THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN COMMON GRACE

Part II

Pastor Floyd Koenig

INTRODUCTION

The person who doesnít understand the difference between COMMON and EFFICACIOUS (saving) grace, will not only be confused about what the Bible teaches, but he wonít understand much of what he sees going on around him.

There are many today who mistake every religious emotion for regeneration.

In this lesson, we want to consider some of the Spiritís workings that come short of regeneration.

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS SOME OF SIN WHO ARE NEVER SAVED A. THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAD DEALT WITH MEN BEFORE THE FLOOD.

1. No doubt the Spiritís power caused Enochís preaching to convict many (Jude 14-15).

2. Certainly many were convicted when Noah warned his neighbors of impending judgment (II Pet. 2:5).

B. OUR LORD PROMISED THAT THE SPIRIT WOULD CONVICT THE WORLD (Jn. 16:7-11).

1. The Holy Spirit would convict the world in three ways: of SIN, of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and of JUDGMENT.

2. Multitudes have trembled under the conviction of Godís Word.

- One illustration is Felixís reaction to Paulís preaching (Acts 24:24-25).

3. Others like Herod appear to have received Godís Word with gladness (Mk. 6:20).

4. I am sure that we all know of those who have been dealt with by God, and yet have never been saved.

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT INFLUENCES THE LIVES OF SOME WHO ARE NEVER SAVED A. IN REGENERATION, A PERMANENT WORK IS DONE BY THE SPIRIT IN THE SINNERíS HEART.

1. His heart is made to love God and his eyes are opened to see spiritual truths.

2. That faith which is a fruit of regeneration can never be overthrown (I Jn. 5:4-5).

3. This work of regeneration is attributed to the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).

B. THERE ARE THOSE WHO APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN REGENERATED, AND YET HAVE FALLEN AWAY.

1. While nothing short of the new birth can save a sinner, yet there are lesser works of the Spirit that many mistake for regeneration.

2. Only God know how close some come in appearance who are never saved.

C. PERSEVERANCE IS THE DISTINGUISHING MARK OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TRULY REGENERATED.

- Letís notice three accounts where regeneration is distinguished from the passing effect of common grace.

1. In the parable of the sower, our Lord taught that there would be many who would receive Godís Word, and profess to know Christ, whose lives later would prove them to be Christless (Mt. 13:1-23).

a. While man by nature hates God, yet some because of the Spiritís influence receive His Word with joy, but the change is not lasting (v.20).

b. This temporary faith can be overcome by trials, temptations and heresies (vv.21-22; II Tim. 2:18).

c. True Faith will be victorious (Mt. 13:23).

d. This parable is illustrated in the lives of many today.

2. Peter speaks of those who had professed to know Christ, and yet had turned back to their sins (II Pet. 2:20-22). a. Notice the characteristics of those who had experienced a temporary change. (1) They escaped for a while certain of the more gross sins (v.20).

(2) They received a degree of enlightenment (v.20).

- This reminds us of Balaam whoo received such a view of divine things as to cause him to say, Let me die the death of the righteous"(Num. 23:10), yet he died without Christ. (3) In spite of all that they had received, they fell away (vv.20-22). - Peter compares them with hogs> and dogs who have been cleaned up for awhile, but eventually their true natures are revealed as they return to their old habits.

b. Notice the difference in the characteristics of those who have been truly regenerated (II Pet. 1:3-4).

(1) They not only have escaped the more gross sins, but had their lusts subdued.

(2) They were "called" to glory and virtue.

(3) They were "partakers of the divine nature."

(4) They were given "all things that pertain to life and godliness," rather than just certain influences.

(5) There is no mention of their falling away.

3. The writer of Hebrews speaks of those Jews who had received great spiritual light, who had been influenced by the Holy Spirit, who had tasted of His heavenly gifts, of His Word, and His power, and still did not believe (Heb. 6:4-6).

a. This warning is not to believers, but to those who deny Christ after having experienced such gracious influences of Godís Spirit.

b. Those who reject the Gospel and turn back to their sin are in a hopeless condition.

c. They, like Judas, who witnessed the glory of Christ and yet rejected Him, will die without hope.

III. THE PURPOSE OF COMMON GRACE A. GODíS GOODNESS IS MAGNIFIED.

1. God displays His goodness by giving food, drink, breath and life itself to His enemies.

2. He is long-suffering even with those who insult and curse His name.

3. Because of his depravity, man will not respond to Godís universal gospel call.

4. God is under no obligation to do anything for man, and everything He does do is a manifestation of His goodness.

B. MANíS DEPRAVED NATURE IS TRULY EXPOSED BY COMMON GRACE.

1. The fact that everything short of the quickening power of God fails, reveals the extent of manís depravity.

2. New life must be imparted to the sinner before he can respond favorable to the God of grace.
 
 

 Return To Main Study Page

Source: http://www.woosterbaptisttemple.org/studies.html