Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 061911
The Doctrine of The Book of Life
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The two doctrines we are noting are the Book of Life and the Unlimited Atonement.

The Doctrine of the Book of Life.

Point 1 is our definition. We noted the important principle that first of all, to be crystal clear on this doctrine, you need to understand that the book of life is one thing in time and something different in eternity. The issue is very clear:

What think ye of Christ? (MAT 22:42)
“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (JOH 3:18)
 
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (JOH 3:36)
There are the three different phases of the book of life:
Phase 1 – the book of life has to do with members of the human race who were selected by God in eternity past.
Phase 2 – In time, it has to do with being a registry of all believers who are given the opportunity to become a winner in the book of life.
Phase 3 – In eternity, it is the registry of all believers, losers momentarily at the JSOC, but saved forever.
Point 2. Passages Referring to the Book of Life.
Point 3. The Book of Life In Relation to Believers.
Point 4. The Results of the Believer Who Doesn’t Have His Name Blotted out of the Book of Life.
Point 5. The Book of life in Relation to Unbelievers.
Those points have been covered in our Philippians series, and will not be covered here. I want to go to Point 6 which deals withThe Motivation Believers should have toward Unbelievers because of the Book of Life.
Because it is not God’s will that any should perish, 2PE 3:9, and that all men should be saved, 1TI 2:3-4, this should be the mind of Christ as manifested in the believer. Now, part of our understanding this subject is found in 2Co 5 beginning at verse 14.
Occupation with TLJC is one of the first giant steps for the Christian way of life.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; (2CO 5:14)
One of the first signs that you are getting somewhere in your spiritual life is the verb sunecho which means a complete change in your spiritual motivation. This is what the word controls means. It means that your love for Christ motivates you. Great motivation begins when the believer personally loves God. This results first of all in excitement over His word and then His plan. The word controls is the present active indicative of the verb sunecho which means to hold something together so that it doesn’t fall apart, it also means to retrain, to enclose, to press, or to pressure.
Your spiritual life is going to fall apart from time to time, but motivation from your love for Christ will keep you going. People may let you down from time to time, the church may let you down; however, your love for Christ keeps you going. I don’t mean church hopping every time you have a personality conflict, I mean once you identify your pastor-teacher and submit to his ministry, you don’t let people come in between you and the calling of God upon your life.
Sunecho also means to overpower or to rule, hence it connotes motivation for the believer, a thought or a doctrine that overrules the soul. In other words. It means to be totally controlled and overruled by what you think. You do not, repeat, do not, let your emotions rule and dictate over you. Once you reach personal love for God and spiritual self-esteem, from then on you are motivated by your doctrinal thoughts or by what you think. This means when you are alone you are happy and content. When you are in a crowd you are happy and content.
For the love of Christ keeps on motivating us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; (2CO 5:14)
Notice that it says “the love for Christ keeps on motivating us,” not “the love for people.”
Why?
Having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died. If all died then why look to the dead for life. The Book of life and love for TLJC will motivate you to reach out for others even if you particularly care for them. For example, Jonah was one of the most successful evangelists in the Old Testament, but he didn’t like those to whom he was sent, the people of Nineveh, JON 3:1-4:11.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered {himself} with sackcloth, and sat on the ashes. And he issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. “But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish? When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do {it.} But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my {own} country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.” And the Lord said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day, and it attacked the plant and it withered. And it came about when the sun came up that God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with {all} his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.” Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.” Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and {which} you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know {the difference} between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”
Jonah learned that the Lord Jesus Christ died for everyone. Jonah learned that the Lord Jesus Christ died for those who hated Him. He died for those who despised Him. He died for everyone, and that is grace! That is why the fact that every member of the human race had their names written down in the book of life is one of the most magnificent grace illustrations in the entire Bible. Christ didn’t die just for you nor did He die just for the elect – He died for everyone, Therefore, every member of the human race had their names written down in the Book of Life. Christ died for those who hated and despised Him…and that is grace. That is impersonal unconditional agape love. When He was hanging on that Cross and the crowd ridiculed, laughed at Him and blasphemed Him, but that didn’t keep Him from bearing the imputation of their sins. That is one of the most magnificent and obvious illustrations of grace that appears to all men.
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (LUK 23:34)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (TIT 2:11)
Back in 2CO 5:14, why does verse 14 say for the love of Christ keeps motivating us?
For the love of Christ keeps on motivating us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; (2CO 5:14)
The phrase having concluded is the aorist active participle of the verb krino which means to judge, to reach a conclusion, to make the proper evaluation. Paul is actually saying, because we have reached this conclusion. And the conclusion is going to come from the unlimited atonement, or the fact that every member of the human race has their name written down in the book of life.
So, what is the conclusion?
2CO 5:14…having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
God in His grace found a way for the sins of the world to be judged. While we do feel the repercussions of our sins now and then, we are not being judged for them. Your sins, my sins, the sins of the entire world were judged only once, on the Cross. This is why the evangelist who makes an issue out of your sins is wrong. The issue is not sin, the issue is Christ. Christ has already been judged for your sins. The Lord Jesus Christ is your substitute and therefore the issue is ACT 16:31, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.
So, you don’t renounce your sins to be saved. You don’t repent from your sins to be saved. You don’t do anything about your sins to be saved. That’s where evangelism becomes heretical, misleading and evil. The yapping, yelling, screaming and goofy Bible pounding evangelist is an insult to the character and nature of God. Sin is not an issue in salvation (MAT 22:42). Sin is not an issue in the judgment of the believer (2CO 5:10). Sin is not an issue at the last judgment for the unbeliever (REV 20:11-15). Sin is only an issue at the Cross, which occurred 2,000 years ago, and the doctrine of the book of life and the unlimited atonement says “DO NOT MAKE SIN AN ISSUE!”
When you think of sin you have to think of two things.
a. The Cross, where all sins were judged.
b. The law of volitional responsibility.
While you will never be judged for your sins, you must take the responsibility for your volition and the sins incurred by your own decisions. That’s where sowing and reaping comes in. The result of sin is self-induced misery…you may pay the piper, sort of speak, but you are not going to pay the penalty.
When it comes to the book of life, we need to look at the concept of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is that concept and that doctrine of soteriology recognizes a barrier between God and man. It is a barrier that can only be removed by God. There are actually three parties involved in reconciliation:
1. God the Father who is the reconciler. When any Greek word for reconciliation is in the active voice, God the Father is always the subject.
2. God the Son who is the agent of reconciliation. That of course is through His blood or His saving work on the Cross.
3. And then there is mankind who is the beneficiary of reconciliation. So, that officially the doctrine says man is reconciled, God is the reconciler and the Lord Jesus Christ is the agent of reconciliation. Also, it’s important to understand that man is reconciled to God, not God to man.
Reconciliation is for the entire human race under the doctrine of the unlimited atonement. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the Cross and judged for the sins of the world the barrier went down and man was reconciled to God. The barrier was sin, ROM 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The penalty was separation from God, ROM 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This was solved by expiation.
Then there was the problem of physical birth, PSA 51:5; 1CO 15:22, solved by regeneration. There was also the barrier because of the character of God,
PSA 145:17, solve by the doctrine of propitiation. There was also the barrier of man’s righteousness, ISA 64:6, solved by the doctrine of justification, GAL 2:16. There was the problem of our position in Adam, 1CO 15:22, solved by our new position in Christ by means of the baptism of the Spirit.
We will see in our passage that this is the meaning of the phrase “All things are from God who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ.” All of these things refer to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross plus the new creation, the escrow, and the divine plan or MAT 7:14. God the Father is the author of the divine plan. He is the provider of our escrow blessing. He is the architect and manufacturer of the principles found in predestination including the equal privilege and equal opportunity that we all have. He is also the creator and designer of our very own predesigned plan which is unique for everyone of us.
Now, there are two categories of reconciliation.
1. That which is accomplished for the entire human race for both believers and unbelievers alike.
2. That which is accomplished for the believer only the reason is that when anyone believes in the Lord Jesus Christ or steps across that line there are other barrier situations that immediately go down but they are accomplished for the believer only.
So, our next principle is what is accomplished for the human race at the doctrine of reconciliation. This all begins with spiritual death at birth. The fact that any member of the human race is born physically alive and at the same time spiritually dead means that they have been chosen under the doctrine of selection. I said selection not election. God the Father is the one who imputes human life to the soul, ISA 57:16.
“For I will not contend forever, Neither will I always be angry; For the spirit would grow faint before Me, And the breath {of those whom} I have made.” (ISA 57:16)
No one can enter into this world without the imputation of human life from God the Father. God the Father imputes human life to the human soul and human life resides in the human soul forever. This is true for both believer and unbeliever, and we call that selection. The very fact that God created life and gave life to each one of us at birth means selection. It means that God has a purpose and desire for each member of the human race, 1TI 2:4; 2PE 3:9.
No matter where the individual is geographically, how fantastic his circumstances are, what barriers exist between him and civilization, when anyone receives human life at birth it is selection. And, selection simply means that God decided to let a person become a person with a human volition. However, at the moment of human life Adam’s original sin was imputed to you as well.
Therefore, you as all members of the human race were born in sin (PSA 51:5; 58:3; ROM 5:12,17-18; 1CO 15:22). You were condemned at the moment of physical birth. Before you ever committed your first personal sin, you were condemned.
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