead in trespasses and sins. He inherited a sinful nature from his first ancestor Adam, and that sinful nature is seen in everything he says and does. It is seen both in his actions and in his thoughts. The Bible evidence is abundant and clear. Gen. 6:5, "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Jer. 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it." If he was left to himself, there is no man who would turn to God. Those who have the idea that they are persuading wicked sinners to repent of sin, and to learn to love the Lord are mistaken. Those who are dead in trespasses and sins cannot be taught by other men. Unless God performs a miracle of grace on the heart of the sinner, no man will ever be able to reach him with the gospel message. Those who believe they have taught someone to love the Lord were really dealing with somebody who had already been quickened by the Spirit of God. If God's Spirit had not already done its work nothing they could say would have any effect.

     The Holy Spirit is just as sure to do its work, and to quicken all those whom the Father gave to the Son, the Son is to redeem them. God has never been unfaithful to any of his promises. Psa. 110:3, "Thy people SHALL willing in the day of thy power." Here is another exert from that everlasting covenant. Just as surely as the Father chose his people, and the Son redeemed them, just that surely the Holy Spirit will quicken every one of them, and make them willing. They are willing because the Spirit of God has made them willing. Again notice that there are no if's, no and's, no but's; it is the simple promise that they will be willing. In John Chapter three in that beautiful passage on the new birth, the Lord uses the awesome power of the wind to show how effective and how powerful the Spirit is in the work of regeneration "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou heareth the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." We are very often reminded of the awesome power of the wind. When the wind reaches hurricane force, carries everything in its path. But the mightiest wind that ever blew is only the faintest reflection of the power God. The Holy Spirit is God himself --- God the Spirit- and just as surely as no human mind can comprehend the awesome power of God in the natural creation, no human mind can comprehend the awesome power of God's Spirit the work of regeneration. God simply spoke and the entire universe became a reality, and God simply speaks and sinners are quickened by that same power. No man on earth can resist the powerful force of the wind, nor can command the wind, and direct it to blow where he wants to blow. And by the same token, God is sovereign; He sends the wind of his Spirit to blow where he chooses for it to blow, and quickens those whom he chooses to quicken.

     God does not depend on us; he is not dependent on sinful men to teach other sinful men to know the Lord. They may teach those who are already born again what they ought to know about the Lord, and how they ought to act in order to please him, but the work of quickening those who are dead in sins, and bringing them into a personal relationship with God is the work of God himself. And just as surely as God has never failed at anything he ever intended to do, he has never failed at this job either. Everyone whom he has chosen in his Son will be taught to know him in the work of regeneration. Heb. 8:11, "And they SHALL NOT teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for ALL SHALL know me, from the least to the greatest." Again notice the repetition of the word "shall." We are reading to you directly from the covenant, and lest there should be any question in the mind of anybody that we are actually reading a word for word excerpt from that everlasting covenant, let us take the time to go back and read the entire passage. Heb. 8:10,11, "For THIS IS THE COVENANT that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I WILL put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I WILL be to them a God, and they SHALL be to me a people. And they SHALL NOT teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all SHALL know me, from the least to the greatest." The Holy Spirit makes the passage as clear as it needs to be. If there is any doubt in the mind of anybody as to where this language comes from, he points out that, "This is the covenant." God will do all he has promised to do. He has promised to quicken all of his redeemed by his Spirit, and he will be faithful to that promise. Just as surely as one was redeemed by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, at his own appointed time, God will send his Spirit into his heart and quicken him by his grace. Men have far too high an opinion of themselves. They seem to think that God depends on them, and that he could not get his work done, if they do not pitch in and help him. They can wax ever so eloquent when they talk about the power of God in creation, and his power in the resurrection, but they seem to think that God is helpless, or largely so, in the work of regeneration. They seem to think that if they do not help him, he will never get the job done. But God is not helpless; he will do all he has purposed to do. Isa. 46:9,10, "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying MY COUNSEL SHALL STAND, AND I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE."
 

     The question always arises: but what if the sinner does not do his part. The fact is that the sinner does not have a part; he is not a party to this covenant. Now it is the duty of the sinner to repent of sin, and to turn from it. It is his duty to believe the truth, and, to the best of his ability, to keep the commandments of God, and after he is born of the Spirit, he does have the ability to do all those things. Before he is born again, he is dead in trespasses and sins, and he does not have the ability nor the desire to obey God. After he is born again he has both the ability and the desire, but by then the work is already done; it is too late for him to assist in the matter of salvation.  In the eighty-ninth Psalm David deals with this question in the very clearest language. "If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes," Psa. 89:30,32. The language could not be any clearer. If the children of God transgress the commandments of God, they will suffer his chastening rod God loves his own, and he chastises them when they sin. Heb. 12:6-8, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are bastards, and not sons." Every child of God can bear witness that God has been faithful to that promise. When we allow sin in our lives, God sends his chastening rod It is a token of the love of God for his own that he chastises us when we sin. We can only imagine what a shambles we would make of our lives, if God allowed us follow the lead of our old carnal nature, without chastising us, and bringing us to our knees in repentance before him.  The main theme in this eighty-ninth Psalm is the everlasting covenant. That theme runs all through the chapter, and that is what is under consideration in this passage. Notice how he continues, "Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. MY COVENANT WILL I NOT BREAK, nor alter the think that is gone out of my lips. ONCE HAVE I SWORN by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon,
and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah," (verses 33- 37). The mercies of God for his people are based on his everlasting covenant --- and if he does not break that covenant, it cannot be broken --- he is the only party to the covenant. That covenant was made between God the Father and God the Son; man is not a party to it. The redeemed are the beneficiaries of it, but they are not parties to it. The eternal salvation of all the redeemed family is far too important a work to be put in the hands of sinful men.


     The last provision of that covenant is found in the sixth chapter of John's gospel. "And this is THE FATHER'S WILL which hath sent me, that of ALL WHICH HE HATH GIVEN ME I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the WILL of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I WILL raise him up at the last day," John 6:39,40. Again notice his repeated use of the word "will." Those whom the Father gave the Son were those whom he gave to him in this everlasting covenant.

     He is talking about the same thing in the fourth chapter of First Thessalonians. "But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus WILL God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord SHALL NOT prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself SHALL descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ SHALL rise first: Then we which are alive and remain SHALL be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so SHALL we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words," I Thess. 4:13-18. The final act that God promised to perform on behalf of his redeemed is to raise them from the dead, and to carry them home to live with him eternally, and as surely as he will perform all of the other provisions of his promise he will perform this also.


     The purpose and promise of God form one golden chain which began in eternity past and reaches all the to eternity to come. God cannot lie; all his promises sure. Whatever God purposed to do and promised to do, will perform. Rom. 8:28-30, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to themare the called according to his purpose. For whom he fore know, he also did predestinate to be conformed to image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Phili 1:6. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day Jesus Christ."  Others may be alarmed, but we do not need to uneasy about the faithfulness of God. He will do all he purposed to do. He has purposed to redeem all of his elect family, and to carry them home to live with him in heaven and you can be sure that he will save every one of them without the loss of so much as one. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words," I Thess. 4:18.