We are justified through our sanctified position in Christ, we find the amazing and comforting truth that God’s love for those who are joined to his son, is the same unalterable and unending love God has for his son, that is how closely connected we are to Christ. It is a past tense accomplishment that can never be revised, reduced, or retracted, God’s loving attitude towards those who are united to him by way of being in his son, nothing past, present, or future shall separate us from the love of God. It is important we know the difference, because the old man and the sin nature are not one and the same, the old man speaks of our former identity with Adam, that identity is no longer true of believers. So, the old man is a thing of the past, having been crucified with Christ, and the new man is the new identity belonging to every believer, the sad news is that the new man continues to reside in our earthly bodies where the sin nature is ever present. The old man has to do with identity, even though every believer has a new identity in Jesus Christ, every believer suffers the same propensity, the battle against the sin nature that the apostle Paul struggled with himself on a day-by-day basis.
God’s strength is perfected, God strength is brought to a point of fullness in the life of a suffering saint during this age of grace. God allows saints to suffer today, because God’s strength is made perfect in the life of the suffering saint, if God’s strength was made perfect in fixing the saint, Paul would be telling us to pray for the fix, but Paul is filling us in on a secret that Jesus Christ revealed to him. God expects us to make the right use of our minds in light of the doctrine he’s given us through the ministry of the apostle Paul. We should no longer be in need of someone to turn our heads, and tell us what to do, and which direction we are to take, will we always make the right decisions, NO, but we can certainly learn from the decisions we make, so that we can make better decisions the next time around. Choices always bring along with those choices consequences, the choices have been given us to make, as well as the consequences to reap for the choices we make.
All believers, during this age of grace, are adopted sons, but we are the children of God, as Paul will go on to say, but in what sense are we the children of God? The Galatian saints had begun following the Judaizers, but under what gospel had they been saved in the first place, Paul’s gospel! Paul had begotten them by his gospel, they had their new creation, because of believing the good news Paul presented them. Paul is the one who had led these saints to a saving knowledge of the justice resolving accomplishment of Jesus Christ on their behalf, Paul gave birth to these saints in the sense of bringing them to a saving knowledge of Christ. Unfortunately, we continue to sin, even though our sins have been paid for, and we will continue to sin, as long as we remain in our earthly bodies with the indwelling sin nature we inherited from Adam, God’s justice has been satisfied, but sin will remain a part of our earthly existence. Yet, Satan’s ministers of righteousness are busy at work within the righteous structure called religion, in order to keep the meaning of Paul’s good news hidden, to keep people’s eyes blinded to the truth of what Christ really accomplished.
The sin issue, became a son issue, and we need to see ourselves properly, apart from faith in the One who is faithful on our behalf, in seeing ourselves properly, when it comes to how we view other people, because they have the same brokenness that we have. But, God knew what it would take to save us, he knew what it would take to have us dwell with him through eternity future, and that dwelling with him would require that we would measure up to his degree of rightness, and measuring up to his degree of rightness would only come one way. We need a justifier who would justify the ungodly by faith, what a marvelous thing God has done, and who would have thought of a salvation in that sense, that God’s plan would call for him to join us to his son, therefore, what belongs to the son, now belongs to us, who have been joined to God’s son. The law was never given as a standard by which a person could live their life and achieve righteousness, it was given to be a mirror, so that those who were placed under that law might gain a better glimpse of themselves.
Paul did not say the law was written in our hearts, he said the works of the law are written in the hearts of the Gentiles. God knows whether or not a person has placed their faith in what his son’s faith accomplished for them, or whether that person is still holding onto the notion that their good works will somehow merit them a position of righteousness in the eyes of God, God knows the motivation that resides in the human heart that underlies all the works that we call good. Any kind of works at all, even if they appear to be good works in our mind, that are done for the purpose of attaining salvation or for the purpose of maintaining salvation, even for the purpose of proving one’s salvation is a slap in the face of God, who had to provide the gift of salvation, because people’s righteousness would be totally incapable of meriting it. Our good works must be done solely out of appreciation for what God has already accomplished, we place our faith in Christ’s faithfulness, and that alone.
God never intended subjective feelings to be a replacement for objective truth, that is why he has given us his Word, only when inner peace lines up with the written Word of God, are we headed in the proper direction. We not only have peace with God, we can enjoy the peace of God, who shall keep our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ in every circumstance that we face, we should not take any course of action that we do not have peace about, but is an inner sense of peace about something a sure fire fail safe system when it comes to choosing a direction to take in our lives? There are multitudes who are putting faith in their feelings, but we often connect our emotions to our prayer life, and thus we further validate in our minds the course of action we were bent toward taking in the first place, if things go right in our eyes, all is well and good, we have not only affirmed ourselves, we have affirmed our Savior, if things go topsy-turvy, perhaps the devil got involved in the details, but can feelings, even a sense of inner peace, always be trusted as a fail safe method to always point us in the proper direction, when it comes to the contentment or peace department, God through his power from on high, does not lead independently of his Word.
Do we not know that God has held back the wrath we so justly deserve, but do we not know that he has been good to us in holding back that wrath, he has not held back his wrath, because he is happy with who we think we are, or because he is satisfied with who we are trying to become. God has been long-suffering in holding back his wrath, because he hopes that we will consider his goodness through is son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and flee to his grace, God wants us to change our mind about who we are from fleshly perspective, apart from Christ. It is the goodness of God, that leads a person to a change of thinking, that draws that person to adopt what God has said is true in his Word. God is not patiently waiting for us to change our mind about what we do, many have done that thinking it gains salvation, the self-righteous moralizer looks in their self-righteous mirror, and they think God must be satisfied, a prize package. All people should change their minds about the way that God has provided, and what his son accomplished where their sins are concerned, because not all people believe that those sins were done away with Christ’s payment.
When peace of mind is based solely on circumstances, depression is the ultimate end for all, because we live in a sin cursed world, physical death is on it’s way for each of us, timing of that being the only uncertainty of that reality. Sin brings death, insecurity is the ultimate mind set for all who’s mind are focused on earthly things, which is precisely why Paul is directing believers to a refocus of thinking, God provides a way for believers to have joy, even in the midst of unhappy circumstances. Understanding peace with God, appreciating peace with God is that which allows the peace of God to rule our minds, govern our emotions, grace is the fountain head of joy. God has manifested his grace to us through the accomplishments of his son, each and every blessings is to provide for us a place of security and a place of specialness that we know that is there for us in the mind of God, we are secure and we are special, the result of that grace, peace. Most of Paul’s pain and suffering came from making the right decisions, Paul desired to be found in Christ, not with a righteous record that could be gauged as having come from Paul as the source, but a mind set of glorious joy can only begin with a proper understanding of God’s glorious grace.
Is it not interesting that the Gentiles had been considered dogs, but Paul speaking to the saints in Philippi, and it is the unbelieving Israelites who are considered dogs. Paul is simply drawing a contrast between those who were relying upon ritual for righteousness, and those who place no confidence whatsoever in their flesh for a right standing before God, and those false teachers who thought that ritual could do something, and the ritual was circumcision. Paul’s point in this age of grace, is circumcision apart from faith is nothing more than concision, it is nothing more than mutilation, Paul had more reason to boast if that is the way God values righteousness, if he values it through our performance. Paul was not a Gentile converted, then circumcised as a proselyte to the Race of Israel, he was not a Gentile taking hold of Israel’s covenant and being circumcised, he was born into a Israelite family, Abraham’s blood flowed in his veins. Paul was answering a group of people in his day (Philippians 3:9), in fact they were bragging, they were boasting about their achievements as though God could do nothing other than to declare them righteous, because they deserved just such a declaration. Paul warned us to guard against those who would promote a righteousness through performance idea, “Beware of Dogs, Beware of Evil Workers, Beware of the Concision.”