all work together to take some of the pressure off of me when it comes to sharing the gospel. Paul writes that “we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Cor. 2:15).
Some will hear, believe and repent. Some will hear and continue in their unbelief. But if I am faithful to God I triumph no matter the response of people. The true triumph is being “the fragrance of Christ to God.”
Mr. Lacy went on to explain what the Bible teaches us about how we are all spiritually dead (Ephesians 2) and cannot make ourselves alive. He also taught us that Jesus came that we might have life, and he explained being spiritually alive and united with God. Salvation is God’s work. We cannot do one single thing to make the spiritually dead come alive.
And then he said something that sucked the air out of the room. He said, “God is glorified in the salvation of some. God is glorified in the condemnation of others.” He had some explaining to do.
The Bible clearly teaches (well, I’m convinced, but I know that to others it is not clearly taught) in Romans that some are elected to salvation and some are elected to condemnation. God says he will have mercy on whomever he wills. At the same time, however, the Bible also teaches us that “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 18:23) and, “God desires that all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). The Bible teaches both and it’s one of the things that we will not be able to reconcile with our finite minds.
Mr. Lacy spent quite a bit of time teaching us about God’s glory as the display of His character. God is glorified in the salvation of sinners because it displays his love, mercy and grace. God is also glorified in the condemnation of sinners because it displays his justice and holiness.
The bottom line is that salvation is something that God does.
But too many times we do things our way to get the results that we like to see.
Again, if you have the time, you can listen to Session 2.