Gospel of John [Joh 16:7-11]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 16. Gen 6:3; Isa 63:10-11; 2Th 2:6-8.

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [JOH 16:7-11]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 16. GEN 6:3; ISA 63:10-11; 2TH 2:6-8.


Announcements/opening prayer: 


Common grace is the Spirit's influence on the world in two related ways: 1) restraining sin and evil in the world and 2) revelation of the gospel.


Too often the first one is not emphasized.


This threefold work of the Spirit in revelation of the gospel is in JOH 16:7-11, which we detailed last night.


Judgment in the Supreme Court of Heaven has been given to the Son of Man and it is against a world that rejects Him. Because of this, the world's ruler has been deposed. "Our great foe is baffled; Jesus Christ is King." [William Plunkett]


God the Holy Spirit is manifesting these truths to the world. Certainly the unbeliever at gospel hearing doesn't understand them in detail but is given enough of an understanding that they can make an intelligent decision for or against Christ.


Every sincere believer is conscious of the fact that had he not been moved in that direction by the Holy Spirit he would never of himself have turned to God for salvation through Christ.


While bringing this message to the world the Holy Spirit is restraining sin. The work of the Spirit in restraining the world from sin is found in every age, except during the period of unprecedented sinfulness predicted for the great tribulation when it is God's purpose to demonstrate the character of unrestrained sin.


The Restraining ministry of G/HS is related to common grace. The HS restrained sin in the OT.


GEN 6:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,


GEN 6:2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.


GEN 6:3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."


In the book of Job, though not in direct reference to G/HS, we see God protecting Job and setting limits on the sorrow that Satan could inflict upon him.


The work of the Spirit in revealing truth through the prophets, particularly the warning of judgment to come, and the work of the inspiration of the Scriptures with their power helped to restrain sin. The judgments did follow and restrained it and God the Holy Spirit was in their midst.


ISA 63:10 But they rebelled

And grieved His Holy Spirit;

Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy,

He fought against them.


ISA 63:11 Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses.

Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock?

Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them,


The presence and power of the Holy Spirit by virtue of His holy character was conducive to restraint of sin. Throughout the OT, then, the power of the Holy Spirit guided human events into the path of divine providence.


The restraining ministry of the HS in the present age.


2TH 2:6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed.


2TH 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.


2TH 2:8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;


According to the passage, the man of sin will not be revealed until the one who restrains is removed.


The present age enjoys the ministry of this Restrainer whose presence and ministry make impossible the manifestation of the man of sin.


While it is not in the purpose of God to deal finally with the world while the church is in the world, the sovereignty of God overrules the wickedness of men and the power of Satan to make possible the accomplishment of His purpose to call out a people to His name. While the restraining hand of the Holy Spirit is little realized by the church at large, His protection and power shield the Christian from the impossible task of living in a world in which sin is unrestrained.


It is clearly implied that were there no restraint in the world the tide of evil would rise to incomprehensible heights.


The Bible describes mankind as desperately wicked.


JER 17:9

"The heart is more deceitful than all else

And is desperately sick;

Who can understand it?


EPH 2:3

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


Over against this evidence, man has contended that he is fundamentally right and needs only to attain to a higher culture, education, and refinement. When the present restraint of G/HS is removed from the earth it will reveal the absurdity of man's self-assessment and the truth of the Word of God respecting him. Nothing needs to be added to man or the earth to bring about the great Tribulation; all that has to be done is the removal of the restraining ministry of the HS.


The removal of the Spirit is the reversal of Pentecost. His restraint on this age and His church are removed and mankind is allowed to simply be himself.


Our next section in the gospel of John deals with the working of the Holy Spirit within the believer.


JOH 16:12-15: The working of the Holy Spirit within the believer.


Yet before we look into the guiding and teaching ministry of the Spirit to the believer we first look somewhat briefly at His ministry to the believer at salvation.


When common grace is mixed with faith in Christ then efficacious grace begins the Spirit's work in complete transformation at salvation.


No matter how much you may think you know about this doctrine or the ones that attend it in the work of the Spirit at salvation, I believe the HS had led me to bring us back to our second birth that we may appreciate who we are as believers and the amazing, infinite, eternal, and glorious things that God has done to us.


Efficacious grace: completely effective call of the one who has believed in Christ as his Savior.


This is a theological term that refers to a call to salvation which results in certain salvation. The reason for its understanding is because it is so frequently mentioned in the Scripture.


There is confusion over it because it is a matter of the omnipotence of God and has nothing to do with the person being saved. That confusion is lifted when we understand that the person being saved has not resisted the general call of common grace and has put his faith in the facts given in common grace; sin, righteousness, and judgment.


The nature of efficacious grace is inscrutable, as presented in Scripture it is an act of God solely dependent upon God.


Some have sought to explain it by stating that the faith of a spiritually dead person is ineffective and God must make that faith effective. This is a good explanation in that the Bible states that we, as those fallen, cannot even submit to the will of God.


ROM 8:7

because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so


The natural man cannot understand the things of God and this is why common grace is necessary, as we've already documented. It would make sense to state that G/HS helps our inability to understand and He helps our inability to have effective faith. The question, though, is if there is a difference between ineffective faith and effective faith. Is faith just faith no matter what its source since the merit of any faith is in the object?


These things occur when believers are attempting to explain something that is inscrutable. Efficacious grace does not deny the person's free-will faith.


JOH 3:18

"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.


In every case where efficacious grace is not given, common grace has been spurned.


So we could state that both are accurately displayed in the Scripture. Common grace lifts the veil of blindness and the person has the free-will to believe in Him who he has seen or to spurn Him. If the person believes in Him who he has seen, which God foresaw before the creation of the world, then a call to election in Christ is given that cannot be resisted. This call is from the omnipotence of God and the believer's free-will is not involved.


God did not ask us what we would like to be called to. When we believed the Christ of common grace He called to something of His own will.


This is efficacious grace.


ROM 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God


Said to Ananias who was to give Paul back his sight:


ACT 9:15-16

"Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

ROM 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,    

ROM 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

God did not ask Saul what he would like to be called to and neither did He ask any one of us. He presented His Son to us in common grace and asked us if we would believe in Him; "if you are a child of God then an heir also." In the second we believed He set in motion His own work of salvation. He knew the minute it would happen in our lives from ages past and He was ready to call us to a change that none of us could have ever imagined and so had no choice in. Because of this wonderful and gracious truth the hyper-Calvinist has swept away all volition. Volition is involved in common grace, but the work of God in efficacious grace is from His omnipotence and therefore Sovereign and irresistible. We are called to a ministry of our own spiritual gifts, which were given by the Sovereign will of G/HS, as well as being called to divine good works that none of us could have ever imagined, asked for, willed for, chosen for, and are still discovering.


1CO 12:11

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.


EPH 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


This call happened the minute we believed and is termed efficacious grace.