Six Essential Truths of Biblical Saving Faith: An Introduction
The battle for truth is a constant one. Those who would know the truth must ever be vigilant because the powers of darkness are always at their post to suppress righteousness in unrighteousness. It is to their advantage that mankind believe the lie, so, they must themselves be ever alert to those whom God sends forth with the truth of His Word.
Biblical history and the recorded history of man, by man, reveals the fact that God has always sent men to warn mankind of the consequences of believing contrary to truth as set forth by Him. He has sent men who were considered troublemakers by Satan and his evil hosts. These men are sent as prophets in the Old Testament period, followed by God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, the most troublesome of all, among fallen men.
Christ is followed by His Apostles. Christ, in His bodily exodus from this earthly plane via the resurrection from out of death, gave after the prophets and Apostles, Pastor-teachers, to preach the Gospel of salvation and to equip the saints in the knowledge and practice of the biblical faith. These servants, called of God, heeding the Scriptures, stand in the gap for God today.
When the Apostle John died, evil already at work made great headway. The pure faith was compromised with paganism. Religions of many kinds were resurrected and created to combat the Christian faith.
God has always provided some men to fill the gap for Him. History is filled with such men. To name a few: John Hus, who was burned at the stake for presenting his understanding of the biblical faith; Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Flavel, Brooks, Newton, and more recently the likes of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, just to name some of the majors, but a host of men, some known but many not, who have fought, the battle of truth at the cost of their earthly life – and often of their rightful place in the history of God’s people.
God has not finished. He still has His men who stand for the pure truth; men equipped and ready for battle; men armed with the message of Christ as set forth in the Bible, who cry forth: “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Neither has Satan, that old serpent, slackened his grip upon those under his dominion. Always, as against Hus, Luther, Calvin, and every man of God, Satan has provided his remonstrants; those who deny the truth with carefully reasoned lies.
Satan always resorts to false doctrines, carefully crafted by the logic of fallen man, to combat truth. There is always the need, in every age, for another Synod of Dort to point out the heresies which deceive men and promote Satan’s cause.
History records the works of Pelagius, a British monk of the 5th century, followed by James Arminius of Harmensen of Holland in the 17th century. These men have played a continual role in denial of these six essentials of the biblical, or Christian faith. Both men and their followers to this present day fight against these essentials: The absolute sovereignty of God and what is called the five points of Calvinism.
Today I will address the first of the six and follow in the upcoming articles the last five. The sovereignty of God provides the ground for the other five essentials and therefore must be addressed first.
I have used the term earlier of ‘absolute’, perhaps unnecessarily, but to stress the fact for those who do not take ‘sovereignty’ as one who possesses the highest authority without control. God alone possesses absolute power and authority over the whole of His creation.
The largest or smallest of His creation cannot go beyond His sovereign control or purpose. He alone can declare, “I am God there is no one above Me.” There is no power, not authority, no life save from Him. Every thing and everyone created by Him for His holy purpose.
No mere man has ever possessed absolute sovereignty over anyone or any thing. Such is reserved for God alone. He alone has authority over body and soul. This is denied by those mentioned earlier and in our present day as well. They insist that man has sovereignty and ultimate power to break the dominion of Satan and sin (if indeed they acknowledge either as a fact as is declared in the Word of God) – sin, which in Adam, was mankind’s own choosing. With the choice comes the known consequence of separation from God; the loss of the source of life, the wisdom of heaven, a spiritual blindness promoted by a satisfaction and pride of being free from having God to rule over mankind; specifically, to abhor being under the rule of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Enemies of God’s sovereignty, expressed absolutely in Christ and declared in Colossians 1, clinging to an idea of a sovereign man, they refuse: “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He [the Father] rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [see Psalm 89:27; Revelation 1:5] of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Sovereign God sent His Divine Son to take on the form of man so as to bring to pass the eternal purpose of God in a world in which only righteousness will prevail in all persons and things created.
Only God is able to rectify man’s choice of independence and death. He does so sovereignly, in holiness and justice through Jesus Christ, the communication of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. Like it or not, salvation is of the Lord, not of man. Thus all glory and praise is due Him. Man is left with no place for boasting.
Until a person is brought by God to humble himself before God in the person of His Son, trusting in the death of Christ and never in any merit of his own, he can never be saved.
The first essential for man’s salvation is to bow to the Absolute Sovereign God in Christ Jesus. Until He is moved by God [by regeneration, the new birth] to do so, then he is doomed to all consequences, here and hereafter, of eternal separation from God.