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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
When the LORD blesses us, HE loves to save the best for last.
JOH 2:1-5, And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Now, let’s join the wedding in progress in JOH 2:6-11, Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.”

And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw {some} out now, and take it to the headwaiter.” And they took it {to him.} And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when {men} have drunk freely, {then} that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of {His} signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Now, our Lord saved the good wine until the end and gave the lesser wine in the beginning of the wedding illustrating that when the Lord blesses us, He loves to save the best for last.

So, our Lord takes water, (a common substance), and without a word, without a gesture, without any laying on of hands, in utter simplicity, HE turns the water into wine. And by that, I mean the finest wine that only the Lord could provide. It was the type of wine that makes man’s heart glad as stated in PSA 104:15, Wine which makes man's heart glad, So that he may make {his} face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man's heart.

Now, in this first miracle, the Lord doesn’t add anything to HIS commands, HE just fulfills them according to HIS Word. He can do it because He is the Living Word and we can learn about it because He is the written Word.

The principle is that all the Lord has to do is “speak the word” and whatever He says will come to pass.

HEB 11:1-3, Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

In this wedding miracle, the Lord is now willing to use His deity to reveal both His Deity and Humanity. So, notice that the Lord does not show us a law of nature concerning the fermentation of the wine that comes from the Creator, who is in the midst of  performing a miracle right in front of all who were there. He simply creates.

The significance to the Jewish audience back in Cana of Galilee would have been apparent. Old Testament has a symbolism between wine and the presence of the Messiah as well as the Holy Spirit.

Now, you have heard this passage many times before and perhaps more importantly, those Jews who were guests at the first wedding were basically familiar with the Jewish Wedding customs and knew the customs that the pots were to be used only for water to cleanse them in ceremony.

What our Lord seems to be doing is revealing to everyone that He is the One who creates the past, the present and even the future because all things are controlled and managed by Him. There is another very important principle that we also have learned and that is the fact that we should value the time that we wait upon the Lord and His Timing.

Our Lord’s will is that His Word does not demand that God meet our schedule or our desires in our timing but always “in His Time.” He will do what He wants, when He wants, all in His perfect timing and His perfect sovereignty. So, notice that even the first miracle has the purpose of building faith in the Gospel, whether faith in the Gospel or faith in our Lord’s doctrine; they both are the same because their source is the same.

Because of this and other passages, the Lord stated what the apostle Paul had to learn to teach the gentiles concerning who Jesus Christ is as the one in total authority in our Life. Beginning in COL 1:15, And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. The invisible God means that He cannot be seen by others like He can be seen by us, especially by those who have PVTD.

The phrase “the first-born of all creation” refers to preeminence, the privileges that were given to a “first-born son” which all belong to Him. In the Bible, the first-born son in the family carries with it three basic principles:

  1. Rulership of the family. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the “Prince Ruler of the church.”
  2. The privilege of the Priesthood and the Lord Jesus Christ is a Royal Priest after the order of Melchizedek which means that there is a priesthood that has no beginning and no end, and our Lord is a priest forever.
  3. The privilege of receiving a double portion.

The Lord Jesus Christ has two ruler ships, Israel and the Church. Israel, whom He rules as the Son of David. The Church whom He rules as the Lord of Lords and the King of kings. In the Old Testament, the firstborn son was the one who normally received a double inheritance and was the one who would inherit his father’s role as head of the family. God sometimes reversed this order, as he did with Jacob and Esau.

So, in COL 1:15-20, And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

For it was the {Father's} good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, {I say}, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Back in JOH 2, all of our Lord’s miracles build up to what is the most important glorious work of Christ: His work and death on the Cross that has the following doctrines which describe that work.

Let me give you the theological terms that the word of God uses to describe the work on the Cross.
1. His spiritual and physical death.
2. His burial.
3. His victorious proclamation.
4. His resurrection.
5. His ascension.
6. His session.

It is also remarkably interesting that our Lord and the bride and the groom, the servants and the guests, the wedding party, the family, and the disciples were all there at the Wedding of Cana. Yet, we are not told if anyone became saved or followers of our Lord Jesus Christ even though they all saw it from different vantage points.

And this illustrates that everyone can see and hear the same things, but they see and hear it from different points of view. There is really no record of anyone at the wedding believing upon the Lord. Maybe they did, because it is always true that: Many individuals will see the works of God and hear the word of God, and yet, they still will not respond in faith even though they all heard the same Gospel and the same doctrine.

Now, let me give you a definition of the works that were accomplished of the Cross so that you will be able to understand what those works are and what they truly refer to. And I am not giving these in any special order so you can write them down or just listen under the filling of the Spirit

First of all, His spiritual and physical death refers to the fact that our Lord died twice on the cross; one was a spiritual death or being separated from God, while the other is physical death which we all die with the exception of the Rapture generation. It is important to realize the difference between spiritual death and physical death. For example, when ROM 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The death that is mentioned here is spiritual death and not physical death.

This principle can be understood simply by the fact that if the Lord died physically then why do we still die? But the death that He died for us had to be a spiritual death because we all still die physically but we will never die spiritually or be separated from God because Christ died for all or everyone. But there is one death that believers will never die and that is spiritual death or being separated from God forever. No believer will ever have to die spiritually because our Lord died for us or in our place.

It was our Lord’s spiritual death which was being separated from God the Father on the Cross which our Lord died for us and allows us to accept in our position, union with the death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ. This means that when He died, we died; Rom 6:4.

So, again, Rom 6:4, 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. This means that when He was buried, we were buried or identified with Him as well. As Paul wrote in another passage in COL 2:12, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Notice what we have here which is the fact we have also been raised up with Him through faith in the works of God.

ROM 6:23, For the wages of sin or the sin nature is [spiritual death or separation from God] which our Lord had never fell into but was willing to go through on our behalf especially if we desire to know Him, and love Him to the point of following Him.

This is what the apostle Paul also said in 2CO 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin {to be} sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This is one of the many results of spiritual death, not only that our Lord died for us spiritually and because of that, He was willing to go to the Cross and be separated from His Father for the first time ever.

So, first of all, the physical death is the reason why all of us still die physically and why we need to be born-again spiritually. Also, having “the new thoughts that come from having a new life” through the divine thoughts our Lord possessed is having a life changing attitude.

It is these divine thoughts that give us the power to fulfill passages like the Apostle Paul said in PHI 2:5, Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, what attitude? The attitude our Lord had as PHI 2:3 begins to describe to us.

PHI 2:3-8, Do nothing motivated by contentiousness or ambitious pride, but with humility of mind [by means of grace orientation] let each of you keep on considering one another as more important than himself; do not merely be regarding your own personal interests, but also for the personal interests of others. “Keep on thinking this [doctrine] within yourselves which was also resident in Christ Jesus,” who, although He preexisted in the essence of God, did not think equality with God a gain to be seized, “but He deprived Himself of the proper function of deity when He had received the form of a servant and was born in the likeness of men.” In fact, although having been discovered in outward appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of spiritual death, that is the death of the cross.

Now, all of these principles I have given to you so far is based upon what our Lord said to us, spiritually and physically, as in JOH 19:30, When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

Now, when He said,  “it was finished,” He was talking about the work that God the Father accomplished on the cross that motivated what the Lord had done by that one word, Tetelestai which means, “It is finished in the past with the result that it goes on being finished forever.

The next work from the Cross is our identification with Him through His Resurrection.

ROM 6:5, For if we have become united with {Him} in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also {in the likeness} of His resurrection,

After He was raised from the dead, He walked around on earth for another 50 days or so and then He this world by His ascension to go to heaven and sit down at the right hand of God. His ascension or His final trip to heaven until the Rapture is taught in EPH 4:8-10, Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)

Our Lord has been to heaven and back to earth in His ascension and is the only one that has ever done so. JOH 3:13, And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, {even} the Son of Man. Finally,  He is seated in the doctrine of the session, the highest place of promotion for any member of the human race and He is waiting for the Father to tell Him, “Go back and get your bride and bring her back to heaven to be with You forever.

The final work of the Cross is after our Lord died, He went to Hades and taught the Old Testament saints a message that we call His Victorious Proclamation and at the same time He spoke to the fallen angels who had been thrown down to Hades for breaking the rules of the Angelic Conflict.

Remember what we already noted JOH 15:1, “I [Jesus Christ] am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” Now, here's some questions that need to be answered. What is your vine? Who is He? How does He work? What does He expect from you? It is amazing how many Christians have other vines in their lives from which they seek their resources but not the resources of God. Ask yourself, “How many things have I attached myself to have taken me away from God?”

LUK 12:16-21, And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops? And he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years {to come;} take your ease, eat, drink {and} be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This {very} night your soul is required of you; and {now} who will own what you have prepared?' So is the man who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

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