Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just a Thought "27"

When Paul says putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, he is talking about the whole body, the whole sin debt, all of our sins, are sins cut off from us!

All our sins from the front of our life, to the back of our life, they have been completely cut away from us through the cutting off, the circumcision, actually the death of Jesus Christ, never to be joined to us again, another wards, God can no longer see them.

God no longer sees us in our identification with sin, since the initial point of our belief, he sees us in our identification with his son, all the sins Christ died for are sins which are forever dead in their ability to stand between the sinner and the Savior.

No matter how the world comes down on us or how the world views us, how our friends view us or cease viewing us, God views us in a way which is incomprehensible to the world.

We are not in the process of becoming something new and different, we are not even in an instantaneously cleaned up version of the former creation, we are not a sinless version of who we once were, we are at the very instance of our belief, a brand new creation, God sees us in a brand new way.

In the fact, that it is called a new creation, it tells us this new creation, as God sees it, is not an extension of some former creation. In other wards, we are not an extension of believing Israel time past carried on over in some spiritual form to the age of grace, can not be.

We are not now, nor will we ever be spiritual Israel, God has designed believers to be a brand new unique  organism operating as a living breathing manifestation of Christ’s Body right here on planet earth.

We are not called to be saints, we are called saints, sainthood is not earned at all. It is not something to be sought after as though it could be attained to or something that only comes for a select few. According to the apostle Paul, we have how much forgiveness, total forgiveness.

God knows what his son accomplished on our behalf where all of our sin debt is concerned and he is satisfied that all of that sin has already been judge on his son, leaving no judgment for us where our sin is concerned.

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.

In Romans, we learn God could not declare us to be right on the bases of who and what we are from the practical standpoint of our lives; we are everything but perfectly right. God could only declare us to be right on the bases of who and what he is, not on the bases of who and what we would be apart from him.

The only way God could declare us right in his sight is to join us, to actually immerse us into the only one who ever was perfectly just through performance, and that was Jesus Christ himself.

God had to devise a way to see us that way, and the way he devised to do that was by joining us to, hiding us in our perfectly righteous savior, thus freely crediting to our account Christ righteousness.

Freedom from God’s condemnation is a reality for every single believer, not because of any new found performance capabilities, but because we are made the righteousness of God in our union with his perfectly righteous son.

On top of that, everything necessary to prove to us beyond any shadow of doubt, and to prove to Satan and his rebellious forces that we are totally secure in our union with God’s son, we need nothing more, God supplied every need already.

There were a lot of people in Paul’s day and in our day trying to earn their righteousness before God by way of their performance. They thought God would measure their do’s and don’ts and thought they were actually measuring up. God would considered them righteous worthy of his attendance, worthy of being in heaven.

In fact, they were bragging, 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 to guard against those who would promote a righteousness through performance idea.

It is up to those of the world to either accept or reject their redeemer, but that does no less make him their redeemer. When we accept our redeemer and the price he paid, the ransom he paid, then we are joined to Christ and we have his righteousness attributed to our account.

Those who reject the gift are thumbing their noses at the one who died to paid that price for their redemption. The price was paid for all, and through that payment Christ redeemed the entire human race from the sin barrier that separated the world from God. It is now a son issue, not a sin issue.

Will those of the world accept or reject the payment Christ made for their redemption? Those who reject their redeemer will face the ultimate consequences of that rejection. God did for us what we could never do for ourselves, he took all of our performance off of us and put it onto Jesus Christ and judged him for our faulty performance.

The only thing God is asking us to believe to be placed into his son, is to take him at his word concerning what his son did where our sins are concerned. The instance we take our stand with God, we are not only saved, but sealed until the day of redemption of these earthly tents in which we dwell.

Flesh wants to say if I broke it, I can fix it. God is not asking us to turn from anything to be saved, he is asking us to believe Christ accomplished salvation for us and we are simply to believe it. Christ did it all, there is nothing left for us to do, God did all the giving, we do only all the receiving, faith is taking God at his word concerning what his son did on our behalf. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Just a Thought "26"

Sin entering into the human race through Adam’s transgression brought about more than one type of death, or one type of separation. We can suffer functional death; an inability, separated from the capacity to serve or to please God, this is a functional death.

Then, there’s a relational death, sin brings relational death. Sin, or coming short of the measure of who God is, is that which stood in the way or stood between God and the human race. Sin, coming short of who God is, is something that is true of our lives every second of every day we live.

So, it is not a question of getting new forgiveness for new sin, we had to have someone take care of that sin issue for us, and thank God that he had his son take care of that issue for us. God’s attitude towards a believer, does not fluctuate in response to action, it is not condition on our behavior.

Paul tells us that being justified, judicially in the mind of God through our union with his son, we are made right with God at the point of that union through the avenue of our faith in Christ’s faithful performance on our behalf, rather than peace based upon our performance toward God, results in an unchanging attitude of peace with God for every believer.

God’s attitude of favor toward the believer is based on the conduct of his son on the believer’s behalf. We now have available for the enjoyment of our everyday experience an everlasting peaceful relationship with God. When God looks at the believing sinner, God sees his very own son; Christ’s death was sufficient to satisfy God’s righteous demand for justice.

The issue for life everlasting is not what church we attend or to which denomination we belong or how religious we are or even whether or not we are a good person in the worldly sense of the word good. The issue in eternity will not be how many sins we have committed or how many sins we have promised God we will abstain from committing.

It will not be whether we have walked an aisle, recited a particular prayer, or asked Jesus into our heart. The issue in eternity will be to which man one is related, does one have their identity in the first Adam, or does one have their identity in the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

It is difficult for the human mind, apart from letting divine viewpoint, replace human viewpoint to lay hold of the magnitude of what the grace of God is all about, and what that grace has accomplished on behalf of every signal person who has trust what Jesus Christ accomplished.

Grace is that which God does for the human race through his son, which the human race can not earn, does not deserve and will never merit. Grace is God’s work for people, and encompasses everything we receive from God; he is free to do now for ungodly people who take him at his word.

When a believer’s behavior is consistently inconsistent with what that believer professes to believe, the answer lies in a failure to fully appreciate one or more aspects of the foundational truths.

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’s made us to be in Christ, can we become in our behavior what he wants us to be in the aspect of our lives.

As we understand what God accomplished for us through his son, 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 there is great security to be found in doing so.

As 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, and as the believer begins to grow and to mature in what they believe, that believer’s mind is being transformed in the process.

Truth designed to give us stability, is truth designed to give us security. God did not intend that believers be insecure, so the security doctrines come first in God’s building process for his grace-age saints.

God stabilizes us in the book of Romans, we need to be less interested in trying to become something, or trying to do something, and we need to become a whole lot more interested in learning about who we already are, that is the key.

The church of our day is best described as the Corinthians epistle equally the Galatians epistle, they are marked by divisions and have reverted to preaching the law. If one has believed Paul’s good news, we must understand that God has predetermined to glorify us.

In fact, he has predestined us to that glorification. We are objects of God’s purpose, because God had a purpose in mind where grace age believers are concerned, and he predetermined through his own decree that his purpose would stand, it will come to pass no matter what.

Put simply, before the founding of the world, God predetermined our destiny, and that destiny is glorification through union with the glorified Christ. God has the resolve and ability, the capacity to accomplish his purpose, by joining us to his son, the glory of God will be praised, because God will glorify the saints of this age.

Realizing the entrapment of the flesh, and therefore the wretchedness of the flesh this side of the redemption of our bodies, helps us realize the direction which truth righteousness comes. We need to change our mind and agree with God and with Paul, that it is totally impossible for us to do enough good.

Paul wanted to be found before God not bearing his own righteousness for his purpose in being there, but having Christ righteousness attributed freely to Paul’s account; the battle within him, proved to him the absolute impossibility of performance based righteousness.

God’s word has the power to change our thinking if we take it in, if we dwell on it, it will change our thinking. Paul knew the word of God has the power of God to do the work of God.

God had to devise a way to predetermine our destiny, and the way he devised to do that was by joining us to, hiding us in our perfectly righteous savior, thus freely crediting to our account Christ righteousness.

Freedom from God’s condemnation is a reality for every single believer not because of any now found performance capabilities, but because we are made the righteousness of God in our union with his perfectly righteous son. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just a Thought "25"

There is an element of pride today on the part of many who think God must be looking on them with special favor, because they happen to belong to a particular denominational persuasion.

In fact, there are people who take great pride today and elevate themselves above others, because they rightly divide the word of truth, when rightly dividing the word of truth is merely a tool to use so that a person can come out with a proper understanding of scripture.

So-called Christendom today fails to rightly divide the word of truth, because they have mixed God’s program with Israel and his program with the Body of Christ and mixed dispensations together; dispensations that do not mix together, and as a result, they think they have taken on Israel’s role from the point where Israel left off.

The programs have simply been intertwined in the minds of the religious world. Any kind of works at all, even if they appear to be good works in a our minds, that are done for the purpose attaining salvation, or for the purpose of maintaining salvation, and even for the purpose of proving our salvation is a slap in the face of God, who had to provide the gift of salvation, because our righteousness would be totally incapable of meriting it.

Our good works must be done solely out of appreciation for what God has already accomplished. God knows whether there’s a hidden motivation even to ourselves, hidden by our pride nature to look good before others, to appear knowledgeable before others, to somehow elevate self in relation to others, to gain the praise of others. God knows the motivations of the human heart.

Paul is not telling us to eliminate doing good things once were save, he is telling us to totally and completely once and for all, remove any and all works forever from the criteria in our minds by which God saves us, or the basis by which God keeps us saved.

God completely took works out of the equation when it came to gaining or maintaining salvation! Paul has fenced us all in and it is a closed-in pen, in a manner of speaking, of wrath worthiness, therefore, the human race is in need of a Savior, simple as that!

Working to maintain a standard, any standard whatsoever while trying that standard in our mind to the acquisition of or the maintenance of our right standing before God is an exercise in futility, it will not work. Works are absolutely excluded as a basis by which God gives the righteous standing Paul has in mind for the human race.

What the heart of sinful people do is to humanize God, there is no fear of God when we humanize God. God is our great big buddy in the sky, even Jesus has simply become our best friend. Many think that salvation comes to those who can maintain a sufficient camaraderie with Jesus, their friend.

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. That is what the law program did, it allowed a person to stand back when looking at the law and see themselves in a proper light.

The law was given in order to reflect a perfectly clear picture of how sinful a person really is, we need to see ourselves properly apart from faith in the one who is faithful on our behalf.

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 should require that we would measure up to his degree of rightness, and measuring up to his degree of rightness would only come one way.

Our salvation must come from a justification found totally apart from us, totally apart from who we are, totally apart from the things that we do and promise to do, and commit to never do again. The law was a picture and it was a mirror to show us that we needed justification that is given to us, that is credited to us freely, we need a justifier who would justify the ungodly by faith.

Justification by grace through faith, what a marvelous thing God has done, and who would have thought of a salvation in the sense that God’s plan would call for him to join a person to his son, therefore, what belongs to the son would now belong to believing people who have been joined to the son.

Our human nature being what it is, we automatically rise up and rebel against the truth, but Paul goes to great length to prove beyond any showdown of a doubt, that everyone of us are continually coming short of the standard of God’s perfect righteousness.

So when Paul mentions sin, he does so for the purpose of having every individual realize and admit that through out the course of our daily lives, we all miss the mark of God’s perfect rightness. We never measure up anytime in our human live, we never measure up to who God is and with God’s righteous character, he can not dwell with anyone who does not.

We could look at the righteousness of God in the sense of righteousness being an attribute of God, his righteous character is part of his glory. God is perfectly righteous in himself, he never deviates from his own perfectly right standard.

We know that nothing has ever changed about God’s righteous character, so Paul does not have God’s attribute of righteousness in mind when he says, “But now, the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested,” God has provided for the human race, what the human race desperately lacks, God’s very own perfect righteousness.

What Jesus Christ accomplished for the human race, does not make the human race measure up to God’s rightness, we have to be righteous-ified. God declares unrighteous believers to be righteous, it is a gift, a declaration of rightness with God and this comes totally apart from that unrighteous person’s production, no inherent merit on the part of the one being declared righteous.

God’s power from on high joins every believer to Jesus Christ himself. Those who have trusted in what Christ has accomplished where their sins are concerned are made heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. It is Christ’s faith that righteous-ifies those who take their stand with God when it comes to what God has stated his son accomplished for them.

It is Christ faith that is freely credited to the account of the one who believes the good news given to the apostle Paul to proclaim to us in this age of grace. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just a Thought "24"

When a person uses themselves for the foundation of their righteousness, their efforts, their contributions, what they can merit through performance, whether it be the Israelites under the Law of Moses or whether it be Gentiles who had never been given the Law Contract for righteousness in the first place, they are not only on shaky ground, the ground that a person is standing on is going to give out on them, even all of the self justification people can mustard today, will not afford them an inch of space in the presence of a perfectly righteous God.

Just as religion did not save the Israelite during the time of the law contract, religion could not save the Gentiles during that time either; just as it cannot save Israelite or Gentile today.

The only Israel God recognized as being true Israel were the Israelites who did indeed perform according to the rules and the rituals of the law program, but in addition to that, they had to recognize their failure if they were considered to be “of faith.”

They had to be people of faith in light of the fact that they would never be able to merit a righteous standing in the eyes of God. They had to recognize their failure under that law program to perform perfectly and consistently and they had to confess that failure, then they would be considered true Israel.

Today, the instance we take our stand with God, we are not only saved, but sealed until the day of redemption. If God thinks what Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf where all of our sin debt is concerned, and God is satisfied that all of that sin has already been judged on his son, leaving no judgement for us where our sin is concerned, then we can take God at his word.

If God believes it, why can’t we stand with God on what he believes. THAT’S FAITH. Our very best efforts come shockingly short of God’s glory, the law was not given to make the Israelites righteous or anyone else righteous.

God was trying to show the Israelites, to prove to them something through that law program, what God wanted the Israelites to see was their shortcoming, their sin. If a religious Israelite was sinful, what does that say about the rest of the world; the law was given to Israel and that condemned the entire world.

The law was given to manifest or to bring to light the indisputable reality of sin; the undeniable truth of the existence of sin. God cannot accept anything that comes short of his flawless standard of perfection, his justice would not permit it.

Within the law program was a sacrificial system whereby, when exercised properly, Israel’s sins would be covered over, hidden from view. Forgiveness simply means that a person’s sins are no longer being held against that person. Forgiveness, by no means makes a person perfect, so a person having forgiveness in time past was still lacking.

The blood that Jesus Christ shed would now give God just cause to put that debt away, to settle that debt, to put those sins away forever, thus putting an end to a person’s legal obligation to serve that law contract, but the Gentile living during the time of the law, the sacrificial system was of no benefit to them at all.

In time past, there was an issue of sins not being cleared totally out of the way, not being taken completely off the table of God’s justice, the sinner was forgiven, but their sin was still a matter of record in the mind of God. Now all people’s sin debt was cancelled with Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. 

When we think of pouring a foundation for a building, we might think of something like concrete being use as the foundation material. We can relate that to Paul’s job, when it came to dispensing the doctrinal truth pertaining to the age of grace in the minds of grace age saints.

It was committed to the apostle Paul to dispense the doctrinal concrete which would become that firm foundation upon which a believer’s growth might take place. Since growth is an important issue, it was essential that the doctrinal concrete Paul would begin to pour would contain the appropriate ingredients and that those ingredients would be in the correct proportions.

What happens if concrete’s too thin or too thick, doesn’t have sufficient water or moist with it. So we see these concrete doctrines would have to be prepared properly. They’d have to be spread adequately and smoothly to the point that our minds become set with the truths Paul was commissioned to establish.

We can not pour a foundation properly even if we have the proper ingredients for the foundation material apart from preparing the soil properly on which those ingredients are to be poured. If we were preparing to build a structure in which we could dwell, not only would it be the place of our residence, but a structure we could operate in and out of through out our lifetime.

We would want the foundation of the structure to be poured in an appropriate manner. If the soil of a person’s mind is not prepared by that which God has revealed about himself, then Grace Age foundational truths such as Justification, Sanctification, Dispensation and Glorification holds no meaning.

A person must see themselves for who they truly are apart from God. The truth is, apart from the accomplishments of Jesus Christ and who God makes us to be by joining us to Christ, we are all zeros. Thank God that we were sealed to the praise of his Glory.

Salvation does not have to take, it does not have to develop properly in order to become true salvation. Salvation where sins are concerned was fully accomplished by Jesus Christ, and when accepted by the believer, at that very instant that person is sealed until the day of the redemption of this earthly tent in which we dwell. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Just a Thought "23"

Paul set out to prove to the human race that nothing we do and nothing we promise to do will have anything whatsoever to do with our righteous standing before a perfectly righteous God.

When Paul mentions sin, he does so for the purpose of having every individual realize and admit that through out the course of our daily lives, we all miss the mark of God’s perfect rightness.

So it is not a thing we do here or a thing we do there, we never measure up anytime in our human live, we never measure up to who God is, and with God’s righteous character.

We should not think just because God is not judging sin on the world today, that he detests it, he is outraged at it, but the judgment for it has been pasted. Yet, because God is not holding the sins against the human race, that does not make us as righteous as God.

Just because God is not counting our coming short against us, that does not make us as right as he is. God did not take away the sin, he took away the debt of the sinner.

Sin is still here and sin still reaps it’s consequences. Death comes in a myriad of forms, death of a relationship, conscience, there are a lot of ways that sin can bring death.

The circumstances that are occurring in our world today come as a natural result of the sin-cursed world in which we live, not from special judgments from God, they come from choices people make.

God is not trying to get even with people today because of their sins and he is not calling down some special bad thing; some adverse situation in order to teach certain individuals a lesson.

God does not teach through special judgments during the dispensation of grace, he teaches us through his written word today.

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 accomplished for us, or whether that person is still holding onto the notion that his 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. It is the changed thinking that comes, as God transforms us by his word. In a day yet future, God is going to cause Israel to walk in his ways, because God is going to write his law into their hearts according to Jeremiah.

God knows whether there is a hidden motivation even to ourselves, hidden by our pride nature to look good before others; to appear knowledgeable before others; to somehow elevate self in relation to others to gain the praise of others, God knows the motivations of the human heart.

Any kind of works at all, even if they appear to be good works in our mind, that are done for the purpose 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 need to place our faith in Christ’s faithfulness and that alone. We can thank God for justification, because every one of us from a practical stand point do indeed merit being judged worthy of being on the receiving end of God’s wrath.

When judgment is according to truth, there had better be a way for God to consider us righteous apart from our own production, merit and performance, because none of us can continually and consistently measure up to the perfect standard of a perfectly righteous God.

Paul knew the pride of the human heart would quickly jump to defend it’s self when accused of being unjust and therefore worthy of God’s wrath, he wants us to own up to the fact that in a practical sense we are indeed unrighteous.

How does it make us feel personally when someone points a finger at us and says guilty? Not a very comfortable feeling is it for another person to finger the finger at us and call us guilty. None of us like to admit our short comings much less have them pointed out to us by others, we do not like to be told that we are wrong, we rebel against being confronted in our very core.

Paul went to great length to convince us into a realization of our desperate need to be justified in the first place. Whether it be confidence in religion, confidence in the flesh, nothing Israel could do could afford Israel an escape route from the wrath worthy status Paul is proving to be true of all the human race, Israelite and Gentile alike.

Paul’s preparing the soil of the human mind in the beginning chapters of Romans prior to getting into the reality and the necessity of a justification that would come totally apart from anything people could do. God would have to accomplish our justification for us, true of the Israelite and true of the Gentile.