Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Understanding the difference between positional truth and your condition in Christ.
One of the most overlooked subjects in biblical Theology is understanding the difference between positional truth and your condition in Christ. This is brought out in passages like ROM 8:1, where we read, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And it is that last phrase “in [en] Christ [Christou] Jesus [Ieesou]” that has changed more believer’s lives spiritually speaking than almost any other biblical doctrine on the believer’s position in Christ verses his condition in Christ.
A reason why our LORD wanted HIS disciples to face their enemies head-on, face-to-face, is so that there would be certain principles of doctrine that we all are going to need to rebound and to recover from.
Rebound is not to be used to make our spiritual life like a YoYo!
TIT 2:11-12, For the grace of GOD has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny unGODliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and GODly in the present age,
Now, it is the grace of GOD that motivates “love for the Brethren and forgiveness for each other and will change the believer’s life. My point is that one of the most vital doctrines that we all need to rebound and recover from is the Doctrine of Forgiveness or the Doctrine of Impersonal Love which, by the way, we need to use for rebound and recovery.
Why is one of the greatest questions we could ever have as ROM 8:2 tells us why! “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Then comes the principle of the freedom and liberty that the Mosaic Law offers every one of us through the grace and mercy of our LORD Jesus Christ so that we can be at rest in the Perfect Peace of GOD that our LORD provided for every one of HIS children.
Therefore, in ROM 8:3, the apostle Paul writes: For what the Law [Mosaic Law] could not do,
Because in ROM 8:3…weak as it was through the flesh, GOD did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and [not as an offering for sins but an offering sin in the singular], He condemned sin in the flesh,
Now, this is something that is very vital for believers to have and to hold as a foundation to the throne of grace and mercy. We know that to be true because of the tremendous manifestations of the Throne of Grace throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament; HEB 4:16.
Let’s begin in HEB 4:11-16, Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of GOD is living and active and sharper than any two‑edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of GOD, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in All things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.
Now, with that in mind, back in ROM 8:3.
ROM 8:3, For what the Law could not do [Why?], weak as it was through the flesh, GOD did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
And by that, the apostle Paul is saying that the Mosaic Law or the Ten Commandments could not help the Apostles serve the LORD, not because the Law was weak but because the believers were weak who tried to fulfill the Law.
We know a lot of things concerning the place of the Mosaic Law and the purpose of the Law. Now, in ROM 3:20, we read about the purpose of the Law; “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Then in Rom 5:20, Paul teaches us the reason why the Law was given which is that grace abounded all the more especially to those believers who may find themselves in bondage to moral or immoral degeneracy.
ROM 5:20-6:4, And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Now, next we have the principle of doctrine concerning the Mosaic Law.
ROM 7:12, So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Notice that there are the positive aspects of the Law:
The Law is Just – The Law is Holy – The Law is Righteous – The Law is all-powerful – The Law is based on love – The Law is Forgiveness – The Law is Veracity – The Law is all-powerful – The Law is always right.
Let me illustrate this principle of the importance of GOD’s word as it is found throughout the Word of GOD in the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job (not job but Job). For those of you who do not believe in the Angelic Conflict, I submit to you Job 23, even though it takes some imagination to appreciate the “Divine Call of GOD” and the intimacy that exists because of the PVTD that winner believers must have. In Job 23, Job is in the middle of speaking to our LORD and wondering what has been going on in his life.
So, we pick it up in Job 23 so that we can listen to disagreements or complaints concerning the way that the LORD treats His people!
JOB 23:1-14, Then Job replied, “Even today my complaint is rebellion; His hand is heavy despite my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. I would learn the words which He would answer, And perceive what He would say to me. Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me. There the upright would reason with Him; And I would be delivered forever from my Judge. Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For [and here is 1Th 5:24 of the Old Testament] He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.
ROM 7:12, we need to get back to the Law.
ROM 7:12-17, So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me.