Walk Worthy, part 3 (Rewarded!).

Ephesians 4:1-3… “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

When we last examined what the worthy walk would encompass, our Apostle Paul was enduring afflictions as he performed the work of the ambassadorship he was called unto and warning Timothy that the same trouble would be coming his way as he did the same.  Nonetheless, Paul was encouraging Timothy (as he encourages us) to persevere through these afflictions.

2 Timothy 2:2-3… “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Here, Paul likens the ambassadorship to which all true Christians are called, to a soldier enduring the hardness of battle.  Why, if this work is so difficult, did Paul continue therein, and why is it so important that we do the same?  As we have seen previously, it is the love of Christ which constrains the believer (2 Corinthians 5:14); knowing what was done on his behalf, he is thus motivated to share the Great News of the gospel of Christ with others.  Indeed, knowing what I have been made “in Christ” excites me no end to share such with others, even though most others are not at all interested, with some (even blood relations) becoming downright hostile in the process.

Where does a soldier usually find himself?  In hostile territory of course.  To the soldier of Christ (a soldier of Truth), this world is hostile territory through which he must battle.  This present world, controlled by the god of this world, does not “appreciate” the Truth.  At the war’s end however, there is great reward.  The basic concept of “reward” inherently implies judgement of ones actions.  How can a reward be accorded without acknowledgement of some success or failure in action?  While there are several impending judgements of God coming to all men in the world, we turn our attention here, to the judgement members of the body of Christ will receive at the personal hand of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul speaks to the body in:

2 Corinthians 5:10… “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This is NOT Gods final judgement of the world for sin (that comes later)… this is the heavenly judgement of today’s “body of believers” in the gospel of grace.  Since sin was paid for (JUDGED) at the cross to those who accept Gods form of payment; this is judgement of the ambassadors actions here on earth; not TO condemnation, but FOR reward.  Paul, again speaking to those saved by the gospel of grace, says:

1 Corinthians 3:13-15… “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Examine carefully what God through Paul is saying.  The believers work will be tried by fire.  Some work will survive the fire and some will be consumed by it.  The fire is true judgement, determining which work shall stand to receive reward and which will not.

Note especially well that even the saved man whose work is consumed by fire, remains saved and his place in heaven with the Lord, secured.  This man will suffer loss of reward, not eternal death.

The work which will receive reward is that work which Paul began, the ambassadorship of the grace of God to which he (and we) are called by God to continue.  Christ, through Paul alone, laid the foundation upon which we are to build.

1 Corinthians 3:9-10… “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto ME, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

We take heed to build correctly because of Christ’s love for His own and for the potential of eternal reward, over and above a place with the Creator in eternity.  The careful builder studies to shew himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15)…  It is here at Christ’s judgement seat that shame may come to the fore in the face of the believer.  At Christ’s judgement seat the believer will learn the eternal value of his work in the Lord, post salvation (as the unsaved can do no work for the Lord).  Whether these works were built upon the right foundation; “doctrinally correct” (Paul’s gospel for today) or ” doctrinally incorrect” (another gospel for another time, past or future), a foundation laid by another; Moses or Peter for example.

In 1 Corinthians 3:12-13, Paul uses the example of gold, silver and precious stones to describe “good” works effective toward how God is working in the world today; and wood, hay and stubble to describe works not appropriate to today’s message of the free grace of God given to the entire world.  Fire will consume the wood, hay and stubble reducing it to worthless ash; yet at the same time, fire will refine the impurities out of the gold, silver and precious stone leaving only perfection in its wake!

While all saved men have safe passage to heavenly places in eternity with God, judgement and reward inherently establish a hierarchical standard by which these saved will be established in and for eternity.  One will necessarily somehow receive more than another based upon what he was able to accomplish for God in this world.  Let us carefully qualify this statement; as Paul writes to the Roman believers:

Romans 8:17… “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Clearly, as believers crucified with Christ and suffering with Him through this present evil world, we are joint-heirs with Christ.  Joint-heirs of what?

Colossians 1:16-18… “For by Him were ALL THINGS created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

If all believers are joint-heirs in “all things” with Christ who is our Head, where then does this reward hierarchy come into play?  How will one receive more than another?  Since Christ is the Head of all things, let us examine the nature of those things He is head of.  Things both visible (things physically present in this 3 dimensional world) and things invisible (things present outside of the physical world we inhabit); whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities or powers.  Thrones, dominions, principalities and powers are “governmental” positions of authority.  These exist in this present AND the invisible world.  In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul further clarifies who these holders of invisible positions are.  They are the “gods” of this world whom we wrestle against.  satan and his fallen angels.

Ephesians 6:12… “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the RULERS of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

In the future, when Christ sits on His earthly throne, He will be surrounded by the twelve He chose during His earthly ministry to Israel; these will be the head of Gods earthly heavenly government (Matthew 19:27-28).  Thy Kingdom will now have come to earth as it is in heaven.  As God has a two-fold plan for His creation: a plan to redeem the earth (via Israel) and a plan to redeem the heavens (via the body of Christ); since both have fallen by way of pride thus sin; both places will need to be eventually and effectively “governed” prior to the dispensation of the fullness of times, when all things are gathered together in one under Christ the Creator Himself (Ephesians 1:10).  As Israel will rule this earthly place with Christ (thy Kingdom come) over the Gentile nations; the saved in this dispensation of free grace will rule and govern the heavenly places AS the body of Christ, while Actual Christ is seated on His earthly throne.

Note that a full one third of the angels (stars) followed satan’s prideful lead and revolted against Gods perfectly created order.

Revelation 12:3-4… “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Michael the Archangel then does battle in the fallen heavenly places, prevails, and casts satan and his minions out of the heavenly places forever.

Revelation 12:7-9… “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

With one third of the angels gone, this creates a gaping hole in the governmental structure of the heavenly places (not to mention a really big problem for the earth at this time, since all those evil, banished, fallen beings are cast down unto it).  One third of the thrones, dominions, principalities and powers are fallen, removed and thus emptied.  satan was created to be the covering cherub (Ezekiel 28) to be in charge of these principalities… Gods finest creation.  he is now no more.  Today’s believers will fill those positions.  (My own personal hunch is that Paul will be number 1 up there and I can’t wait to meet him in person!)

As the earth is currently without a Righteous Leader, so too are heavenly places without Righteous leadership.  The god of this world, satan, has been given control of each by Adam, who forfeited the control and dominion God gave him (Genesis 1:26-28).  As the earth will one day have Christ as King, so too will the heavens have Christ in charge in the form of His body, the church… us.

Ephesians 1:3… “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Colossians 1:27-28… “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Perfected/Completed in Christ (though remaining in sinful flesh while here on earth) we will do the work of Righteous Christ in heavenly places in our Glorified Life to come!

When Christ came to earth He was made lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:7-9).  With Christ now glorified above the angels seated at God the Father’s right hand; and we, who are crucified and risen with Him (Colossians 2:12), in the same judicial standing; we too, in our “new creature” form are also placed above the angels; judicially now, literally and physically in the future!  Indeed we shall judge them in those heavenly places!

1 Corinthians 6:2-3… Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

It is therefore here that our full reward is realized; in the governmental structure of the heavenly places.  While all saved men have an equal inheritance of all things in Christ, not all will have an equal position in Gods heavenly government.  It is these positions which will be offered to those whose works were of gold, silver and precious stone.

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Not with an All Powerful Creator God though  🙂

Brothers and sisters in Christ; if the simple salvation of Christ alone was not enough to motivate you into action for our Savior, here is further motivation in a position of higher authority in heaven itself, where we will serve and reign AS Christ (we are His body after all), as we are in Christ.  What a stunning realization, what a stunning reward!  Walk worthy indeed…!

To Paul, Christ was all in all.  The preaching (sharing) of the gospel of the greatest news ever given to man, that of free grace, became Paul’s entire world.  Indeed, it was more important to him than even his own life and certainly anything material contained within that life.  Paul is the true Christians pattern (1 Timothy 1:16).  How will we measure up to such?  We will find out at the judgement seat of Christ.

Philippians 3:8-14… “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Next Post:  “Walk Worthy, part 4 (Armed With the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ).

Walk Worthy, part 2 (cheap grace?)!

1 Thessalonians 2:12… “That ye would WALK WORTHY of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.

I hear with relative frequency among the religious brethren, a term of degradation to grace teaching, such as what I write; that term is “cheap grace” and/or “easy believism”.  As if the grace teacher/believer somehow holds the grace of God in low or “cheap” esteem, using it as an excuse to sin willfully.  (As if a naturally sinful man requires an excuse to sin.)  While I cannot speak for all grace teachers/believers, I will certainly speak for myself.  Therefore, forgive me a short rant against the legalist preachers and believers who makes such claim; as Paul instructs our “worthy walk” to the absolute contrary of the concept of “cheap grace”:

Titus 2:7-8… “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part MAY be ashamed having no evil thing to say of you.

Those legalist preachers and believers who deny the power of the grace of God to change a man from within (and apply liberally the bondage of the law externally to the supposed “glory” of the flesh) are instant to point out that the grace doctrine we teach “condones sin” in the believer, and is therefore “inferior” to the “higher standards” to which they hold themselves (and so become “superior” to the grace believer – ain’t religion grand!).  By the above verse it seems nothing could be further from true, and to those who do make such claim, shame WILL be involved.  I sharpen my focus toward the preacher and away from the believer because the believer is trusting what the preacher says.  Let’s put a fine point on that:

Romans 6:15… “What then?  Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?  God forbid.

Sorry legalist preacher, read what Paul says.  You keep your “flock” under the bondage of the law whether you say you do or not.  I know why as well and so does the Lord.  Instructing the congregants that they must behave in certain ways to achieve God’s “blessing” is robbing them of the knowledge of all God in Christ has done on their behalf.  Grace indeed frees ultimately the individual to realize the infinite goodness and forgiveness of God “in himself” AND “toward others”.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15… “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

It is the love of Christ which constrains the believer, not the bondage of the law.  It is the internal awareness of what Christ has done for the believer that motivates the man to even “no longer live for himself” but unto Him which died on his behalf and rose again.  It is Christ that died (not the man) to destroy forever sin (and thus death itself) in the believer.

Romans 6:6… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Those who are dead to sin by being judicially crucified with Christ through belief (all truly saved men) ARE dead to sin.  Sin is NO LONGER an issue for that man.  His flesh, no matter how “refined”, can in no way make him any “better”.  His flesh IS sinful but Christ took sin completely away.  What happens to the believer who places himself once again under the Law to attempt to “control” sin in himself?

Galatians 1:18… “For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

That believer is attempting to revive in himself that sin essence (guilt) attached to the flesh which Christ died to destroy.  By the Law shall NO flesh be justified as by the Law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).  The Law demonstrates that we are sinful and causes the guilt that drives us to our knees in search of the Savior.  This is the purpose of God giving the Law in the first place.  Saving grace teaches that we are to reckon ourselves completely DEAD indeed UNTO sin, as that is what our Savior accomplished on the cross.  How then does placing the believer again under the Law help with such reckoning?  It does exactly the opposite.  It makes us once again a transgressor and renders the grace of God to no effect!

Galatians 5:4… “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Romans 11:6…”And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Grace stands alone as the sovereign, precious and sacred gift of God to man.  As men saved by grace, we no longer live unto ourselves as we were bought with the most valuable price in creation, the atoning death of the Creator Himself.

1 Corinthians 6:20… “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.

Do these grace verses “condone” sin, preacher?  God forbid.  Does the religious bondage you preach help those under your trust learn what God has done on their behalf?  In no way, shape or form… it does just the opposite.  It causes the revival of the sin and guilt Christ died to forgive and whom we were crucified with.

Galatians 2:20-21… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

We are to glorify God in our body and spirit (which ARE Gods) and in our daily conduct, as we are His ambassadors in this fallen satanic world; and it is the FULL ASSURANCE of GRACE and FORGIVENESS of ALL SIN which motivates and empowers that man to do the same.  The religious preacher/believer who denies Gods ULTIMATE grace, ultimately denies Gods ultimate sacrifice, and thereby demonstrates his own fundamental ignorance of all God has indeed done for man.  Such a one WILL BE ashamed at the judgement seat of Christ and is HIGHLY encouraged to study Gods Word to shew himself approved; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed RIGHTLY DIVIDING the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

That was necessary and refreshing at the same time; as I despise legalism in all its forms… thank you for your indulgence.  Onward…

Now we understand the “why” of the worthy walk (we have been given a responsibility – see part 1), “how” then is the saved man to walk in this world?

2 Cor 4:1-2… “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

First of all, we do not quit (faint).  Come what may (and plenty may well come from religious men against the man of God teaching free grace, right preacher?) we continue to speak with those we have opportunity to speak with; the word of reconciliation which is the gospel of our salvation, the simple gospel of Christ as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.  That is the ambassadors ultimate message.  The ambassador should know his song well before he starts singing.  He should sing with the attitude of Christ in Paul.  We don’t quit because we don’t see results (God gives the increase – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7); we don’t quit because this is what God would have us do; come what may.  We are to be faithful to that which we have received, as this is not done for our own increase in any way, this is for the One who made us who and what we are in Christ; God Himself.

We renounce the hidden things of dishonesty (the legalistic bondage of religion) and handle the Word of God as He would have us handle it.  Honestly, rightly divided between what is for “Israel and the Gentile nations” and what is for “the body of Christ” which is neither Jew nor Gentile.  We DO NOT compromise the simple TRUTH of the gospel of Christ.  We present the truth as simply as we are able under whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  We manifest the truth of Gods final revelations to man as given to the Apostle Paul.  We live in today’s world, this dispensation of free grace, and honor those responses from man which God now honors… simple belief and trust in the atoning death of His Son.

We preach truth, establishing, instructing and edifying others that they can go and do the same, as Paul instructed his son in Christ, Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:2… “And the things thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

This is how the message of grace has propagated itself throughout human history since God saved the Apostle Paul.  From faithful man to faithful man.  The relative few honest grace teachers among us in comparison to teachers of religion, is a sad testimony to the number of men faithful to the message of free grace in the world.  It is little wonder the church finds itself in the fractured condition it is in.  Paul was witness to this falling away in his own day:

2 Timothy 1:15… “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

But Paul was NOT ashamed however and never compromised the message of absolute grace that God gave him to demonstrate to the world at large and committed to Holy Scripture in 13 epistles after the death of His Son.

Romans 12:1-3… “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may PROVE what is that GOOD, and ACCEPTABLE, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” this is only accomplished through learning, study.

Let us look one more time what is that “GOOD and ACCEPTABLE and perfect will of God” for mankind that we may PROVE in this dispensation of grace…

1 Timothy 2:3-4… “For THIS is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; who WILL have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Our “reasonable service” then, our daily and “normal” walk as ambassadors for Christ is (as much as is in our control – Romans 1:15) to be NOT conformed to this world, the inevitable course it is on; not to think very highly of ourselves but to think soberly (logically, clearly) to the extant to which we have learned of Gods grace toward us through study; it is to testify the gospel of Christ to those with whom we come into contact.  As Paul says:

Ephesians 3:9… “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

It is NOT the gospel which was NOT hid; the gospel of the circumcision – Galatians 2:7.  It is NOT the gospel of the Kingdom prophesied, spoken of, since the beginning of the world.  It is the gospel committed unto Paul and Paul alone by the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.  The hidden, secret gospel of the free grace of God through Jesus Christ, NOW made manifest to ALL men in the completed canon of scripture.

Galatians 1:11-12… “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16… “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

To sum this post up as best as I currently can, examine carefully and internalize to yourself these last two verses.

2 Timothy 4:5… “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Afflictions will come.  Endure… knowing what has been accomplished on our behalf.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10… “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Afflictions will come.  Nevertheless…

1 Corinthians 15:58… “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

If we labor correctly the gospel committed unto Paul, our labor CANNOT be in vain.  Since it is for His sake we labor and not our own, we can endure all things this fallen world can throw at us.

2 Timothy 4:3-4… “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

This is the condition of the world today.  Yet Paul, knowing full well what God in Christ had accomplished on his behalf, soldiered on, as should we.

Acts 20:24… “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

How did Paul have such joy in all this affliction?  Why was he such a faithful soldier?  There was a reward waiting for him.

Next post: “Walk Worthy, part 3 (Rewarded)!

Walk Worthy!

Ephesians 4:1-3… “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye WALK WORTHY of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

“Vocation?  Isn’t that like a job of some sort?”

Colossians 1:10… “That ye might WALK WORTHY of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

“Work?  I thought grace was not about works…!”

Ephesians 2:8-9… “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.

“See, I told you… no works!”

Wait for it… we all love Ephesians 2:8-9; but verse 10 does follow.

Ephesians 2:10… “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Why should we, under free grace, walk worthy?

The saved man is created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works.  That’s why.  Works can have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation as Christ is all sufficient toward that end, but we were saved (created in Christ) in order to perform a function; work.  If this is not the case, why did God save us and NOT bring us directly into His world?  What are we still doing here?  Being “in Christ” we are judicially perfected and seated with Him in heavenly places, right now.  Why not simply make it physically so as well?  The reason is, that God has a purpose for all saved men.  We learned in the last post that Gods simple will for all men is for them to be saved and to then come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:3-4).

Allow me to ask: How is that to happen when Christ is not personally, physically present in the world and God has declared a period of grace and peace; whereby He is not imputing men’s trespasses unto them, and therefore, has left us all to our own mostly wicked devices?  Sure, He has left us with His completed Word, but how are people supposed to become aware of what it says?  True, people have the free will to either explore the Bibles pages or to ignore them.  Everyday experience shows however, that the vast majority are way too preoccupied with worldly things to bother.  satan loves that, satan encourages such preoccupation tirelessly.  Therefore God asks His own, those saved (and at least somewhat learned) in the dispensation of free grace, those who ARE His body in the world, to occupy a certain position while He is away.  Let’s examine:

2 Corinthians 5:18-21… “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The saved man, reconciled to God in Christ, has been given something (all things in fact – Romans 8:17) by God, to whom ARE all things.  He has given us specifically a ministry, which is defined as “the office, duties or functions of a subordinate agent of any kind” according to Websters 1828.  This ministry is one of reconciliation which Websters defines as: “the means by which sinners are brought into a state of favor with God after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement.”  That (since God has, in this dispensation of Grace, reconciled the sinful, fallen world back to Himself) we, as men in recognition of our sinful state and reconciled back toward God, now have OWNERSHIP of this ministry of God toward the world.

We have ownership of this ministry IN Christ’s STEAD (“instead” of Christ Himself) since He is not currently in the world.  Christ is not in the world today as much of the world awaits His second coming.  He has left us here to make the world aware of what God in Christ has done on its behalf, in His place.  These verses call those He has saved and left on earth “ambassadors”.  Webster defines an ambassador as: “a minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign.”

The cross-work of Christ then, as commissioned by God, has made us ambassadors of God the Father, that, in Christ’s stead, we are to beseech those around us to be reconciled to God as He has reconciled Himself in Christ to all men.

Note carefully and make no mistake here: just because God has reconciled Himself to mankind, does not mean mankind has in turn reconciled itself back to God.  Mankind is an extremely stubborn creature and reconciliation is a two way street.   See “Simple Salvation” to learn how a man is reconciled back to God.  God in grace has CHOSEN to reconcile Himself back to mankind.  An opening (a way back to God who forsook all men at the tower of Babel – Romans 1:18-32) has been made for mankind.  Mankind must now CHOOSE to reconcile itself (each man individually) back to God.  The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the pathway to reconciliation.

When the saved man attempts to fulfill his vocation and help to reconcile an unsaved man back to God, presenting to him the gospel of his salvation; it is as if God Himself in that ambassador is speaking to that man (as long as that ambassador is functioning properly with the proper gospel message – the word of reconciliation and NOT another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:6-7).  Comprehend fully these words: “As though God (God Himself) did beseech you by us…” to be reconciled back to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.  God today speaks through the body of Christ… saved man, to unsaved men.  Wow!

See how Paul regarded this calling upon his own life:

Acts 20:24… “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

This ministry of the grace of God was to Paul more dear than his own life.  I ask you in all candor… could there be a higher calling for a man then to represent his Sovereign Creator in this foreign world?  How then ought a man in such a position to walk or conduct himself daily in this foreign land, this world without Christ?  Paul provides counsel:

Titus 2:11-14… “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Clearly we are to daily conduct ourselves in a manor pleasing to the one who sent us; denying ungodliness and our worldly lusts, which are far too numerous in this sinful flesh to mention.  This is difficult as the flesh is naturally sinful.  It is the full understanding of what Christ has done for us working inside us; the absolute grace and mercy we have been shown, that, as we reckon (internalize) this knowledge unto our selves, we will eventually be enabled to, more and more, put our sinful carnal desires aside.  They will mean less and less as we learn more and more (through Bible study) what Christ has done on our behalf.

We are to look forward with anticipation to the glorious appearing of the Lord that we might be caught up together with Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and perfected physically; but until then, His desire is that we are to remain here and be a “peculiar people” zealous of the good works He ascribes to us.

I’d like to end this first part of “Walk Worthy” with this, Paul’s prayer (Gods desire) for all saved men:

Colossians 1:9-17… “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might WALK WORTHY of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Ephesians 1:17-23… “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

What more is there to say on this prayer for the believer that the Holy Spirit in Paul did not say?

Next post: “Walk Worthy, part 2 (cheap grace?)!

A new creature, part 3.

Philippians 3:13-14… “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Forgetting those things which are behind…

2 Corinthians 5:17… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

…as old things are passed away…

Romans 6:11… “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

…we are dead indeed unto sin and made alive unto God through the atoning work of Christ Jesus…! Amen and AMEN!!!

1 Corinthians 15:1-4… “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Believe this, and you are a new creature, whether you feel like one or not.  It seems too good to be possible, it seems to easy to be true.  Believing the gospel for today, the gospel of Christ and Christ alone, is all God asks of mankind to make of him a new creature and to bestow upon him the fullness of the riches of His own Glory.  How is it even remotely possible that men everywhere fight tooth and nail against this very thing?  But I digress…

Since we have been made anew in Gods sight, we must then begin the effort to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto the sin nature which once had control over us.  This is easier said than done as the “flesh” will constantly remind the believer of sin’s existence in the believers physical body.  This takes time, patience with oneself, and learning.  The saved man is now essentially 2 beings in one… an “old man” and a new creature; and that old man does not give up his influence in the believers life.

Romans 6:6… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Ephesians 4:22… “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Notice that Paul says to “put off” the old man… this is essential to the “reckoning” process taking place in the believers mind, body and soul.  It is with mental, physical and spiritual effort on the believers part that the old man is put off.

But how is this done?

Colossians 3:9-10… “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:

The new man is “reckoned” (internalized in the believer) with the internalization of the knowledge of all that Christ has done for him.  Without this “reckoning” the old man will never be put off to any degree in the believers life; and the believers “walk” will suffer for it.  The “new man” is put on as the believer studies Gods Word and learns more and more of what was accomplished at the cross on his behalf.  Paul himself prays for the believer…

Colossians 1:9… “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Ephesians 1:17… “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

…and compels the believer to study Gods Word.

2 Timothy 2:15… “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As we become more and more “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” through the study of Gods Word rightly divided, we will be more and more apt to be able to forget those things which are behind, and thus more able to move forward in the knowledge of Him; no longer serving our carnal sin nature which has been crucified with Christ in Gods sight.  Paul provides great insight into this internal struggle and process.

Romans 7:18-19… “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

The frustration Paul feels is palpable.  He knows that he is physically a sinner, as the will to “do good and not evil” is now in him; yet he admits that the good he wants do do is foiled by the corrupt flesh he still exists in, with evil the inevitable result.  Look at the next verse however…

Romans 7:20… “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

It is the internalized realization, through the cross-work of Christ, that it is NOT “Paul the new spiritually awakened/quickened man” (Paul the new creature) which performs the evil act, it is his old inescapable sin nature which does. Two beings in one…

Romans 7:22-23… “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

While we exist in these “old” sinful bodies, sin is inescapable; we are captive to it, it is the result of Gods curse on creation itself.  The old man can’t not sin.  Yet, again and again in scripture Paul shows us that we are dead to sins effects upon us as we are crucified with Christ and baptized into His death; who took sin upon Himself that the sin issue between man and God would be put away for ever.  The new man created by Christ’s efforts.

2 Corinthians 5:21… “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Romans 6:3… “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?”  NOTE” this is NOT water baptism but the Holy Spirit baptizing us spiritually into the church which is His body (Ephesians 4:4-5).

Galatians 2:20… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

What Paul is exhorting us to remember is that we are dead indeed unto sin as God has forgiven us ALL trespasses.  That we are to live by the faith OF the Son of God (the very SON of GODS FAITH and NOT our own meager faithfulness to Him).  Such a critical difference.  We have the faith OF Christ, God’s own faith, on our side and within us!

Colossians 1:27…” To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Again, it is NOT US which can accomplish any of this, it is Christ IN US which can.  As Christ paid the WHOLE penalty, He takes the WHOLE burden.  ALL OF IT!!!  AMEN!

Let us consider extremely carefully these next extraordinarily important verses…

Colossians 2:13… “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Forgiven ALL trespasses.  (Why in the world pray; “forgive us our trespasses” when He has already?)

2 Corinthians 5:19… “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

NOT imputing trespasses unto them.

The new man, made in the image of Christ, while existing in the sinful physical body it exists in, is completely and totally 100% immune from sins effect on his “present” AND on his “eternity”.  That man is completely, totally and 100% forgiven of ALL his trespasses; past, present and future.  Now THAT is freedom my friends.  NOT what is written on some bill of rights somewhere…

The fundamental key to remember is this: we have been given ultimate forgiveness that we may “forget those things which are behind and to reach forth unto those things which are before and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ!” Reckon this within yourself and you are on your way to realizing practically and spiritually what God has done and is doing in the world today.

We must remember forgiveness in Christ always, to keep it always at the forefront of our minds (WE ARE FORGIVEN ALL TRESPASSES) that we may forget our sinful past (no matter how miserable), that we may deal effectively with our present condition (no matter that conditions condition), and reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin; that we may move forward here on earth in that knowledge; that we may be effective ambassadors for Him (come what may).

2 Corinthians 5:20… “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

(satan does not want people to know this.)

What an exalted state the true Christian actually exists in.  How sad so few truly understand.  This is what God would have us know after coming to salvation in Christ Jesus.  All professing Christians wonder what the “will of God” is for their lives.  What is the simple will of God for all men?

1 Timothy 2:3-4… “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Salvation first; knowledge of what salvation accomplished (total forgiveness and so much more), second.

With these taken care of… God would have us to walk worthy of this exalted position the saved man finds himself in.

(It is here we begin to pose a direct threat to satan’s plan of evil in the world.  To hell with satan I say.)

Next Post: “Walk Worthy!

A new creature, part 2.

This new creature we have been made in Christ was a complete and total mystery, an unknown entity, until the Apostle Paul.  Up until Paul, and through the first half of Paul’s ministry, God was dealing with mankind in terms of the separation between Jew and Gentile.

Deuteronomy 7:6… “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

After the nation Israel failed to come to terms with their Redeemer, God set them aside.

Acts 28:28… “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Paul went to both the Jew and to the Gentile/Greek (non-Jew) with the gospel of Christ and, I believe, this is where the confusion begins as to whether or not Peter and Paul preached the same gospel message, which we have demonstrated they could not have been.

Romans 1:16… “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

If the Kingdom gospel was for the nation Israel (as is clear) why did Paul go to them (first even) with the new “gospel of Christ” (free grace/zero works) that the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ gave to him specifically for the Gentiles?

Romans 11:13… “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Let’s take a look back in Matthew 12 to get an idea.  Most professing Christians have heard of the “unpardonable sin”.  What was it exactly?

Matthew 12:31-32… “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

The one thing that was unpardonable to the nation Israel then was blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.  Commit this sin and you were not going into “thy Kingdom come”.  Israel rejected and thus blasphemed God the Father by way of their rejecting the prophets He sent specifically to the nation.  This was forgivable.  They rejected and ultimately blasphemed His Son in Christ at the cross.  This too was forgivable.  They rejected and thus blasphemed the Holy Ghost during and after Pentecost as only a relative few heeded the message of repentance Peter preached in Acts 2 and 3.  Paul himself as well was a blasphemer…

1 Timothy 1:13… “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

This was unforgivable.  Few in the nation Israel then could have hoped to attain everlasting life in the Kingdom as only a few successfully recognized their prophesied Messiah when He arrived among them.  Only relative few were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Paul did not recognize his Messiah.  God was justified to sent His wrath upon the world right then and there at the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7.

Long before this time, at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11, the “Gentile” nations (those nations Abram was called out of) were concluded in unbelief.  Now His nation Israel had come to their “third strike” if you will and rejected the giving of God’s Holy Spirit, the new covenant, that the Law would be written in their hearts (Jer 31:31, Heb 8), that they would be able to walk worthy of their calling.  In short… Israel (and the rest of the world) was up a creek without a paddle, all concluded in unbelief.

Romans 11:32… “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.

Since these could not have been saved into the Kingdom program, God, in infinite and longsuffering mercy; NOT YET wanting to pour His Just Wrath out upon the world, saved the Apostle Paul, giving not only His nation Israel but the whole world a new possibility at salvation.  Something the world had never before seen nor experienced.  Absolutely free grace with zero effort required or accepted.

Ephesians 2:8-9… “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

Mankind’s very essence is to boast in what he has done.  We ARE prideful creatures by nature.  God will have none of it.  I heard brother Steve Atwood say just the other day that if salvation required the wiggling of our little finger just slightly, we would boast in eternity just how amazingly well we wiggled our little fingers… and he is right.  It is only the Divine Activity of God Himself could save such prideful creatures as we; humbling us in the process.

This zero effort/free grace dispensation produces the heretofore unprophesied new creature and offers all men, Jew or Gentile, salvation completely apart from inherent “Jew-ness” or “Gentile-ness”.  The new creature is neither Jew nor Gentile and, as a matter of fact, neither male or female!

Galatians 3:28… “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

What once were Jews and Gentiles are now NEITHER as God is not recognizing His chosen nation Israel at this moment in time.  They are NO LONGER His people in this dispensation.

Romans 9:25-26… “As he saith also in Osee (Hosea 1:9-10), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

God NOW recognizes the new creature and the new creature alone.  But in this, for the past 2,000 years, He is giving (Israel and the Gentiles) ALL MEN EQUALLY yet another chance at redemption before His just wrath is poured out on a most deserving world.

The new creature is an individual man saved by the gospel of grace (he becomes a new creature) AND it is a body of believers as well.

It is in the epistles of Paul alone that we find mention of “the church – the body of Christ”, of which Christ is the Head.  While there are many “churches” mentioned in the Bible, they are not all the same church.  The Jerusalem church was in the Temple Beautiful (Acts 3)… the wandering Jews belonged to the “church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38), for example.  Men were first called “Christians” at the church in Antioch (Acts 11:26) which was NOT a temple.  This church, the body of Christ (an assembly of believers, a church is not a building) is made up of ALL believers saved by the gospel of Christ in this dispensation of free grace.  It expresses itself in local areas via individual “churches” of which Grace Country Bible Church is but one.

The church – the body of Christ is made up of NEITHER Jew nor Greek, male nor female…  No man today is lifted up above another man for any reason whatsoever, as God has concluded ALL men equally in unbelief.  The above verse in Deuteronomy (7:6) has been made temporarily void by the verses in Hosea (1:9-10).

1 Corinthians 12:13… “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

The reason saints in time past (Jews AND the Gentiles who blessed them) could NOT acknowledge the “unsearchable” riches of Christ, is because these riches were not prophesied in scripture.  One could not search the scriptures in time past to find out about what God is doing today because God kept it secret. Paul writes:

Romans 11:33… “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out!

Ephesians 3:8… “Unto me, who am less than the least of all the saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

While Christ’s birth, death and resurrection WAS prophesied, the fullness of the riches of His death, burial and resurrection was completely unknown.  A Jew and a Gentile in time past could indeed search the scriptures to learn what they had to do to be saved: the Jew was to believe on Christ his prophesied Messiah risen from the dead, and the Gentile was to somehow bless the Jew (Gen 12:3, Mat 25:31-46… notice carefully these did not understand how they made it into the Kingdom!).

The unprophesied new creature (NOT Jew and NOT Gentile) has only to believe that Christ died for his sin nature and rose again for his justification, and eternal salvation is his!  The only place in scripture a man can learn this, is in the epistles of Paul.  The new creature (believers today) was therefore hidden in God since the foundation of the world and a part of the mystery given unto the apostle Paul alone (therefore Peter could NOT have spoken of it), and of which Paul was the first.

1 Timothy 1:16… “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.

What believers are today therefore, is not only NOT found in what is called the Old Testament section of the Bible, we are NOT found in Matthew, Mark, Luke John or the first half of Acts, as these are all books of the Law or the “old testament”.  Nor is this new creature, the church the body of Christ found in the Hebrew epistles of Peter, James and John, as God is once again dealing with the Jew and the Gentile in these “New Testament” books.  Where we see the distinction existing between Jew and Gentile we do not see the unprophesied new creature.

Right division therefore, is NOT dividing between the old and new testament sections of the Bible, it is NOT dividing between Christ and not Christ, IT IS dividing between that which God kept secret versus what God prophesied throughout time.  It is dividing between Israel and their relationship to the Gentile nations, and the NOT Jew / NOT Gentile “body of Christ” being formed today to eventually take up residence in the heavenly places with God.

Where we see, even in Paul’s epistles, the distinction between Jew and Gentile, we must “rightly divide”.  Romans chapters 9, 10 and 11 are NOT about the church the body of Christ.  These are about the condition of Israel today, and their dealings with the Gentiles in time past, and in the ages to come, when God will once again be dealing with the Jew and the Gentile.

I have one last issue to tackle with the new creature in the next post: “The new creature, part 3.

A new creature!

2 Corinthians 5:17… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

While to me, all of the King James Bible is stunning and amazing, this verse in 2 Corinthians stands out as one of the most remarkable because of what God in Christ has done for us at the moment of salvation; the moment we accept His gift of free grace.  Lets explore what this newly saved man has become in Christ, as these are the things he must learn in order to walk worthy of the ambassadorship wherein he has been called.

First of all the saved man has absolute peace with God and therefore zero fear whatsoever of wrathful reprisals presently or in the future.

Romans 5:1… “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:9… “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

How can this be, you ask?  Well, what separates a man from God, I reply?  It is sin… imperfection.  We know that Christ has taken our own sin upon Himself and paid the debt for us.  This is the unfathomable love and purpose God shows toward His creation at large.  Knowing this, we must learn to:

Romans 6:11-12… “Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is easier said than done as we currently exist in bodies of sinful flesh (see Romans 7).  The truth of the scripture stands however, and we have been made immune to the effects of sin spiritually and judicially (though not yet physically) in the sight of God.  As the power of sin itself (death) was crucified with Christ, and demonstrated by His resurrection…

1 Corinthians 15:26… “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

…so too have we been judicially crucified with Him and therefore the power of sin, death itself, has no dominion over us.

Romans 6:6… “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

As Christ is free from the power of sin and death, so too are we, in the here and now.  Wow… quite a reckoning indeed!  And, this is just the beginning.  As God sees His Son as Perfect and Holy, so too will He view the saved man; the man who is in Christ.

Colossians 1:21-22… “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight:

When God sees the saved man it is as if He is looking upon His own Son, as that is what the saved man has been made in Christ!  God the Father sees Christ the Son in the saved man.  The Lord JESUS CHRIST… “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”  Colossians 1:15-17

The saved man has been returned to the image in which original man, Adam, was made (and lost); by way of the second Adam, Christ.  The relationship between man and God is restored by the working of the manifold wisdom, mighty power and unfathomable love of God to His creation.  And we are still far from finished…

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A short aside:  Many believe that all people in general are made in the image of God and take pride in that.  Only Adam however, was made in the image of God.  When Adam sinned, he was no longer in God’s image.  Subsequently, Adam’s offspring were made in the image of fallen Adam.

Genesis 5:3… “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:”  From Seth eventually came Noah and from Noah’s sons came you and I; all in sinful Adam’s image, not God’s.

You and I are not made in the image of God until we accept Gods gift of salvation through His Son.

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As God sees His Son, so too does He see the saved man as a son.  The saved man is given the Spirit of God as the “earnest” (meaning down payment, in eager anticipation) of his eventual inheritance; and by which he is permanently sealed.

2 Corinthians 1:22… “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13-14… “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

As sons (children of God) we are led by the Spirit which is given unto us.  This is inescapable, eternal fact.  How we allow the Spirit to work in our lives as we learn to reckon ourselves dead unto sin and begin to effectively battle our sinful flesh is a topic for another post.  As saved men and women (Gods children) we are in fact led by the Spirit of God, and therefore learn we have an inheritance coming to us.

Romans 8:14-17… “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Joint heirs with Christ.  Christ who is the Creator Himself.  Joint heirs with the Creator God of the universe, by Whom all things consist…  Allow that to sink in as much as it possibly can.  A finite mind will find some difficulty comprehending such, but that difficulty does not negate the scriptures ultimate truth.

While we exist here on earth, in this created space/time continuum, we are trapped in bodies of sin and death.  Our souls have been made Pure in Christ, as Pure as Christ, that we may have current and eventual Perfect fellowship with the Creator God of the universe.  At some point in the future these bodies will perish and our souls will be liberated from them.  We will be given new celestial bodies that we may exist with God outside of this matter/space/time continuum.  As the Lord Jesus Christ’s body was glorified, so too will we one day be!

Romans 8:23… “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

1 Corinthians 15:49-53… “And as we have borne the image of the earthy (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (Christ)Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Our physical bodies will one day be changed (resurrected if we be physically dead / transfigured if we be alive at His call) and we will rule and reign with Him for all eternity.  Amen and amen!  How magnificent a reward; all for simply believing what God says to us.

While we remain here, judicially freed from the penalty of sin/death, we have been given complete, total and utter liberty.  This is something to be taken very literally and with the deepest respect.  There is no law we might break.

Romans 6:14… “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Galatians 5:1… “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yolk of bondage.

Paul is commanding us to keep away from religious law which he calls bondage, and allow our growing realization of the love of Christ toward us, by learning what He has done for us, to constrain our earthly actions.  It is in this way alone that we may grow in the grace of God; not by following the law, as the law was designed to produce the knowledge of sin in a man; not to produce a mans righteousness by how well he followed it.  Such a critical error the religious world makes here.  We learn by studying what God tells us in the Book He wrote.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15… “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

When I look at the majority of people in the world it is impossible for me to fathom how so few want to know such things as what the Lord has done for mankind.  He asks so very little in return, yet humanity is so very caught up with itself, it is too busy, too preoccupied.  He asks only that we recognize Him for who He is in relation to us… that we see ourselves as the fallen creatures, the sinners we naturally are; and Him as far above us, where He deserves to be.  He asks only that we accept the most precious gift that has ever been conceived, the gift of His own Righteousness imputed to our own accounts through the faithful work of Jesus Christ.  How could any at all say no to such?

2 Corinthians 5:21… “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

So many religious people honestly feel that they have something to offer God as payment for what He has done for them.  How is it possible that anything a man could do, be anywhere near the equal of what God has done for man?  A mans “righteousness” cannot approach the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.  A poor analogy would be me offering the homeless man on the street corner a new home and car, bought and paid for, free and clear; and he offering me the change he collected from a stranger that day as payment in return.  What an insult that would be.  What an insult it must be to God to have human works offered to Himself as payment for the incomparable price He paid to redeem us back to Himself.  The lack of human humility is staggering.

With all God has done for us and given to us, with all that we have been made in Christ, completely free; how indeed “ought” we to walk through this world?

Next Post: “A new creature, part 2.

A video creation seminar.

Psalm 19:1… “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.

Presented here is one of the best seminars on the creation versus evolution “debate” which has ever been compiled.  It is given by Dr. Kent Hovind over 7 deeply thought out, researched, well presented and enjoyable sessions.  Kent is a true Christian brother (unfortunately not yet understanding of right division) with a great big heart for the Truth of our Creator God, Jesus Christ.  I pray they bless, instruct and edify you in your walk with our Lord.

Romans 1:20… “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

I ask a single question to any and all who might view this series.  Where has simple logic gone from our everyday thought processes?  The world has been conditioned (yes, intentionally conditioned) to NOT THINK; to just accept what so called “experts” say.  We have been taught what to think and not HOW to think.  This is the ultimate cause of our societal downfall into tyranny and ultimately, satanic rule.  We no longer question “them”.  We just take “them” at “their” word and do what “they” say.  We believe “them” with truly religious fervor instead of believing the pure and simple logic of the Bible and the inherently reasonable minds God provided us.  We have no excuse for this.  It is spiritual and intellectual laziness on our parts.

There is a great deal of knowledge, wisdom and simple common sense here.  It will take some time to view and absorb it all.  I encourage you to find the time to invest into watching these.  Your worldview will be changed remarkably, and for the far better!  Life itself will take on amazing new meaning and your walk with our Creator will be quickened in ways I can’t begin to explain.  I speak from experience as only a few short years ago, I too believed in evolution.  I now believe, without a shadow of doubt, that all the Bible is true… every single Word.

I feel it is important to include a political statement at this point.  It is the opinion of this writer that Dr. Hovind is experiencing the early manifestations of Christian persecution in these United Socialist States of America.  He has been in federal prison since 2007 on trumped up financial and mail fraud charges (this is hardly a wealthy man) simply because he is poses a very real and grave threat to the establishment statist religion of evolution.  You may learn more at the Free Kent Hovind website.

As of July 8, 2015 Kent Hovind has been freed from prison!  Amen; more “here” from Dave Daubenmire.

I present to you, “The Kent Hovind Creation Seminar“.

Part 1: The Age of the Earth

Part 2: The Garden of Eden

Part 3: Dinosaurs and the Bible

Part 4: Lies in the Textbooks

Part 5: The Dangers of Evolution

Part 6: The Hovind Theory

Part 7: Questions and Answers

I truly hope you enjoy this presentation!  It is so very critical to our understanding of things in general.  Amen and Gods peace to you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16… “Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.  The Lord be with you all.

Next Post: “A new creature!

Gods perfect original creation!

I have heard many say that the Bible is not a scientific book in any way.  I must disagree as I find scientific fact all throughout the King James Bible.  Let’s look at the opening statements carefully and thoughtfully.

Genesis 1:1-3… “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Let’s put each under the microscope of logical contemplation.

“IN THE BEGINNING (here, linear time itself is begun) GOD (the Prime Mover in all things and Ultimate Creator of all things) CREATED (ex-nihilo – everything from nothing) THE HEAVEN (space is now made available to be filled; with…) AND THE EARTH (…with matter itself).

AND THE EARTH WAS WITHOUT FORM (consequently and by its essential creation from nothing, the earth (matter itself) was yet undifferentiated and without true form), AND VOID (and thus empty of any content); AND DARKNESS (absolute zero – no molecular or wave form motion of any sort) WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP (the physically substantial building blocks of physical reality as we know it are now in place, ready to obey and be formed to the will of our Creator).

AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD (the Holy Spirit itself) MOVED (with any motion comes frictional heat energy thus the universal temperature energetically rises above zero K and molecules are formed for the first time) UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS (the first meaningful substance, water, is formed out of the un–substantive and as of yet un–formed, though extant, deep).

AND GOD SAID (Gods spoken Words, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, IS creative power, John 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17), LET THERE BE LIGHT (full spectrum electromagnetic radiation – vibration or particular/wave “motion” itself): AND THERE WAS LIGHT (the universe, (space, matter in motion over time, energy); is prepared to be filled with the content of Gods imagination).

God continued to speak the content of our universe into existence for 6 literal days and nights, culminating with the first human beings created in Gods own image, Adam and Eve.

Genesis 1:27… “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

God gave man dominion over His living creation and for sustenance gave man (and beast – Gen 1:29-30) vegetation to eat.  Living breathing things were all vegan in the beginning!  God then examined ALL that He had made and deemed it to be “very good”.

Gen 1:31… “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

It is most interesting to note that all who physically consumed food were vegan by nature.  Why is this?  It is because physical death had not yet entered into Gods “very good” creation.  The creation did not know nor comprehend death as the creation was ultimately sustained by God Himself and the input of energy (His Spirit moving) which He provided the universe.  Adam and Eve (and all the animals) were created to live for and in eternity, not ever seeing death.  Original creation was perfectly eternal; perfectly sustained.  The world was a very different place in antediluvian times.

As in the last post I wrote that Perfection and imperfection were completely incompatible; that one of necessity annihilates the other.  Yet in the Garden we find Adam and God living in communion with one another, God having placed Adam personally in the Garden He created for him.  Adam had not yet disobeyed the single command God gave him.  Sin (imperfection) had not yet separated man from his Creator.

The animals at the time before the fall must, of logical necessity, have been remarkably friendly and approachable; given to Adam each to name and have careful dominion over.  It is only after the great flood as punishment for the worlds sin, and Noah’s subsequent exit from the Ark, that the animals were made to fear man.

Genesis 9:2… “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Indeed, it is here that animal flesh is for the first time on mankind’s menu (Gen 9:3).  What has changed?  Death has entered Gods perfect eternal creation.  Imperfection has come into contact with Perfection and Perfection is no longer…

Romans 5:12… “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

With a single act of disobedience (man choosing satan over his Creator) the universe lost the sustaining energetic influence God had over it and began to die what is scientifically known as “heat death”; the inevitable result of entropy in a closed system which our universe is, no matter how large.  Everything, everywhere is winding down as matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed; just altered with net losses toward the lowest form of energy; heat.

God, in nothing but perfectly infinite wisdom, created a universe where nothing was to die, all creation was to live eternally with Him; instituted death to eventually free His creation once again.  Paul explains the resurrection in…

1 Corinthians 15:36… “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Quickened means “made alive” and “revived”!  We “sow” earthly bodies which are spiritually dead prior to salvation.  Praise God for the death of our earthly bodies… as if not for physical death we should be trapped forever in a physically sinful condition (saved or not).  It is the physical death of the saved (spiritually alive) man which releases him from his sinful physical condition and places him into renewed and eternally perfect fellowship with his Perfect Creator, to one day be given a glorified perfected eternal body as Christ possessed after His own resurrection.

God began by creating a perfectly flawless universe.  He called it very good.  It was destroyed willfully by man and angel.  Death and decay is our collective fault.  God however, will once again bring all His creation back into physical perfection with Himself, for those who are made spiritually perfect in Christ.  Have you trusted Christ as your Savior?  It was His intent from the start; and from there it is the imagination of God Himself which will plot the infinite and eternal course.  I for one cannot wait to join Him in His next “adventure”!

Ephesians 1:10… “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

The Bible is chock full of science fact and Paul warns us of science falsely so called; speaking to his son in Christ, Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:20-21.. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Science “falsely so called” would be the satanic (yes, satanic and not just “darwinian”) doctrine of evolution which tries to demonstrate creation as its own creator… that existence itself exists by accident alone and morphs itself into impossibly highly specialized and ever increasing states of functionality.  “Ye shall be as gods…”  Ridiculous on its face (and so horribly sad and empty) yet so many believe the lie.  I want to alter your views toward the creation side of the creation/evolution debate if you are not with me already.

Next Post: “A video creation seminar.

Nobody’s perfect…

…except God of course, so let us for a moment examine the condition of “perfection”.  Websters 1828 Dictionary defines perfection as the state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting.

1)  Physical perfection, is when a natural object has all its powers, faculties or qualities entire and in full vigor, and all its parts in due proportion.

2)  Metaphysical or transcendental perfection, is the possession of all the essential attributes or all the parts necessary to the integrity of a substance.  This is absolute, where ALL defect is precluded, such as the perfection of God; or according to its kind, as in created things.

3)  Moral perfection, is the complete possession of all moral excellence, as in the Supreme Being; or the possession of such moral qualities and virtues as a thing is capable of.

4)  A quality, endowment or acquirement completely excellent or of great worth.

5)  An inherent or essential attribute of supreme or infinite excellence; or one perfect in its kind; as the perfections of God.  The infinite power, holiness, justice, benevolence and wisdom of God are denominated His perfections.

6)  Exactness; as, to imitate a model to perfection.

Must I ask how we measure up to such?

What takes place when imperfection makes any contact whatsoever with perfection?  Is imperfection improved… or is perfection tainted?  Analogous question: what happens when a clean white shirt makes contact with a mud puddle?  Does the mud puddle become clean or does the shirt become dirty?  Regardless of the argument one might construct that imperfection and mud puddles may be regarded ever so slightly more favorably than they were before making contact with the other, it is obvious that perfection immediately becomes imperfect and that clean white shirt is immediately soiled.

God, as THE Perfect Being, therefore MUST maintain Perfection as His ultimate standard that Perfection remains Perfect.  It is not possible for an imperfect being to behold perfection and survive.  Moses requested of God that he see Him…

Exodus 33:18-20… “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.”  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Perfection must stand completely alone and unpolluted by imperfection.

If Gods literal and actual standard is perfection, as perfection annihilates imperfection and imperfection makes perfection necessarily imperfect; how can a man ever hope to be “good enough” to meet Gods standard of Holy Perfection?  Imperfection is implied within our understanding of good “enough”.  Good enough, by definition, is NOT Perfect and that is Gods requirement.

A man cannot meet that standard.  It is not possible.  A wise man finds himself in a perfectly hopeless imperfect condition.  One single sin in life mars perfection completely and irrevocably.  God says:

Romans 3:23… “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:19… “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 6:23(a)… “For the wages of sin is death;…”

Death is the necessary result of imperfection.  God created perfection and gave it to man.  Man, in lust, destroyed the perfection God created, by choice… we wanted even more.  In infinite love, infinite wisdom and with infinite purpose in mind and heart, God makes a way for the imperfect man to once again be perfectly justified in the sight of Himself.

Romans 6:23(b)… “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God gives us His Perfect Son that we, us pathetic and imperfect humans, might be made the very righteousness of God Himself, in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21… “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Made the righteousness of God in Him!  How can we ever be thankful enough to a Creator God who makes His Sinless Son into our sin nature itself (Christ BECAME sin FOR us) takes the universal punishment for OUR sin upon Himself (My God, my God, why hast thou FORSAKEN me?); and then, to whomsoever chooses to accept such an infinitely graceful gift, provides His Own Perfect Righteous Nature to us; that we are made Perfect in Him, that we may be with Him in life for all eternity, if we but trust in that Perfect Gift and not in ourselves?

Colossians 1:21-22… “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

My mind reels trying to conceive of such…  Looking at the condition of sinful humanity, how is it possible that we were even remotely worth it?

Infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite purpose… can be the only answer.

John 14:6… “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Nobody’s perfect.  Nobody.  Unless Christ stands in your place by grace through faith.  At that very moment a perfect eternity awaits.  Why would anyone wait a moment longer?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for you and be saved right here, right now!

Romans 8:38-39… “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Next Post: “Gods perfect original creation!

The new creation, a future dispensation for Gods people.

People who do not believe that god is a “dispensationalist” mislead themselves terribly.  Their strongest argument AGAINST dispensationalism is to say that “God does not change… He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!”  To which we dispensationalists wholeheartedly agree!  God does not change, but the ways in which He deals with mankind, in fact does.

In the beginning was that period of time (or dispensation) of innocence.  Adam and Eve were created perfect, eternal and completely innocent, only knowing what God wanted them to know and nothing of “good and evil”.  (We cannot discern one without comprehending the other.)

How blissful that must have been!  Ecclesiastes 1:18… “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseeth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”  Yet because of that “fall of man”, we must now face things we were not created to know.

Following Adam’s (mankind’s) fall, God instituted the dispensation of conscience.  A conscience was placed into man that he would know when he was engaged in something “inappropriate”.  This lasted some 1,500 years.

Genesis 3:7… “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Man failed to govern himself and to heed the conscience God gave him, and the Antediluvian world, not surprisingly, became completely evil.  God destroyed it utterly saving only 8 out of an estimated (by population growth standards over time) 6 billion people.  When Noah and his family exited that gracefully saving Ark, God instituted the dispensation of human government where men were given authority over other men.

Genesis 9:6… “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Capitol punishment was instituted that if a man murdered another man, by men (not God) should that same man be killed.  Noah’s sons scattered and repopulated the earth as God would have them; but after a while the first “One World/New World Order” came into being and all the world became of one language and had the same goal.  To be “like gods” and “not die”; (remember the garden conversation between satan and Eve… sounds much like our evolution worshiping, technology loving, transhumanist counterparts today, such as Michio Kaku, Ray Kurtzweil, Stephen Hawking and the like) and build a tower that extended their reach (be “like” God) and their very selves (not see death) into heaven.  Oh will these surely be disappointed in eternity!  God never created us to die, as Adam and Eve were created immortal.  We killed ourselves by choice and cannot fix this deadly condition alone or technologically.

Genesis 11:1-4… “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Here we see the “end” of human government in the hands of fallen men.  Ultimate power and ultimate control in the hands of very few… well, one really.  satan, as that is satan’s ultimate goal (as we learned in the last post); to be like the Most High and rule the universe.  God puts a stop to this, not by destroying the world as in the flood, but by confusing the people’s language that they could not communicate with one another.  Their progress ground to a halt, they then scattered once again into separate nations and God changed the parameters of His dealings with man once again.

It is here God calls Abram out of the general population, to eventually form of his seed the nation Israel, where the dispensation of the Law was instituted.  (Interesting fact that the “Old Testament” in the Bible does not begin until Exodus 19.)  This dispensation of Law continues through the crucifixion of Israel’s Messiah (the “New Testament” does not begin until Christ’s death) and comes to an end at the calling of the Apostle Paul in Acts 9.  We currently, as you now know, live in the dispensation of the free grace of God.  The yellow “but now” period on the Bible Chart.

Romans 3:20-21… “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

The Law has been suspended as it had been in the centuries before God called the nation Israel His own, and grace is “but now” instituted.  As we saw in the last post, the dispensation of judgement and war will (likely) begin very shortly after Gods longsuffering grace is concluded; and after that, the dispensation of God’s Kingdom come to earth for 1,000 years.

Question: has God changed throughout any of this?  Of course not.  He just alters the way He deals with us, that His ultimate purpose may be fulfilled.  So what is that ultimate purpose (the ultimate purpose of this post)?

Ephesians 1:10… “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

That God can and will re-create the perfect universe He always intended… with “beings” who DESIRE to be there!

Revelation 4:11… “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and FOR THY PLEASURE they are and were created.

We were created FOR Gods own personal pleasure!  He created, because He could… simply because it is His nature to create and only to destroy when man and fallen angel have taken things too far.  This destructive activity is reserved to re-constructive purposes.  Destruction itself, destructive activity for destruction’s sake, is reserved for satan and mankind.

Creation itself will eventually be purged completely of sin and the universal curse sin resulted in, which we now know as the second law of thermodynamics.  He will gather together all things:  What things?  1) Those which are in heaven.  We are going to be in heaven, so these would be Gods heavenly people – the body of Christ.  Also the non-fallen angels.  2) Those which are on earth.  Israel will be on earth, Gods earthly people – the nation of priests ministering to those Gentiles who will listen to them.  These two “programs” will ultimately be combined IN CHRIST and a “new” eternity will begin for God’s creation.  Those who now CHOOSE to be separate from God, both men and angels, will be separated from God for all eternity in the lake of fire where their worm dieth not (Mark 9:43-48).

Whereas we NOW have spiritual and judicial redemption (with the nation Israel “on hold”):

Romans 5:8-10… “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being NOW justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW received the atonement.

…we NOW long for physical redemption from this world of sin and death.

Romans 8:19-23… “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The “creature” is creation itself and those saved are the sons of God.  Saved humanity and creation itself will be radically changed by God during this ultimate death defying resurrection.  Our bodies will become celestial as Christ’s body was after His resurrection.  Our consciences will be cleansed to a state of innocence once again.  Does this sound too good to be true?  With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27); Paul writes…

1 Corinthians 15:35-44… “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Our terrestrial bodies must eventually die, since we ARE corrupted by sin and death, and therefore it is appointed unto man once to die (thank God, as death frees us, Hebrews 9:27) and then judgement.  But if one is in Christ, whether of the earth (Israel and Gentiles who bless them) or in the heavens (the body of Christ); these are all eventually resurrected in celestial “transfigured glorious” bodies.

Philippians 3:20-21… “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Romans 8:14-17… “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Wonder beyond wonder!  Joint heirs of EVERYTHING CREATED with Christ!  Superman ain’t got nothin’ on me  🙂

Only, however, for those who are Perfect as God is Perfect.  “But, nobody’s perfect”, you rightly cry.

Next Post: “Nobody’s perfect.