Message Notes1). In our past weeks of study we have seen that salvation must be seen within the context of God?s plans and purposes for His Son and for Man. Plans and purposes that have been determined from before the foundation of the world - Eph 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
2). We have seen that, according to scripture, salvation is spoken of as a past, completed act, a present, continuous act and a future act, and that because Man was created in the image and likeness of God ? salvation must address all three parts of Man?s being ? Spirit, Soul and Body.
a). As we have also seen, the salvation of our spirit is based upon Christ?s finished work on the cross of Calvary and is complete and totally secure. And comes by God?s grace through faith and is completely apart from any works on our part and is eternal in its scope - Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
b). The salvation of our soul however is a continuous present process that begins only after our eternal salvation and is based upon our works of faithful obedience. This salvation will be determined at the JSOC, and therefore remains yet future and may or may not be realized ? and is exclusively Millennial in its scope ? having no impact at all on our eternal security - 1Co 3:11 ? For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
3). What we have not yet seen of course is how salvation is provided for the third part of our being, our body. And this we will begin to look at today. And what we will find is that the salvation of our soul and the salvation of our body are inextricably linked. It is quite impossible to have one without the other.
4). Ge 3:10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
a). Here, following the Man and the Woman entering into sin we find them both totally naked. Having been made in the image and likeness of God they had both had a pristine covering of glory which had now, because of sin, been lost. Remember a different Hebrew word for naked is used to describe them before they sinned.
b). This initial covering of glory and its subsequent loss cannot be separated from the purpose for Man?s creation - Ge 1:26 ? Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion?.
c). Glory, rulership and the coming Kingdom go hand in hand with one another - Da 7:14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
d). Mt 25:31 ? "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
e). And so, if Man is to fulfill his created purpose, to rule as joint heir with God?s son, not only must his spirit and soul be saved but his body must also receive the covering of glory that was lost as the precursor to that rulership ? for only then, with a redeemed spirit, a redeemed soul and a redeemed body will Man once again be in the image and likeness of God. This time of course having proved that he is worthy to hold the scepter of rulership, having passed the test of obedience ? remember Adam, Abraham, Israel.
5). What we need to know then is how the salvation of our body and its glorification is connected to the salvation of our soul. And to see this we need to go to - Ro 12:1 ? I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
a). Here in our scripture from Romans 12 we have the admonition to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God in verse 1, followed by the command not to be conformed to this world in verse 2a and the further command to be transformed by the renewing of our mind in verse 2b.
b). As we have noted in past weeks, the sacrifice of the OT would be firmly secured to the altar, its veins would be opened and its life / soul / blood would be poured out until it was dead. Pointing to the ultimate fulfillment of the type in the death of Christ. And this would be the picture that is created for us as living sacrifices. We are to remain continuously on the altar of sacrifice throughout our entire Christian journey, allowing our soul / life to be poured out until we are dead ? not literally, but in the sense of dying to self - Ro 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
c). Conformed = Compound Greek word ? sunschematizo = Do not pattern
d). And that which we are not to be patterned after is this world / this age.
e). In other words then, we are not to allow our lives to follow the blueprint, so to speak, that is set for this age.
f). And the reason for this would be fairly obvious to us. This age is subject to the god of this age ? Satan - 1Jo 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
g). And everything connected to this present age is out of place ? the gentile nations are out of place, Israel is out of place, Satan and his fallen angels are out of place and Christ and His joint heirs are out of place.
h). Our positional standing is in Christ and the present world/age is in the wicked one ? and the two are diametrically opposed to one another.
i). 1Jo 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
j). And in our choices we will either align ourselves with Christ and His coming Kingdom, just as those aligned themselves with David, or we will align ourselves with everything that is in opposition to Christ and His coming Kingdom.
6). Now it should be easy for us to see that the distorted value systems and moral depravity that exists around us is in opposition to Christ. And we may easily be able to distance ourselves from them. We will even come to the place of realizing that involving ourselves in politics will also bring us under the authority of our enemy, as he continues to rule over the earth through the political structures within the Gentile nations. And contrary to what may have been our former practices we can step away from that.
a). But let?s briefly visit an area that is much less blatant than these.
b). That of our identity ? who we see ourselves to be.
c). From the moment of our birth the enemy of our soul, through the things of this world, has sort to create in us a perception of who we are. And this is a process that begins exclusively within our soul/life as at this point in time we do not have a redeemed spirit ? and as such we can see that this perception is connected with our first birth and is part of our fallen nature ? and nothing connected to our first birth will have an inheritance in the Kingdom - Ga 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
d). There are so many Christians who have experienced various degrees of abuse in their childhood giving rise to a corrupted view of themselves and of those who should have been their protectors ? we can no doubt see how the latter could make God the Father a less than attractive proposition.
e). And there are those who experience abuse in their marriage, in the workplace, in church.
f). And the list of circumstances can go on and on.
g). The result of this can be destructive behaviors that become self reinforcing ? ?I am a bad person, look at what I have done, that shows just how bad I am?.
h). And in the mix of this somewhere God becomes a problem, either because we feel abandoned by Him or we feel threatened by Him ? as in our soul/life this has been our experience - in either case it leaves us with a dread of having to face Him.
i). If we are such an awful person, how can there be anything but punishment awaiting us? We were never good enough for our earthly father how could we ever be good enough for our Heavenly Father?
j). However, Heb 2:14 ? Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
7). We have to come to the place of realizing that who we are is not determined by our past or even our present soul/life experience, but by what the Word of God says about us. Our identity is not set by the out workings of the wicked one, but by the One whose blood has set us free from being slaves to our circumstances ? Jesus asked ?who do men say that I am??, but His identity was not determined by the parameters set by others, but by His father in heaven.
a). We can rejoice because we have a choice.
b). The enemy of our soul, because we are born ?dead in trespasses and sins? has had an open door to pattern us after his likeness.
c). But once we have a redeemed spirit we have access to spiritual truth that will transcend what we have come to believe revealing to us instead the reality and voracity of God?s truth about us.
d). Even if our birth is the result of an unwanted pregnancy it does not eradicate God?s purpose for us. We can receive the lie that we are unwanted and unnecessary ? being conformed to the things of this world - or embrace the truth that God has called us as a firstborn son, as a joint heir with Christ
e). Ge 12:1 ? Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.
f). Ru 2:11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.
8). Let?s pause for a moment and consider being conformed to the things of the world in respect of husbands.
a). If we look around within society you will see mostly passive husbands ? if you look at advertisements on the TV husbands are portrayed as being little more than children who the wife has to take care of.
b). Within our soul/life experience we are into the second and maybe even the third generation of passivity ? this is the identity that most men have grown up with and the one that most men are comfortable with because we have seen nothing else.
c). And this is the deception ? this is who you are.
d). Scripture however is clear as to the identity of a husband -
Eph 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
e). If we as husbands don?t replace the lie with the truth and embrace this role inevitably we will have patterned ourselves after the things of this world and without even realizing it will have placed ourselves in rebellion to the command of scripture.
f). And there is only one winner in this situation.
9). And wives ? how much of the role and responsibility of the wife within society and within the church is now set by the feminist agenda? How much is set in response to the husband?s actions, both of which are in our soul/life experience, instead of in response to the scriptures?
a). And this is the deception - ?If my husband won?t lead then I have to? ? not only would this place the wife in sin but she would also be enabling her husband in his sin. And without even realizing it she will have placed herself in rebellion against the command of scripture.
b). Scripture is clear - Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
c). Who gains from this situation?
10). And what about the way we relate to one another? There is not one of us here who has not been badly hurt at the hands of other Christians and this feeds straight into our soul/life experience.
a). This can lead us into bitterness and resentment.
b). We may judge everything and everyone in our church setting with suspicion
c). We may say we love one another, but under the surface there can be a deep mistrust coming out of the pain of our past.
d). Consequently we pattern ourselves after the things of this world, and find ourselves unwittingly looking to seek revenge and to protect our rights ? yet what does scripture say? - 1Co 6:7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
e). Again we can see how easily we can be deceived into rebellion against the command of scripture.
f). Let?s just remember for a moment what scripture says about the love we are to have for one another - 1Co 13:4 ? Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 ? Love never fails.
g). Who we are in the way we relate to others must not be determined by our soul/life experience, but by the truth of scripture.
11). Now we need to be aware of these things, not so that we can beat up on ourselves, but to realize just how pervasive the things of the world can be even in the soul/life experience of a Kingdom Christian.
a). The enemy of our soul is looking for us to be overcome instead of being an overcomer. And we must at all cost guard against this. Because of what is at stake - Re 3:11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12). The God given way to be free from a corrupted identity based on our soul/life experience and to be free from patterning ourselves after the things of this world in a general sense we have already seen in our Romans 12 scripture - Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
a). We are to be transformed
b). Transformed = Greek word ? metamorphoo = an inward change brought about apart from any action being taken by the one being changed
c). Our English word metamorphosis comes from this word ? and the chrysalis turning into a butterfly or moth would give us a great picture of what is meant by this word.
13). We also find the word ?transformed? in - 2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed [transforms himself] into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed [transform themselves] as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
a). Transformed = Greek word ? metaschematzio = an outward change.
b). Notice here that Satan ?transforms himself into an angel of light? and his ministers ?transform themselves into ministers of righteousness?
c). According to our text we see this change brought about by the power of the individual and it is an outward change only.
d). Satan then will seek to counterfeit the work of the Spirit by substituting an outward change in place of the inward change.
e). This you would find within the religious or legalistic Christian who will devise a list of do?s and don?ts and taboos in order to demonstrate spirituality.
f). This will invariably lead to a ?metaschema?, an outward change instead of a metamorphosis.
g). This is dramatically picture for us in - Mt 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
h). 2Ti 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
14). Now according to - Php 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
a). It is the Holy Spirit who has begun a good work in us at the time of our spirit salvation and He alone will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
b). We cannot assist Him in any way by keeping a check list of do?s and don?ts ? nor can we enforce the work of the Holy Spirit in others by having them conform to a pattern of what we think spirituality should look like.
15). However, we do have a responsibility in the midst of this.
a). According to our Romans 12 scripture the inward change, the metamorphosis, takes place as a result of the renewing of our mind.
b). Renewing = Greek word ? anakainosis = a continuous renewing process.
c). The renewing of our mind then is not a one time event, but a continuous process that is to take place throughout the entire length of our Christian journey.
d). And to see how this renewing of our mind is accomplished we need to go to - Col 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
e). Knowledge = Greek word ? epignosis = knowledge upon knowledge ? mature knowledge.
f). And mature knowledge must take us to the meat and strong meat of the word ? that which surrounds to coming Kingdom of Christ.
16). The only way in which we can acquire this mature knowledge, which will in turn allow the Holy Spirit to produce the metamorphosis in our life is through receiving the living word of God into our saved human spirit.
a). The God breathed word must continue to be breathed into us ? this would be the same as being continually filled with the spirit as we are commanded in Ephesians.
b). It is the word of God and the word of God alone that is able to bring about the inward change, and this is the way the salvation of the soul is accomplished - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
c). Please listen very carefully ? prayer and fasting is an essential and scripturally mandated part of our Christian life and must not be neglected ? but prayer and fasting of itself does not bring about the metamorphosis ? it is the word of God alone that does that.
d). We are commanded not to neglect the gathering of ourselves together, and it is essential that we do so ? but no amount of Christian fellowship of itself will bring about the metamorphosis ? it is the word of God alone that does that.
17). The importance of the word Sunday and throughout the week.
18). The metamorphosis that is wrought through the word of God producing the inward change will, at the JSOC, result in an outward change.
a). Mt 16:28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." 17:1 ? Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
b). The word ?transfigured? here is the same word translated ?transformed? in Romans 12 ? ?metamorphoo?. And we cannot help but see the connection with the metamorphosis, glory and the 7th Day, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ and therefore rulership.
19). The redemption of our body therefore has to do with attaining a position of rulership with Christ and is not to be confused with what happens at the rapture/resurrection - 1Co 15:51 ? Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
a). At this point all Christians receive a spiritual body in place of their natural body just as Christ did following His resurrection.
b). But we should note that Christians do not receive a covering of glory at this point. And neither did Christ until His ascension ? note the difference in His appearance between His post resurrection ministry and His appearance to Paul on the Damascus road following His ascension.
c). Adam and the Woman had a covering of glory being in the image and likeness of God ? that is to say, having an unfallen spirit, soul and body.
d). Only those, who at the Judgment Seat receive the salvation of their souls, who are adopted as firstborn sons, will once again be in the image of God ? a redeemed spirit, a redeemed soul and an incorruptible body ? having received adoption as a firstborn son their body will have been redeemed ? receiving that which Adam and the Woman lost in the garden ? the covering of glory.
e). Ro 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
f). Those who do not receive the salvation of their souls, who have not allowed the word of God to bring about the metamorphosis, will still be alienated from God?s image ? they will have a redeemed spirit, an incorruptible body, but will have lost their soul/life and cannot therefore receive the glory, being separated from the likeness of God. They are not adopted as firstborn sons and therefore have no place of rulership in the coming kingdom.
g). As the Day fast approaches I hope we will see afresh the absolute necessity of properly engaging with the Word ? in fact our life depends on it.