Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050501.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part III: Christ's Appraisal Of Evangelicalism As Two, Offensive, Judging Factions
B. Christ's Evaluation Of Evangelicalism Detailed
2. Christ's Exposure Of The Factions' False Doctrines Behind Their False Judgments
d. Christ's Critique Of Errant Views On The Spirit's Convicting Work And Their Grave Effects
(Revelation 3:14, 17b[d])
Lesson: (1) Doctrinally, (a) Calvinism errs in asserting the Holy Spirit irresistibly convicts the elect via God's predestination so they must trust in Christ, and (b) Arminianism errs in holding spiritual insight always innately exists in man so he can by himself come to know God's truths. (c) RATHER, the Spirit ALONE convicts ALL the lost so ANY can author faith in Christ (Jn. 1:9; 16:8; Rev. 22:17), AND it is HE Who illumines BELIEVERS who by FAITH RELY on His POWER so their insight of God's truths can be MAINTAINED and GROW! (2) We evangelicals have failed to lean on the Spirit and are blind!
- Having critiqued the errant judgments leaders of the two factions in Evangelicalism make, Christ details how they arrived at this shocking state via mutually [and opposing] errant beliefs!
- Well, Rev. 3:14a, 17b[d] is Christ's exposure of Evangelicals' false views on the Holy Spirit's convicting work and their grave effects on believers!
- Christ's Critique Of Errant Views On The Spirit's Convicting Work And Their Grave Effects.
- Jesus said both factions were "the wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked one" [one article, four conjunctions], (3:17b) in a description of factions that judge each other, hinting the 5 adjectives may be interrelated, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 845; A. T. Robertson, A Gram. of the Grk. N.T., p. 777.
- Incidentally, Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 59 reports Calvinism's five famous points of belief are "not isolated and independent doctrines, but are . . . inter-related . . ." (sic)
- In viewing the adjectives in order, we see Christ critiqued the renowned 5 points of Calvinism AND its opposing 5 points of Arminianism with insight on the bad effects each system has had on Evangelicals:
- Jesus claimed the Laodiceans fourth of all were "blind" (NIV & KJV). The Greek word for "blind" is tuphlos (UBS Grk. N.T., p. 845), and we define what Christ means by it through the Scripture context:
- In Rev. 3:18, Christ said the solution to this Rev. 3:17 "blind" state came by applying a poultice made from mineral tablets from Laodicea's medical school that was smeared on the eyes [William Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches, p. 429]) and came from Himself so one might "see."
- Well, elsewhere, only in John 9 did Christ use a poultice on eyes to give one physical sight to lead to his spiritual insight (Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, 1978 ed., 1887), so the Rev. 3 "blind" state is spiritual.
- This counters both Calvinist and Arminian views on the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting men:
- Though Calvinism teaches God's Spirit effectively makes the elect be convicted of truths so they will come to trust in Christ, as the Laodiceans were true sons of God (Rev. 3:19 with Heb. 12:6-8) and were yet "blind," there is no [Calvinistic] "irresistible grace" or they would not also be "blind"!
- Then, since Arminians hold the Holy Spirit causes every LOST man on his own to be able to see his need for Christ so he can contribute faith to God, as these true sons of God (Rev. 3:19 in light of Heb. 12:6-8) were also "blind", they were still saved though having no insight, so one's illumination to God's truth is the Holy Spirit's work alone apart from man's effort in every way!
- Thus, the Holy Spirit convicts and illuminates men of the truth with no cooperating role on man's part, and that conviction leaves the sinner free to initiate his own faith to believe. God ALONE then SAVES and ALONE provides illumination EVEN in the Christian LIFE that FOLLOWS.
- As the carnality described in Rev. 3:17 is produced by such errant theology in Rev. 3:18, both the Calvinist and Arminian theological systems have led to spiritual blindness in Evangelicals: (a) the Calvinist's belief he is given spiritual insight by "efficacious grace" has led him to assume his insight will grow via predestination, leaving him irresponsibly not leaning on the Spirit for its growth. (b) The Arminian assumption one is equipped in himself to discern God's truth has led to his failure to lean on the Spirit for illumination of the truth, but to lean in futility on human reasoning, cf. 1 Cor. 2:14!
Application: May we believers LEAN on the Spirit of God for the GROWTH of our Biblical INSIGHT!