The Purpose of the Pastor-Teacher Gift, No. 3
We are considering in this basic Bible
doctrine series the
matter of the place of the local church and particularly the
the pastor-teacher to it. We are looking
now again at the purpose of the pastor-teacher gift.
A brief review: With
the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven,
Satan has directed his attack now from the Lord to the individual
believer. God has therefore made provision
for a method
whereby the believer can prepare himself to withstand the attack of
thereby filling up a spiritual deficiency within the believer.
The Bible has provided us the mind of
Christ, and the
pastor-teacher in the local assembly is the transmitter of that mind. There is a system for understanding spiritual
things that we’ve called the grace system for perception of
things. This enables any believer to
learn life principals of the Bible.
Whatever you may do with them is something else, but
you can learn
Positive reaction of your will,
positive volition, toward
the Word which you have learned serves to develop a structure of
maturity within your soul that we’re going to begin looking at in
detail. This structure of spiritual
essential for you to be able to withstand Satan successfully. Without it, you can just forget it. You’re dead.
You will accomplish nothing in spiritual good and
divine good, and you
will have a defeated Christian life. You
will experience frustrations. You will
experience nothing but complications, and your life will be one series
drudges one after another of the events that come to it.
Now the knowledge of the Word of God
in your mind becomes
usable full knowledge in your human spirit when you respond with
volition, an act of faith, you’re believing God, to the truth
that you’ve been
taught. A Christian who is positive to
the Word builds a frame of reference in his soul. This
frame of reference is very essential for
your understanding of advanced doctrine.
Every now and then somebody says to
me, “I don’t really
understand some of the things you say in the service,” and what
suggesting is that we are presuming and moving on without explaining. Well I know that what the person is telling
me is that “I haven’t listened to enough of the Word of God
being taught that
I’ve developed enough frame of reference so that I understand the
are coming to me.” This is exactly
happens. You build a frame of reference
that enables you to understand advanced doctrine. We
are indeed not forever explaining
elementary and basic things.
You also develop from this frame of
reference a new
conscience. It gives you a divine
viewpoint. It clears guilt from the
subconscious. It gives you spiritual
discernment. It guides you in your
prayer. It gives you content for prayer
and direction for witnessing. Now we
have been examining the place of the pastor-teacher in the local church. Of course you can immediately see how
important this is to you as individual believers because this is one of
first things you have to decide in associating yourself with a local
church. When you go to make the
decision, “Am I going to attend this local church or this local
church or this
local church,” what’s the basis upon which you make that
decision? Well after you’ve
understood Ephesians 4:12,
you should have no difficulty in the world in knowing the basis upon
make that decision, and you should be a discerning enough Christian to
to spot the answer to this questions.
So Ephesians 4:12 has been our anchor
point. We have been looking at the first
this verse and we pointed out that this verse has the word
times. “For the perfecting of the
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Christ.” And we said that the phrase
here is a
purpose, and the purpose is tied to verse 11 which says that we have
pastor-teachers which is a combined gift.
The purpose is first of all for the perfecting of
Now you should know by this point that
job in this phrase is explained as preparing the congregation for the
of Satan. The word
should now know means to prepare, to equip for spiritual combat. And the saints are the members of the local
church who listen and learn and thereby become prepared as they respond
positively to what they learn to meet the attacks of Satan. We may translate this first part therefore as
“face-to-face” because that’s what the word means
here. It uses the Greek word
“pros” which means you
facing me and me facing you. It’s
enough just to listen to tapes. The Word
of God says you are to be in a local assembly in a congregation of
believers. There is an elevating and an
effect upon your soul as you gather for the study of the Word of god
with other believers. Face-to-face with
training and equipping the saints for combat.
Now we come to the second phrase which
is, “for the work of
the ministry.” Now this one, while
first phrase had to do with the pastor-teacher giving people the
preparing them for spiritual combat, the second phrase has to do with
production of divine good on the part of the individual believer. Now this is what the Christian life is all
about. The reason God left you here on
this earth, though you are totally saved and are ready now for heaven,
you spend a lifetime producing divine good.
This is exactly what most Christians do not do, nor
are they able to do
it. The work of the ministry.
The grammar here indicates that the
first clause, “for the
perfecting of the saints,” equipping them for combat is the key
one. The next two purposes here are
that one. In other words, if the
pastor-teacher doesn’t perform the first one here, the second two
realized, and the congregation is hopelessly at sea.
“For the work of the
ministry” is speaking about your
ministry, not the professional ministry of the pastor-teacher. This is your ministry. How
are you going to perform the work of the
ministry? Well, as you are equipped for
spiritual combat in the first place.
Without a functioning pastor-teacher there is no way
for this system
that God has provided for you to learn spiritual things—the grace
spiritual perception which is not dependent upon your human IQ, then
no way for that system to function. It
is short-circuit. There is no way for
spiritual maturity which is developed in your soul so there is no
you’re capable of producing.
The word “ministry” here
speaks of your work. The word
“work” here is a Greek word,
“ergon,” which means either what you do, the work itself,
or what you
produce—the act of working and the product.
So the second purpose of a pastor-teacher in his
ministry is the
production of divine good through the people of the congregation.
So let’s take a look this
morning at a summary of the
doctrine of divine good. What are we
talking about when we say the production of divine good?
The production of divine good defeats the attack
from Satan during the
church age. In Romans 12:21 the apostle
Paul says, “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
good.” The way you overcome the
attacks of Satan and
the evil which he directs against you is through the production of
in the church age.
Secondly, God has provided the grace
perception. This is provided for the
production of divine good. Colossians
1:9 says, “For this cause we all also, from the day we heard it,
do not cease
to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the
His will and all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Now the word “filled” in this
verse is that
word that we have already referred to that means meeting a spiritual
in the believer’s soul. This is His
desire—that the spiritual deficiency, which is the lack of
(you’re not born with this) needs to be filled up in our souls. And the word “knowledge” is the
word for full
knowledge, that “epignosis” word that we’ve been
talking about. It means the full knowledge. This is knowledge where you have responded
with positive volition to what you have learned.
What you have in your head
doesn’t do you a bit of good. We
have plenty of Christians that have got
all kinds of knowledge of the Word of God in their head but they have
about it. They have reservations toward
it. They have resistance to certain
points. And when you resist, it’s
useless. It blanks out.
All you have is knowledge. The
Bible has a different word for what
functions in your life and that’s full knowledge, and
that’s in your human
spirit, and that’s the point at which God touches your life and
where He deals
and guides in the things of your life.
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto
all pleasing, being fruitful
in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” and
here again the
Greek is full knowledge, the “epignosis” of God.
Then in 2 Timothy 2:21 we read,
“If a man therefore purge
himself from these (the list of sins up here and of human good); he
shall be a
vessel unto honor, sanctified and fit for the master’s use and
every (divine) good work.” In 2
we read, “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all
(divine) good works.”
So God has provided for us a system
here of spiritual
perception, and the pastor-teacher feeds the information into the
as you receive it, you are filled, your spiritual deficiency is
you come to a full knowledge of the Word of God.
Number three in this summary: The Christian’s life on earth was
for production of divine good. Ephesians
2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus
(and now we have
the purpose) unto good works (divine good), which God hath before
we should walk in them.” Now
another very important factor. It
simply that you do a good thing. In your
life as a Christian, it’s those good things that God has ordained
for you to
do. Now do you know what God has
ordained for you to do in your life?
Obviously you’d be hard-pressed to give a full
detailed explanation of
that, but God the Holy Spirit is there to lead you step-by-step into
divine good—this good, this good, this good, this good, and
that’s the only way
you know what God wants you to do.
There are Christians again who say,
“Well, there’s the job
in the church. It needs to be done. The work needs to be done.
I’ll get in and do it.”
You may be the worst one in the world and the
last one that God ever thought of wanting to do that job.
Just because the work needs to be done is not
reason that you should do it. It is
those good works which God has foreordained for you to perform.
Now listen to it again.
“For we are His workmanship created in Christ
Jesus.” We were born again unto the
purpose of the
particular good works which God hath before ordained that we should
in. So just doing good is not divine
good in itself. Yet the Christian’s
on earth is designed for you to produce a specific divine good.
Number four: The
production of divine good is a sign of stability in the
Christian’s life on
earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:17 says,
“Comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word (or
stabilize you in
every good work) and work.” The
Christian who is producing divine good is a stable Christian. When you find a Christian who is unstable,
who fluctuates up and down between productivity and non-productivity,
depression and happiness, who’s in the valley then on the
mountaintop, you know
that that is a sign of a Christian who is not producing divine good. He may be a very active church member, but
there is something out of kilter in his life in reference to doctrine,
is not producing divine good. When you
are phased in to God’s thinking, you’re tied into His
production, you will be a
Number five: Divine
good will be rewarded. 2 Corinthians
5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of
Christ.” Now there is here in the
Scripture a time of
judgment that you as a Christian will face which is called the Judgment
Christ. This is not a judgment in
reference to your sins because that has already been totally settled,
know, by the removal of the wall between us and God.
But this is a judgment that has to do
entirely with evaluating your works, whether they were divine good or
they were human good. The purpose of
this evaluation is that everyone may receive the things done in his
according to that which he hath done whether it be good or bad.
Now there are good good works and bad
good works, according
to whether God has produced them or you have produced them. So you’re going to be rewarded or
going to lose reward on the basis of what kind of quality you produce.
Number six: Grace
the principal in producing divine good.
2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that grace is the
principal in producing
divine good. “And God is able to
all grace abound toward you that ye always having all sufficiency in
may abound to every good work. It is the
grace of God that enables you to produce divine good.
Here you are, a human being, a
creature who God has made,
and yet you can do that which God stamps upon your production as being
good. You can produce what God Himself
can produce for He does it through you.
Number seven: Where
does divine good come? Now there are
three sources of divine good. One: This one concerns a baby Christian, those who
are new in the Christian faith, or those who have never been taught
doctrine. Now you could have been a
church member for fifty years and just be the biggest baby in the faith
you can imagine. A baby in the Christian
faith produces divine good only from the filling of the Holy Spirit. He keeps all known sins confessed and the
result is his life is clean and God uses him.
He produces divine good simply from the fact that
he’s free to be used
of the Lord.
However, when you proceed in maturity,
with doctrine in your
human spirit, you step to the adolescent stage of the Christian life. You not only produce divine good from the
filling of the Holy Spirit, but you also produce it from that full
which has accumulated in your human spirit as a result of your positive
volition toward the Word. Your positive
response toward doctrine has given you “epignosis,” full
knowledge, and this
expresses itself in divine good. What
you’re doing is in effect breathing spiritually.
You breathe out toward God this
this full knowledge in your human spirit.
That’s why you can love God.
That’s why you’re obedient to God.
That’s why you pray to God.
is breathing out the full knowledge of that which has come to you from
Word. Toward other people you are
breathing out this full knowledge in your human spirit.
You breathe out toward your friends, and you
deal with your friends accordingly, and toward your fellow members. The church member who causes trouble in the
local assembly and who acts like the devil is a person who does not
knowledge in his human spirit.
But the Christian who has full
knowledge in his human
spirit, he’s the Christian who’s stable.
People are not forever saying things to him that are
feelings. He is not forever getting up
in arms over what somebody has said. He
is a stable Christian. Instead he reacts
to them the way God reacts, and toward that one person who is your true
love. When you have full knowledge from
doctrine in your spirit, you will breathe this out in genuine love. You cannot really love a person until you
have doctrine in your spirit; that is, where you have negative
you have reservations, where you have outright rejections of the Word. If you see this in somebody that you’re
interested in on a marriage basis, you’d be wise to reconsider. A person negative toward the Word does not
make a good lover and does not make a good friend.
There’s a third level of
producing divine good and that’s
from the mature Christian, a person who has walked with the Lord and
developed some understanding from the Word of God in some considerable
degree. He produces not only from the
filling of the Holy Spirit and from full knowledge in his human spirit,
has built a spiritual maturity structure in his soul which we will
looking at in detail and spelling out the areas that constitute
maturity in a Christian’s life. You’ll
be able to evaluate yourself and you’ll be able to see,
“I’ve grown up
here. I’ve grown up here. I’m not too good here.
I’m pretty good here.”
You’ll be able to see to what extent you have
developed spiritual maturity. When
you’ve developed a structure of spiritual maturity (the Bible
uses the word “edification”
for that), then you are a top-notch producer of divine good. You’re producing it on a triple basis as
result of coming to that state of maturity.
Number eight in the summary of the
doctrine of divine
good: The mature level of production of
divine good is the work and the objective of the pastorate. This mature level is what the pastor’s
all about. Every breath he takes and
every second of blood flowing in his veins is preoccupied with,
“How am I going
to get the people of this congregation to this point?” And if he’s not preoccupied with that,
not doing his job, and you may be sure that the people will never get
near this point. You will have a
congregation filled with babies who will be clawing at one another and
at one another and splitting up from one another. You
may have a few adolescents in there who
struggle to try to be a little more stable, but you won’t have
very many mature
This is his business, and the mature
production is the business
of the pastorate is all about. Which
means therefore that this is what constitutes success in the ministry,
statistics or fame. Just because a
pastor’s name is well known doesn’t mean that he’s in
great standing with God
at all. You can have great fame in the
ministry. You can have great religious
notoriety and not be particularly famous with God at all.
You can even enter Bible studies under very
famous people and find that after you’ve listened a while…
somebody said to
me the other day, “You know, this here is a series, a very
very much advertised on radio. The more
I listened to it the more I realized what a bomb out it is. Yet if you were to tell that to Christians,
the average Christian would be shocked because the people who are
are the most famous names in the evangelical religious world that
heard. But they’re feeding out a lot
inspiration and guff. They’re
out a lot of things that are interesting in passing at the moment, but
not feeding the substance of which a spiritual maturity structure is
This spiritual maturity structure is
important because it
moves the Christian to witnessing, it moves him to giving, to praying,
right, and not to brag about it, or to seek thanks.
Now I hope you get that. If
you are producing divine good, you will
not be going around saying, “I wish somebody would thank me for
what I do once
in a while. Here I’ve gotten up
morning at 7:00 o’clock,” just like old Silver Lips there. Now if you’ve ever gotten up at 7:00
in the morning and tried to blow a small trumpet mouthpiece with those
fat sleepy lips, you don’t know what a problem you’re faced
with. Now you’d think a guy would be
complimented. He wasn’t
complimented. Not once.
He was complained about plenty.
And they kept threatening to switch buglers. That was a divine service, if he wasn’t
expecting compliments, and he’s experienced enough that he knew
better than to
expect them, so it’s probably safe for him.
If you go around and you’re
doing things for the Lord and
you want people to thank you, or you go and say, “Oh you never
thank me for
it.” And sometimes they’ll say
you. They’ll kind of say, “You
ever thank me for things. You don’t
say nice things to people for these good things they do.
You don’t ever commend them.” If you’re looking for complimenting and
you’re looking for being able to brag a little about what you do,
and you like
the Lord’s Supper because it gives you a chance to stand up and
you’ve done for the Lord, so everybody can ooze over you a little
bit, you have
tipped up off right there dear friend that what you’re producing
good. God has scratched it off the
board, and you might as well forget it too.
So if a pastor-teacher performs the
first function, which is
equipping the saints for spiritual combat, then divine good is going to
from the church members as night must follow, and that’s great
know. If the pastor-teacher is giving
you information from the Word of God so that you are receiving the mind
Christ, which is what the Bible is called, and you take these life
and you respond to them with positive volition, they’re there in
you to operate,
and they will operate. They function
right out of your spirit and you become a person who thinks, who moves
feels and acts like God. The result is
Now on the other hand, let’s
look at the other side of the
coin. Let’s look at the doctrine of
human good. The doctrine of human good
is something entirely different. Now
this is what you and I produce when we are acting on our own, when it
God the Holy Spirit who is directing and moving us.
Hebrews 6:1 says human good is classified as
dead works. Hebrews 6:1 says,
leaving the principals of the doctrine of Christ let us go on unto
not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead human works,
and of faith
toward God.” What the writer is
is that we ought to go on now from elementary things to where
divine good, and not forever going back and laying new foundations
we’re still producing the dead works of human good.
Understand that these are good things. We’re not talking about bad things. We’re not talking about things that
would agree these are not things that you should do.
These are the things that nobody could object
to doing. These are things like praying
and putting money in the offering box and supplying money to buy tapes
to people and helping in summer camp and teaching in Sunday School and
in the clubs. These are all good things
but they can be dead works. A Christian
may be witnessing. He may be
praying. He may be giving.
He may be working around the church and
producing human good. So it is important
for you to remember that the nicest people, both saved and unsaved nice
are producing what the Bible calls hay, wood, and stubble human good. And they’re doing it with a rosy glow in
their bones. We have churches filled
with Christians, unfortunately, who are sitting there cranking out
good and feeling so good about it, not realizing that God is going to
reject the whole thing.
Now what’s the difference
between the human and the divine
good? The difference lies in who
controls and motivates the doing of these good things.
If you are doing this because God the Holy
Spirit is in charge of your life, He has filled you because known sin
confessed, then it’s divine good. If
it’s under the old sin nature within you, which also produces
good, then these
same things of human good are motivated by various lusts, like this
lust to be
praised, like the lust for somebody to thank you for what you’ve
done. If this is in your bones that you
because someone hasn’t complimented, praised, flattered you a
thanked you for what you’ve done, then you know that it is human
if God the Holy Spirit has motivated you to do something, boy
you’ll do it and
your thrill will be that you obeyed God, and you don’t care
thanks you for it or not. How much
genuine Christian work would ever be done if our continuing in the real
were dependent upon people recognizing that we had done a good thing,
complimenting us and thanking us for it, and son on?
People come to church and the pastor
wants to get a chance
to greet them at least once a week at the door, and they (feel like
to say something to him. Now they could
say any number of things to him. “That’s
a nice suit you’re wearing. I like
tie. That’s a beautiful tan you
have. You get better looking all the
time.” But instead they always say,
was a beautiful sermon. Nice sermon.” They feel that they have to say something
about the sermon, and they may have hated it.
And if he’s standing there
waiting to hear what you’re going
to say about the sermon, then he’s out of fellowship, because he
less what you think about the sermon if he’s operating on divine
good. But he’s very much interested
in what God
thinks about it. He’s only
seeing how far you have come in improving in your status of spiritual
so that you’re untying the knots in your life and getting things
out. That’s what counts with a
pastor-teacher who’s doing his job—not whether you were
attracted and the cockles
of your heart were warmed by your sermon.
It’s not what you do that is the
primary issue but it’s who
controls and motivates why you do it.
You do Christians a great disservice if you give the
impression that a
good is of value itself. That’s Boy
Scout stuff when it comes from old sin nature.
So don’t give people the idea that just
because they good deed God says,
“I commend it.”
Number two: Human
good is never acceptable to God. Here’s
a word that I’ll just leave in the English rather than unravel it
to you in its
Hebrews. Isaiah 64:6.
It’s strong enough in the English. It’s even more loathsome and horrifying
the word that God uses in the Hebrews.
“But we are all as an unclean thing in all our
human good) are as filthy rags.” Now
that’s a strong strong expression. It’s
as filthy rags. So when somebody comes
up and asks you to compliment what they’re doing for church work,
something about your not complimenting, just remember that what
you to compliment very often is their filthy rags.
And God does not expect us to go around
each other’s filthy rags. That’s
our human good is. If it’s divine
then it doesn’t need to be complimented and doesn’t need to
be praised, and
we’re not looking for it because God is motivating us to do that
that’s the satisfaction in itself.
Number three: Human
good has no place in the plan of God. 2
Timothy 1:9 says, “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy
according to our human good works, but according to His own purpose in
which He hath given us in Christ before the world began.” God never called us with the intention of
including our human works in the process of it.
Number four: Human
good will not save mankind. Titus 3:5
says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done (human
good works), but
according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and
renewing of the Holy Spirit. Human good
will not save mankind. No one is ever
saved by good acts such as keeping the law, joining the church, water
the Lord’s Supper, or changing your behavior patterns. Nobody is ever saved by public moves or
public expressions about salvation.
How are people saved?
We need to understand this in order that we
won’t be directing people to
some act of human good and deceiving them into the idea that
saved. An unbeliever has only two parts
to his being when he’s born. He has
body and he has a soul, but his human spirit is dead.
So since his human spirit is dead, there’s no
means for the unbeliever to be able to understand spiritual phenomena. That’s what 1 Corinthians 2:14 says. The person who is spiritually dead can’t
understand anything of spiritual matters.
“But the natural man (that’s the unsaved
man) receiveth not the things
of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he
them because they’re spiritually discerned (or understood).”
So here’s this person
who’s born into the human race. He
comes to an age of accountability. He has
a body and he has a soul but he has a
dead human spirit, and therefore cannot respond to God under any basis. Now how is he going to come to
salvation? Along comes a Christian who
gives him the information of the gospel, such as you have in 1
15:3-4, which tells about the death of Christ as a substitute in behalf
sins. Now this is communicated by a
witnessing believer. The information
that this person gives may be true or it may be false or it may be
mixed. Every bit of it goes into the mind
Now the Holy Spirit comes along and He
acts for the
unbeliever as a human spirit in this case.
It is the Holy Spirit that comes and acts as the
human spirit for this
unbeliever whose human spirit is dead.
The result is that the unbeliever understands the
gospel. John 16:8-11 tell us about this
provision. A person could not be saved
if God had not made this arrangement.
John 16:8-11 says, “And when He is come (that
is, God the Holy Spirit),
He will reprove (or convict) the world (here’s the convicting
work of the Holy
Spirit) of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they
not on me…” The sin of which
convict the world is the only sin that sends a person to hell, and that
sin of not believing in Christ as Savior.
“… Of righteousness because I go to my
father, and ye see me no
more…” This is a standard of
righteousness represented by Jesus Christ of which we’ve all
fallen short. “… Of judgment,
because the prince of this
world has been judged.” His hold and
claims upon us have been broken by the victory of Christ on the cross.
Now this is what the Holy Spirit makes
clear to an unsaved
person who has received the gospel. And
thereby the Holy Spirit takes the information that’s true and He
uses only that
part to bring conviction to the unbeliever of his need of Christ and
receive Him. Whatever is true works upon
the mind and now the unbeliever is in a position to make a choice. Now this is the convicting work of the Holy
Spirit. So don’t go around praying
the Holy Spirit is going to convict somebody so that they can be saved
first you’ve gone to that person and given him the information
upon which to be
Have you ever sat in idiotic church
meetings where a
preacher has talked about all kinds of interesting stories and all
interesting illustrations? He has talked
about some parts of the Bible here and some parts of the Bible there,
he gave an invitation at the end for people to be saved.
Anytime you sit in a church service and
somebody invites people to be saved, to receive Christ as Savior, your
a knowledgeable Christian should flash back across that meeting and
said, and thing back whether the information was given to people that
needed to be saved. If you stand there
and spend a sermon arguing how Jonah could have been swallowed by the
that doesn’t mean that the gospel has been preached and people
can make an
acceptance of the Savior.
This is why people think, “Oh,
if I just join the church,
I’m in.” It hasn’t been
them because the Holy Spirit couldn’t make it clear to them
because there was
no information given in the first place.
Now there’s no way for an unbeliever to
comprehend spiritual things
because he has no frame of reference.
His frame of reference is reasoning, or his senses,
and that’s all he
knows—rationalism and empiricism. These
never bring you to salvation.
So the individual volition is now free
to act because the
spirit of God has made it clear. And
what are you acting upon? Well
acting upon the record of God, and you say, “Yes” to it, or
you say, “No” to
it. If you say, “Yes” to it,
the family of God. If you say,
it, you reject the person of Christ and you’re doomed forever.
1 John 5:10-12 says, “He that
believeth on the Son of God
hath the witness in himself. He that
believeth not God hath made Him a liar because he believeth not the
God gave of His Son.” And this
which we have in ourselves of having believed upon the Son of God is
our spirit. For Romans tells us that it
is His spirit that witnesses to our human spirit that we are the
God. Verse 11 says, “And this is the
record that God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in the
Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and
he that hath not the Son hath not life.”
Now I don’t care what
you’ve been taught all of your life,
all of your rinky-dink Mickey Mouse rituals to go through.
The Word of God says you’re going to heaven
because you have Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
If you don’t have Him as such now,
first thing to do; to say, “I accept Him,” and to believe
what God has
said—that His Son has paid for your price.
Now you can go ahead and go through all your rituals
and through all
your other things, but when it comes to the point of salvation,
don’t enter any
works. If you say, “Yes, I believe
Jesus Christ, and I’m going to do this so I’ll be
saved,” you have rejected
works and you will not be saved. Grace
says it’s God alone and no human good with it.
The individual volition responds and that’s
how people are saved.
I’m not sure it’s right to
say you can invite Christ into
your heart because I don’t think a spiritually dead person can
extend Him an
invitation in any way. All you can do is
believe God because God gives you that capacity. So
there’s only one meaning for salvation, in
the Old Testament or in the New Testament, and that is
God has said, whether it’s Genesis 15:6 about Abraham believing
God and it
counted to him for righteousness, or John 3:16.
And by the way, it isn’t the
issue of making Christ Lord
either. Every now and then, this is kind
of a bad thing, people say, “Are you going to take Christ as
Lord?” Here’s that circle of
fellowship that you enter when you believe in Christ as Savior. Here’s that inner circle of temporal
fellowship. The minute you’re born
again, you enter that inner circle. You
have all known sins confessed. All
callouses that have developed upon your soul in resistance to God are
away, and you start as a fresh, full, solid, breathing Christian. The first time you sin, you step out of
temporal fellowship. You lose contact
with God. You’re still saved, but
is no longer Lord.
This is how you make Christ Lord. If He is your Savior, when you believe in
Him, He becomes your Lord at that point.
And to make Him Lord means that you confess and come
back into that
inner circle, then He hears your prayer, then He uses your life, then
producing divine good. All the while
you’re out here, you’re producing human good.
All the while you’re in here, you’re
producing divine good. That’s why
it’s important to use 1 John 1:9
and keep that sin confessed. Here is
where Christ is Lord because here is where He’s running the show. When He’s out here, it is the old sin
which is Lord and running the show.
Don’t get people aggravated
about, “How am I going to make
Jesus Christ Lord of my life? I’m
to pray. I’m going to get out there
look at the clouds and I’m going to read poetry.
I’m going to get a guitar and I’m going
sit back and strum and sing to myself and hum and see if I can’t
really kind of
get the Lord to be the Lord of my life.
That’s human effort, and God loathes it.
There are organizations who in the sincerity whip
people up with the
idea of drawing out a response of some human motivation in order to
Revelation 3:20, by the way, where He
says He stands at the
door and knocks, this is not a salvation verse.
This is talking to Christians. “Behold
I stand at the door and knock. If any
man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and sup with
he with Me.” Do you know what this
talking about? This is the spiritual
maturity structure of your soul that we’re going to take up next
Sunday. That’s what He’s
talking about. “Anybody who has come
to a point of spiritual
maturity in his soul, that he’ll open the door, I’ll come
in and I’ll
fellowship with Him, and I will so control and guide and give him such
tremendous and victorious life, he won’t be able to contain
himself with the
excitement of what’s happening to him, and he will no longer be a
Now anytime you add anything to
believing, you have stepped
out of line with leading people to salvation, and you have invited them
human good. You don’t ask them to
anything to believing or you frustrate the grace of God.
You may be tempted to say, “Raise your
hand. Walk an aisle. Tell
me you’re sorry. Change your life
patterns,” but it’s all
Number four: Human
good will not save mankind (Titus 3:5).
None of your human good will take one step toward
saving mankind, as we’ve
already read in Titus 3:5. The believer
is to be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ as to the nature of
production. Now you’re acquainted
Corinthians 3:12-15 which tell how your works will either be hay, wood,
stubble, or they’ll be gold, silver, and precious gems. At present the church is the body of
Christ. At the rapture she becomes the
bride of Christ. Then she will receive a
wedding gown of a resurrect body minus the old sin nature.
Now during our life on earth, when the
Holy Spirit controls
and we’re in this inner circle, we’re producing divine good. When the old sin nature controls, we’re
producing human good. No human good is
going to be allowed at the wedding feast of the lamb.
You’re going to be dressed only in the
righteousness of divine good which Christ has created.
So all human good that we lead people to
perform is going to be lost for them. It’s
going to go through the fire of judgment and it’s going to be
Now in the sixth place, you should
distinguish between human
good and morality. There are some rules
that whether you are a Christian or nor, there are rules of morality
protection of society, and that is not human good.
Those are morals and everybody is expected by
the Word of God to abide by them. You
are not to steal from people. You are
not to murder people, and so on. Romans
13:4-5 says, “For he (the civil leader and authority) is the
minister of God to
thee for good, but if thou do that which is evil, be afraid for he
the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God and avenger to execute
upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye
must needs be subject not only for wrath but also for conscience
sake.” Morality is necessary for the
and perpetuation of the human race and it applies to believer and
Finally, human good is the basis for
indictment at the Great White Throne judgment.
A man went out last Sunday morning, and he had heard
this line in the service, and he was confused.
He wanted to know what’s in those books of
works that they open at the
time when unsaved people stand at the Great White Throne.
Everybody seems to think that the things that
they have in those books are all of our bad works.
The wall has been removed and the death of Christ
has destroyed the bad
works. They are gone.
What is left here is our good works, and
these in Revelation 20:11-15 are the product of the old sin
all of which God has rejected. Our sins
were covered at the cross. Our human
good was rejected at the cross (Titus 3:5).
And after the second resurrection, unbelievers are
not going to be faced
with their sins, but their good works are going to be read. They have said, “I’ll stand on my
and those books of good works are going to be opened.
It couldn’t be bad works because those have
been covered by the death of Christ. So
the human good of the unbeliever will prove to fall short of the
of God, and on that basis their name will be blotted out of the book of
The second purpose of the
pastor-teacher’s ministry is to
enable the people to have the equipment to produce divine good, and to
discernment to recognize when they’re producing human good and to
it. Think this through.
There are eternal rewards that are dependent
upon your getting this doctrine straight.
If you fail here, and you squander your life going
to a church where
there’s no doctrinal instruction so that you can build the
structure, you’ll pay for it for all eternity.
It may be a nice church to attend now, but
it’s going to be a very
costly price for you and for your friends and for your family and for
who are important to you. So learn the
difference between divine good and human good.
One is what God accepts. The
other He rejects totally.
Our Father we want to thank thee for
the fact that we are
not left to be the helpless creatures of our old sin nature that we
are. How we praise thee for the presence
of God the Holy Spirit for the tremendous realistic guidance that comes
Him. So Father help us not to be
tiresome to thee by going around with our cute human viewpoint,
doubting the basics of the Word of God and how thou dost function, and
that because life seems to move along pretty good for us, and times are
bad, and things are falling in place for us personally, that somehow
in the long run have some merit to them.
Help us to see ourselves as the filthy rags in which
we’re dressed and
that we’re taking pride in, and help us to get our thinking
rearranged as we
look upon that glorious garment of righteousness of divine good with
art so eager to clothe every believer in this room this morning. May that be our goal. May
that be the thing we pursue. May that be
the thing to which we devote our
lives so that when we stand in Thy presence at the Judgment Seat, it
will be, “Well
done, thy good and faithful servant.” Here
is the moment for you to enter your great reward. To
this end we pray to the glory of
John E. Danish, 1971
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