The circle on the top left of our diagram represents the status of the unbeliever, that is, the person who has not trusted in Christ as savior.

The word, darkness, is a biblical term that indicates the influence and viewpoint of evil in contrast to light, which is the influence and viewpoint of God. 1 John 1:5

And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light and in Him there is absolutely no darkness.

This presence of evil in the universe was permitted by God in order to ultimately expose it, judge it and remove it so that never again throughout eternity would it be an issue for any of God's creatures.

Darkness originated with Lucifer's rebellion against God's policy and viewpoint at some time prior to man's existence (Ezek. 28:15-17). He thus became known as Satan, the adversary of God, and along with the many angels who followed him in rebellion, he formulated a system of opposition to God which the Bible designates as the kingdom of Satan or the kingdom of darkness (Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18).

God created the human race to provide an additional agent for the promotion of light in the universe. Man's purpose has always been to bring glory to God by using and proclaiming all the principles of divine wisdom and righteousness. Accordingly, through man's faithfulness, there results a proclamation and demonstration to both fallen and unfallen angels, that God, in his perfect wisdom, is righteous, just and loving and is perfectly consistent in judging the creatures who have rebelled against Him.

But Satan extended his opposition into the human race and succeeded in influencing Adam and Eve to also reject God's viewpoint and policy. As a result of this, Satan gained ruling authority over man's physical world and acquired the title, "ruler of this world." (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). Thus, all people are born into Satan's kingdom of darkness and must be delivered into God's kingdom of light in order to have life with God and escape participation in the judgment that God originally on Satan and all the rebellious angels (Mat. 25:41).

This destiny of mankind is illustrated by the bottom left circle in our diagram, where can be found the references that indicate that mankind is under God's wrath, His judgment and will spend eternity in the lake of fire if he does not trust in Christ as his savior. (Hebrews 9:27; Mt. 25:41; Jn 3:18, 36; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:15)

In addition, Adam and Eve actually became sinful in character. That is, they now possessed a nature to act in rebellion and independence from God. This "sin nature" has since been passed down to all members of the human race through physical birth (Psalm 51:5) and resides in the physical mentality genes of each person, which produces a direct interaction with the immaterial soul of man and makes all mankind "by nature" a creature who continually seeks independence from God and strives against God's viewpoint and policies.

The problem with this is that the perfect righteousness of God is unable to have fellowship with sinfulness. Instead, perfect justice must judge that sinfulness by condemning the sinner to an eternity separated from God in total misery. Thus, the whole human race falls under the indictment of Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and come short of God's glory." And the consequence of sin as per Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is (spiritual) death," which is separation from God for all eternity.

Return to Diagram

The sinful condition of man is described by the theological term, "depravity." The depravity of the human race is summarized by four words at Romans 5:6-10. These four words are indicated in our diagram by the acrostic, H.U.S.E., and represent the following factors:

1. Mankind is UNGODLY: The Greek indicates this to be an attitude and way of life which will not give to God the worship, praise, recognition that He merits as GOD.

2. Mankind is a group of SINNERS: they express independence from God by violating His righteous standards.

3. Mankind is an ENEMY of God: An enmity which God, because of His absolute nature, cannot tolerate.

4. And mankind is HELPLESS: They can do nothing in and of themselves to resolve the problem.

Thus, we have the condition of man stated at Ephesians 2:1 as, "dead in trespasses and sins."

Another aspect of man's helplessness is the reality of physical death, which is placed upon all of Adam's progeny as a consequence of his sin. this is expressed at 1 Cor. 15:22, where we find, "BY Adam all die." In other words, in the same way that all people are born with a sin nature through physical relationship with Adam, who acquired it through his act of sin and passed it on through procreation, so also, by means of Adam's sin, physical death extends to all of his offspring (Heb. 9:27).

Furthermore, the middle circle on the left in our diagram indicates the quality of life that the unbeliever will live through his slavery to the sin nature and the effects of sin in his life. Isaiah 57:21 states, "there is no peace, says my God, to the wicked."

Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of THIS DARKNESS, against the spiritual things of the evil in the heavenly sphere."
The term, "this darkness" indicates the sphere of viewpoint in which these forces operate. Diagram

SPHERE one: Refers to the "positional status" of the human race. It is a status that equally applies to all mankind born of Adam. It has nothing to do with race, gender or geographical location. All mankind is IN DARKNESS.
EPHESIANS 5:8a, "For you were formerly darkness . . ."

"Formerly darkness" indicates the STATUS of those who have not trusted in Christ as savior. The contrast is awesome in this passage as we see the change from the old status (darkness) to the new status (light) and then the exhortation to the new function, "walk as children of light."Diagram

All who are born into the world are born into Satan's kingdom and family as is indicated at Eph. 5:8a and John 8:44; (Luke 1:79; John 12:46)

Acts 26:18, tells us indirectly that the world is IN DARKNESS and the purpose of God is -

"To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the dominion of Satan to God."

This indicates the intent of the gospel message as it is accurately presented. It is designed to convict, "open the eyes," in order to then produce an ACTION which is to "turn from." Turning from is accomplished at the very moment of time that a person trusts in Christ as savior. At that very instant, the person is transferred from darkness to light. That is why at Col. 1:12-13, where Paul views it as an accomplished fact for those who have trusted in Christ, the wording is, "He HAS DELIVERED us from the domain of darkness and TRANSFERRED us to the kingdom of the Son of His love."

He is indicated as "unbeliever" because this is the characteristic attitude of all who enter the world. This attitude must be altered in order to become adjusted to God. However , this requires volitional ability and responsibility. Therefore, if any human being dies before reaching a point of volitional ability and responsibility, the grace of God will extend to that person and He will not be condemned. Example: babies.Diagram

IN ADAM: This term refers to the doctrine of "positional" union with Adam, which although is very popular, is not biblical. It teaches that everyone has a positional association with Adam and Adam's original sin of disobedience. However the term occurs "possibly" only one time in Scripture, and more likely, not even there (1 Cor. 15:22), for it is better rendered as "BY" Adam, all die.

1 Cor. 15:22, "BY Adam all die" is a reference to physical death which is the separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body. This speaks of "mortality" only from a physical standpoint, for the soul will exist forever. Because of Adam's sin ("by Adam") there is a curse upon the physical body which is passed on from Adam to all of his progeny through physical birth (Gen. 3:19; Heb. 9:27). See DEATH: Physical

Comments on IMPUTED SIN: This term refers to the theological idea that there is a judicial imputation of Adam's act of disobedience upon all those descended from him so that all are held accountable to God's justice and the spiritual "death" that results (Rom. 6:23, the wages of sin is death). This is based on Romans 5:12-19, however, after much study, I have determined that the idea of imputed sin is neither biblical nor theologically necessary in our understanding of the depravity of man. Romans 5 refers to the presence of the sin nature and the spiritual death that is placed upon all who are born with a sin nature. See Romans 5:12-21

DEAD IN SINS: This refers to the "positional" status of spiritual death which is present because of personal sins. Personal sins are those which are committed during your life. Only one sin is necessary to qualify all people as guilty of violating a standard of God and acting independently from Him.

And since we know that "all have sinned and come short of God's standard of Glory" (Rom. 3:23), the scripture can make the evaluation that all mankind is "dead in trespasses and sins." Ephesians 2:1Diagram

Romans 5:6-10

This passage outlines the depravity of the human race by mentioning the TWO "strikes" against it, the RESULT and the helplessness of man to solve the problem.

1. Mankind is UNGODLY: This refers to man's INHERENT NATURE of sin, which is the FIRST strike against him in having relationship with God. The Greek indicates this to be an attitude and way of life which will not give to God the worship, praise, and recognition that He merits as GOD.

2. Mankind is a group of SINNERS: The natural expression of a sinful nature is personal sin, and is the SECOND strike against mankind. Personal sins show independence from God by violating His righteous standards.

3. Mankind is an ENEMY of God: This is the result of having the NATURE of sin and expressing the inevitable personal sins. This is an enmity which God, because of His absolute nature, cannot tolerate.

4. And mankind is HELPLESS: They can do nothing in and of themselves to resolve the problem. Two strikes against each member of the human race, and if strike 3 occurs; the sin of unbelief, then that individual will be sent to the lake of fire for all eternity.  Diagram

SPHERE two: Refers to the "function" of those who are born into darkness.

The actual expression of darkness may vary from individual to individual, but all are in darkness and express that darkness through independence from God.

This represents the way of life of the unbeliever.
He lives under the control of the sin nature which is described at Ephesians 2:3 as,

"formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh (sin nature), indulging the desires of the flesh (physical body) and of the mind, and were BY NATURE, children of wrath . . ."

And at Ephesians 4:22 as, "your former manner of life which is corrupt according to the lusts of deceit."

The characteristics of this "darkness" quality of life are described as the fruit of the flesh (sin nature) at Gal. 5:19-20.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these (which means etc.)," Diagram

The quality of life of the unbeliever is characterized by "no peace."

Isaiah 57:21, "there is no peace says my God to the wicked"

1. Peace can be defined as a tranquility of soul which is relaxed and free from inner chaos, doubt and confusion.
2. Jesus taught at Jn. 14:27 that He offers a unique quality of "peace" which can not be found in the sphere of the "world."

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon speaks of a quality of life which is -

1. Ecc. 1:8, "wearisome" -

All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not SATISFIED with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.

This word, wearisome speaks of "soul fatigue" which is simply the frustration of having no "peace" in the life.

2. Ecc. 1:2, "vanity of vanities, - - - all is vanity." This word indicates "emptiness" and indicates that the quality of life which does not relate to God on His terms will be filled with emptiness, which gives no purpose or real fulfillment in one's existence.

At Matthew 11:28, Jesus indicates that the quality of life of the unbeliever is weary and under a heavy burden.

1. Weary translates a Greek word which indicates an inner struggle to the point of soul fatigue. (again, frustration)

2. The heavy burden refers to an inner need which does not go away, but continually presses down upon the soul with an ever-increasing pressure of purposelessness in life.

3. Together these add up to a "frantic search for happiness" Going round and round in "circles" looking for "something" and never really finding it.

At John 12:35, Jesus speaks of the blindness of the soul.

1. "He who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going." Again, this communicates that "wandering" and aimlessness of the soul.

2. At 1 John 2:11, we find that the one who walks in the darkness, does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Again, no direction in life.

At Hebrews 2:15, the writer speaks of the non-Christian as one who is "in slavery all their lives" because of fear of death.

1. This refers to that "unknown quantity" which men fear when they have no answer that really "satisfies" the soul.
2. At 1 Thes. 4:13, Paul talks about the non-Christian's view of death, "that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope."

3. They have no knowledge and therefore no real confidence or even hope of what will happen when they die.
4. And this contributes to the confusion and frustration of life.

At Jeremiah 17:9, we discover that the heart is deceitful above all else and desperately "sick." And the non-Christian is "stuck" under the influence of this deceptive nature which can do nothing except contribute to the "insanity" of life (the weariness, the emptiness, the burden, the frustration) of life without relationship with the God of the bible.Diagram

The unbeliever is involved with the darkness process within his soul.
This process is described at Romans 1:18-32 and Ephesians 4:17-19.

The process basically results WHEN the unbeliever makes a conscious decision to reject the divine viewpoint of God that has been revealed either through the natural revelation of the physical creation or a verbal communication of the gospel of truth.

At Romans 1:18-25, the process is described as follows.

1. V. 18, states the expression of divine wrath on "all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men."
2. The reason is mentioned at v. 19, "because."
3. "That which is known about God," according to v. 20, refers to his "eternal power and divine nature."
4. This "knowledge" about God has been clearly made visible in and through the natural physical creation.
5. Observation of the glories of nature convicts man of the existence and power of God and holds him accountable to make a positive response toward God.

6. If instead of a positive response, the person rejects the "obvious" revelation found in nature, then they are held without excuse and the darkness process begins.

7. v. 21, "for even though they knew God," refers to the natural revelation about God found in the glories of nature.
8. "they did not honor Him as God or expressed humility (gave thanks)."

This should have been the required "positive" response from them, but instead they expressed the exact opposite.

9. The first result was an "emptiness" effect in their soul: "They became EMPTY in their reasonings."

This refers to the fact that when the "truth" of God was rejected, it caused a vacuum effect in the soul; a need that had to be filled with something. That "something" was a replacement god or gods and a replacement worship.

10. "and their foolish heart became darkened." this phrase represents two steps in the darkness process.

A. "Foolish" describes the condition of the mentality that has rejected divine truth. It indicates that which is totally opposite to true wisdom.

B. Anyone who rejects the revelation of God in any form and adopts a substitute philosophy or religion is "foolish."

C. And thus becomes filled with darkness viewpoint. The viewpoint of the creature who acts independently and rebelliously against the creator.

11. V. 22, "professing themselves to be wise." This gives us the "delusion" stage to the darkening process. Once darkness enters the soul, it deludes and blinds it to divine truth. "The one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:11)."

12. Thus, "they became fools." This describes the "foolish" way of life that results from rejecting divine truth.
13. This "way of life" is described as idolatry and sexual perversion in verses 23-25.

14. Consequently, God "turned them over" to do as they please and suffer the just "natural" consequences of their foolishness while on earth and ultimately the final wrath of God at the last judgment.

At Ephesians 4:17-19, the darkness process is described as follows:

CT: This I say therefore and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer be walking just like the unbelievers (Gentiles) also walk, in the emptiness of their mind, being darkened in the understanding, since they have become alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.

Who having (thus) become calloused, have given themselves over to (the philosophy of) sensuality, resulting in the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

1. It begins with hardness of heart: This is the attitude that rejects the knowledge of God either in the gospel of truth or the natural revelation of the creation.

2. This rejection of "knowledge" then results in being ignorant of God. It causes "the ignorance that is in them."
3. The result of such ignorance is logically an alienation from God and the life of God which He offers to His creatures.
4. The end result is described as having an empty mind and a darkened understanding.

A. The empty mind is the mind that is deficient of the knowledge of God but now acts as a vacuum to suck in a replacement viewpoint.

B. That replacement viewpoint that fills up the vacuum is called darkness.

The "darkened understanding" refers to the function of one's mentality as he seeks to relate to self, others, life the universe and God.

5. This "darkened" condition then causes a callousness in the soul; a scarring that causes the person to live only for the satisfaction of his physical senses (sensuality) in a totally self-centered (greediness) life style.

This is the end result of the darkness process in the unbeliever. However, the warning in Ephesians 4:17-19 is that the believer who gets out of fellowship with God and lives under the control of his sinful nature, is just as vulnerable to the darkness process and the effects of the process.Diagram

SPHERE three of darkness is the destiny of those who do not trust in Christ as savior. It is in fact the "lake of fire" destiny assigned to Satan and his angels upon their rebellion against God. But the human race does not "have" to go to the lake of fire. Satan and his angels must. But only those who fail to trust in Christ as savior will go to the lake of fire.

The judgment of God upon those who have rejected Christ as savior is described as the wrath of God at John 3:36, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

This expression of wrath is the divine viewpoint and attitude of God from the standpoint of perfect justice which "must" reject and judge any violation of His perfect righteousness.

Thus, this destiny for the unbeliever is described at John 3:18 as being judged by God, "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Notice, "has been judged already." This indicates an assigned destiny for every member of the human race. A divine appointment according to Heb. 9:27, "for it is appointed to man to die once and then comes judgment." Diagram


The lake of fire is a literal place of separation from God which is characterized by extreme misery and pain. It is the place where all who have rejected God will spend eternity.

The bible gives very clear descriptions of this place and the pain and misery associated with it.

2 Thes. 1:8-9, ". .those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the just due of eternal ruin (not destruction) away from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His power."

Rev. 14:9-11, "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger, and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their TORMENT goes up forever and ever; and they have NO REST day or night."

Allot of debate has been waged about whether this "fire" is literal or figurative. Technically, it is no issue. Why? Because regardless, the TORMENT and the NO REST are literal and describe the actual condition of all those who go there. This then, very clearly describes a real and conscious existence eternally separated from God.

Rev. 20:15, "And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."Diagram


Volition is the God-given right and responsibility to function freely within the sphere of your own mentality. In other words, to think anything you want and make mental decisions for yourself. It is not however, the right to physically carry out those decisions. God reserves the right to prevent or permit any creature activity so that no one has the power to "do" unless God permits it.

It is thus, the volitional responsibility of every member of the human race to make a mental decision concerning the issues of God's claim upon his life.

Accordingly, it is God's responsibility to provide man with the information he needs in order to make that decision.

On every page of scripture we see the presence and function of volition or "free will" as some have called it. But keep in mind that "free will" is not the right to "act" but the right to "think" anything it wants.Diagram

Mat. 7:13-14, "Enter by the narrow gate. for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."

THE PATHWAY TO LIFE, is narrow and the gate to walk through at the end is small. This means that there is only one way to get to God; only one way of salvation. And that "gate" is Jesus Christ. But not just the name of Jesus, or "claiming" to be Christian for that is indeed a very "large" gate and very "wide" pathway. According to Mat. 7:21-23, many will claim allegiance to Christ and "good works" through Christ, but will be "unknown" to Him and condemned as unbelievers. The pathway is a process of realizing several stages of "humility" as mankind must relate to God on God's terms and then walk through the "gate" by personal trust in Jesus Christ as savior,

THE GATE is of course the ONLY way to enter into a saving relationship with God. Anything and everything else fails to accomplish any spiritual reality with God but keeps man under the negative expressions of divine justice which end result will be the lake of fire for all eternity.

John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."

John 10:9, I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved."

Acts 4:12, "and there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given to men by which it is necessary to be saved."Diagram

The process of getting to the gate to salvation is called the "drawing" of God. John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me, draws him." This process is basically, the ministry of the Holy Spirit who "convicts" the world of "sin, righteousness and judgment" so that a person might know the issues involved and make his own decision for life or death.

The drawing of God then, is the process of providing the information a person needs to make a decision to trust in Christ as savior. This is accomplished by the "convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit which is stated at John 16:8-11,

"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

For a detailed discussion of "drawing," see Doctrinal Archive D.Diagram

The "understanding" that must come about relates to 5 areas of spiritual truth.


This is an awareness of God's creator status through objectively looking at the physical creation and seeing it as the work of a supernatural being.

Psalm 19:1-4, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world.

Romans 1:19-20, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Once such an observation is made, the choice is to either "search" for more information about this "being" or to reject the reality of his existence and seek peace and happiness on your own terms. We can designate this as going either "positive" or "negative" at the point of God-consciousness. When a person goes "positive" at this point, he is expressing - -



This is the attitude that recognizes God as the creator and self as a creature who is under the jurisdiction of that creator's viewpoint, authority and policy.

Acts 17:24-29, "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined {their} appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, For we also are His offspring. Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

Now it is important to realize that coming to such an observation does not "save" a person. It is simply a necessary attitude adjustment before a person will even consider his need for God. Once such an observation is made the next step is to actually here the specifics of the gospel; the need for salvation and what Jesus did to provide salvation.

Acts 17:30-31, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Diagram

GOSPEL HEARING then, is the receipt of salvation information so that a person may make a conscious, informed and committed entrustment of his soul into the hands of God.

Romans 10:11-17, For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same {Lord} is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD will be saved." How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, "LORD, who has believed our REPORT?" So faith {comes} from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.Diagram

There are two things that must be faced upon hearing the gospel. The first thing is to recognize and accept your "need" for salvation. This is called -

SIN HUMILITY because it is the attitude that accepts God's indictment of the human race and "you" personally because of the presence of sin in three categories. (Imputed sin, sin nature and personal sin).

Before anyone will trust in Christ as savior, he MUST be convicted of his "need." If he does not think that he is a sinner and has a need to be saved, he will certainly not be interesting in "getting" saved.

Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and are deficient of God's glory."

Recognizing the depravity of man as already seen in "sphere 1" of darkness.

Romans 5:6-10, helpless, ungodly, sinners and enemies of God.

Once this conviction has taken place, the person must then face the issues of what God has DONE in order to solve the sin problem. In other words, he must accept the fact that God provided the solution to the sin problem through Christ and only through Christ and then ONLY through faith in Christ, apart from works, human merit or human heredity.

He does not need to "know" the details of what Jesus did as pictured in the diagram around the CROSS, but he does NEED to know the basic issue that Christ died for his sins, "so that whoever trusts in Him shall have everlasting life."

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that each individual is personally responsible for choosing whether he will accept God's solution or not. Every salvation invitation expresses God's desire for all men to be saved, but God will not "make" anyone trust in Christ. This is a decision that must be made from within the individual self-consciousness of every person. That decision is based on - - Diagram

SALVATION HUMILITY and is called "faith" in Christ.

Salvation humility is the attitude that recognizes and accepts GOD'S terms for getting saved. Thus, it is FAITH and only faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9,

1. For by Grace: God's provision through the work of Christ on the cross, freely available for ALL.

2. you have been saved: This is viewing those who are already saved and describing the FACT of their salvation and how it was accomplished.

3. Through faith: this is man's part. Man must "accept" the gift of salvation which God offers. The acceptance of that gift is called, faith. However, let us recognize that this is not simply an academic acceptance of some historical person or occurrence, but an actual trust-dependence on that person and what He did in order to save us from our sins.

4. And that = this: neuter demonstrative pronoun that refers back to the "neuter" idea of "saved." It does NOT refer to faith as a gift. (See topic Faith: not a gift from God)

5. Not of yourselves: This means that you cannot provide the salvation out from yourself. It is amplified when it says, not of works.

6. It is the gift of God: Salvation is the gift of God. Rom. 6:23.

This is amplified by the next passage: John 1:12-13

1. But as many as received Him: This receiving of Him is described in the verse by the phrase, "to those who believe in His name." When someone believes in Christ - it is receiving Him.

2. To them he gave the authority: divine authority based on conformity to divine policy - which policy is "faith."

3. To become children of God: This is being born again as a child of God into His family and receiving spiritual life as a result. This happens at the very moment of time that you trust in Christ as savior.

4. Which were born: this indicates that it is indeed the "new birth" that is in view.

5. Not of blood: refers to heredity. You gain no spiritual merit through "physical" birth.

6. Nor of the will of the flesh: This refers to the personal "self determination" that someone may make in order to get saved. Self determination does not produce the new birth. It does NOT refer to the function of faith. Faith is NOT a self determination, but simply a volitional decision to accept what God freely offers.

7. Nor of the will of man: This refers to two or more people gathering together in some kind of "organized" religious endeavor in order to accomplish salvation for themselves and others.

8. But salvation is not from any of these sources. Salvation is from God and God only. God's provision on God's terms.

Acts 16:31, The jailer asked, "what must I do to be saved."

And the answer given by Paul silences all those who would add to God's terms. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved! And that goes for your whole household as well."Diagram

THE CROSS is the instrument by which God the Father could publicly display the Son as an object of divine judgment over a period of time during which He could place the sins of the world upon the Son and judge Him as the substitute for the entire human race.

The public display of the Son in this manner speaks of the universal provision of God's plan of redemption as well as establishes Him as "The Way the Truth and the Life" so that "no one comes to the Father" except through Him.

At John 12:32-33 Jesus says, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself."

This then is a direct statement of the universal provision of salvation for the human race. The "drawing" is the fact that Christ's death on the cross extends to every sin and every person who has every lived or ever will live and appeals to all to utilize that provision for them by personally trusting in Christ as savior. The inspired comment by John in v. 33 makes it clear that the "lifting up" is indeed, Christ's death on the cross.Diagram

And it is that very "lifting up" of the "lamb of God who takes up the sin of the world" (John 1:29) that accomplishes the TWO issues for man's reconciliation to God.

#1 The payment of a - -


The provision of salvation is a universal provision. That means that Christ died for the whole world. He died for all sins and died for all mankind. This is designated as the doctrine of the ransom which is sometimes referred to as unlimited atonement. The reality of a universal payment of the penalty for sin is clearly stated in several places in the Bible.

RE: atonement

1. Unlimited atonement is a theological term which means that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire human race. 2 Cor. 5.14-15

A. One died: aorist active indicative - apothnāskō. The specific point of time when Jesus carried the sins of the whole world on the cross. (1 Pet.2.24)

B. for: huper - preposition of substitution - in the place of

C. all: reference to all of mankind in distinction from the ones who live through faith acceptance of his sacrifice on their behalf. v. 15

D. Thus, we must recognize this as a universal sin sacrifice.

2. The word atonement means covering and refers to the old testament animal sacrifices which provided a judicial covering for sin, but never provided absolute removal of the sins. Heb. 10.4

A. Salvation has always been through making a free will decision to trust God's promise concerning the person and work of the Messiah savior.

B. Salvation was taught and ceremonially demonstrated through the sacrificial system, but the sacrifices did not provide salvation.

C. However, the ritual sacrifices were necessary as the teaching aid looking forward to Christ. Heb. 9:11-14, 22

D. For the nation of Israel, the Day of Atonement provided a judicial covering of the nation's sins and therefore, acceptance of the nation by God under a theocratic system (God as king).

E. The ritual sacrifices also provided functional forgiveness because they anticipated the real sacrifice of the savior who would actually carry the sins of the world. Jn. 1:29

F. To make atonement was to provide a judicial covering for sins and the basis for functional forgiveness as the believer applied Pr. 28:13 in association with the sacrifice.

G. The word atonement is never used in the NT with reference to Christ's sacrifice for sin.

H. His sacrifice does not provide a universal "covering" for sin, but a universal payment for sin.

I. Therefore, the term "unlimited atonement" is a theological device which actually communicates a universal salvation provision available to all people on the same terms of trust in Christ. (whosoever believes ---)

J. A much better term incorporates the fact that a ransom or price for sins was indeed paid by the spiritual sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

3. Christ died for all - there are no exceptions.

A. Titus 2.11-God's grace provides salvation to all men (universal provision)
B. Heb. 2.9 - Jesus tasted death for everyone (universal identification)
C. 2 Pet. 2.1 - He even bought the ones who deny him. (universal payment)
D. 1 Tim. 4.10 - He is the savior of all men (universal sacrifice) especially of believers (limited application based on faith).
E. 1 Tim. 2:6 - who gave Himself as a ransom for all.

4. A univresal ransom means that Jesus Christ satisfied the character of the Godhead by paying the price demanded by Divine justice. Ie, propitiation.

A. 1 John 2.2 - He is the propitiation (satisfaction - hilasmos) for the sins of the whole world. (universal satisfaction)

B. Romans 3.25 - God displayed Christ publicly as a propitiation-hilastārion - place of satisfaction (mercy seat)

5. Since the sins of the whole world are paid for, and God's justice is satisfied, there results a universal offer of salvation to the entire human race. John 12:32; 3:16; Acts 17:30

A. But this does not mean that every person is automatically saved.
B. One must accept Christ's work on his behalf by personal trust. Acts 16.31; 1 Tim. 4.10
C. So the issue in salvation is not sins (plural) but one sin. John 16.8-9 with 8.21-24 and 9.41.

The sin of unbelief is the only thing standing between God and each member of the human race. When that is "reversed" by trusting in Christ, all other sins are forgiven.

D. And the only "WORK" that is involved is the "work of God, that you believe
on Him whom He sent." John 6:29.

E. Isaiah 53:6 - "the iniquity of us all" = a universal ransom.
Isaiah 53:11 - "justify the many" = a limited justification based on faith, Romans 5:1

6. Furthermore, since Christ paid for the sins of the whole world, it is God's responsibility to make the information about this salvation available. This is called the "drawing" of God by which He convicts through the Holy Spirit that man needs to trust in Christ.

7. At the last judgment, the issue will be faith in Christ, not sins. Rv. 20:13-15

A. The book of works is opened in order to demonstrate man's need for salvation by showing both specific deeds of sin as well as deeds of human good.

B. The deeds of sin demonstrate the person's violation of God's standards.
C. The deeds of human good demonstrate the inadequacy of man's righteousness to meet up to the standard of God's perfect righteousness.

D. If someone has failed to trust in Christ during his lifetime on earth, his name is blotted out of the book of life and he will spend eternity separated from the Godhead in the lake of fire. Heb. 9:27 - judgment.



1. Propitiation means that God is satisfied concerning violations of His righteousness (sins) because His justice has administered a proper penalty.

2. It begins by understanding the Ark of the Covenant of the Levitical law. Exodus 25.10-22

A. V. 10 - It was a box made from acacia wood (45x27x27 inches).
B. V. 11 - Overlaid with gold.
C. Wood speaks of humanity and gold speaks of deity. Together-represents the hypostatic union of Jn. 1.14. (God and man united together)

D. V. 17-21 - mercy seat made of solid gold with two cherubs on either side.

Wings cover the mercy seat to picture observation.

E. The two cherubs represent God's character of righteousness and justice observing the sacrifice of sprinkled blood and being satisfied.

F. Inside the ark: Heb. 9.4

1. pot of manna: represents the sin of faithlessness (no trust)
2. Aaron's rod which budded: represents the sin of rebellion
3. Broken tables of the commandments: represents sin of disobedience
4. In the ark: represents the savior bearing sins in his own body on the cross. 1 Peter 2.24

G. Day of atonement: Leviticus 16.11-15; Heb. 9.7 - once a year to symbolize salvation relationship.

1. the blood represents the spiritual death of the future savior.
2. sprinkled on the mercy seat represents payment for sin.
3. God's Righteousness and justice are satisfied & the people of the nation are reconciled to God for another year.

4. Symbolism taught at Heb. 9.8-10

4. Propitiation results from the love of God initiating the plan of salvation in the person of Christ. 1 Jn. 4.10

A. Redemption: Titus 2.14 - purchase us from slavery to sin
B. Universal payment for sin: 1 Tim. 2.6 - ransom for all
C. 1 Jn. 2.2 - satisfaction concerning the whole world

5. Christ then is the fulfillment of this Day of atonement symbolism. Heb. 9.11-14

6. Accordingly, He is publicly displayed as a mercy seat of satisfaction. Rom. 3.24-25

7. The symbolic indication of propitiation in the OT was the smoke of the burnt offering.

A. soothing aroma 43 times: Lit: an odor of soothing

1. odor: reyach (construct form) odor of
2. soothing: niychoach, quieting, tranquilizing, appeasing, from verb, nuach = to rest

B. First occurrence: Gen. 8.21
C. The Levitical code: Lev. 1.9, 13; 2.2, 9, etc.
D. Always associated with the burnt offering - the offering by fire.
E. The symbolism is established based on -

1. the meaning of the word - niychoach
2. Ezek 20.41 - the acceptance issue
3. figurative use at Phil. 4.18 - osmā euōdia - odor of fragrance indicates acceptance.

F. The symbol is used of Christ's sacrifice at Eph. 5.2

8. Because God is satisfied with Christ's sacrifice, He is able to accomplish the whole salvation package.

Atonement, propitiation, (man's faith-trust must occur here) redemption, regeneration, justification and then, reconciliation.

9. But in order for a person to actually benefit from God's salvation provision, he must accept it by total trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jn. 3.16; Rom. 5.1; Diagram

Since Christ paid a universal ransom for sin and The Father is satisfied with that payment, the Godhead is free to offer to the human race a redemption or release from sin for those who will trust in Christ as savior.


1. Definition: Payment for and release from the debt incurred by Adam's original sin.

A. Positional redemption:

1. Imputed sin is removed. Rom. 3:24
2. Forgiveness of all personal sins: Eph. 1:7
3. Delivered from the sin nature: Rom. 6:1-11

B. Forgiveness extended into experience: 1 John 1:7
C. Physical redemption through resurrection: Rom. 8:23

3. The price of redemption was the spiritual death of Christ. He carried the sins of all the world in His own body on the cross and experienced judgment from God for all mankind.

4. But redemption is only a reality for individuals who trust Christ as their savior. 1 Tim. 4:10; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:11-13Diagram

At the moment of time that someone trusts in Christ as savior, they receive the benefits of Christ's work on the cross. They receive "the redemption which is IN CHRIST JESUS, that is the forgiveness of their sins (Eph. 1:7)."

The immediate result of possessing this "forgiveness" from God is - -


Justification is the act of being "declared righteous" by God as is explained at Romans 3:22-24, "Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ upon all those who believe . . . by being declared righteous (justified) as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus."

Rom. 5:1 says that we were justified BY FAITH. It reads, "Therefore, having been justified." This means to be declared righteous and the Greek tense views this as a completed act from the moment of time that a person trusts in Christ as savior.

This order from "redemption" to "justification" is a summary viewpoint. In actuality there are 3 things that take place between redemption and justification. Regeneration, Indwelling of the Spirit and the Baptism of the Spirit. Once these things take place (and once again, I must stress, that these things ALL occur AT THE SAME INSTANT of trust in Christ) the believer is viewed as IN UNION WITH CHRIST and as possessing all the benefits that result from that union.

See topic: Justification in the doctrinal archives, letter J.Diagram


Because we are "justified," that is, declared righteous in God's sight, we are then reconciled to Him as a "new creation" in union with Christ and as a result we shall be saved from the penalty of sin through His life.

Romans 5:10-11, "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through Whom we have now received the reconciliation."

Romans 5:1, "Therefore having been justified (declared righteous) through faith, we HAVE peace with God (reconciliation) through our Lord Jesus Christ."

This reconciliation actually involves the combining of both Old Testament saints, who looked forward to the sacrifice of the Messiah, and New Testament saints who look back to that sacrifice, into ONE body IN CHRIST. Eph. 2:11-19

See topic: Reconciliation in the doctrinal archives, letter R.Diagram

VICTORY: When Jesus died on the cross, not only did He accomplish a salvation provision for the human race, but he also defeated the forces of Satan which are aligned against the human race to keep it in slavery to sin and separated from God.

Col. 2:13-15, And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us {and} which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through it (the cross).

This passage describes a "strategic" victory over the forces of Satan.

Those forces are still "alive and well on the planet" and still in active opposition to God and the people of God. But his defeat has been sealed by the work of Christ on the cross and the resurrection. The final defeat or what we can call a "tactical" victory will take place beginning with the return of Jesus at the Day of the LORD and be culminated when the forces of Satan are thrown into the lake of fire after the 1000 year earthly reign of Jesus.

Heb. 2:14-15, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

This refers to the "spiritual" neutralization that was initiated at the cross and resurrection. He "renders powerless" the spiritual hold that the devil had on the human race by providing a way of escape and entrance into the kingdom of God.


AT THE VERY MOMENT OF SALVATION: That is, at the very instant that someone genuinely puts total trust in the person and work of Jesus as their savior,

God accomplishes several things that constitute that person's deliverance from sin and Satan and deliverance into the kingdom and life of God.

These accomplishments all take place at the SAME MOMENT OF TIME, however can be viewed from the standpoint of logical progression, so that we see a very real "order" to the events.

Although "redemption" is technically accomplished on the cross with the price of "spiritual death" that Jesus made there, the reality of forgiveness is not experienced by anyone until that person puts their trusting faith in Christ and the work that He did. As soon as that expression of trust is made, God the Holy Spirit sets into operation the "saving process" which begins and ends in the very same moment of time. So that the result is that our salvation is viewed as a completed package permanent and guaranteed at the very instant that a person believes in Christ as savior. But from the standpoint of a "logical progression," we can view the individual steps and actions accomplished which result in our possession of eternal life.


REGENERATION is the first item that is accomplished after being delivered from the penalty of sin. At the moment of time that one trusts in Christ as savior, God gives him eternal forgiveness of all sins. Once the believer is "set free" from sin, God places him into His family through the new birth which then paves the way for all the other factors of our salvation package.

Titus 3:5-6, "He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in (human) righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of "new birth" (regeneration) EVEN the renewing (of life) by the Holy Spirit."

1. Definition: Regeneration is the spiritual birth (born again) that gives you spiritual life and a new relationship with God as His child.

2. The need for regeneration:

A. Ephesians 2:1, dead in sin = spiritual death and requires new life.
B. John 8:44, child of the devil (This requires a change in relationship)
C. Therefore, it is necessary: John 3:3, 5, "you must be born again."

3. The origin of the New birth is from God. Regeneration (the new birth) is actually our entrance into God's family and kingdom and is based on God's character.

A. Sovereignty: James 1:18 and 2 Pet. 3:9
B. Love and mercy: Eph. 2:4-5, "He made us alive."

4. Provision: Made available through the redemption work of Christ on the cross. Col. 2:13-14; John 3:14-15.

5. Message: The word of God provides the good news concerning the new birth and is the agent of regeneration. Ie, the Word of God is the "seed" which sprouts in the soul and grows when watered by the FAITH response of man.

1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18; Jn. 3:5; 4:14 (water = gospel).

6. Response: We enter the new birth through faith in Christ. John 1:12; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:19 and John 3:3-16.

7. Mechanics: The new birth is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit who imparts spiritual life to the one who trusts in Christ. Jn. 3:5, 8; Titus 3:5.

8. Regeneration is accomplished totally apart from human merit or works.

A. Man is helpless: Rom. 5:6
B. Ephesians 2:1-9, Grace through faith, not of works.
C. Titus 3:5, not by works of righteousness which we have done.
D. John 1:12-13

9. Because we are children of God we have a positional "status" and "relationship" in the family:

A. New life: Jn. 3:36; Jn. 10:10; Gal. 2:20
B. Deliverance from Satan's kingdom. Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13; 1 Jn. 5:4-13
C. Sonship: Gal. 3:26; 4:4-5 (adoption) Eph. 1:3-6
D. Heirship: Gal. 4:6-7; Rom. 8:12-17Diagram

INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit:

Upon receiving spiritual life from the Holy Spirit at the moment of trusting faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in the "heart" of the believer as the agent of spiritual life blessings that are now available.

1. The Holy Spirit indwells the soul of every church age believer, and the body of that believer becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor. 1.22; 1 Cor. 3.16; 6.19-20

2. This takes place at the moment of salvation.

Rom. 8.9; Gal. 3.2-3, 13-14; 4.6; 1 Cor.12.12; 12.13;

3. The indwelling of the Spirit is permanent for church age believers. Jn. 14.16-17; Rm. 8.9

4. Believers in the old testament did not have the indwelling of the Spirit. Jn. 7.39

A. The H.S. came upon certain believers for specific functions.

1 Sam. 16.13-14; Ps. 51.11; 1 Pet. 1.11

B. But the body of any believer who had this empowering of the Spirit was not the temple of the Spirit.

5. The purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit:

A. To seal the believer in Christ: Eph.1.13-14; 2Cor.1.22; 5.5

B. To teach the believer the word of God. Jn. 14.26; 16.12-15; 1 Cor 2.9-16; 1 Jn.2.27
C. To provide witnessing power: Acts 1.8
D. To produce the character of Christ in the believer's life: 2 Cor. 3.18; Gal. 5.22-23
E. To provide evidence to our soul that we are children of God. Gal. 4.6; Rm. 8.15-16
F. To please God and glorify Christ in every area of life: Rom. 8.1-8; 14.17-18; Jn. 16.14
G. So basically, to be the agent of the new covenant blessings to the church.

6. The believer's responsibility because of the indwelling Spirit.

A. 1 Cor. 6.19-20 - therefore, glorify God in your body.
B. Gal. 5.25 - if we live in the Spirit (indwelling), let us also walk in the Spirit.
C. Quench not the Spirit: 1 Thes. 5.19 (this is done through personal sin)
D. Be filled with the Spirit: Ephesians 5.18 (allow his control in your life through sinless consistency)



At the very same instant that one is born again and receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit takes that new believer and "spiritually" baptizes (identifies) him into the body of Christ so that he becomes spiritually "one" with and in Christ.

Although at the beginning of the church age, those who were already believers needed to receive a "formal" administration of the indwelling Holy Spirit by an apostle, after a few years of "transition" the scripture views ALL BELIEVERS as having been baptized into Christ. 1 Cor. 12:13, "For by one Spirit have we all been baptized into ONE BODY and were made to drink of one Spirit." Romans 8:9, "If anyone does NOT have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

Once the believer is placed into union with Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that person is viewed as sharing all that Christ has in his glorified humanity. Thus, according to 2 Cor. 5:17, "If anyone is IN CHRIST, he is a new creation (position in union with Christ); Old things have passed away (old position IN DARKNESS); Behold, new things (positional blessings in Christ) have come into existence."

See a detailed analysis of Holy Spirit: baptism in the doctrinal archives, letter H.Diagram

LIGHT: "God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5.

There are two opposing viewpoints in the universe. Light and darkness.
Light refers to the viewpoint and policy of the Godhead.

The term darkness is used to designate the viewpoint and policy of that which is opposite to the viewpoint and policy of God. Thus, the kingdom of Satan and the influence of that kingdom which seeks to undermine and destroy the kingdom of God.

Light represents the kingdom of God.
At the moment of time that one trusts in Christ as savior, the Holy Spirit takes him and places him into the kingdom of light. From the standpoint of the purpose of the gospel message, we have this at Acts 26:18, "to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God."

From the standpoint of an accomplished fact for those who have trusted in Christ, we have Col. 1:13, "For He delivered us from the authority of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son of His love."

Thus, at Ephesians 5:8, we are viewed from both our PAST status in darkness, our PRESENT status in light, and our responsibility as children of light:

"For your were FORMERLY darkness but NOW you are light in the Lord. WALK as children of light."Diagram

SEALING of the Holy Spirit:

Once the Holy Spirit places us into union with Christ, His very presence functions as a "seal" or guarantee of what God has promised concerning the reality of our salvation.

Ephesians 1:13-14 states it like this, "In whom, you also, after hearing the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, when you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is a down payment of our inheritance until the release of the possession (resurrection) unto the praise of His glory."

When God makes a down payment, we know that He will make the final payment. Notice, there is no "payment" on our part. We simply accept the free gift of salvation by expressing trusting faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ as it is represented in the gospel message. The seal thus, is the guarantee that God will accomplish what He has promised. Notice the reality of this "promise" as it is stated at 1 Peter 1:3-5, Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His great mercy has regenerated us to a living confidence through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, leading to an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who are being guarded by the power of God through faith (what initiated it) leading to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

See topic: Sealing of the Spirit in the doctrinal archives, letter S.Diagram


This is the new position that results when a person trusts in Christ as savior. He is removed from his old position or standing "in Adam" and placed into union with Christ. This is represented all through the New Testament by the phrase, "IN CHRIST."

Most of the time this refers to our positional relationship but sometimes based on the context, it simply has in view, "in the realm of Christianity." Because we are in union with Christ, we share what He has in his exaltation to the right hand of the Father. So it is said that we have been raised up (ascended) with Him and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). This union with Christ also extends "backwards" as it were so that we are united with Him in His death, burial and resurrection as well (Rom. 6:3-6).

A NEW CREATION results through our union with Christ. The new creation is "new" because of "position" not because of character. Our character does not change at the moment of salvation. It only changes through growth in grace and knowledge. But what does change is our old standing or position in Adam.

2 Cor. 5:17 literally says, "If any man is in Christ, there (or, it) is a new creation. The old things have passed away (in a moment of time); behold, new things have come into being."

The "new things" that have come into being at the moment of time that you trusted in Christ and were placed into union with Him through the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), refer to "everything" that the believer now has through his relationship with God. It can best be summed up by Eph. 1:3 which says that God "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies IN CHRIST." These spiritual blessings can actually be enumerated to total 36. See topic Positional blessings in the doctrinal archives, letter P.Diagram

THE BODY OF CHRIST is a "positional" issue. That means that the primary focus is on the spiritual status that all believers in Christ have in common. They are placed "spiritually" into one body. This takes the focus off the old "body" which was a physical nation (Israel) and paves the way for understanding true reconciliation between all peoples. For IN CHRIST, there is neither bond nor free; Jew or Gentile; male or female, but we are all ONE IN CHRIST.

RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is mentioned here so we can realize that our justification (declaration as righteous) is based on union with Christ.

2 Cor. 5:17, ". . .so that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM."

See Justification on the diagram

SANCTIFICATION comes from a Greek word which means to set something apart as special and unique. The same root word translates into the English Bible as saint, holy, sanctify, etc. They all mean that the believer has been set apart as unique and special through union with Christ. Accordingly, the title that is assigned to all believers is "saint." Saint has nothing to do with one's way of life but only with the fact that one has trusted in Christ as savior. All believers are saints.Diagram


At 1 Cor. 1:30, righteousness is one of the 4 things mentioned as being the possession of the believer based on position IN CHRIST and the work of God who establishes that positional union.

1 Cor. 1:30, "But out from Him (God the Father) you are IN CHRIST Jesus, Who became to us, WISDOM from God, and RIGHTEOUSNESS and SANCTIFICATION and REDEMPTION."

W.R.S.R. can be used to show a direct offset of the depravity acrostic in Romans 5:6-10 (H.U.S.E.).

Wisdom offsets the helpless condition of the human race.

Righteousness offsets the ungodly character "status" of the human race.

Sanctification offsets the enemy status of the human race.

And redemption offsets the sinner status of the human race.Diagram

CITIZENSHIP in heaven refers to our "positional" standing IN CHRIST and the fact that we have been born again not only into God's spiritual family but also into His kingdom. Thus, there is a change in citizenship.

Philip. 3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven. ."

We are no longer of "this world" but are aliens and strangers (1 Pet. 2:11) wandering around in an antagonistic environment which seeks to defeat us. Furthermore, since we remain here on earth, we function as an ambassador for Christ who is "absent" while being seated at the right hand of the Father.

Our citizenship in heaven also takes the focus off the "physical" ties that we have here on earth, whether they be national, racial or family.

In fact, this is a major issue in understanding that we do not have the same "physical" mandates for representing the kingdom as the nation of Israel had.

Israel had physical mandates to advance truth through administrating God's physical judgments on the spiritual and moral rebels they encountered in the land of Canaan. The church has no such "physical" mandates and in fact MUST restrict her representation of God's kingdom truth to the spiritual plane as 2 Cor. 10:3-6 and Eph. 6:12. The New Testament never authorizes the use of physical force to either advance or defend spiritual values.

Also received at the moment of salvation is a SPIRITUAL GIFT. Every believer has one gift which God gives to him to fulfill his responsibility as an administrator of God's grace in the world. 1 Pet. 4:10 says, "As each one has received a grace gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

This service is toward one in a local church context primarily. The gift that each believer has will be either a communication type gift or a "service" type gift as indicated by 1 Peter 4:11, Whoever speaks, {let him speak,} as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, {let him do} {so} as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."Diagram

In addition, at the very moment of salvation and based on the fact that the believer has received total forgiveness of all his past sins, he begins the Christian way of life with the Holy Spirit "in control." This is called the FILLING OF THE SPIRIT and refers to His guidance and fellowship, not His presence. His presence is accomplished at the moment that one trusts in Christ and remains forever. The filling of the Spirit is based on the believer's compliance with divine viewpoint standards and will come and go dependent on the presence of sin in the life. The believer begins the Christian life "filled with the Spirit," but any expression of personal sin (either mental, verbal or overt) will quench the Spirit's control and render the believer out of fellowship. The details of this are covered in the two bottom circles.Diagram

FUNCTION: The Imitation of Light

SPHERE TWO is used to picture the believer's function "in time" with emphasis on the reality of spiritual fellowship or rapport, which comes and goes, in contrast with the relationship, which was acquired and secured at the moment of faith-trust in Christ.

Ephesians 5:8 pictures all three spheres of spiritual reality.

1. For you were formerly darkness: the old position "in Adam" and spiritually dead to God.

2. But now (since you have trusted in Christ as savior) you are light IN THE LORD. This is the new position IN CHRIST and in the kingdom of God.

3. Walk as children of light. This is very clearly the new responsibility that the believer has because he is indeed, now, a member of the family of God and a saint in union with Christ.

The mandate then, SINCE you are a child of God, WALK like a child.

The mandate then at Eph. 5:3, "as is proper among saints," indicates that SINCE we are saints, we should walk like saints.

This imitation of "light" is indicated elsewhere as basically, an imitation of God through reflecting LOVE (Eph. 5:1-2), an imitation of Christ by walking as He walked, IN LOVE (1 John 2:6-11) and an imitation of other believers who exemplify the character of Christ in their life (1 Cor. 11:1; Heb. 13:7).Diagram

EXPERIENCE refers to the life of the believer here on earth. It is to be kept separate from our "relationship" which ALWAYS remains in status quo righteous before God. But here on earth, the sin nature remains in every believer and the conflict between good and evil; light and darkness finds its focal point now in the lives of those who have trusted in Christ as savior. No matter what happens in "experience" our relationship "in the family of God" will never be forfeited. Once God has secured you in His family by His "doing," there is nothing that can separate us from Him.

However, in "experience" here on earth (in time), it is possible for the believer to "give in to" the temptations that come from the world, the sin nature and the devil. When that happens it is personal sin. It quenches the control of the Spirit and places the believer in a condition of spiritual neutralization in which he is totally unable to please God in any way, shape or form. Thus, Christianity really CENTERS around the spiritual warfare that is going on, first and foremost between God and Satan, but secondly between these forces of darkness and the believer in Christ who remains here on earth for the very purpose of representing God's "cause" in the warfare.

God's purpose for the church then is "that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the (Satanic) rulers and authorities in the heavenly places." Eph. 3:10.

When we WALK IN THE LIGHT, we are using the divine value system as found in God's written word to relate to God, ourselves, others, and the world around us. Walking in the light means there is no sin in the life. This constitutes having "fellowship" with God. 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light AS He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (God with us and us with God) and the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from all sin." Diagram

EXPERIENCE: Walk by faith

The Christian walk is characterized by the very same factor that made "us" a Christian in the first place - FAITH.

Colossians 2:6, "Therefore, in the manner (as) you RECEIVED Christ as savior, be WALKING in Him."

How did someone "receive" Christ as savior? It was by faith according to John 1:12, "But as many as received Him to them He gave authority to become children of God, EVEN to those who BELIEVE in His name."

Faith, which is accepting God's policy and viewpoint is HOW we became a Christian. We had to accept God's policy for salvation which was by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). In our Christian walk, we must do the same thing. Accept God's policy and viewpoint for "pleasing Him" here on earth as children in His family.Diagram

SPIRITUAL WARFARE is now the constant spiritual reality confronting every believer in Christ. And every believer is either -

1. A growing, functional spiritual "warrior," in fellowship as the Holy Spirit guides and controls.


2. A casualty of war through failure to use the spiritual resources God has made available. Accordingly, the "failing" believer is either -

A. a prisoner of war who is totally neutralized by the viewpoint of the enemy and is "non-functional" as an effective ambassador.

OR -

B. is "removed" from the battlefield by God himself through divine discipline, never again to participate in the spiritual warfare as he is removed to heaven to await the end of the conflict. See Topic: Divine discipline.

The Warfare then is very clearly represented in scripture at the passages sited.

2 Cor. 10:3-5, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (physical) but mighty in God for the destruction of fortresses, (weapons which) destroy speculations (human logic) and every exalted thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and taking every (darkness) thought captive into obedience to Christ.

Ephesians 6:10-12, Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenlies.

1 Peter 5:8, "Your adversary the devil, is prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."Diagram

The bottom right circle represents the quality of life of the believer when he is in fellowship with God, "filled with the Spirit," and walking in the light - all of which basically refer to the same spiritual reality.

Fellowship with God is also represented by the term, "abiding in Him." This means that we are functioning in alignment with His standards and allowing His word to govern every area of our life.

1 John 2:24, "As for you, let that which you heard from the beginning (The Word with emphasis on the standards of love) abide in you - - -"

(Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.")

"- - -if that which you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."

Abiding in Him accomplishes "sinless consistency" which is the ability "not to sin." The one who abides in Him does not sin because "His seed," that is, the "seed" of the word of God is governing the soul in conjunction with the Holy Spirit (which is called the filling of the Spirit).

1 John 3:6a, "everyone who abides in Him, does not sin. . ."Diagram

SINLESS CONSISTENCY is the condition of reflecting Christ's righteousness based on the control of divine truth in the soul through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 119:11; Gal. 5:16; 1 John 2:1

1. When God's word is allowed to govern the soul, a total protection is provided in all 3 areas of one's daily life.
Proverbs 6:22 (asleep, waking up and being awake)

2. God's word as a living and powerful influence in the soul (Heb. 4:12), provides self-consciousness (ego) with "light" viewpoint in order to avoid the darkness viewpoint of the sin nature. Prov. 6:23; Job 29:3; Ps. 119:105

3. As long as the believer allows God's word to govern the decisions in his life, he will continue to remain "in fellowship" with the Spirit and will not sin. 1 John 3:6

4. This is called, "abiding in Him," and indicates a consistent conformity to His viewpoint.

5. But when the believer chooses to disregard the divine viewpoint influence of bible truth in his soul, at that moment of time he ceases to abide in Christ and immediately comes under the reigning authority and influence of the sin nature.
James 1:14-15; Rom. 6:12

6. The functional reign of the sin nature in the believer's life interrupts the continuity of experientially knowing and focusing on Christ. 1 John 1:3; 2:3-4; 3:6B. Thus there is no communion and rapport.

7. Sinless consistency is based on KNOWING God's word. There is no substitute for pursuing ALL that God has made available to us through His word.Diagram

THE ABUNDANT LIFE is the quality of life available to the believer while he lives here on earth. At John 10:10, Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life (salvation) and have ABUNDANCE."

LIFE refers to the possession of salvation relationship with God through trust in the Savior.

ABUNDANCE refers to the life of peace, joy and confidence that results when we allow the word of God to govern our soul through the filling/control of the Holy Spirit.

At Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of (who is the source of) all confidence, fill you with all joy and peace BY believing (not salvation faith, but trusting-faith in the word of God, v. 4) so that you may abound in confidence by the power (filling/control) of the Holy Spirit."Diagram

When the Holy Spirit is in control it is called "filled with the Spirit." The production that comes from this control is described at Gal. 5:22-23 as "the fruit of the Spirit." These character attributes are expressed in the life of the believer TO THE DEGREE that one has standards of God's word in the soul. The substance for character is Bible Truth in the soul.

The Spirit will not, indeed cannot, produce these characteristics unless the soul understands and agrees to the standards of Divine viewpoint which produce that character. So what happens is, that the Spirit Who desires to manifest these character attributes in the believer's life is prevented from doing so because the soul is not strong enough to resist temptation in those areas. Psalm 119:11 says, "your word I have stockpiled in my heart so that I might not sin against you." The more of God's word we have in the soul the less we will sin, the more consistent will be the filling/control of the Spirit because He will not get quenched so much, and the more consistent will be the expression of these character attributes.

It is indeed, this consistency of "not sinning" and reflecting Christ's character instead, which results in experiencing the abundant life. When there is sin in the life there cannot and will not be peace and joy.Diagram

Thus the urgency for SPIRITUAL GROWTH. The Christian is urged all throughout the bible to "be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." The only time where there will be consistent growth is when the believer is IN FELLOWSHIP with God - walking in the light. Thus, growth takes place only when the believer is residing in the "bottom circle." Any exposure to Bible Truth when the believer is out of fellowship with God is subject to distortion by the sin nature and human viewpoint. However, the Spirit can use that information received while out of fellowship to convict the carnal Christian of his areas of sin and failure and move him in the direction of recovery through confession of his sins to the Father.

1 Peter 1:1-2 says that we should desire the pure milk of the word so that we may GROW in regard to our salvation."

But at v. 1, it makes clear that FIRST there needs to be an attitude of rejecting sin. It says, "Therefore, putting away (takes place FIRST) . ."

And then we have a representative list of sins to indicate that mental, verbal and overt sins must be confessed and rejected before we can cultivate a "proper" desire for God's word.Diagram

However, it is imperative to understand that although we certainly war against the forces of Satan, the conflict also takes place INSIDE our soul through the lusts from the sin nature.

There exists a very real and constant conflict between the sin nature in our body and the Holy Spirit who indwells us. The Spirit represents "light" viewpoint to our soul and our "self-consciousness" (ego) which contains VOLITION must choose whether to follow that light viewpoint or reject it in favor of the ever-present "darkness" viewpoint invading our soul from both the outside (Satan and the world) and the inside (sin nature). But we must recognize that even the temptations that come from Satan will be channeled through the lusts of the sin nature.

1 Peter 2:11 says, that we should "abstain from the fleshly (sin nature) lusts which wage war against the soul."

Paul talks about this warfare at Rom. 7:23, "but I see a different law (law of the sin nature) in my members (physical body, v. 18), waging war against the law of my mind (self-consciousness positive to God), and making me a prisoner (when I yield to it) of the law of THE sin (nature) which is in my members (body)."

James talks about this conflict at James 4:1, "What is the source of (personality) quarrels and conflicts among you? Are they not from your (lustful) pleasures which wage war in your members (bodies)?"

And finally, at Gal. 5:17, Paul states, "For the flesh (sin nature) sets its desire (lusts) against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, with the result that you don't do the things (of God) that you desire."


In view of the conflict that exists between the sin nature and the Holy Spirit, we are thus exhorted not to grieve (Eph. 4:30) or quench (1 Thes. 5:19) the Spirit. That is what happens when we choose to reject the protective resources of God's word and instead yield to the human viewpoint solutions and/or sins directed at us from the sin nature.

Grieving is the attitude God has when we violate His standards of truth as represented in the Bible. He is not pleased when His children, who are loved and cherished as members of His spiritual family, fail to follow the principles for peace and joy which He has designed for them.

QUENCH means to put out, and refers to the fact that the filling/control of the Spirit is "put out" when we reject His word and do sin. Remember that the INDWELLING presence of the Spirit is not removed. The believer cannot lose that indwelling of the Spirit, but he can "lose" the ministry of the Spirit through control. However, even then, the Spirit will continue to CONVICT the sinning believer of his error and seek to woo him back into fellowship.Diagram

The two bottom circles overlap to demonstrate that the conflict between the Spirit and the sin nature centers in the soul of the believer. Your EGO is your self-consciousness. There is nothing sinful in EGO. There is nothing sinful in self-consciousness. There is nothing sinful and the existence of "free will" or volition. It is the presence and influence of the sin nature which makes a "healthy" self-consciousness (awareness of self and self's needs, ie, ego) self centered and therefore sinful. The truth of God appeals to man's ego. That is, it must address the self-consciousness of the believer so that one can "evaluate" what is best for SELF within the context of God's plan and then choose what he will follow; either God's word as represented by the "desire" (lusts) of the Holy Spirit, or the viewpoint of darkness as represented by the lusts of the sin nature (flesh).


Accordingly, if in the face of any crisis, pressure, or temptation we choose to operate on our own viewpoint instead of the word of God, we immediately "quench the Spirit" and cease abiding in Him. This failure to use FAITH immediately takes us out of fellowship with God. Once we are out from under the protection of God's word in our soul and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we fall under the reign of the sin nature which operates totally independently from God and God's viewpoint and we are vulnerable to committing many personal sins.

This FAILURE TO ABIDE IN HIM by not using the word is failure to maintain a consistent "functional" occupation with Christ. This concept is represented at 1 John 3:6b, ". . .everyone who sins has not come to focus on Him or experientially know Him." Knowledge of God's word is the key for consistent fellowship with God through following His standards. But failure to know and use the word of God results in consistent failure to trust God (use faith), which causes many different types of personal sin. Thus failure to abide in Him through using the word by faith puts the believer in the circle of darkness under the control of the sin nature and walking the way of life of an unbeliever.Diagram

James describes this "process" of temptation and sin at James 1:14-15.

1. But each one is tempted: solicitation to do evil. That which is contrary to the standards of God as represented in the Bible.

2. When he is carried away: Actually, "taken in tow." The sin nature will "toss a line" to your self-consciousness (ego) and start pulling.

3. This is called "enticed" and indicates the fact that the lusts from the sin nature appeals to what is "attractive" or desirable to us. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Moses recognized that the "pleasures of sin" were indeed temporary and chose the greater value of following the Messiah and abiding with God's people (Heb. 11:25-26).

But all this is ONLY temptation and not sin.

4. By his own lusts: This refers to the sin nature lusts which we have previously noted at 1 Pet. 2:11; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-23.

5. Then when lust has conceived: This recognizes the fact that volition has now "made a choice" to embrace the temptation. Embrace the enticement and accept the sinful advances of the sin nature.

This language speaks in a sexual context, using an imagery that communicates spiritual fornication. When the believer sins, he is actually committed spiritual adultery as he rejects the "advances" of God (his true lover) and embraces the "advances" of a whore (the sin nature).

Thus, the word "conceives" recognizes that an act of spiritual fornication took place. This happens when the believer says "no" to God's word and "yes" to the viewpoint of darkness. And it is viewed as all taking place in a moment, indeed, the same moment of time.

6. There was an act of spiritual fornication = saying no to God. This is represented by conception.

7. There was an "immediate" birth which is the sin that results.

8. There was an immediate "lifetime" to that sin (when sin is accomplished or grown up).

9. And then occurs an immediate death, which is an effect produced by personal sin. The death in view is the "death" of being out of fellowship with God.

This is not talking about the unbeliever and not talking about any possibility of losing salvation. It is using the word "death" (which is done many times) to communicate the idea that the believer is now in a "neutralized" condition and unable to please God since the sin nature is reigning in the body (Rom. 6:12-16).Diagram

This condition is called "carnal" or "fleshly" because the "flesh" (sin nature) is in control of our life. "The sin" nature is "reigning in our mortal body" as described at Romans 6:12.

The evidence of such "carnality" is sin in the life. At 1 Cor. 3:1-3, we find that their primary sin problems were jealousy and strife.

"You are still fleshly (carnal, ie, under the sin nature). For since their is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and walking like men (unbelievers)?"Diagram

The whole point once again, is the fact that the believer should act like a child of God, like a saint, but when he is out of fellowship he imitates the unbeliever instead.

Ephesians 5:1-8 clarifies this.

1. V. 1-4 exhorts the believer to walk in love and imitate God. He is exhorted NOT to participate in any "immorality, impurity or greed" AS IS PROPER FOR SAINTS. They are saints and should not DO the things that unbelievers do.

The reason is now given in v. 5: Because the "unbelievers" who do these things have no inheritance with God as YOU DO. Therefore, YOU should not be living the way the do. THIS IS NOT A LOSS OF SALVATION PASSAGE.

V. 6 says that it is because of these things done by SAINTS that the wrath of God comes on the "sons of disobedience."

Wrath refers to divine discipline expressed by God to his errant child.

Hebrews 12:6

"Whom the Lord loves He disciplines and whips every son whom He receives."

V. 7, therefore do not be partakers with them: Those who do such things whether they be unbeliever or believer. WHY? Verse 8!!!

V.8, BECAUSE, you were formerly (used to be) darkness (unbeliever) - -

But NOW you are light IN the Lord (believer) - -

Walk as children of light (walk like a saint and not like an unbeliever).Diagram

This is called WALKING IN DARKNESS at 1 John 1:6. Walking in darkness is when we are using the viewpoint of the "creature" independent from God and rebellious against Him, instead of using the viewpoint of the Creator.

Even "if we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet (in actuality) are walking in darkness (which is totally opposite to His viewpoint) then we are lying (lie of self deception) and are not doing the truth."

The truth is God's viewpoint as represented in the Bible. That TRUTH is totally opposite to the viewpoint of the sin nature and the viewpoint of Satan. Thus, if we are walking in darkness and not according to TRUTH, it is impossible to have fellowship with Him. That is why such a claim is considered a lie of self deception.

The connection upward to sphere two of darkness indicates the "imitation" factor. Also, Prov. 2:13-15 and Psalm 82:5 indicates this walking in darkness as a way of life possible for the believer.

Proverbs 2:11-15, "Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; From those who leave the paths of uprightness, TO WALK IN THE WAYS OF DARKNESS; Who delight in doing evil, And rejoice in the perversity of evil; Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways;"

Psalm 82:1-5, "God takes His stand in the congregation of God; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver {them} out of the hand of the wicked. They (The rulers) do not know nor do they understand; THEY WALK ABOUT IN DARKNESS; All the (moral) foundations of the earth are shaken."

1 John 1:6, is addressed to believers and indicates the possibility of walking in darkness and the self-deception concerning that walk. "If WE say that we have fellowship with God and WALK IN DARKNESS . . ."Diagram

The Fruit of the flesh is represented at Gal. 5:19-20 with a partial list of sins which ends with, "and such like," which simply means, etcetera. The point is, that when the sin nature is in control of the believer's life, any or all of these sin characteristics can be manifested and one could tell by looking that he is a believer because he is "acting" like an unbeliever.

When the sin nature is in control or "reigning in our body" (Rom. 6:12), we are said to be "in the flesh" (Rom. 8:8). That is not referring to being in a physical body, nor is it referring to "when" we were an unbeliever. But it refers to either believer or unbeliever when the sin nature is in control, which for the unbeliever is all the time. And when the believer is "in the flesh" he cannot please God. The only way to please God is to be walking in the light, in fellowship with Him through the filling/control of the Spirit. 1 John 1:7; Rom. 14:17-18; Gal. 5:16

One of the most important factors to understand concerning this condition of "no fellowship" with God, is that our lines of prayer communication are cut down. When the believer is out of fellowship, ie, has sin in the life, then God will not "listen to" his prayers. They won't go "past the ceiling" as it were. Psalm 66:18, "If I regard (allow and maintain) sin in my heart, the LORD will not hear me."

The only thing that God will "pay attention to" in this situation is the confession of the sin or sins involved as per 1 John 1:9.Diagram

This is the only thing that will get the believer back into fellowship with God. CONFESSION OF SIN to the Father.

PRINCIPLE: What is it that breaks our fellowship with God? What is it that breaks the communication (prayer) lines? It is sin.

The Bible makes it clear that for the believer to be restored to a "right" experience of fellowship with God, he must deal with the sin or sins that removed him from fellowship. The context at 1 John 1:5-10 clarifies this.

The scenario here concerns BELIEVERS only.

V. 5, God is light simply establishes an ABSOLUTE standard for the determination of fellowship with God.

V. 6, the possibility exists for the believer to violate those standards of light by walking in darkness. This is sin.

V.7, But - on the other hand -

1. if we are walking in the light AS He is in the light: Ie, following His standards.

2. The result is that we have fellowship with each other: That is, God with us and us with God.

3. and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps on cleansing us from sin:

This indicates that "while in fellowship" with God the experiential effects of personal sin are covered.

A. All sins were covered on the cross from the standpoint of our salvation.

B. But the experiential effects of sin were not covered.

C. In other words, although our salvation is not affected by "future" sins, any future sin will break our experiential fellowship with God.

D. But because all sins were paid for on the cross, our future sins - here on earth, are covered WHEN we deal with them in view of the cross and confess them to the Father.

V. 8

1. If we say: There is the possibility that the believer will deny the existence of personal sin in his life.

2. That we do not have sin: ie, personal sin

3. We are deceiving ourselves: operation denial

4. And the truth is not in us: Since the Truth (God's word) clearly indicates that the believer DOES INDEED commit acts of sin.

V.9, therefore, we must recognize that we can and will sin and have the humility to accept that while at the same time recognizing what God expects of us AFTER we have sinned.

1. If we confess: The Greek word means to acknowledge and agree with someone concerning the issue at hand. In this case, the issue at hand is personal sin.

2. If we acknowledge or confess: obviously this is to God the Father. There is nothing in the context that indicates a confession to man.

A. This is not a "mechanical" verbalization of various expressions - -

B. I'm sorry," "Never do it again," etc

C. But this is a true humility acceptance of the fact of sin and the reality of its effects on my life.

D. It is an expression of total dependence on God and of total rejection of the sin or sins involved (Prov. 28:13).

3. He is faithful: He is consistent with His own character and will always operate according to the "laws" He has placed into operation.

4. And just: God is fair. God's justice has been satisfied once and for all concerning the sins of the human race.

A. For man to escape the eternal judgment on sin, he must trust in Christ as his savior.

B. For the believer to escape the "experiential" effects of sin here on earth, he must confess the sins to the Father.

5. To forgive us our sins: these are the specific sins that are named to God in true humility recognition of His character and plan. Furthermore, these sins are "forsaken" (Prov. 28:13) by totally rejecting them as having any value or attraction in our life at the time of confession.

6. And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness: this refers to any and all other sins that are present in the life which may have been forgotten or which may even be "unknown" sins.

Thus, the confession of sins to the Father removes the experiential barrier to our fellowship with God and restores immediately the filling/control of the Spirit.

Sin quenches the filling of the Spirit. Confession restores the filling of the Spirit.

That is what is meant by Paul at Eph. 5:18, "be filled with Spirit."

Actually, "keep on being filled." This is a command to #1, not sin at all; and then #2, confess immediately when you do sin.

The commands to "grieve not" and "quench not" the Spirit are basically saying, do not sin.

It is an expression of volition that quenches the control of the Spirit and removes our fellowship with God. Likewise, it is an expression of volition that acknowledges to God the fact and nature of that sin (or sins) and immediately restores us to fellowship with God.

The battle is constant. The new believer will be plagued with inconsistency, sin and confess, sin and confess, sin and confess - several times each day. As he grows in grace and knowledge and stockpiles the word of God in his soul, he will gain greater consistency in rejecting sin and maintaining fellowship with God.

It is actually possible to go hours and days and months and years without sinning. It is indeed, God's desire that we do not sin (1 John 2:1) and He gives us what we need to resist sin through His word. BUT we must take that word and give it a home in our soul in order to use the resources of divine viewpoint to resist temptation.

1 Cor. 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you (caught up with you) except what is common to man; And God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able (to endure), but will with the temptation, also provide the way of escape so that you might endure it."

BUT the way of escape is the word of God, and it will not avail you unless it is "learned" and "stockpiled" in the heart. Psalm 119:11, "Your word I have stockpiled in my heart so that I might not sin against you."

God will not STOP you from sinning. He will work with you and encourage you but ultimately it is your choice whether you will use God's word to resist darkness viewpoint, or give in to it and sin.

But then when you do sin, recognized your failure and re-adjust to God on His terms. Ie, acknowledgement of the sin to God and a rejection of that sin. This is the only way to bring your mental attitude back into conformity with God's thinking.

Proverbs 28:13,

1. He who conceals his transgression: This refers to the attitude that rejects the reality of sin or refuses to acknowledge it on God's terms. It is thus, a failure to confess the sin or sins to the Father.

2. Will not prosper: prosperity in this context refers to "spiritual" prosperity, not physical prosperity. It refers to the prosperity of the abundant life of peace, joy and confidence. As long as sin is "regarded" in the soul, there can be no peace and joy and no "fellowship" with God. (Psalm 66:18).

3. But he who confesses: this is the acknowledgement of the sin to God. A confession that "agrees" with God about the Sin. This thus adjusts the mental attitude into conformity with God's standards.

4. And forsakes: this is often times neglected. The sin must be stopped. The attitude that "approves" of the sin must be reversed. If one is still "hanging on" to the pleasure of the sin, then the confession to God has not been genuine.


When our Christian life is characterized by continued disobedience and failure, God will treat us as errant children who need to be "directed" and "molded" into the right direction. The process of divine "molding" is called reproof and discipline. If we are not doing things the way God wants them done, He will "spank" us in order to direct us back into the right way. Hebrews 12:4-13, You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;


It is because of discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom {his} father does not discipline?

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He {disciplines us} for {our} good, that we may share His holiness.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that {the limb} which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

See topic DIVINE DISCIPLINE: Doctrinal Archives D - Diagram




İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.


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