There is a combination found in these Scriptures that is unbeatable. The combination is: the Sinner, the Spirit, the Seed, the Saint, and the Saviour.
First we see the Sinner--the eunuch. Not much is said about his spiritual condition in these verses but from the Bible (Eph. 2:1-3) we can learn of his condition. He was:
This eunuch was just like every other sinner in this world. Eph. 2:1 states they are "dead in trespasses and sins." They are so dead that Rom. 5:6 says they are "without strength." "Without strength" is where we get our English word "anesthesia." When a person has an operation and goes under total anesthesia he has no consciousness toward the world. The five senses of the body are gone. There is no sense of touch, smell, taste, hearing, or sight. Thus a sinner under the anesthesia of sin has no consciousness toward God because he is dead spiritually. The five senses of his spirit are gone; thus, he has no worship, no fear, no love, no faith, and no hope.
The sinner is depraved which means he is totally corrupted to the core. There is no good in him. Eph. 2:3 states he is "fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind." He is in this condition because Adam sinned in the garden and passed his sin nature on to all mankind.
Every sinner is dominated or controlled by three things found in Eph. 2:2-3. 1) He is controlled by the "course of this world" = which means "the spirit of this age" which is rebellion. 2) Also he is controlled by "the prince of the power of the air" which is Satan and all his demons. 3) He is controlled by his flesh and his manner of living (conversation) is a continuous habitual lifestyle in unbridled desires (lusts) of the flesh.
Also every sinner is deceived because the god of this world (the devil) blinds them from the truth, (II Cor. 4:3-4: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.) thereby deceiving their heart. (Jer. 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?")
Eph. 2:3 states that he is a "child of wrath," not later, but right now. John 3:36 states that "the wrath of God abideth" (remains) upon every person who believeth not the Son. The judgment of God is hanging over every one who has not been saved. He is in a terrible condition and the sad thing about it is that he does not know it within himself and also many saved (so-called) do not care. That is very sad!
6. Dear to the Lord.
Eph. 2:1-3 paints a bad picture for every sinner but it does not end there because verse 4 says, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us." He extends mercy and holds back His wrath giving a space for a sinner to repent. (Rom. 2:4: "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?")
Thus we see the second part of the combination in operation.
The Holy Spirit was working His work in Acts 8. The Bible refers to His work as the "sanctification of the Spirit" in two verses. (I Peter 1:2: "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. II Thess. 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.) "Sanctification of the Spirit" means the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit in salvation.
1. He prepares the Sinner.
He does this by giving light to every sinner. (John 1:9: "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.") He does this in creation (Rom. 1:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.") which reveals that God exists. (Psa. 19:1-4: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.") Therefore, every man is without excuse. (Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.") If a sinner will step in light that there is a God, the Holy Spirit will cause him to begin to seek God. (Heb. 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.") The eunuch left his country in search of God.
2. He plants the Seed.
When the eunuch went to Jerusalem to find God, no doubt he felt he had failed for he was returning home in our text just as empty as he had left. The only difference was he had a copy of a portion of the Word of God--Isaiah 53. Thus, the third part of this combination comes into view--the Seed.
3. He Positions the Saint.
The Holy Spirit moved on Philip while he was in revival at Samaria. Philip obeyed, went where the Lord told him, met the eunuch's chariot, and heard him reading from Isaiah 53. After asking him if he understood what he read, the eunuch made a true statement in verse 31, "How can I unless some man should guide me?" God's plan in everyone's salvation experience includes a human instrument. (Rom. 10:13-15: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" I Cor. 3:5: "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?") Thus we see the fourth part of this combination--the Saint.
4. He Plows the Soil.
Every sinner's heart must be plowed with the plow share of the gospel sharpened by the Holy Spirit. Acts. 8:35 states that Philip "preached Jesus" (the gospel) to the eunuch from Isaiah 53. This is the Lord's way. (I Cor. 1:21: "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.") A sinner's heart must be plowed if it is ever to become good ground and be saved. (Mat. 13:23: "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.")
5. He produces all that is necessary to be saved.
The Holy Spirit produces conviction which is called "reprove" in John 16:8. ("And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:8) "Reprove" means to convince and convict. Every sinner must be convinced of his root sin against God--unbelief. Also he must be convinced of the righteousness of God who is Jesus. (I Cor. 1:30: "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.") When convinced, then comes conviction--being guilty of sin against a Holy God, deserving the judgment of God which is an eternity in hell. But the Lord does not save you just to keep you out of hell. He saves you for His glory. Conviction must be complete of all three ingredients--sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Another name for conviction is godly sorrow (deep God caused grief) which works repentance. (II Cor. 7:10: "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.") Repentance is a change of mind, but more. It is a change of heart, a change of attitude, and a change of direction. It is a turning toward God from sin, self, and the world and taking up sides with God against yourself.
Repentance is a work of God and is a must if one is to be saved. When repentance is worked the Holy Spirit produces faith. Faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is thegift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.") and not something you work up.
When repentance and faith are granted, then and only then can one obey the gospel, which is to repent and believe.
The fifth part of this combination is the Saviour. In fact He makes this combination unbeatable. When one repents and believes the Saviour takes control. He births you into His kingdom. (Col. 1:13: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.") He gives life and peace because He is our peace. (I John 5:12: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Eph. 2:14: "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.")
Also He, not the preacher, gives assurance. (I Thess. 1:5: "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.") This complete work gives all glory to the Lord which is to whom it should be given. Thus, we have an UNBEATABLE COMBINATION.
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THE PERSUADER - October-December, 2000