“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady
- Name: David
- Location: United States
A person God turned around many times.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Justification and sanctification
Our part in justification is simple, but God’s part is a heavy burden. We come to Jesus, so that we are in tune with God’s Law; but, we come in our distress and great helplessness. And God puts all of our guilt and punishment on Jesus and washes away our bonds to sin. He puts us in our right mind, and He reconciles us so that we are no longer angry with or at odds with God, and Jesus is made sin to God for us.
Jesus is made filthy, but we are sanctified, not that we are perfected, but willing to be so. When Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48), didn’t He encompass all of 1 Corinthians 6:11? Didn’t the sin we were released from encompass all of verses 9 and 10, “fornicators, …idolaters, …adulterers, …effeminate, …abusers of themselves with mankind, …thieves, …covetous, …drunkards, …revilers, …extortioners”? 1 Corinthians 6:11would also include, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pet. 3:18).
When we come to Christ God calls us perfect; and so we are, because whatever God speaks becomes reality. “He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. 33:9). We came to Christ and His goodness compared to our badness led us to repentance, which resulted in our hating sin and renouncing it. Therefore, we are new creatures with a new disposition toward sin—we hate it and have lost the taste for it. God spoke our repentance and conversion, and our victory over sin was done.
Therefore we are perfect on day One. And we continue to be perfected every step of the way for the rest of our life. What a blessing! Continuously perfected and instructed, corrected, and humbled. No more self-indulgence! No more selfishness! No more self-justifying, self-serving, no more self-exalting! No more following after pleasing, flattering, carnal traditions of men that downsize and down play our despicable human nature.
As a baby in our new heavenly family we are perfect, as a toddler we are perfect, as adolescents, teens, and young adults we are perfect. So are we perfect in our prime and in the sunset years. And if we want to be like Jesus, we love the walk of being perfected; because as we follow His example, we appreciate Him more and more, His love becomes more and more a reality, and we see Jesus as a better and better friend. He never leaves the sinner; it is always the case that sin separates the sinner from Christ.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:1-3).
This is the plan of redemption. If we give up under the pressure of God and His Law, and surrender to His provision of a savior in His Son, then we are perfectly in union with His Son and also have the manifest possession by the Father—His Holy Ghost—the Father’s hand on us and on our affairs, His presence in our heart and mind.
Faith was the operating choice that put into action the whole work of salvation. The Father’s divinely created forge of trouble and strife to the soul transformed our hope into faith and experience, both together which could lift our trembling will to His throne. We laid hold of the horns of His mercy seat and He rewarded us with the power to become sons of God. We were born of the Spirit of God and by His designated spokesman, Jesus Christ. We were adopted into God’s nation, given a new name that describes our victory over our old kings, Satan and self. We overcame the adversary by the blood of the Lamb and by our cry for God’s help.
Restored to health spiritually, mentally, physically, and accepted in God’s love, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.” (1Cor. 6:12). While living under the control of God’s power, we have a freedom never before known while under Satan’s control. We have guidance to make our choices that will not war against our new-found salvation from Jesus. We love our new Master who delivered us from the harsh mastery of Satan and we always seek to stay in the light shining from the words of God.
Daily our hearts are enthralled by the love and beauty found in His word. The Bible makes sense like never before as we find that it aligns perfectly with the experience and transformation we’ve known when coming to God. If we stray from either the Law or the gospel, God can send a troubling reminder and set us back on the path to life. Our original hope and faith and love are in Him, and our new repentance brings us again to our resting place next to Jesus. We never lost our hope; our certainty of God’s acceptance never left; our connection with Him never ended. But our heart and will broke, as He reset us in humility. We doubt ourselves more than ever; but, when we are weak, then He is strong. Then we are strong.
Again and gain God brings us back to His original salvation, justification. Repeatedly we must accept His reconciliation, restoration, and discipline. Through His apostle He tells us, “I write not these things to shame you, but as My beloved sons I warn you.” (1Cor. 4:14). “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3:19). “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18).
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Howbeit, not all
“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.” (Heb. 3:16).
“Not all” “did provoke”. Blessed thought! Boon to health! Not everyone rebelled! Not everyone lived for this world. Some walked by faith. It’s the bad news that so much fills the Bible and so much saddens the hearts of God’s chosen. Yet, now and then, we get to witness obedience and humility. And our spirits are refreshed. How much more relief must the angel’s find, all in whom “is joy” “over one sinner that repenteth.” (Lk. 15:10). And, infinitely more so must the hearts of Father and Son rejoice.
True, much of inspiration dwells upon the times of disobedience and disciplinarian consequences. More often than not we read of Satan’s victories and the horrors upon God’s people that resulted by the devil’s revenge on God through His people. It’s this seeming endless saga that discourages people from reading the Bible or uniting with God’s movement on earth. Sacred history doesn’t look very sacred and holy and successful to the unbeliever. The prospects look pretty dismal and grim.
“Howbeit not all” did that. Not all have “charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22). Sacred history has its success stories! Noah, Lamech, Methuselah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, etc. etc. Ruth and Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Jonathan, Samuel, Jehoiada, Jehoshaphat, Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, and the prophets who were holy men moved by God, all create a glorious panoply of starry hosts against the reigning darkness. Faithful, a great cloud banding the night sky, creating a long, connected history of God’s successful work of arresting the destruction of the deceiver against Him and His children. The lost river often has become lost from sight, but it always came up again.
It was heaven’s work of ultimate, inevitable success that led to Paul’s conclusion of predestination—not an arbitrarily predestining of destiny as believed by a Protestant Reformer, but a revival of primitive godliness, a movement to restore the true image of Christ in human hearts and lives, “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19).
The sacred histories plainly showed the evidence of a faithful remnant ever existing amid the moral declension into which Satan had led the majority. God has always had His faithful representatives. Though few in number, they always planted the standard of heaven on earth like the American soldiers on Iowa Jima, and the young Republic’s thirteen stars and stripes flying boldly amidst the bombs bursting all around to hit it and to knock it out.
An undercurrent of repentance and conversion, humiliation and love, has sanctified the whole unregenerate human race and watered it. “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” (Isa. 8:18).
At times it might be lost from sight; but, sooner or later the Creator and Redeemer brings it to light again—proof to humanity that that lost river was there all along, simply not visible; and proof to God’s faithful care to mercifully and continuously seed earth with His redemption. Even without a leader, and marred by every man doing “that which was right in his own eyes” (Jdg. 21:25), a “remnant” (Isa. 10:22) would continue. That “very small remnant,” (Isa. 1:9) has preserved Earth in the cosmos, keeping this planet from its complete blotting out of existence by divine retribution.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:31-34).
“It [the law] was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19).
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” (1Pet. 2:9).
Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day. Christ’s Object Lesson, p. 332.
“And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me.” (Heb. 2:13). “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb. 2:11).
The Son of God has been the instrumentality to keep that predestined group alive and well throughout the ages of this great controversy. He is our arm of strength. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isa. 53:1). “O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” (Isa. 33:2). “Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” (Isa. 27:5,6).
Jesus reincarnate, Jesus among us, Jesus ascended and glorified has kept His movement from its inevitable desolation were it not for His involvement. Never once, throughout the battle against His adversary, has He ever misjudged or overstepped the line He drew in the sand for Satan. His children have accepted His correction and instructions being sanctified by faith in His truth and grace. Close by His side, the mutual choice has been His virtue in their spirit, guiding and purifying them. Their bond results in His shamelessly calling them brethren, and delivering “them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage…. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:15,18).
The river of life may go underground, but it always surfaces again. “This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah.” (Ps. 24:6).
“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isa. 51:11).
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:26,27).
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Humility, what could have been
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Ahaz, King of Laodicea
I'm only human--no excuse for sin
In other words, the standard (I’m only human”) is not God’s standard. His standard is reality. Ours is only a surrogate reality and God cannot bless it.