Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Just a Thought "108"

The old man and the moral choice of good and bad are not one and the same. The old man speaks of the believer’s former identity with Adam (Adam in rebellion). That identity is no longer true of believers. So, the old man is a thing of the past, having been crucified with Jesus, and the new man is the new identity belonging to every believer (Jesus, the last Adam). The sad news is that the new man continues to reside in the old tent where the moral choice of good and bad is ever present. The old man has to do with identity. Even though every believer has a new identity in the last Adam (Jesus), every believer suffers the same propensity, the battle against the moral choice of good and bad that the Apostle Paul struggled with himself on a day-by-day basis.

The issue in eternity will be to which man are you related? Do you have your identity in the first Adam, or do you have your identity in the second Adam, Jesus. Nothing and no  one can take a believers identity in the last Adam away from them, God accomplished that for the believer. Therefore, in light of that, a believer should bring their practical state into harmony with their identity in the last Adam. This is Paul’s admonition for every believer in this dispensation of grace. As sound doctrine is taken in and fully appreciated, believers who takes that doctrine in and appreciates it, and applies it, begin to grow and mature in what they believe. And as believers begin to grow and to mature in what they believe, those believer’s mind is being transformed in the process.

Paul tells us that it was God’s plan that believers be built up or stabilized. Sound doctrine is the means by which God transforms the thinking of those engaged in studying his Word. As we understand what God accomplished 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 there is great security to be found in doing so. Truth designed to give believers stability is truth designed to give believers security. God didn’t intend that believers be insecure, so the security doctrines come first in God’s building process for his grace-age saints. Paul prayed that the love of the Philippian believers would abound in knowledge, so that they would be able to make appropriate decisions based on that knowledge, which in turn would be glorifying and praising God. 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 the last Adam, can we become in our behavior what he wants us to be in that aspect of our lives.

God through his power from on high works through the Word he authored and the people his power indwells. God’s power is God’s seal, for all believers today; therefore God’s power is the security for all believers today. There is no believer in this age of grace who is not indwelt by God’s power from on high. With what are believers consciences to be programmed? With the Word of Truth, that’s how they're to be programmed. Only when believers conscience is programmed with the Word of God can believers conscience bear witness with the author of that Word of God. In the area of conscience God does not lead today independently of the written Word of God he authored.

God’s attitude towards a believer does not fluctuate in response to action. It’s not condition on their behavior. Believers have been justified judicially in the mind of God through the avenue of their faith in Jesus’ faithful performance on their behalf rather than peace based upon their performance toward God results in an unchanging attitude of peace with God for every believer. What Adam brought to the human race was brought about by a single sin but the free gift that provides justification was brought about because of many sins. God provided the free gift of justification because that one sin provoked the many sins of the human race. Since Adam’s one sin affected the entire human race. And, because Adam’s sin resulted in the many sins of the human race, God provided a sufficient gift to solve the dilemma of the human race. Judgment came through one sin, Justification solves the problem where many sins are involved.

To be justified means to receive that gift that came to all the human race. Sealed and earnest speak to the security all believers have in that God’s indwelling power from on high guarantees that those who have believed Paul’s good news can never be lost. They belong to God. Sealed means sealed for preservation. The seal is the securing device used to preserve the contents. God’s power from on high is the seal that God uses to secure all who believe in this dispensation of grace. Earnest means a pledge in the sense that an advance deposit has been made as the security guaranteeing the fulfillment of that which has been promised to those who have been sealed. According to Paul, God’s indwelling power from on high is both God’s seal and his deposited pledge that all believers are forever his and are destined to inherit eternal life. 

God predetermined to conform everyone who believes to the image of his son. God in his infinite wisdom pre-decreed that every believer would be joined to his son, fully identified with the last Adam. God pre-decided that the believer would be blessed with all the blessings and privileges of an adopted adult son. God decided in advance that the believer are to be to the praise of the glory of his grace. God has pre-determined all these outcomes for the believer and his mind is not going to be changed on this.

Grace is a much greater motivator than law, but ministers of righteousness hold over the heads of their congregations a little law mixed with the possibility of losing their salvation. They frighten them a bit and they’ll live properly in order to merit heaven and miss the second death. When one breaks this down to it lowest common denominator it’s salvation by works rather than by grace. Conduct becoming a believer does not come through a fear of losing one’s salvation, it comes from a proper understanding of the magnitude of God’s grace and what that grace accomplished for us. Believers are not conditionally secure, they are unequivocally and irrevocably secure and all due to the indwelling of God’s power from on high as God is leading all believers during the dispensation of the grace of God.

Was the Word of God given so that believer could be partially furnished or throughly furnished? That word throughly in 2 timothy 3:16 means fully, through and through furnished unto all good works. Through the book God authored, he has given the believer everything, all inclusive, God knew the believer would need for life and ministry in this age of grace. Yet, believers are not to cleanse themselves in order to gain something from God when it comes to their holy standing before him or to maintain something before God, because believers have been freely given something namely a justified and sanctified identity in the last Adam.

Believers are not to keep themselves on God’s good side,  because God’s already cleansed them judicially by freely crediting them with the righteousness that belongs to his perfectly righteous son. Therefore, nothing can remove believers from God’s good side; what or who shall separate believers from the love of God? The believers calling hasn’t changed. It can not change, so believers should conduct themselves in accordance with their calling. Walk worthy in order to gain your calling. Walk worthy in order to keep your calling. That’s not the idea at all. But walk worthy of the vocation that belongs to the believer, because God has already given it to them. That’s the ideal. How can those who have been justified freely, sanctified or set apart in the last Adam, how should those believers conduct themselves? 

Their are a lot of people who believe that salvation can be lost. They believe their salvation depends upon whether or not they are right with God. This causes the people who believe it to have to play all sorts of little word games in their minds. Sin is not called sin except before salvation, but after salvation, their sins becomes something different. It becomes faults, mistakes, accidents, misunderstandings, a back-slide. One can never be quite sure where, or when, the line is crossed from one to the other. You can see how self-justification has a heavy role to play in the to be made sinless definition of sanctification. Unfortunately, the things that are allowed of self are seldom tolerated in others.

Should the believer not be grateful to know that their salvation depends not upon the amount of sin they lay on the altar of sacrifice, but upon the fact that Jesus took all of their sins and he became their sacrifice? That’s different. There is a tremendous difference in the two. The believer needs to understand that the moral choice of good and bad does not disappear, God does not take it away whether it be at the point of their belief, or, at a point subsequent to their belief. The moral choice of good and bad remains right where it has always been to battle against the new identity and that battle take place between the ears. Satan’s ministers of righteousness use the word reform, they are all about reformed doing and commitments, but they have gotten it wrong according to the apostle Paul. It’s all about transformed thinking. Reformation would be a work of the believer for God, but transformation is entirely a work of God in the believer.

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