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THE TRUE MEANING OF PREDESTINATION

Predestination is one of the most misunderstood terms in the Bible. The most common view in the religious world today is that God actively chooses who he wants to save and who he doesn’t want to save. They say it’s absolutely impossible to have faith; to believe, unless God steps in and gives it to you. Is this what predestination in the scriptures is all about?

Let’s see what our Apostle; Paul has to say.

Romans 8:28-30

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Pay attention to the order: FOREKNOWN-PREDESTINED-CALLED-JUSTIFIED-GLORIFIED

FOREKNOWN: “Foreknow” is the greek proginōskō (G4267), which means to know beforehand or to foresee. God knew *something* about someone… Without jumping to conclusions, let’s move on to the next point.

PREDESTINATED: Those God foreknew *something* about, he did predestinate to to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he (Jesus Christ) might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Predestinate is the greek proorizō (G4309), which means to predetermine; determine/ordain before.

It’s obvious that Jesus Christ is the firstborn because he can’t be conformed to his own image…to himself, as that would make no sense. We also see that to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, has something to do with being related to and identified with Jesus Christ. Not only that, they’re also related to one another, as brethren.

So, what is God talking about here?! The body of Christ! Let’s take a look at a couple of verses:

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the

afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that

we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

So, we see that the body of Christ is today’s church. A spiritual organism of people who are identified with and joined to Christ (his body), as well as being joined to each other, as members of that same body. The only way God could make us into a representation (image) of Christ is to put us in Christ.

Now, we come to the really interesting part of this study: How does one get a member of the body of Christ?

Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

By the gospel”-the gospel (good news) Paul preached; the gospel of the grace of God.

Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain

the enmity thereby:

Paul preached the cross work of Jesus Christ, and the accomplishmens of that cross work where our sins are concerned:

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

17 Therefore if any man bein Christ, he isa new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18And all things are ofGod, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

You see, sin is a done deal! God made Jesus Christ to be sin for the entire world. He was judged for those sins and died for them, taking them out God’s sight forever. God forgave us of our sins, and as a proof of that God raised him from the dead on the third day.

And yes, Jesus Christ did in fact die for ALL:

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died

for all, then were all dead:

1 Timothy 2:5-6

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

How are we saved?

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Faith is taking God at his word: taking your stand where God takes his stand. If you want to know that you have faith, simply take your stand where God takes his.

Salvation is freely given to us the moment we believe the gospel of the grace of God! It’s a gift, and no works are required or desired!

Ephesians 1:12-14

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

It should now be absolutely clear that God foreknew/foresaw who would believe the gospel of the grace of God. He then predestinated/predermined them to be conformed to the image of his Son Jesus Christ!

We’ve also covered parts of the next point, and that is how God calls people to salvation. We’ve seen that God does this by the gospel, which the next verse confirms:

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

It’s the gospel message itself, the word of God, that makes us believe. That’s what gives us faith.

JUSTIFIED: As members of the body of Christ, we’re identified with Jesus Christ. We’re IN Christ and we have put on Christ. That’s how God sees us today. We’re rigtheous/justified, because he’s righteous/justified. Well done, God!

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The baptism here is the spiritual (dry) baptism performed by the Holy Spirit the moment a lost soul believes Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

It’s all about the faith OF Christ; HIS faith, and HIS righteousness!

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

GLORIFIED:

We’re glorified IN Christ, both in this life and the life to come! We’re God’s representatives on earth.

Galatians 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

2 Thessalonians 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Conclusion…

In other words, Romans 8:28-29 can be read like this: Those he foreknew (that would believe the gospel), God also determined (at that time when he foreknew) that he would conform those (who believe) to the image of his Son, so that Christ would be the firstborn among many brethren.

God didn’t predestinate us to believe. He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son, because He knew who would believe! God has given everyone the opportunity to be saved, but only he knows for sure who will accept that opportunity. God has foreknowledge of faith 😉

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in My articles

 

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An in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (3)

Daniel/romansthruphilemon
December-06-2011-3. edition

Added some more about 1 Corinthians 15:2, as requested by one of my blog readers.

An in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 15_1_4-3 .PDF (click it to open it in your browser, or right-click: “save as” if you wanna download it)

The Apostle Paul went on 3 apostolic journeys to Asia, Greece-Macedonia, and Rome. During this time covered in the book of Acts, he wrote Romans, Corinthians, Galatians and Thessalonians, or in chronological order: Thessalonians, Galatians, Corinthians and at last Romans. In each area he visited he went to the Jews first. Each time the Jews rejected him, he turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46, 18:6, 28:28). The book of Acts is God’s everlasting account of the fall and partial blindness that had come upon Israel, nationally, after their rejection of God the Father thru the prophets, The Son: Jesus Christ and at last the Holy Spirit thru Stephen in Acts 7. God set the kingdom program (associated with the nation Israel), or the bride of Christ program, aside, in favor of a brand-new program called the dispensation of the grace of God, or the body of Christ program. This program/dispensation, and the church; the body of Christ, started with the conversion of Saul/Paul, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9, 1 Timothy 1:15-16). Jesus Christ spoke from heaven, and started revealing the mystery to Paul, and he made him the Apostle to and of the gentiles.

The book of Acts should be read as what it is; a history book. It tells us WHAT happened, not WHY it happened.

It’s very important to understand that Paul went to religious unbelieving Jews, NOT already saved Jews (kingdom saints; those who were saved during the kingdom program). The Jews who believed his Gospel/good news (the good news Jesus Christ became members of the church; the body of Christ, and the grace assemblies Paul and his “converts” were establishing.
After the Acts period, Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, or or in chronological order: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians, Titus and Timothy.

So, what does this have to do with 1 Corinthians 15:1-4? Let’s read it:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

“According to the scriptures”?! Is Paul implying that Jesus Christ’s death for sin, burial and resurrection is in the Old Testament of the Bible?! Yes, he is! That was no mystery. It was prophesied (a spoken word), and the Jews knew very well about their Messiah: Jesus Christ, but they didn’t understand the prophecies. Let’s take a closer look at some relevant bible passages:

Isaiah 53:5-12 KJV
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Who are the “we”, “our” and “my people” mentioned in Isaiah 53? Israel! God’s favored nation/people at that time. They were to be a peculiar treasure unto God above all people/the gentiles , “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation”:

Exodus 19:5-6 KJV
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

…and the gentiles would come to Israel for salvation; to Israel’s light/”thy light”:

Isaiah 60:1-3 KJV
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

A ransom for MANY:

Matthew 20:28 KJV Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 10:45 KJV For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Again, who are the “many” spoken of here? Israel! Matthew-John covers Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry to the nation Israel, and not to the gentiles (Matthew 10:1-8, 15:22-28, Luke 12:32, Acts 1:21-26, 2:5, 2:14, 2:22, 2:36-38, Romans 15:4, 15:8). Where are the gentiles in all of this?

Ephesians 2:11-13 KJV
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision [the Jews] in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

We know that Jesus Christ, and the 12 disciples, preached the gospel/good news of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23, 9:35, 24:13-14, Mark 1:14-15). Did the 12 know about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Luke 18:31-34 KJV
31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

Matthew 16:18-23 KJV
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Clearly they did not! “They understood none of these things”, and Peter even rebuked Jesus Christ for saying that he was going to “be killed, and be raised again the third day.”

In Acts 1, Jesus Christ ascends up into heaven. We see Peter in Acts 2 & 3, continuing where Christ left off, telling the Jews to change their minds about the source of their righteousness, never being the law (Leviticus 26:40-46, Deuteronomy 6:25).

Acts 3:19-21
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Notice when their sins were going to “be blotted out”: “the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord “. His second coming. He was going to be their High Priest and King, sitting on the throne of David, ruling and reigning over the nation Israel. God raised Him up in order for him to sit on that throne:

Acts 2:29-32 KJV
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

The Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat as the authority (religious/governmental) over the Nation.

Matthew 23:1-3 KJV
1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Had they repented in Acts 3, it would’ve started the next events on the prophetic calender, namely the time of Jacob’s trouble; the Great Tribulation, followed by „the day of the Lord“; the second coming of Christ. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said he gave Peter the “keys” to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19). Peter had the ability to “unlock” and “open the door” to the Kingdom; he proclaimed the message they had to believe. However, an open door does no good if no one walks through it, and that’s exactly what happened… The leadership of the Nation didn’t walk through it.

When Israel had possessed the land (Canaan), God set up judges to rule over them. God was King, but their physical ruler ship was facilitated by judges. In the Kingdom yet future, the judges come back. It is not the Pharisees that will sit in authority, it is the 12 disciples – those who were given the authority in Acts 1 to operate under the New Covenant.

Matthew 19:28 KJV And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

It didn’t happen, but it certainly will in a day yet future, when God resumes the kingdom program, and sets that nation at the forefront again.

Let’s review what we’ve discovered so far.
According to prophesy the Messiah: Jesus Christ was going to:
Die for sins, be buried and rise again from the dead.
Give his life a ransom for MANY: Israel.
Forgive their (national) sins at his second coming.
Raised up Christ to sit on his throne.

Let’s take a closer look at Paul’s gospel/good news (also referred to as the gospel of Christ/the gospel of the grace of God); the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25-26), and what makes it unique and distinct.

According to mystery, Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for ALL (Mankind: Jew and Gentile), not just MANY:

1 Timothy 2:3-7 KJV
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

We have all forgiveness up-front:

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 KJV
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their [the world’s] trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he [God the Father] hath made him [God’s only begotten Son, the God Man Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Colossians 2:13-14 KJV
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Romans 5:6-10 KJV
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Reconciliation is the Greek word katallagē, it simply means a change in status or restoration to favor. That’s what forgiveness is all about. Reconciliation and forgiveness, where God is concerned, is of God: God accomplished it. Today it isn’t something we work for or wait for…it isn’t a future event, nor does it happen at the point of belief. It is something the world already has—Past, present,future. So, the issue where salvation is concerned isn’t sin, but righteousness. Belief or unbelief: believing what the cross-work of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf.

It’s man who needs to be reconciled to God, not the other way around. God is already reconciled to us, where our sins are concerned.

Ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) still believe that sin is the issue, almost 2000 years after God took care of it! In their mind, God is waiting for man to make a decision, so He can forgive them of their sins. Is Christ going to be crucified again for every lost person who makes that decision? Of course not, but that’s what they really believe!

Romans 6:9-10 KJV
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Colossians 1:21 KJV And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

The Colossians thought that their wicked works were making them the enemies of God, but Paul is telling them that God is already reconciled where their wicked works are concerned.

What about those who believe that Jesus Christ didn’t die for all, just many or a distinct few?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 KJV
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

If Christ did not die for all, then all were not dead (or separated from God). We know that’s not the case:

Romans 3:22-24 KJV
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Or they believe that sin will be the issue at the judgment seat of Christ (for the saved) and the great white throne judgment (for the lost). If that would be true, God is going to judge sin all over again, which means that God is hiding the sins of the world behind his back for future judgment. What do they believe happened to the sins Christ died for?! Nothing! Either God didn’t accept the payment of the sin debt Christ paid for, or the payment Christ paid for wasn’t sufficient. It really is as simple as that.

God can’t dwell with someone less righteous than He (perfect righteousness). That’s why the lost will spend an eternity apart from God. The lost go to hell/the lake of fire with their sins paid for!

Many believe, in order to be saved, that man has to do some kind of work, ritual/ordinance (water baptism, communion/the Lord’s Supper etc.), abstain from doing certain things, endure to the end, keep the faith, you name it. Salvation is by grace, through faith, apart from any works, and has always been by grace, through faith:

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Faith is simply taking God at His word, taking your stand where God takes His. If God would tell you to do some kind of work to be saved, like he did during the kingdom program, it wouldn’t be the work itself that saved you, but the faith you had which resulted in you doing that work. Big difference!
Today he’s telling us:

Romans 4:5 KJV But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Then, there are those who reject the deity of Christ. They don’t believe that he was the only begotten Son of God; the sinless God-man (fully man, fully God). They believe he was simply a man. Most of them will also reject the resurrection of the dead, which was one of the issues at the Corinthian assembly, so Paul writes the whole fifteenth chapter to correct this false teaching:

1-11: Documentation/proof of the resurrection.
12-19: The importance and reasoning of the resurrection.
20-28: Triumph and order in the resurrection.
29-34: The witness and suffering for the resurrection.
35-50: What type of body we shall have (the resurrection bodies), and the nature of that resurrection.
51-53: The mystery of the resurrection; the catching away of the body of Christ prior to the Great Tribulation. Also labeled the rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

Paul is reminding them of the Gospel he preached unto them, at a previous point in time, and the fact that it saved them, unless they didn’t believe it. The context of v2 is found in v12-14:

1 Corinthians 15:12-14
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

What’s the point of us being identified with a dead man? It would be of no benefit to us whatsoever. Paul’s preaching (which incl. his gospel), as well as their and our faith would be vain and pointless. Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again, in order for us to be identified with and joined to himself: having his test score (his righteousness, his faith) written on our paper. None of that would be a reality without the resurrection! Not including the resurrection in Paul’s gospel makes it another gospel, and another gospel does NOT save. The idea in 1 Corinthians 15:2 isn’t having to believe steadfastly, until the second you do, in order to obtain or maintain/keep your salvation, else you might loose it. NO! The moment a lost person believes the gospel of the grace of God, that person is sealed with the holy Spirit unto the day of redemption: they day when eternity awaits:

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:12-14
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Once sealed, always sealed. No one breaks what God has sealed. Also read Romans 5:5, 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:13, 2:19.

Our faith (the faith IN Christ) enables God to justify us by the faith OF Christ (the faith belonging to christ-his faith):

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith OF Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Also read Romans 3:22-24, Galatians 3:22, Ephesians 3:11-12, Philippians
3:9, Colossians 2:12.

So you see, once we’re saved our faith means nothing. It’s all about the faith of Jesus Christ, and his faith is perfect, because he is God!

Romans 6:3-8 KJV
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Colossians 3:4 KJV When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with him in glory.

Another major difference between prophecy (God’s earthly program) and mystery (God’s heavenly program) is that, according to mystery, Christ “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”:

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
justification.

Not raised again to sit on a physical throne, ruling over a physical nation called Israel, in a physical kingdom here on earth. The kingdom of heaven isn’t heaven, it’s a kingdom designed in heaven, brought down to earth (Revelation 21). That’s according to prophecy, and has nothing to do with the revelation of the mystery Jesus Christ revealed to Paul. Our conversation, or citizenship, is in heaven, not earth.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Let’s review what we’ve discovered thus far. According to mystery Jesus Christ:
Died for the sins of the whole world, was buried and rose again the third day.
Gave himself a ransom for ALL.
We have all forgiveness up-front, lost or saved, makes no difference.
Raised again for our justification.

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 KJV
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

So, just because someone says that they believe that Jesus Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again, doesn’t mean that they believe Paul’s gospel, and are saved. Most Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, you name it, say they believe that. Are they saved? Sadly many aren’t! What do they believe about what the cross work of Jesus Christ accomplished, where their sins are concerned?! That’s the issue!

Let’s get back to…

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It’s crucial to understand that Paul was talking to a mixed bag assembly of believers. The previously unbelieving Jews who were in the assembly could relate to what Paul was saying. He had shown them that Christ’s death for sins was in ‘their’ scriptures. According to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25-26), Christ died for the sins of ALL, so Paul was not speaking contrary to the mystery. Paul is teaching Jews and Gentiles, which explains why Paul seems to speak contradictorily at times. Even though he was addressing the Jews at times, the Gentiles at times, and both at times during the Acts period, he was always speaking to those who he had won to his gospel; the gospel of the grace of God.

Have you ever seen or heard the term “the word of truth” (singular, distinctiv) being used? ‘The word of truth’ is the gospel/good news, and it appears in all of the 3 time periods in your Bible: time past-but now-ages to come.

Time past: Psalms 119:43.
But now: 2 Corinthians 6:7, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Timothy 2:15.
Ages to come: James 1:18

As we’ve seen, there hasn’t just been 1 gospel messages, but several. Keeping these gospels, and the doctrine/teaching associated with each gospel, separated is what ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’ is all about:

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God made it easy, man makes it hard! This is not rocket science, so grab your Bible and do a good old bible study to shew thyself approved unto God 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in My articles

 

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Definitions from A-Z in the right sidebar

Hey!

In the sidebar to your right, you’ll see a list of definitions from A-Z, in case you’re wondering what some of the words you might read on this blog mean. I hope they might make things easier for you! And as always, feel free to contact me thru e-mail or Youtube (see “Contact” in the upper right corner of the right sidebar.) Tell me if you want me to add other definitions to that list.

Have a nice day!

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Daniel

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in My articles

 

Chart: The ministry of reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 KJV
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21  For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ: God’s only begotten Son, God in the flesh] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus Christ took the sins of the world (past, present, future, for all times) on himself, and he was judged for those sins. He then died, was buried and rose again the third day. The resurrection proves that God the Father accepted, and was pleased with the payment His Son made for our sins.

*FAITH*: Once we believe this we have Jesus Christ’s test scores written on our paper; His righteousness and His faith (the faith OF Christ)…in the fact that the cross work would settle the sin question once and for all, and that God the Father would raise him from the dead.

Galatians 2:16 KJV  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Our faith in the good news of Christ enables God to impute us with the faith OF His Son. Once we believe, and are saved, it’s not about us; our faith, but Christ’s! 🙂 You see, the issue today isn’t forgiveness of sin…but believing that we’re already forgiven of our sin..lost or saved…makes no difference. Simply being forgiven of our sin, doesn’t make us as righteous as God. That’s the issue, and the reason why we have to believe the good news of Christ, in order to dwell eternally with God in heaven!

Romans 1:16-17 KJV
16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Grace and peace,

Daniel

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Charts, My articles

 

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THE GENTILES AND THE LAW

Daniel

September-10-2011

The gentiles and the law – PDF-FILE (right click & save as to download or click it to open it in your browser)

There’s a God-given time line in the Bible; the word of God, more specifically in Ephesians 2. This time line consists of 3 time periods: the past: “time past”, the present: “but now” and the future: “ages to come”.

Time past:

Ephesians 2:11-12

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now:

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by

the blood of Christ.

Ages to come:

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in

his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

This makes a lot of sense, if we take heed at the instructions given to us in…

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There are divisions in the Bible, so studying the word of truth rightly divided has to do with distinguishing between those divisions and different time periods. All of the Bible is written for us; for our learning (Romans 15:4), but not all of the Bible is written directly to us! Not everything is our mail.

The “but now” period we live in is called the dispensation of the grace of God, or the body of Christ program. It started with the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus, in Acts 9. Saul was later called Paul, and made the Apostle to and of the gentiles: our Apostle. The ascended, glorified Jesus Christ, from his place in heaven, revealed the mystery to him. That’s why Paul’s epistles are called “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25-26). One of the main differences between the “but now” period and the 2 other time periods; “time past” and “ages to come”, is that God today (“but now”) isn’t recognizing any nation above any other nation. Today he’s dealing with mankind as a whole; individually, not nationally. During the Kingdom program; in “time past” and “ages to come” the focus was, and will again be, His chosen nation; Israel. There was, and will again be, a distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles (the heathens, the non-Jews).

We who live during the dispensation of the grace of God, Jew or Gentile…makes no difference, are not under the law of Moses, but under grace:

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Does this mean that we, Gentiles, once were under the law?! Absolutely not, and this is where the confusion starts…

Let’s take a closer look at Ephesians 2:11-12:

Ephesians 2:11-12

11Wherefore remember, that ye beingin time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12That at that time [time past] ye [Gentiles] werewithout Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

In time past a Gentile (a heathen or a non-Jew) was “called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands”; the Jews. Someone who was uncircumcised was considered unclean, a dog (Matthew 15:26-27). The gentiles were “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”. What a position to be in!!!

What about the Jews?

Romans 9:4-8

4Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. Forthey are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

What a contrast compared to what we just read about the gentiles!

We know that God made a covenant (the old covenant) with Abraham:

Genesis 12:1-3

1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This nation was called Israel.

Abraham-Isaac-Jacob

Genesis 17:1-8

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Abraham had two sons initially: one by his wife’s handmaiden, Hagar, the other by Sarah. The first, Ishmael, was of the bondwoman (Hagar), and the second, Isaac, of the freewoman (Sarah). The first, Ishmael, was not of the Lord, but rather the labor of the flesh, so it was to be cast out.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Abraham was to cast out Ishmael and his mother, for he was not to be heir even after Abraham pleaded for him.

Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Notice it doesn’t say in “all thy seed”, but rather in “thy seed”, a particular seed line, the one the Lord gave of the freewoman. The seed which came of Sarah: Isaac. This is the seed with which God would establish His covenant.

Genesis 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Now Isaac has two sons of the same wife. One, Esau, operates in unbelief, has little regard for his birthright and sells it (Genesis 25:27-34) to his brother Jacob. The seed line now passes through Jacob.

Genesis 28:13-14

13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

The seed and the blessings now come through Jacob’s seed. However, not all Jacob’s seed operates in faith. This is the real issue, this is why not all Israel is Israel! The real seed of Abraham are those of the faith of Abraham.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Abraham responded by faith to what God had to say “and it was counted unto him for righteousness”. It made him right in the eyes of God.

Only the children of the promise, the Jews who took God at his word were and will be true Israel, when God sets Israel at the forefront again, after the dispensation of the grace of God comes to an end. That’s why Paul, in Romans 9:6, says that; “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:”

Romans 9:4-5

4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

The work of the law?

Romans 2:12-15

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Notice it says “the WORK of the law written in their heart”, not the “law written in their heart”, as many change it to mean. When Paul is talking about the gentiles having the work of the law written in their hearts, he’s talking about those who were never placed under the law contract, who supposed their righteousness was coming from their personal goodness. It was ‘the moral code’ the Gentiles supposed was their ‘key to righteousness’. Whether man sets a moral code for himself (his own set of standards), or whether it be God’s moral code called the law of Moses, the fact is, no man can merit a righteous standing before God by ‘what he DOES’. Salvation is of grace, through faith, and has always been by grace, through faith. This is what Israel never understood, and the religious people of this world don’t understand it either.

Circumcision

Let’s continue where we left off, in Genesis 17:

Genesis 17:9-14

9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

11And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

14And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

Circumcision wasn’t optional, it was mandatory! It was a token of the covenant between God and Abraham.Those who weren‘t circumcised were cut off from Israel. Being cut off from Israel, was the same as being cut off from God…one and the same thing. Everything God did was through his chosen nation; Israel.

What about all the gentiles who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world”?!

They had to proselyte to Judaism; become a Jewish proselyte. They had to take hold of Israel’s covenant. Today there are no proselytes, because there’s nothing to proselyte to. The Kingdom program; God’s program with Israel, is put on hold in favor of the the body of Christ program, in the dispensation of the age of grace, where God is forming the one new man in Christ…in the person of His Son.

Ephesians 2:13-18

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Colossians 2:10-14

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Salvation

The second a lost person believes the Gospel (good news) of Christ they’re baptized BY (not with) the Spirit into the body of Christ. The good news of Christ is that Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son; the God-man. He died for ALL our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. This resolved the sin issue ONCE and for ALL, where the entirety of the world’s sin debt was concerned, in the mind of the one to whom the payment for their sins was made; God the Father! To believe this good news is to be reconciled in your mind (Colossians 1:21, 2 Corinthians 5:20), not God’s. It’s a SON issue today, not a SIN issue. The issue isn’t forgiveness of sin. The issue is believing what the cross work of Christ accomplished in your behalf, in order to be identified with and joined to Christ himself: having His test scores (His righteousness and His faith) written on your paper.

What about the 10 commandments? Have the gentiles ever been under those? Are we under the 10 commandments today? The answer is NO!

The 10 commandments were a part of the law, which in fact contained 613 commandments, not just 10. Some interpret the Bible to make a distinction between the moral and ceremonial law. They claim that while we are not under the ceremonial law, we are under the moral law. The problem with this view is that the Bible never makes a distinction between moral law and ceremonial law. Those who are under the law are bound by every statute; they cannot choose certain parts of the law to obey. Had you broken 1, you had broken all:

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

This is where the nation Israel was in error. They thought they had righteousness in and of themselves, and that they were meriting a righteous standing before God by law-keeping. That’s not why God gave that nation the law! The law was given them to show them who they were: sinners. Perfect righteousness is the only righteousness God could and can recognize, and He had to provide it for them, and He would do that if they’d simply recognize that, change their mind (repent), and take Him at His word. We know they didn’t. They rejected God the Father through John the Baptist. They rejected the Son: Jesus Christ, and at last they rejected the holy Spirit through Stephen, a man filled with the holy Spirit, in Acts 7. This resulted in the fall of Israel, where God set them aside for a season, and here we are…almost 2000 years after, and the age of grace continues on!Thank God for that!

Today salvation is readily available to all…Jew or gentile…makes no difference: we’re all saved the same way. The law-The middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles is broken down. Once someone is in Christ they’ve put on Christ, and they’re a new creature.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Colossians 3:10-11

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in My articles

 

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FORGIVING OTHERS-WHY AND WHEN?

Daniel

August-4-2011

Forgiving others-why and when? PDF-FILE (right click & save as to download or click it to open it in your browser)

Our Apostle: Paul wrote 13 epistles/books (Romans thru Philemon). These epistles are written TO us living in the dispensation of the grace of God/the age of grace, or the body of Christ program. They contain the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, not according to prophecy. Paul, on behalf of Jesus Christ, says that we have all forgiveness up-front.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Reconciliation is the greek word katallagē, it simply means a change in status or restoration to favor. That’s what forgiveness is all about. Reconciliation and forgiveness, where God is concerned, is of God: God accomplished it. Today it isn’t something we work for or wait for…it isn’t a future event, nor does it happen at the point of belief. It is something we already have, and by “we” I mean the world; lost or saved…makes no difference. Past, present, future. So, the issue, where salvation is concerned, isn’t sin, but belief or unbelief: believing what the cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf. Faith is taking God at His word, taking your stand where God takes His. The Gospel (good news) of Christ is that Jesus Christ in fact was the only begotten Son of God; the sinless God-man, and that He died for ALL our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. God the Father made Christ to be sin for us; everything that sin represents, and He was judged for those sins. God the Father accepted and was satisfied with Jesus Christ’s payment of our sin debt, else He would’ve never risen him from the dead. The resurrection is a proof of that. Christ didn’t simply hide the sins of the world behind His back for future judgment, as Satan’s ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), in the religious system of this world, wants us to believe.

The second a lost person believes the Gospel (good news) of Christ they’re joined to and identified with the Savior himself. His test scores (His faith, His righteousness) written on their paper! God can’t dwell with someone less righteous than Him (perfect righteousness), that’s the reason why the lost will spend an eternity apart from God. The lost go to hell/the lake of fire with their sins paid for!

Now, with that in mind, let’s look at how all this relates to forgiving others, today in the dispensation of the grace of God:

2 Corinthians 2:1-11

1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

10To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Both of Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians are rebuke/re-proof epistles. Rebuke/re-proof has to do with someone behaving inconsistently with their doctrine, while correction has to do with someone thinking inconsistently with their doctrine. Galatians and Colossians are correction epistles. So you could say that rebuke/re-proof is action- or behavior-oriented, and correction mind- or thinking-oriented.

The Corinthians did a 180 degrees turn, to the better, after they had received and studied the first epistle Paul wrote to them. Now, Paul writes his second epistle to them explaining the need for his first epistle, while at the same time continuing to plead them to be followers of him, as he followed Christ. It’s interesting to see that forgiveness was to be a proof of their obedience to Paul’s words…”lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices”. Many aren’t ignorant of Satan’s existence, but they sure are ignorant of his devices/schemes!

Did they do it because they had to? No!

Did they do it to gain a righteous standing before God? No!

Did they do it to gain something? No!

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Today we’re to forgive others, as Christ forgave us:

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

The sin question was settled where? Calvary.

What was the verdict? Guilty.

What was the penalty? Death.

Who took it? Jesus Christ.

How much of it? All of it.

How much did He leave for you? None of it…not imputing the world’s sins unto them (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

God forgave us, not because He had to, but because it was His perfect will and perfect desire! He accomplished what we could never do on our own. He didn’t wait for us to do the first step. God had a choice, Jesus Christ had a choice, and they chose to do it. Christ believed that the cross work would settle the sin issue once and for all, and that God the Father would raise him from the dead. That’s what the faith OF Christ is all about.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

We all yearn for reconciliation. Next time I encourage you to take the first step, no matter how hard it may seem. Trust me, I’ve gone thru it myself. Think about what Christ did for you, and who God has made you to be in Christ, and hopefully forgiveness will become a natural part of your life.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Daniel

Youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

MORE ARTICLES ON FORGIVENESS AND THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION:

A great article & chart made by brother Scott. Deals with the dispensational differences between forgiveness:

http://paulsthepattern.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/forgiveness/

https://romansthruphilemon.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/newsletter-the-ministry-of-reconciliation/

https://romansthruphilemon.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/the-ministry-of-reconciliation-curt-crist/

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in My articles

 

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To my readers and subscribers!

Hey.

I’ve now enabled Sharing on my blog. With a few clicks you can share my posts on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Linkdin, Reddit, Dig and StumbleUpon), blogs (WordPress), through email (EDIT: This option doesn’t work, so I took it off. I’ll enable it when wordpress.com has fixed it) and even print them. You’ll find these options at the end of every post.

I appreciate everyone of you sharing the content on this blog with others! I also wanna thank everyone of you who reads this blog and who comment on my posts! Thanks for being ambassadors for Christ, of the ministry of reconciliation, making the word of reconciliation known to a lost and dying world. Thanks for making “all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” 🙂

Ephesians 3:1-9
1  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION:
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he [God; The Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ; God’s only begotten son, God in the flesh] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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