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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 11/22/09
Therefore if any one is in Christ [and they are], he is a new creature; the old things have lost their power; behold or[now hear this], the new has come. (2CO 5:17)
The phrase behold, new things have come means something new that has never existed before. It refers to all of your tremendous assets as a member of the Royal Family of God. In the Church-age, we have ten unique things that believers in other dispensations do not possess, and which others in future dispensations will never possess. As a result, there is tremendous emphasis on the individual believer in the Church-age.
The new things which have come refer to the baptism of the Spirit which results in the creation of a new spiritual species and the royal family of God. In fact, it is extremely important that we understand this baptism or this ministry of identification.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1CO 12:13)
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (GAL 3:27)
Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start which we call regeneration (TIT 3:5). Your baptism is also known as one bath, but many washings. Part of the new things that have come is the baptism of the Spirit, which means that in our Lord's family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. We are all equal.
The new things that have come means that as a member of the royal family of God, you have the PPOG which is unique for the royal family of God only. Brethren [members of the royal family], be co-imitators of me, and be having respect for the same ones, who walk according to the pattern you have in us (PHI 3:17). As a part of this PPOG, we noted that you have a personal sense of destiny where you have to learn at times to go it alone. For each one shall bear his own load. (GAL 6:5).All of us need to understand that life must go on. God has a purpose for you being alive.
The new things that have come means you have a phenomenal portfolio of invisible assets which belongs to each one of us as royal family of God. The word portfolio refers to the work of God the Father on behalf of the believer in eternity past, the securities and the invisible assets which He has provided for each member of the Royal family of God before creation. You have securities and invisible assets that stagger the imagination. However, before these assets are usable, they must be understood. The portfolio of invisible assets connotes the grace work of God the Father on your behalf in eternity past. God the Father found the way for His justice to provide perfect fantastic blessing to His righteousness in us without any compromise of His essence. In your portfolio of invisible assets God provided everything necessary for the function in living, dying, eternity, growing in grace, and the execution and fulfillment of the PPOG. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2PE 1:2). Grace and prosperity are increased to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Lord.
Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2PE 1:3)
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God, both in the natural realm, called life, and in the spiritual realm, called godliness has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. This is the best invitation we ever received!
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2PE 1:4).
We have been given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
In your portfolio of invisible assets God provided everything necessary for the function in living, dying, eternity, growing in grace, and the execution and fulfillment of the PPOG. This is why the apostle Paul said in EPH 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work He does, the good work he has ordained for us to perform, work we had better be doing. That is because God has not only prepared beforehand good works for us to walk in, but He also has provided us with the assets and ability to perform these good works. This is why the Bible says we are his workmanship.
The portfolio of invisible assets provides everything necessary for you to have a fantastic life which glorifies God through receiving your escrow blessings in both time and eternity. This is why we read in MAR 10:28-30, Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
The portfolio of invisible assets provides everything necessary for you to have a fantastic life which glorifies God through receiving your escrow blessings in both time and eternity. The point is: If you do not have a fantastic life, it’s your own fault, never God’s. All you need is positive volition, and God will direct you to the place where you can get the information. The very existence of escrow blessings implies the conditions for the transfer of those greater blessings from their present place of deposit in Christ to us, from the escrow officer to the grantee. Our portfolio of invisible assets only becomes apparent when living in the PPOG under the ministry of the Spirit, and by hearing correct and accurate Bible teaching so that we become inculcated with the PPOG (EPH 1:3-14).
Long before he laid down earth's foundations, He had us in mind. He had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long ago, in eternity past, He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people. Free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, including letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ. There is a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, His had designs on us for glorious living.\
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free, signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit.
This sign from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. There are two characteristics of these assets that we must understand:
A. The assets are invisible; we can only come to know that these assets exist by the metabolization of doctrine. You cannot use what you do not know exists.
B. These assets are usable in any category of life.
Let's look at the portfolio of invisible assets from the viewpoint of the believer’s experience.
However, as it stands written [ISA 64:4], Things [portfolio of invisible assets] no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1CO 2:9).
Our greatest blessings are completely and totally invisible, and therefore can only be understood by revelation. That revelation is contained in the Word of God. By knowledge of Bible doctrine, we are able to become aware of our fantastic assets and use them both in time and in eternity.
Note the qualifying factor in the last phrase: for those who love Him. The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who loves God has at least reached the point of spiritual self-esteem or is very close to it. Once he reaches spiritual adulthood, life takes a fantastic and unusual turn. He or she is no longer a victim of circumstances. He isn't bitter, jealous, vindictive; he isn't trying to prove something to someone; he has lost his inordinate ambition, his inordinate competition, and he is now functioning in a magnificent way under these fantastic invisible assets.
In this passage, what God has prepared for all of us is the portfolio of invisible assets.
It was prepared in eternity past, and it becomes real when we come to the point of loving Him.
HEB 12:1 puts it all in the right perspective, Now doctrine is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.You can't hope until you know doctrine. Hope means you understand your portfolio of invisible assets. Hope means you understand the eschatology of the Rapture, and the tremendous escrow blessings for eternity, the rewards and decorations that belong to the believer forever and ever. Note that doctrine is substance; doctrine is thought. In that sense, the writer is saying that doctrine must be real; doctrine must be your viewpoint. The evidence of things not seen is the portfolio of invisible assets.
There must be an experience in the believer’s life if the invisible assets are used to glorify God and inherit what God has provided. God is to be glorified, honored and have power over his creatures. How is God glorified in our lives? JOH 15:8answers that question, “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”That’s indoctrinated ones. Therefore, if we are to receive what He has provided for us and what gives Him glory, we must use our invisible assets and live for Him.
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “he is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness.” (1CO 3:18-19)
The wise in their craftiness speaks of those who live for every other reason than the one they have been created for.....they think they have a better plan for their life. They are independent from God. In many cases, they are also independent from Satan. Little did Satan realize that when he tempted the woman to sin and then give the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he was also promoting the same sin he had committed, the sin of independence. You say why did he do that if he was such an intelligent creature. The answer to that is JER 49:16, “As for the terror of you, The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,” The sin of independence is what stops you from fulfilling the PPOG and using your portfolio of invisible assets. For example, when Adam and the woman sinned, they knew that they had turned against their loving Creator by doubting His words and not listening to His instructions. They had left the secure place of total dependence on His words and put themselves in a vulnerable, independent state. Adam and the woman had been uniquely created; their consciences were still totally sensitive, the way their Maker had created them to be. However, as soon as that bite of fruit entered their mouths, they knew immediately ‑ overwhelmingly ‑ that they were guilty and naked, in need of covering. They knew that they were unfit in their naked state to come into the presence of God.
Today we have become used to living in a state of guilt and independence from our Creator. Our consciences are dull, desensitized. We need to be told the truth in order to realize that we are guilty and become aware of our nakedness or literally our helplessness before God. This is why ROM 14:23 says, But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. The sin of independence is also manifested by such things as worry as in 1PE 5:7, where we are told casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. The sin of independence is also manifested by such things as fear because we are told not to fear as in MAT 10:30-31; “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
The sin of independence is also manifested by such passages as 1JO 3:20, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
EPH 4:32, And be kind to one another, tender‑hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. All through the ages God has been speaking to the conscience of every man and woman on the face of the earth. If only we would listen, face our condition, and truly repent, receiving the covering He has provided for us! Most Christians become Christians because they saw their guilt and their need to be covered. Either through circumstances in their lives, or through reading the word of God or hearing it preached, they become aware of their sinful state which makes them worthy of death. In a desperate attempt to be covered and made fit to appear before their Maker, wanting to escape the condemnation of their guilty consciences, they become Christians. They then consider themselves to be clothed and no longer naked or in need of covering. What was wrong with the fig‑leaf covering that Adam and Eve covered themselves with? Why was it that when their Maker finally appeared, they still hid themselves from Him, even though they were now covered?
They had covered themselves in an attempt to HIDE their shame. They did not want their guilt to be exposed and laid bare, so they desperately sought to make themselves presentable. Somewhere deep inside, they knew that they were still unfit to come into the presence of God ‑ they were still naked and guilty. When their God finally came in search of them, they hid themselves in the trees of the garden. When He called to them and then questioned them, their responses to Him showed that they were still afraid of freely exposing their guilt, as they both put the blame onto someone else. But our Maker's heart is to provide us with a true covering: a SACRIFICE.
Adam and Eve finally had to remove all their fig leaf coverings and expose their true state of nakedness so that they could receive the garments God provided for them, garments taken from an animal that had shed its blood to cover them in the very first physical death creation had ever seen. Even way back then it was in our God's heart to sacrifice life in order to cover mankind's sin. Already He had a plan. In His amazing love, He would send His only begotten Son, Yahshua, the Lamb of God, to be slain and to shed His blood so that we could be clothed in white garments and be restored to being found worthy to walk with Him as He had always desired. He was well aware of what He would do. Through a chain of circumstances in our own lives, an awareness grew in all of us of our guilty, fallen state, and we became a Christian. However, the issue now is after salvation, what? That is where the new things have come. That is where our portfolio comes into existence.
And again, “the Lord knows the reasoning’s of the wise, that they are useless.” So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, And you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God. (1CO 3:20-23)
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