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“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

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Perfection is doable only if Christ is everything to us

We must never forget what Paul said about perfection. Though Paul strove for perfection, and was attaining it, it was illusive to the Jews who were also striving to attain it. 

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 
Wherefore [Why]? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone; 
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a Stumblingstone and Rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 
For Christ is the end [the goal] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 9:30-10:4).

There is only one way to righteousness—Jesus said, “I am the way.” (John 14:6). Christ is the goal of the Law. His infinite example in 33 years of life, His infinite sacrifice on the cross, His infinite ministration as our High Priest before God, His infinite Spirit in us. Basically, for Christ to be the goal of the Law means for Him to be our focus and the cause of our righteousness. This was Paul’s disposition to the Law.

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more...
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 
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.” (Phil. 3:2-4, 6-10).

“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:5,6).

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1Cor. 15:56,57).

If we are doing the science of salvation correctly, the Law will always be condemning us, and never vindicating us or exonerating us, “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). Even perfect and upright Job and Abraham could not stand before God without the constant mercy of Christ (Job 42:6; Rom. 4:1,2; Ps. 32:1-5). Our only hope is in the mercy of Christ. The condemning Law is God’s great representative. The Law worketh wrath for those who hate correction and instruction in righteousness. And it works repentance and redemption in those who can accept being corrected and being told what to do. (2 Sam. 12:5-13; Ps. 51:4).

But if we are angry people, then we are trying to keep the Law without the correct science of salvation. We are keeping the Law by our flesh, from our own resources, and “[God’s] chastisement of our peace’” (Isa. 53:5) is still upon us, instead of “upon Him [Jesus]”. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36). And this verse, John 3:36, is the shortened version of Revelation 14:9-11. In other words, trying to be perfect without Jesus as our focus ends in the mark of the beast.

The real question is: Who is our focus? Are we seeing Jesus in the Law? If so, then He is the goal of the Law.

David

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