The law gave Paul an inside look at the complexity of sin in that through the law Paul was given insight into the sin that was actually working inside him. (Romans 7:7) The law wasn’t sinful, the law revealed the sin in Paul. It was the law that gave Paul a picture of the depravity of his own heart. No one could censure Paul when it came to the outward observances of the Law. No one could find a fault with Paul in that area. As far as the outward requirements of the law program were concerned, Paul could compare himself with anyone in the nation Israel and Paul was top-drawer, as the expression goes today when it came to the outward expressions of his law-keeping. He was as respectable in that regard as anyone could possibly be. It’s interesting that Paul chooses this commandment in that the first nine basically have to do with external practices. They’re all things that have to do with an action you might commit outwardly. But when you get down to the last one, you see a clear distinction. That last commandment turns inward. It’s more of an attitude than it is an action. You just can’t see dust particles until the light rays of the sun bring those dust particles into focus. And surprisingly enough, the light seems to stir them up and make them even more active. Well, now we have a picture of the law.
It’s important we know the difference, because the old man and the sin nature are not one and the same. The old man speaks of your 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 Jesus, and the new man is the new identity belonging to every believer. The sad news is that the new man continues to reside in the old tent where the sin nature is ever present. The old man has to do with identity. Even though every believer has a new identity in the last Adam, 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. Nothing and no one can take your identity in the last Adam away from you. God accomplished that for you. Therefore, in light of that, bring your practical state into harmony with your new identity, this is Paul’s admonition for every believer in this dispensation of grace. Since God’s power from on high is deposited in every believer, that power can indeed be grieved when the conduct of believers is contrary to their new identity in the Savior. Keep in mind, we did not gain our new identity in the Savior by being good, but rather by believing on him that justifieth the ungodly, according to Paul.
Today, for the most part, we are also an unbelieving people. Instead of trusting in God’s Word and resting in the glories of his grace that we’re shown through the Word, we are even now continually looking for signs, continually looking for visual evidences of God’s presence and his approval in the day-to-day circumstance of our lives. The direction is in God’s Word and we’re still waiting for direction while our apostle has given us a clear and straight forward proclamation from God himself that we walk by faith and not walking by sight. He’s not giving us those visual manifestations. Would God not have us know and understand that the proof is right before our eyes, in a very real sense today concerning his position, his power, his presence, his purpose, and his predisposition in this dispensation? It’s in his written Word. You see, we are not the sign nation. And we have not become the assumers and fulfiller of God’s program with that sign-nation. Many think we have. That program has been placed on hold while God completes his plan and purpose for the saints of this dispensation. While Israel walked by sight, we walk not by sight, but by faith. The focus today is no longer on the outward, but on the inward.
God predetermined to conform everyone who believes to the imagine of his son. If you are a believer, God has predetermined (another wards, his mind is made up, he’s pre-decided) something where you are concerned once you believe Paul’s good news message and his mind is not going to be changed on this. God in his infinite wisdom pre-decreed that every believer would be joined to his son; fully identified with his son. God also pre-decided that you the believer would be blessed with all the blessings and privileges of an adopted adult son. God decided in advance that you the believer are to be the praise of the glory of his grace. (Ephesians 1:4-6) What does that mean to you that God pre-decided something, set it in stone we could say? It means you’re predestined to these outcomes, there is not changing any of them. God has pre-determined them simple as that. God's mind is set. God wants us to rejoice and praise him and he certainly wants us to thank him because he’s pre-determined these outcomes for you. He wants us to rest in these things.
So, suffering circumstances are working something in your life, believe it or not. You say, “I can’t feel it now. It’s painful, it’s a heartache.” Wait a minute. While you’re undergoing what you’re undergoing and thinking it’s the worse thing that can happen to you in your life, and you don’t know the answer, and you don’t know which way to turn, Paul says that it’s working for you. You can’t see it, you don’t know it, but God knows it. And it’s working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Paul didn’t just say, “A weight of glory.” He added all these adjectives to tell you a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. Paul was eagerly awaiting God’s purpose for Paul, the glory that Paul knew would be revealed in him at the manifestation of the Sons of God when the Sons of God receive their glorified bodies. Keep in mind, a glorified body is God’s purpose for his suffering saints-a glorified body like unto the Savior’s glorified body; that’s his purpose for you down the road.
You can imagine the elation of the shepherds as they were receiving this good news from the angel Gabriel. The baby that was the object of Isaiah’s prophecy was now lying in manger in Bethlehem! Wouldn’t it be amazing, in connection with our program and being caught up off of this planet to be in heaven with the Savior if we were able to say, “Look how many centuries have gone by and everyone has expected it, everybody hoped for it, everybody hoped it would come to pass in their lifetime and they wouldn’t have to see physical death before they were translated.” How glorious would it be for you to hear the good news today, “It’s coming before you die physically? You’re going to be caught up off this planet.” Now you can imagine the elation of these shepherds who has said, “Wow, this had been promised for centuries. Here it is. He’s now lying in a manger, the baby is here.”
We see in 1 Corinthians 3:8-9 that this labor has to do with building the body of the Savior. Paul was laboring to build or we could say build up, might even say edified the body of the Savior. You see when it comes to this structure called the body of the Savior, you if you are a believer are a member of the work crew whether you know it or not. You are participating with God according to Paul in the building up of the body of the Savior. The work project is this body of the Savior. In fact, you’ve been part of the work crew ever since you were first saved. The question is, “How have you been building?” Our evaluation at the Judgement Seat of the Savior will be directly related to how we’ve utilized two building materials, the word of the truth rightly divided and agape love on behalf of the brethren. 1 Corinthians 3:13, fire here is not talking about a Bunsen Burner or blow torch or any such thing here. It tries the work of that person to see if that work is reward worthy or non-reward worthy. Sin is not the issue at the Judgement Seat of the Savior.
Paul wasn’t concerned about a ‘state’ which exists between death and resurrection but for a relationship that exists between the believer and the Savior through death. This relationship of being with the Savior is not interrupted by death because the believer who sleeps in the Savior has no awareness of the passing of time. Paul didn’t think the question of the statue of the person between death and resurrection was a question that needed to be considered. The reason is that for Paul, those who die in the Savior, their relationship with the Savior is one of immediacy because they have no awareness of the passing of time between their death and resurrection. Paul explains that both the sleeping and living believers will be united with the Savior, not at death but at his coming for his body of believers in this age of grace. Paul never alluded to the conscious survival of the soul and its reattachment to the body at the resurrection, that is a notion totally foreign to Paul and to Scripture as a whole.
You say, “How did that happen?” I made a wrong choice somewhere along the line. Could of made a better decision, but I didn’t. Now I’ve planted the wrong crop. Now the wrong crop is coming up and I’m going to pray to God to take the crop away. But instead, I can learn and start planting new seed right away. Better decisions right away. But God wants me to know that it’s not my praying that has the power to impact his hand on my behalf. Paul didn’t pray for the outer, he prayed for the strengthening of the inner. (Ephesians 3:16) From where does God intend the suffering saint gain that mental emotional emotional stabilization in such times? The answer is, it should come from the stabilizing doctrines that are found written in the written word of God. Paul give us ample ammunition when it comes to those distressing situations that boggle our minds, shatter our peace, knock us off our feet. The truth is every believer should be armed, should be scripturally equip with the fortifying doctrines provided by the apostle Paul for the suffering saints of the age of grace. Don’t look at those suffering situations, look at the things that are not seen. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) It’s God’s power deposited inside you praying each and every moment of each and every day according to the will of God. If there’s ever a power to bolster me, it’s God’s power praying on my behalf. (Romans 8:26-27)
What is the manner of our deliverance according to our apostle in this age of grace? Are we delivered from our suffering circumstances based upon the number of people praying for that deliverance? Are we delivered from those suffering circumstances by the persistence and protracted manner in which those prayers are being offered? Are we being delivered from the suffering circumstances to which we’ve been subjected such that God will allow us to “see our deliverance” and tell those around us that we’ve just witnessed a “God-thing?” Is our deliverance the repair and the escape of the problems of the old or is it the hope of the new? When we get our new bodies, we'll be delivered from the suffering circumstances that adversely affect this old tent in which we must dwell until we die or our meeting the Savior in the air occurs whichever is first. It isn’t the deliverance of the old...it’s the hope of the new today. The body God has in store for each of us, the body that will be fashioned like unto the Savior’s glorious body. (Romans 8:23-25)
Let’s suppose that God had not separated out a brand new apostle with a brand new message for a brand new creation called the Body of the Savior. Imagine with me for a moment that God had allowed that kingdom program to continue on as some believe today. What message would we as Gentiles, have heard under those circumstances, had that program continued on? You see, according to Israel’s program, when the messiah was cut off according to the 483 years of Daniel’s prophesy fulfilled, the time for that nation to come to their last days prior to the entrance of their kingdom had come close to hand. Only 7 years remained at that period of time on Israel’s prophecy clock before the earthly kingdom would be set up and the messiah would be ruling and reigning on the throne. The tribulation was on its way when Pentecost took place. These are the last day Joel was talking about. If God had not put Israel’s program on the shelf, he would be gathering Gentiles, and bringing them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. (Joel 3:9-16) At the culmination of the tribulation period, Gentiles are going to be coming against the nation Israel. The Gentiles will be the bullies when this day arrives. Jesus is coming to stand up for that remnant and who will the messiah be coming to fight? The Gentiles.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told that the dearly departed saved ones are given wings. The saints in heaven do not become angels, they will rule over the angelic host according to the apostle Paul. But, it’s certainly a fascinating and emotional story for those uneducated in the Word of Truth; those who are looking toward experience and the tweaking of their emotions rather than studying for themselves rightly-divided doctrine. In each instance, somebody went and somebody saw in direct contradiction to the Paul’s very clear statement that “we walk by faith not by sight.” Why do books based on so called experiences of going to heaven become best sellers? Could it be because the time will come as Paul states so clearly in 2 Timothy 4:3. We might call them “emotional cravings, abandon sound doctrine preferring instead to have their ears tickled. The reason they sell so well is because in the minds of the vast majority of so-called Christendom today emotion trumps doctrine. Take note of which churches grow the fastest and where the multitudes want to congregate in your city and you’ll see meetings designed with emotion in mind. We walk by faith not by sight. We can rely upon nothing we see because the enemy is able to provide miraculous manifestations and we can rely only upon what we hear from others to the extent that what others say aligns itself with the Word of God rightly divided.
We see in 2 Corinthians 4:3 the word hid. Satan’s not a mandy pandy at hiding what Jesus accomplished. It’s one thing to have your sin slate wiped clean. It’s something else entirely different to be in the Savior. Righteousness and sin two different things. If people are asking for forgiveness for their sins today, than what do those people understand about what happen to their sins Jesus accomplished for the human race. We shouldn’t be surprised today that Satan, the master counterfeiter, is so successful at confusing what Jesus accomplished. Don’t let anyone confuse you. God is reconciled where the sin debt of the human race is concerned. There’s not a sin you did commit, are committing or could ever commit that God hasn’t reconciled himself through what Jesus accomplished on your behalf. Satan’s ministers of righteousness are keeping the issue of sin on the table of God’s justice. Sin stood between God and the human race but Jesus stepped up according to God’s plan and became sin for the human race. (2 Corinthians 5:21) So becoming sin for the human race and dying for the sins of the human race was the ultimate act of righteousness where our Savior was concerned. So in the eyes of a perfectly righteous God, Jesus is the only one who has ever earned merited righteousness through his performance. No one else has done so. God was perfectly satisfied with all the sins Jesus did die for. God’s justice was satisfied.
The heart beat of Paul’s new message can be summed up this way. Jesus took care of the sin wall. (Acts 13:38-39) Sins are no longer merely covered, they are now completely paid for, completely forgiven, completely taken out of the way. Jesus removed the alienation sin wall, all inclusive, all upfront; that’s why Jesus could say, “It’s finished.” So difficult for people to accept and appropriate. Far easier for ministers of righteousness to give people a way to come and get right with God and to do it on a daily or weekly bases. If they can give you a way to come and get right with God, they got you and your wallet. People are doing it every week, coming back to try to find a way to get right and stay right with God when it was Jesus who made us right with God. The only way the wall could ever be removed forever was for Jesus to give his life to bring that wall down once and for all. That’s the most tremendous message the world could ever hear. It’s this message Satan hates the most because that wall means alienation and separation and removal of that wall means reconciliation. God can now totally accept people even though people are sinful because all sin has been paid for once and for all! God is glorified in the fact that there is no more wall. Satan doesn’t want God to be glorified.
In contrast to the land, Yahweh’s sanctuary can be purified for moral impurity by means of a special sacrifice. The blood of the animal, the blood of the sacrifice is the key to the whole ritual. Blood, the blood that courses through one’s veins, represents the life force; the Noahide covenant, you may not spill human blood. And you may not eat animal flesh that has the lifeblood in it, because the blood is the life and that belongs to Yahweh, that’s holy. So the life force is holy, and the life force is in the blood; Leviticus 17:11, repeats the blood prohibition, and then it offers a rationale. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar.” Yahweh assigned it to them to use in sacrificial practices.
It is the blood as life that effects expiation, purging and atonement. The blood of sacrificial animals is assigned by Yahweh as a detergent, if you will, to cleanse the sanctuary of the impurities that are caused by the sinful deeds of the Israelites. Purification of the sanctuary was believed to be critical to the health and the well-being of the community. If the sanctuary is not purged of impurity, it can become polluted to the point when Yahweh is driven out entirely. The purification offering acts on the sanctuary, not on the offerer. It purges the sanctuary of the defilement that is symbolically; it has symbolically suffered from the offerer’s state of ritual impurity or sinfulness. Once the sanctuary is purged, the offerer has settled his debt, he’s repaired the damage he caused. He’s fully atoned, and Yahweh is no longer repelled by the impurity that marred his sanctuary.
Matt. 27:51, the earthquake that fractured the rock opened a fissure that ran down through 20 foot of solid rock into a cave and cracked the stone lid on top of a black stone volt where the Ark of the Covenant lie hidden inside, pushing the lid aside. John 19:34, the blood of Jesus ran down through that crevice and dripped onto the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant that was hidden by God and the prophet Jeremiah, right under where they crucified Jesus, 620 years earlier when the Babylonians destroyed Salomon’s temple. The Greek word used for “the cross” on which Jesus was put to death is “stauros,” which denotes an upright pale or stake. It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone. There is nothing in the Greek of the New Testament even to imply two pieces of timber. The blood of Jesus would do no good for the Israelites dripping on “stauros!”
Isaiah 53:7-8 - By going back to the prophet Isaiah...Jesus is revealing for the very first time...to his apostles...that the blood of Jesus was the basis by which...Israel’s kingdom program and Israel’s New Covenant...could continue on. Remission of sins...the complete clearing away of Israel’s sin debt...could now be accomplished just as Jeremiah, Israel’s New Covenant Prophet had proclaimed. The blood that poured from the side of Jesus as he hung on the tree of crucifixion was the basis by which God would now have...just cause...to remit (or to clear the accounts) of those with faith in time past...those who had trusted God’s Word to them...and who obeyed what God told them to do. Only the people of Israel are referred to as God’s sheep in scripture. Never the Gentiles. Psalms 79:13
Superstitious mind set can make something out of nothing in order to validate a belief. Superstition is all that is required for many people to come to believe that supernatural events are actually taking place. Satan has as much a field day with superstition as he does with counterfeit miracles. And last days religion will have signed on to the superstition band wagon and will be riding it when God calls an end to the age of grace. Colossians 2:8 Previous held beliefs especially superstitious beliefs are a most difficult thing to discard. There is a tendency of people’s preconceptions to bias, their interpretations of what they see. People will tend to engage in a search for evidence that is bias towards confirmation of their beliefs. They engage in evidence that tends to confirm their previously held belief. Not fully utilizes all the information that’s out there. Only searching out that which agrees with their cause. Avoiding information that might dis-confirm their cause. The tendency of the human mind is to seek out information that supports their belief and attribute a great deal of weight to that when they find it while they discount or ignore evidence that goes contrary to the belief they hold. Seeing what they except to see...if they expect to see Mary making an appearance in the window, the concrete or the grill cheese sandwich...they’ll see the outline of Mary. Setting their criteria so broadly that their preexisting beliefs is validated no matter what the outcome.
One of the main purposes of worship, as some people define it is to get a touch from God; to get the emotions at a peak. You see, they feel close to God when they are in a situation that stimulates their emotions. During a Sunday worship service praise and worship service, they feel connected to God, everything’s fine. The connection is solid because the emotional high has been established. They find themselves on an endless quest for emotional satisfaction because they relate their closeness to God upon feeling. They’re either on fire or the fire’s gone out. The apostle Paul is telling us in 2 Timothy 4:3 that as time progresses forward, people will become more and more about satisfying the emotional desires. That’s what the emergent church is all about. That’s why miracles for money has been selling so well over the past several decades. Feeling related. Emotion related. “Why, we don’t want to go to a church unless we can have some emotion involved with our assembly.” To put it in simple terms, Paul is telling us that people will be seeking after and devoting themselves to a God they can feel. As faith gives way to feeling, people begin to base their faith on feeling. They want a God they can move to, they want a God that gets them moving, and they want teachers who can make them feel good in the process.
Paul was striving to know the Savior and know him intimately not as the lowly Nazarene...not as Israel’s Messiah...not as the man from Galilee...not as simply another great teacher...not as simply a prophet, but to know him in the power of his resurrection and in the fellowship of his suffering. Paul wanted the Savior’s life to be manifest in his own life. Take in God’s Word that you might be transformed by that Word. You must take part in the ingestion and absorption of his word rightly divided. Transformation God’s responsibility. The ingestion and absorption of divine viewpoint the believer’s responsibility. 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. Paul’s great desire was to know the Savior in his resurrection power because that same power that raised Jesus from among the dead was operating or energizing in Paul and it’s energizing in you. Ephesians 1:17-20
Now our life style choices can have a bearing on our health. Is the purpose of our prayers to call God’s attention to our problem? Do you need the pastor to pray? Do you need people all praying the same thing at the same time? Do you need a 24 hour persistence line so God gets so tired of all the begging that he’s just going to give in and give you your desire to get you off his back? NO! Do we really think he’s off doing something else with someone else concerned about some other things till we pray to let him know we’ve got a problem. And then he turns around and “Oh, indeed that believer does have a problem.” There’s a difference in the Age of Grace. What is that difference? It’s strength made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 It’s not strength made perfect in the elimination of the suffering situation. Now if you’re weak, you’re suffering, you’re going through a trial, a tribulation in your life and you’re praying for God to take it away. But God is telling you that his will is that his strength may be perfect in your weakness, what are you praying?...I don’t want your will to be done in my life. I don’t what your strength to be made perfected in my weakness. I want you to take my weakness away. I want your strength to be perfected in my strength? Philippians 4:6 When you pray in the Age of Grace, we are to pray, we’re to pray with thanksgiving, but are we to pray with thanksgiving that he promised he would do it? Are we to pray with thanksgiving that we’re going to get what we’re praying for? Not at all. Romans 8:26-27
We see in Galatians 3:1-3 that Jesus had become sin for them. Jesus had been cursed for them. The curse of the law was placed on Jesus instead upon these people and Paul had taught that very truth to them, and now, they were denying that truth through their practice. They were going back in their thinking and tying their performance to their righteousness before God. We also see in Galatians 4:21 the lunacy of desiring to be under the law was in the fact that these people actually thought they could perform the law in a manner that would make them more righteous before God. They were trying to perfect their righteousness, to add to their righteousness, to complete, to cap off the righteousness they had in God’s sight. Why was it such an idiotic notion? The answer is this: if they hadn’t obtained their righteous standing with God through their law-keeping in the first place, how could they fall for the ploy that they could now become more righteous in the sight of God by way of more law-keeping? Is God requiring that we add our righteous works to the Savior’s righteousness that we might become righteous indeed or is the Savior’s righteousness the only righteousness from God’s perspective his saints will ever need?
We see in Romans 12:1-2 that the church is stuck on the word reformation rather than transformation. They don’t understand the difference. We present ourselves to God as we allow him to do the transforming through the intake of his word rightly divided. Satan’s ministers of righteousness use the word reform instead of the word transform. They would appeal to people to reform. God doesn’t make that appeal. Transformation is entirely a work of God in the believer. Reformation would be a work of the believer for God. God’s Word tells us his thoughts. As we take in his thoughts and begin to understand him and know his thinking, his thinking can become our thinking. It’s only when we come to properly understand God from his perspective concerning ourselves both before we came to understand Paul’s good news message and then what we are and who we are after we’ve believed Paul’s good news message and have been joined to his son...then we can be capable if viewing others and relating to others accordingly who are also members of the Savior’s body. So transformed thinking relates to transform relating as the Savior’s thinking becomes our thinking. That’s where we see the love of God...Romans 5:5