Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How Jesus Christ works in the conversion of sinners

Jesus’ cross gives us access to God in prayer
1 Timothy 4:10 "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers."

When we consider the work of redemption that Jesus achieved in His substitutionary death, resurrection and ascension - such achievements are once and for all, never-to-be-repeated. The cross will ever be the anchoring point of redemption, with the resurrection demonstrating that what Jesus achieved overcame the otherwise infinite gulf between God and human beings. We could term this as referring to "redemption accomplished".

The Scriptures reveal that God is One God, existing in three Persons and with each Person in turn being fully and truly God. In the work of salvation, the Father is described as drawing sinners unto Himself whom He set his love and affection (Ephesians 1:4; John 6:44). Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the Chief Agent in the work of conversion, seeking after sinners and bringing unto them the finished work of Christ so that they can respond, believe and be saved (John 16:8-12). The Holy Spirit's efforts in applying salvation are done through the words of scripture, which are the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; James 1:18). This aspect of Biblical redemption could be classified as "redemption applied".

When it comes to the work of the Son in the conversion of sinners (i.e the application of redemption), does Jesus play an active role? Scripture is firm that His work of salvation is a once-and-for-all done work. Yet scripture also indicates that by sharing equally in the Divine nature with the Father and Spirit, Jesus the Son operates in somehow in the reception of Him in saving faith. Today's post aims to grasp what the New Testament has to say about how Jesus works in the conversion of sinners:

1). The Son works forth salvation via the sending of the Spirit in His name. John 16:7; Acts 2:38. 

2). The Son is described as directly involved in our salvation by His activity and calling by the scriptures. John 5:24-25; Acts 3:20-21; Col 3:15

3). Jesus the Son works by way of the authority of His blood. This once-for-all accomplished work has continuing ongoing results in the current moment upon all who respond to His call based upon the blood which He shed. Acts 4:12; 10:43; Ro 3:19-26; 4:25; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14. 

4). The Son bestows salvation by virtue of His exalted position in heaven at the right hand of the Father. The authority which the Son exercises over the church and the world is what theologians call "His Sessions". Classically Bible teachers have considered Christ's current activity or "session" as occupying three offices: "prophet", "priest" and "king". In theese three capacities, the Son works in the salvation of sinners. Rom 10:12; 2 Cor 4:6; John 1:17; 2Thess 2:6; 1 Ti 2:5; 4:10; Heb 2:14-18; 5:9; 7:25; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10. This final point demonstrates how the Son is involves in the salvation of sinners. His session is also responsible for the other three observations made in the prior remarks.

Jesus works in the conversion of sinners with the Agency of the Holy Spirit and the active will of the Father. All Three Persons are One God.  Truly how Jesus works in the conversion of sinners is an amazing thing to think about. 

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