though unable any longer to contact God, can yet get into touch with other dead spirits, both angels and demons, which inhabit the first Heaven and the earth: viz., the black line in the diagrams. (Eph. 2:2, 6:12, II Cor. 4:4, I Cor. 10:19-21, Is. 8:19, I Sam. 28, II Kings 21:6, I Tim. 4:1, I John 4:1-3.)
The consideration of the phrase "dead works" has made it clear that man's estrangement from God is due in each case to his own deliberate act.
He who hides his action from his fellow man whom he can see, hides it also from the righteous God whom he cannot see; and comforts himself for having done so by some protective covering, e.g., "There is no God," or "God doth not see," "You can't expect to be too good while in the flesh," or even "God doesn't mind sin so long as you are saved."
The modern sinner hides himself from the true God as definitely as did Adam and Eve; and the various religions of the world have as their motive the desire to pretend that there is no righteous God who has revealed Himself to us, but only gods who leave us free to do evil. (Ps. 14:1, 36:1, 50:21, Eccl. 7:16, Rom. 1:23, II Cor. 4:4.)
It is clear then that, until he is willing to retrace that step and come into relationship with God again, even God cannot help him. This willingness to change his attitude towards God is called repentance; and, since nothing can be done without it, all God's efforts are lovingly turned to bringing it about. The Holy Spirit uses in each case the most appropriate means to appeal to the heart of the one with whom He is dealing. It may be fear of judgment, fear of consequences, dreadful experiences of an ungodly life, revelation of the love of God in sending His Son to die for sinners, experience of His power in signs and wonders, the hope of eternal life instead of the fear of death. The variety of the means He uses is as great as that of the hearts with which He has to deal, but the end is always the same, to persuade the ungodly to be willing to come into contact with a living God, to be reconciled to the One they have distrusted. (John 16:8, Mk. 1:15, Acts 9:32-35, 8:6-8, 16:27-30, 17:30-31, 2:37, Lk. 11:31-32, 13:1-9, Rom. 5:8, John 3:16.)