Paul’s gospel must be accepted, it must be believed today, and you can be sure that confusion concerning that gospel through the use of a counterfeit gospel; a gospel that looks so much like Paul’s gospel that you’d not know the difference, if you didn’t clearly know Paul’s gospel, will be Satan’s focus in this age of grace.
One of Satan’s purpose in this age of grace is to confuse Paul’s gospel with a gospel so nearly to it, and there are many people out there today saying all you have to do is to believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and you’re saved. They believe this in almost every church across the board that Christ died, was buried and rose again, but what do they believe was accomplished by that death, burial and resurrection?
In their minds, they are separating themselves for God by their sin, and Paul is saying that God has already reconciled you where your sins are concerned. God is reconciled where the sins of the world are concerned, because he imputed those sins to Christ, that all who would believe what he imputed to Christ, that that resolved the sin issue forever, and are now joined to his son and have his righteousness freely counted to them, or imputed to their account.
Paul called it the ministry of reconciliation, Christ fulfilled the law for us, so we are identified with the righteousness of Christ the moment we take God at his word, obedient to the faith, concerning what Christ accomplished on our behalf. Today our service comes not out of apprehension to any of those things; our service today comes based solely on our appreciation for what Christ has already done.
The subject of reconciliation.
An appeal from Paul
The Pauline pattern
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Salvation is not doing; it is believing! It is counting what God believes to be true for you and about you as true for you and about you. Our performance is not the source of our righteousness before God; the only righteousness God can recognize is our position in Jesus Christ when it comes to mankind and mankind’s indwelling sin nature in the flesh.
To believe that what you are doing and what you are restraining yourselves from doing is the way you are earning your righteous standing with God, you have got to put a lot of confidence in your flesh to do that; religiondumb is doing that! Those who are IN Jesus Christ are those who are NOT walking after the faulty assumption that their righteousness is related to their performance, that was Israel’s problem.
Those who are IN Jesus Christ are those who place no confidence in their flesh, but understand, as Paul understood, that in their flesh dwells no good thing. The sanctification that comes by way of being placed INTO Christ - joined to Christ - is positional truth. A sanctified position IN Christ comes not as a result of behavior, it comes as a result of belief! God is not looking at how well we adhere to any standard.
God is not looking at our production. God is not looking at our behavior in order to view us as being in favor with him. What a marvelous plan God had for us! God has kept the fingerprints of the guilt-worthy off of the righteousness he designed for the guilt-worthy. God’s reconciliation to man is from God’s side only.
God alone decided to make peace with man, while man is still very much ungodly, a sinner, and while man is an active enemy to God. This one-sided reconciliation on God’s part is self-evident proof of God’s superabundant love to man.
As far as God is concerned, he loved man so much that he was willing to let his own son die for sinful man, and have his son pay all the penalties of their sins, forget their rebelliousness and overlook their hostility, while they were still sinners, still rebellious, and still hostile. God made up his mind to become completely reconciled to mankind before man made any signs of making peace with God.
God has told the world through Paul’s teaching’s, that he has reconciled himself to them because of his love for them, and it was God alone who did this harmonious act; they have had nothing to do with it, all they have had to do is to receive the reconciliation that God has made with mankind. God has one-sidedly reconciled himself to mankind through what the death of his son accomplished; all sins and hostility are paid for as far as God is concerned.
Many people involved in religion’s domain are dealing with God on the basis of probation, rather than salvation. Then God must make a decision in their minds, whether or not to save that individual. Their suitability for heaven depends upon their turning away from all of their sins.
If they will simply dedicate themselves to no longer to sin, that is the idea. God testing over and over again the validity of that dedication. Then God will know if they are truly devoted to him, then he will be able to finally make a decision as to whether or not they are heaven worthy. That is the idea in and in most people’s minds; it is the idea being promoted by ministers of righteousness.
That is probation, not salvation. God is not testing or proving people today, in order to make a final decision as to whether or not to save them, or to keep them saved. All the saving work that God could possibly do, he has already done through Christ. God now holds forth the reconciliation that Christ has accomplished, in his mind, offering man the choice to either accept or reject that gift of salvation.
Appreciation based on the reality of salvation, not apprehension based on religion’s message of probation. If Satan can keep that glorious message of Paul hidden by blinding people’s eyes to the reality of reconciliation through a message that keeps sin on the table of God’s justice where that sin has already been put away.
Many people are living in their minds today with probation rather than salvation. With Israel's earthly program being set aside, during this age of grace, no nationality enjoys special favor in the eyes of God; all must come alike to God today. God did not lift up the Gentiles, who had been without God, and put them on an equal or higher plain, than belonged to Israel.
He concluded Israel in unbelief, as he had previously concluded the Gentiles in unbelief, both of them down on the same level, so that he might have mercy on all, and that is where it is today, according to Paul. It is man who needs to be reconciled to God, not the other way around.
God is already reconciled to us, where our sins are concerned. It is not a sin issue, it is a son issue. What a marvelous plan Gods for us! God has kept the fingerprints of the guilt-worthy off of the righteousness he designed for the guilt-worthy. Understanding the grace of God is an intricate part of the joy that should really be a part of every believer’s life.
The grace of God has brought peace with God, is the foundation of every believer’s joy in this age. Justification is a legal act, wherein God deems the sinner righteous on the basis of Christ’s righteousness. Justification is not a process, but is a one-time act, complete and definitive.
Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring us acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of our sins put away forever. Christ did not die to give us a reprieve, he did not die to give us temporary relief.
The only reason God could say through Paul, “Grace and peace be unto you“ is because his son fully paid the price. So in the midst of Paul’s troubling circumstances, he is thanking God, he is thinking what God accomplished for him through Christ.