Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 060511
How God has designed the believer to understand the mystery doctrine
and to stimulate our curiosity. Part 3.
We are noting how God has designed the believer to understand the mystery doctrine of the Church-age and to stimulate our curiosity concerning that same mystery doctrine. Therefore, we have been noting some of the reasons why the apostle Paul seems to be closing out the book of Roman’s then he seems to change his mind.
Finally, he hits us with passages like; ROM 7:21-8:1, I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Or in ROM 8:31-39, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Does he close out the book? He does not!
We also have an illustration in ROM 11:33-36, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Does he close out the book? He does not!
ROM 16:25-27, Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Probably one of the main principles of doctrine that blew Paul away was based upon the baptism of the Holy Spirit with emphasis upon both Jews and Gentiles being in union with TLJC. I mean some believers are too familiar with many of the important doctrinal viewpoints which accompany the doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit. Think about it, at the moment of salvation God the Holy Spirit places every believer in union with Christ.
EPH 4:4-5, There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
This instantaneous ministry of the Holy Spirit is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit; 1CO 12:13, For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, This is how you became a new creature or a new spiritual species’ 2CO 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new [spiritual] species.
Paul wrote all of this and more because some of the Jewish believers in Rome had distorted the Mosaic Law into a system of legalism. They contended that man must keep the Law to be saved or to be blessed by God. They held the opinion that man is condemned for failure to live up to the Law’s perfect demands. But Paul disarms these legalists by taking the Law out of their hands. In illustrating God’s actions toward sin, Paul deliberately chooses the period of history when the Law did not exist. That’s why in ROM 5:13, Paul explains that our personal sins were not imputed to us, For until the [Mosaic] Law, [personal] sin was in the world, but [personal] sin was not imputed when the [Mosaic] Law did not exist. They had not yet been committed when we were
con­demned.
The Mosaic Law is an indispensable part of the Word of God; it includes far more than the Ten Commandments. It defines human freedom and morality according to the laws of divine establishment. The Mosaic Law also defines personal sin, in terms of man’s failure to match up to the essence of God, and relates sin to its original penalty, spiritual death. The Law reveals man’s condemnation, denounces man’s resources as a means of reaching God, and excludes human righteousness as a claim on divine blessing. And the Law was never designed to produce self-righteousness. The Law has a limited role; it is a minor actor that entered the stage to play a minor part, as we will see in ROM 5:20.
The Law actually served in the role of a marriage counselor, it tells us in no uncertain terms that we have a bad marriage to the tyrannical old sin nature. And it points the way to divorce and to remarriage to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith at salvation. This is what ROM 7:1-4 is all about.
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God. (ROM 7:1-4)
The Law served in the role of a marriage counselor telling us that we have a bad marriage to the old sin nature. It points the way to divorce and to remarriage to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith at salvation. So, the Law ex­poses sin, that’s its purpose!
because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. (ROM 3:20)
ROM 7:7, What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
The Mosaic Law shows us we have a problem, and reveals the solu­tion in a detailed delineation of the Gospel. But the Law itself is not the solu­tion to sin. Before the time of Moses, everyone sinned; after Moses, everyone still sins, 1JO 1:8, 10.
In other words, the coming of the Law made no difference. This also means that the Mosaic Law has nothing whatever to do with our condemnation. In fact, before the Law came on the scene, we were already totally con­demned. Personal sins, so clearly defined by the Law, are not imputed to man for condemnation. This has always been the case, long before and long after Moses climbed Mount Sinai. This is why Paul defines the Gospel specifically in terms of the non-imputation of personal sins.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting [imputing] their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2CO 5:18-21)
This is the Gospel or the good news! David, who lived in the Age of Israel after the Mosaic Law had been given, rejoiced in the fact that personal sins are not imputed to anyone but Christ. This is the doctrine of unlimited atonement from the standpoint of personal sin. David said in PSA 32:2, How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
In fact Paul quotes this verse also in ROM 4:6-8, just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”
Apart from Adam’s one original sin imputed to Adam himself, sins are never charged to the one who commits them. Does that sound as though peo­ple were getting away with anything? Don’t worry; this is not a miscarriage of justice. It is proof of God’s justice! In His omniscience, God found a way to save man without compromising His own integrity.
And so we will see the book of life included the names of every member of the human race who would ever be born. We will note under the doctrine of the unlimited atonement and the divine decrees that when a person dies as an unbeliever, his name is removed from the book of life.
So, let’s close this introduction to the unlimited atonement with an introduction or setting up of some groundwork with the correct order of the five elective decrees which are as follows:
A. God decreed the creation of all mankind with free will in the status of perfection for two reasons: To resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict, and to bring many sons into glory.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (HEB 2:10)
The phrase being brought into glory, means there is a Christian way of life, a way to glorify God after salvation.
B. God decreed to permit the fall of mankind through the function of his own determination, his own volition as the extension of the angelic conflict into human history. Angels had a fall, therefore man must have a fall to resolve the conflict. This duplicates Satan’s fall and the subsequent existence of fallen angels.
C. Then God decreed to provide eternal salvation for all mankind under the doctrine of unlimited atonement. God is fair and provides for all. God doesn’t arbitrarily assign creatures to Hell. By unlimited atonement is meant that all sins in human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged, so that Christ is the issue and not sins.
D. God decreed to leave the reprobate (those who reject Christ as Savior) to their just condemnation.
E. God decreed simultaneously in eternity past both election and predestination for believers only.
Under this point we have the decree for historical election includes the election of true Israel–ROM 9:6, the election of the humanity of Christ in the dispensation of the Hypostatic-union, and the election of the Church as the body of Christ and Royal family of God. In election is the expression of the sovereignty of God who wills the highest and best for every believer in Jesus Christ. There is also the decree to provide a portfolio of invisible assets for every believer by depositing in escrow greater blessings for time and eternity for every believer. God decreed to apply salvation to everyone who believes in Christ.
This subject has been technical and complex and you might wonder why is it so important? It is because we need to understand the purpose and plan of God. The plan of God has to do with God gathering into one all-inclusive plan, all the objects of salvation, whether in heaven or earth, in Christ.
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. (EPH 1:9-10)
It is also called the mysterious purpose or plan that had been hidden for ages in God, which it now made known to His saints.
And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, (EPH 3:4-11)
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