Message NotesWe have looked at several things in our talks together. The main focus of these teachings has been distinctions made within the overall scope of Scripture. We have seen distinctions made within the scope of salvation. These distinctions are:
? The free gift based upon faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, affording us our spiritual birth and eternal life.
? The reward of the inheritance based upon our good works done in faith which will afford us the salvation of our soul?the realization of the inheritance as a first-born son of God, in the age to come.
Today we want to touch on
? The redemption of the body.
In looking at these things, we will also becoming into a clearer understanding of these terms:
JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICATION, GLORIFICATION
But first in review, we have seen that man was created as a three part being (having been created in the Image of God), and that man was created to rule is easy to see. One just has to read Genesis 1:26-28. In Genesis chapter one, God made a very clear statement concerning His purpose for man:
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule?
Can it be made any more clear than that? And there would be no reason for us to see that God changed His mind about this when man sinned because?what would that be saying about God?
? He couldn?t bring about His plan?
? His plan was thwarted?
? He was taken by surprise and had to change man?s purpose?now it is only to glorify God?
No, that would be to say that God is not Sovereign, and is not all-powerful. So wouldn?t it make sense to see that THIS WAS, IN FACT, GOD?S PLAN FROM THE BEGINNING, AND WE ARE ONLY SEEING HIS PLAN UNFOLD?
I Samuel 15:29 "And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."
Psalms 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."
With the first man, the first Adam having disqualified himself to rule as federal head over the world (at the hand of Satan), God?s eternal redemptive plan was to send His Son as the Second Man, the Last Adam to redeem what the first man, the first Adam lost in his sin. And in the end, we see these things brought to fulfillment:
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."
But what should take place in our lives between this moment and that future time when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord? And how would a saved individual insure his participation in that kingdom. That is what these 2067 pages in this Book is all about. One of the many places we can find for an answer to that is in I Timothy. Paul tells Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, [envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, constant friction, love of money] you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal [aionios] life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God?
17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is [aionios] life indeed.
Paul addresses another facet of this in his letter to the Church at Corinth:
I Corinthians 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Faith in Christ is the foundation to living a life that will be judged at the JSOC.
12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
It is ahe JSOC, before which we (all Christians) must all give an account. Anyone who has the foundation of the free gift laid in their lives, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior will one day stand before Him as Judge. The instrument used for judgment will be fire. And it is our works that will be judged. These are the works, which have been done subsequent to placing faith in Jesus? work. It is the quality of these works which will be judged. (Isn?t that what it says? Can it be made clearer than that?
Paul goes on to say:
14 If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
Remember the reward of the inheritance toward which we are all to work heartily to gain, as seen in Colossians 3.
15 If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
What shall be the loss, suffered by some Christians, at the JSOC? Is it his eternal free gift? No! How can it be? The free gift is eternal, is it not?
The loss is the inheritance which we, as children in the family stand to gain or lose, depending upon how we live from this minute forward.
And we can clearly see, if in no other place (though there are other places) from Peter that this inheritance is also referred to in Scripture as salvation.
I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance?
Actually, you can see from this passage, as well as others throughout Scripture, that this inheritance is what our hope is all about! This hope, according to the Book of Hebrews is the anchor to our souls!
4 to obtain an inheritance? 5 ?through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
This is not the salvation that we presently possess. It is the salvation connected to the inheritance, towards which Paul says in Colossians, that we are to work heartily unto the Lord, knowing that we can receive this inheritance as a reward. A salvation which is ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 that the proof of your faith, [being] more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Here it is?the salvation of our souls, directly connected to the inheritance which is connected to the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ when the kingdom of the world becomes His.
Peter goes on to say that it is this salvation that the prophets made careful search and inquiry, and it is into these things that angels long to look. If that is true, and it is, what should be our focus on these things?
Then he says:
I Peter 1:13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
What kind of focus are you and I to have of these things?
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts [which were yours] in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all [your] behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay [upon earth]?
So the question is?the same question that some of the Jews asked Peter and the other apostles in Acts chapter two:
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Repent: Means to change your mind about these things. The Jews needed to repent (change their minds) about who Jesus was. He was their king, who came offering them the kingdom of the heavens. As a nation, they rejected His offer and crucified their King, their Messiah. They needed to repent from that!
But let?s take repentance to us. Let?s make this personal. What might we have to repent from? Have we only believe in Jesus as our Passover Lamb, and been happy to be saved out of eternal damnation having been given the free gift of eternal life, through Jesus? work? Are we not in agreement with the Scriptures that say, now we are to be about doing our own good works? Good works are not just external, but are internal as well. A transformation needs to take place?a metamorphosis, if you will.
But Peter also says--.
Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins: Through the picture of baptism, we are to reckon our old nature dead, (having died with Christ), and buried (having been buried with Him), and then we are to reckon ourselves alive in Him, and walking in the power of His resurrection so that we can live in a particular way. Paul says it quite succinctly in
Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and [wherein He stood up from death]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection [lit., ?out-resurrection] from the dead.
Explain the out-resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [mature] have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
These things cannot change apart from the power of His resurrection. We cannot invoke walking by the spirit (walking in newness of life, as pictured in the picture of baptism) in and of ourselves. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, through the Word of God, which is the bread we are to eat, by the sweat of our brow, if I can say it like that.
This may seem hard to grasp?this being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this passage will help us understand it a bit more.
Romans 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.
?11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
These are choices that we make. These are choices that we can make because we have experienced our spiritual birth, and the Spirit of the Living God dwells in us. And to think that we are under GRACE. So many have the idea that grace allows us to sin with impunity! That is not the inference in this passage, is it? Grace allows us the freedom to say NO to sin! Watch how Paul handles that thought:
Romans 8:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
So what is this distinction between the flesh and spirit, and death and life in the life of a person who has been saved unto eternal life? It has to do with the loss of our soul at the JSOC? Look how Jesus taught His disciples about this:
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life [soul] shall lose it; but whoever loses his life [soul] for My sake shall find it. 26 ?For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul [life]? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul [life]? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.
Again, Paul in Romans:
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith."
A man will live?in eternity through the exercise of faith in Jesus? finished work; AND the one who has been made righteous through this faith, must continue in faith, living by that faith, if he is to save (salvation or deliverance) his life (soul) in the coming age.
It is from faith (initial faith in Jesus) to faith, (ongoing faith in Christ). And that is what it means when Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, that they are to ?work out their salvation in fear and trembling.?
Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling?
So let?s look at an example of this working out one?s salvation in the Scriptures. We?ll use Abraham as our example, although we could go to innumerable places?
The author of Hebrews tells us something of Abram?s faith. But we?ll begin with some the immediate context of this verse:
Hebrews 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. 38 But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving [saving] of the soul.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith [to the saving of the soul, see previous verse] is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
Then Abel, Enoch and Noah are mentioned?how they did a work which emanated out of their faith? Immediately after Enoch is mentioned this next statement is made:
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Oh! That?s where that verse falls! In the middle of a chapter that has come to be known as the Hall of Faith! Those OT saints who, according to v. 35 sought to gain a better resurrection (in the qualitative sense). And in so seeking a better resurrection, they DID something (work or works) that came out of what they had believed! They believed what God said about something they could not see, but because of their FAITH, they acted in such a way, so as to PROVE that they truly did believe. Their faith was tested, as ours will be, and they responded in faith! And acted in a particular way, believing God was able to bring about that which He said He would!
That Abraham was saved PRIOR to his leaving UR is not difficult to ascertain at all! Look what is said about him:
Hebrews 11: 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
If his work of obedience (going out from Ur) was done prior to his becoming saved eternally, he could not have been commended by God. Because works done outside of faith are as filthy rags. But he, out of faith, obeyed, then God commended him for it. And the commendation does not stop there:
9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
OH! The heavenly city! That city which we give ascent to?the one we are looking forward to, also, right?
Now Sarah is included:
Hebrews 11: 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised; 12 therefore, also, there was born of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
Let?s go back to Genesis to see when this promise was given. It was given in Genesis chapter 15, 3 chapter after the call to leave Ur.
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,"Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great."
2 And Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir."
4 Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." 5 And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Paul, through inspiration, counted this as justification:
Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
And yet this was not his initial justification, because we have already seen that God commended him for his leaving Ur, through faith. So initial faith would have had to have taken place prior to his leaving Ur. Can you see that?
So what is this justification? It is a saved person being justified simply because he believes God! That is FAITH! And faith in what God says justifies us. Period. But remember, we have to compare Scripture with Scripture. And James asks a good question in James chapter two. He asks:
James 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
Well, what salvation is James dealing with? Again, we don?t have to guess. God makes it plain!
James 1:21 Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
And to see that works are involved in this salvation, James goes on to say:
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
So what about these works? What type of works are mentioned in the Book of James?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
But what does it mean that faith is dead? It simply means that it does not accomplish its goal, its end. And Peter has already told us what the end (or goal) of our faith is:
1 Peter 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
So this is what we are dealing with. A saved person, who has been saved through faith in the finished work of Jesus, who now has a high calling, that toward the reception of the inheritance of the kingdom. And now that person has choices to make?daily. To walk by the flesh or by the spirit. And in walking by the flesh, the one will die, but in walking by the spirit, the one will live, in the kingdom in that coming day.
Let?s get back to see about the hall faith of OT saints who looked for a better resurrection:
Hebrews 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.
?16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested,
Oh! Tested?this is what James is talking about also, isn?t it?
James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So James, is dealing with our faith being TESTED, and in the end of testing, we will lack nothing, and if we continue to walk in the spirit, having laid aside all filthiness and all the remains of wickedness and humbly receive the implanted Word, which is able to save our souls, then we will not have the kind of faith that is dead, in that we will not have the kind of faith which comes short in accomplishing its goal which is the salvation of our soul!
So now we can see that
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." 19 He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.
So the descendant, which God had said would be the son of promise, that through him, he would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky, Abraham, could because of assurance of FAITH, offer up his son because he KNEW that God had promised, and that God was ABLE to raise men even from the dead! And so Abraham could ACT in faith, and perform a work which brought his faith to maturity! So James goes on to say:
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected [Lit. brought to its goal]; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, [faith] AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.
So now we can see that a man is not justified by works also! Not always by faith alone.
When we believe God?s Word, we receive a point of justification. We may be tested at any point that we believe?it is our faith that is tested. If we are not willing to act on that faith--persevering through the test--then faith is not brought to its goal. Thankfully, God is patient, and the salvation of our soul is a process. IT will be at the JSOC wherein it will be determined to what degree our faith was brought to maturity.
This process of bringing our faith to maturity is called sanctification. Sanctification simply means that we have been set aside for a specific purpose.
In all that we have learned thus far, can you guess what the specific purpose is? We have seen that one doesn?t have to get very far in even a cursory reading of the Bible, to see what man has been set aside for? In fact one will only have to read 26 verses to see it clearly, if one begins where God began. Man was created in God?s image for the purpose of rulership.
So now we know that justification can happen in two ways. Through faith, and through works which emanate out of faith.
And now we know that sanctification happens in the process of our faith being tested in order to bring out faith to maturity.
What about Glorification?
Without going into too much detail at the moment (time constraints) Glory was the covering that Adam and Eve lost in the Garden at the moment they sinned. It was the covering of Light, with their having been created in the image and likeness of God, though ?naked?, and obviously not ashamed. Naked in the sense of their lacking the outer covering of splendor and majesty (the very description of God in Ps. 104?where He is seen as covered with light and clothed in splendor and majesty). Once the man and the woman sinned, the covering of glory was taken, they were shamefully naked and sought to hide themselves and cover themselves with fig leaves.
If we had the time, we could go to numerous passages that reveal that suffering always precedes glory. But one place in particular will reveal it clearly.
1 Peter 2:20 But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps
We have been called for the purpose of suffering, with Christ being our example of how we are to suffer.
1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.
Now we have God?s perspective on suffering, right?
1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose?
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.
In fact remember that James says we are to consider it with joy?something difficult to do, but he telss us that because of what it is accomplishing for us in the long run?
Now bring this all together with what we can see in the Book of Romans:
Romans 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh ? 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
In the Greek language, the word adoption means child-placing. And in the Scriptural sense, the idea of adoption means taking a child in the family and placing him as a first born son. This son then has the rights of the firstborn. This happens to those in the family of God who choose to live according to the Spirit, and not the flesh. The death that is spoken of here in these passages in Romans chapter eight, is speaking of a separation (death always means separation) from the Glory of Christ in His 1,000 year reign. Let?s keep reading in chapter eight.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
It takes being in the family to be considered an heir of God. It takes suffering with Christ to be a co-heir (fellow-heir) with Him in His Glory. Paul goes on to say of this glory:
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
Do you see how suffering is related to glory! Without our willing to suffer in the flesh, dying to it, we cannot attain to glory.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Herein we can see clearly that the GLORIFICATION of the body is connected to the REDEMPTION of the body, which is connected to the adoption of sons (or placing a child as a firstborn).
And again, this is what our HOPE is all about that we have as an anchor to our soul.
Man was created a THREE-PART being (spirit, soul, body), having been made in God?s image, who is also three parts (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). When Adam fell, all three of his parts were affected.--spirit, soul and body. And in redemption, all three parts need to be dealt with; spirit soul and body.
And in this process of what the Scriptures depict as salvation, we can see that a change must take place in each one of us. But how is this process to be done? Again, we can go to the Book of Romans:
Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
The renewing of your mind, can only be done through the Living Word of God. If our good works are to emanate out of faith, how are we to get faith? Faith comes by hearing the word of God! It is only thorugh the Living Word, that we can experience the sanctification process. Paul writes?
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
And with Jesus being our example of suffering, we can also see Him being our example of glorification. We see this beautifully depicted in the Gospel of Matthew. Let?s look at it.
Matthew 17:1 And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
The word ?transfigured? comes from the Greek word where we get our English word Metamorphosis. It literally means a change from the inside out.
For us, the change that takes place within us during the sanctification process, finally is revealed in GLORY, as exampled to us by Christ in the transfiguration on the Mount, wherein His face shown like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. He was covered with light and clothed in splendor. And we can learn much more about all of this, tying the scope of Scripture together in a sense, in just these two verses.
?Six days later? reveals something interesting?it reveals the timing of the realization of the GLORY to be revealed as a result of transforming power that renewing your mind has. Jesus had just told his disciples that there would be some of them who would not see death before they saw the Son of Man coming into His glory. And six days later, or on the seventh day.
Remember our time line?Show it here
It all connects to the foundation, doesn?t it?
Then we see that Jesus ??brought them to a high mountain by themselves?? Three of them were separated from the rest. A separation occurred for this event. Why a separation? Whom did He choose, but the three who were closest to him. (This is not to say specifically that the other disciples were not found faithful, but the picture depicts something here, that we should take note of.
And the fact that He brought them to a high mountain?according to Isaiah 2:2, a mountain depicts a kingdom. And it is in this location that Jesus is transfigured before them.
Well, our time must come to an end. During these three talks we have seen that the most basic of all Bible doctrine, the doctrine of salvation is not as simple as perhaps we once believed, is it?
We have seen that we must keep the whole doctrine within the overall scope of Scripture. We must remember the overall context of Scripture. And we must compare Scripture with Scripture.
As we end, I would like to succinctly lay out what we have seen:
? The free gift of eternal life is based upon FAITH, and faith alone, in the finished WORK of Jesus on the cross, and has eternity in its scope. This is the salvation that we presently possess, being that it is our spiritual birth.
? Entrance into the kingdom, on the other hand, is offered to the family of God (it is an inheritance, and inheritance is a family term), and is based upon our own faithful obedience to the work God has called us to do, and has to do with the salvation of the soul. The work that God has called us to do will be both internal work (dying to the flesh on an ongoing basis), and external works (mostly given in Scripture in the sense of helping each other within the Family of God, frankly). This is referred to in Scripture in many ways, but can be Scripturally-termed ?the salvation of the soul?.
? The redemption of the body is inextricably connected to the salvation of the soul. It is the result of the process of sanctification, and is seen in the glorifying of the body, as one shares in Christ?s glory, having shared in His suffering, being conformed to His death. And therefore, this could be referred to as the ?salvation? of the body, if you would want to use that term. (All people will end up with an immortal body, even unsaved people!)
Perhaps the Word of God has made this more clear to you than it ever has been before. If it is true, then it is by His Grace! AMEN!