Our only boast is in Jesus Christ, none of us can boast in ourselves, there will be no body in heaven wearing a merit badge based on fleshly achievement, no one there will be introduced as super saint. Our reconciliation is of God, he designed it, he provided the means by which it could be accomplished, but people continue to operate today in their thinking, nothings really changed, under the assumption that their sin is separating them from God. If an ounce of new reconciliation in this Age of Grace could be restored for anyone, when it comes to the issue of their sins, then the degree of forgiveness that must be obtained in order to restore the reconciliation is the very degree to which that individual refuses to believe what Christ accomplished, he accomplished it all. The truth is, a person could not obtain an ounce of forgiveness if they tried, because God has already forgiven us all, that is why Christ’s ambassadors have the responsibility and privilege of making the reality of the reconciliation Christ has already accomplished, known to those who know nothing of it.
We can look at others through new perspective, because we serve others today, motivated by appreciation in the fact that God loves them, Christ died for them, we are intricately joined to them, just as we are joined to Christ, the very instance they believe the good news that Paul proclaimed. Love has much more to do with attitude in action, than it has to do with emotions, direction that does what is in the best interest of another individual, this is a work of righteousness. The law had apprehension as a motivation factor, our labor of love under the Age of Grace has had the apprehension aspect removed entirely. Israel’s labour of love under the law contract was a system of performance according to demand, they had to deal with their neighbors according to a strict system of rules and regulations, the law told them how to deal with one another. We are to serve others today, based on how God expressed his love to others through Christ, and what he accomplished for them, who he made them and us to be in our savior, by joining us to our savior.
We should be extremely relieved to know that God’s not using our works of faith, he is not even using out labour of love to determine our worthiness for heaven, we know sins have been taken off the table. God uses Christ’s labour of love, as expressed through what Christ accomplished on our behalf, and our trust in what Christ accomplished where our sins are concerned, as his criteria for our heaven worthiness, we can rejoice that it’s Christ’s faithfulness, not our faithfulness. When the circumstance of the moment is a happy circumstance, when everything is well on the home front, that is when we can say a person might very well be happy, but circumstances can go south, if joy were dependent upon the situation at hand, it would be uncertain as a match lit on a windy day. Joy is a trust issue, joy for a believer is a state of mind, independent of surrounding circumstances, rejoicing is the exhibit of that inter-state of mind, the joy Paul is talking about has no relationship to the transient nature of life, so the believers attitude need not to be come victim to uncertainty or adversity.
If a person is holding on to the law today, in order to keep their salvation, they do not understand Paul’s good news at all! It is a dangerous thing to attribute righteousness to law keeping today, because keeping the law prior to salvation would not get a person saved, and keeping the law after salvation will not keep a person saved. It does no good for ministers of righteousness to replace the word salvation with fellowship, because that is just as damning an idea! If fellowship is not based on performance, but based on position as Paul tells us it is, to suppose a person can lose their fellowship with God based on their performance, is not to understand what Christ accomplished where their sins are concerned. This is the hiding of the truth, and the stealing of the truth away from people that ministers of righteousness involve themselves every week, they steal the truth, they hide salvation by grace alone through faith alone in their cross work ideal of Christ alone, in their effort to stick with tradition, rather than slick with truth, so they follow the tradition of men, because people are resting in the law today.
What does it mean to walk in the spirit, should not the word spirit, be new nature? Galatians 5:16-18 - This I say then, walk in the new nature, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusts against the new nature, and the new new nature against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would, but if you be led of the new nature, you are not under the law. Paul talks about a battle going on in the mind of every believer, a struggle taking place between the new nature and the flesh, a struggle taking place between the ears of the believer. The flesh, Paul’s talking about all that we once were in Adam, prior to salvation, but once saved, we are no longer in Adam, at the very point of our believe, we are that instant in Christ, having been forever joined to our savior, the new nature. Our pride is such, that we will always have that tendency to think more highly of ourselves then we ought, everything we say and everything we do is filtered through that sieve of self, it is just our sin nature.
Paul’s great desire was to know Jesus Christ in his resurrection power, because that same power that raised Christ from among the dead was energizing in Paul, and it is energizing in us. There are believers out there who know Christ in his resurrection power, because they are acquainted to one degree or another with the fellowship of his sufferings, one does not come apart from the other. Religion is fill with lots of people who would rather beg God to fix their suffering circumstances, rather than to thank God for his enabling grace that is sufficient for every suffering saint, that energizing power, most of Paul’s pain and suffering came from making the right decisions. Paul was striving to know Christ, and know him intimately in the power of his resurrection, and in the fellowship of his suffering, Paul wanted Christ’s life to be manifest in his own life.
We would rather be the blamer than the one being blamed, excepting blame means we have got a crack in that perfect persona of ours, the blame game is the battle that no one wants to lose. Rather than recognizing the unworthiness of the flesh, and the imputed worthiness of the new nature, we spend our lives trying to convince ourselves and others of our value, one of the ways we do it is by elevating self through the denigration of someone else. The unseen put down, that is a major tool in our ego preservation tool box, being critical of others is an intricate part of maintaining that fantasy that we are perfect and others are somewhere a bit beneath us, that is why we are immediate in our defense of self, a wiliness to aggressively find fault with others, a way to be superior, to feel safe. Thank God that our destiny, our blessings are not dependent on our serving, because Christ did the serving for us, he did it faithfully, as well as it could be done, he is our righteousness, but every believer is promised reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, a judgment all believers must under go, and the issue there will be rewards or lost of rewards for how we served the Body of Christ.
Paul wants us to recognize that Justification and Sanctification are not based upon feelings at all, they have nothing to do with feelings or emotions, they are not based on sensation in any sense. In fact, they are not based upon the capacity or the production of the flesh in any sense at all, because all now have equal access to God today. According to Paul, God had given up on dealing with the Gentiles, and he called out one man, Abram, through who would come that special nation, that special people Israel. God belongs to Israel and Israel belongs to God, they are called the children of God, God’s espoused wife no less, but the blessing of reconciliation changed all that. Reconciliation simply means a change in status, a change in status for true entire world, does that mean the entire world is saved? No! We have to have an individual change of status, and that takes place when we accept what the son accomplished for us, our sin debt being forever settled. Now all have access to God, sin is no longer the issue with God, the issue with God today is his son, will we accept what Jesus Christ accomplished, our sin debt pain in full, or will we reject it? “Just a Thought”
All the different churches of our day is best described as the Corinthians epistle, equally the Galatians epistle, the same mind set that led to the judgment Isaiah warned Israel about, continues to operate within society today. It never went away, the same inner mind set, that same sin nature at work in people throughout history, the more things change, the more they stay the same. They are marked by divisions, they have divided into little factions, into little groups and little cliques, separating one from another over who is more important than the other person, minds bent on serving only self. Only when we come to see ourselves as God sees us, and are able to fully appreciate and understand who God has already made us to be, and who he has made us to be in Christ, can we become in our behavior, what he wants us to be in that aspect of our lives. As Paul’s sound doctrine is taken in and fully appreciated, the believer who takes that doctrine in, and appreciates it, and applies it, begins to grow and mature in what they believe, that believer’s mind is being transformed in the process. As we understand what God accomplished through his son for us, and build upon that foundation the truths of who he has made us to be by placing us into his son, we begin to view ourselves as God views us, and that is great security to be found in doing so.