Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 15 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
length: 65:59 - taught on Sep, 20 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 15 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
Announcements / opening prayer:
HEB 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
HEB 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
HEB 2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless [inoperative] him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;
HEB 2:15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
HEB 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham [men of faith; believers].
HEB 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Christ restores to man the rulership and glory that he carelessly gave away, and in fact, gave him more than he lost. As a man He becomes our faithful high priest who is merciful and this to all who believe in Him.
All who believe in Him are made brand new creatures and placed in union with Him. The disunity that we incurred through the fall is overcome in Christ.
As we have talked about a lot this past year, the believer is at salvation made complete and is given a new life, a justified life that is the life of Christ.
COL 2:9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
COL 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
The characteristics of the Christian life are not a list of rules that the Christian follows that non-Christians do not. It's not a list, it's a person, and a person has an essence that determines his way. A list implies doing things that anyone can follow if they are determined enough, but we know that unbelievers can look at a list of commands from the New Testament and have no hope of doing them, no matter how hard he tries. This is true because he doesn't possess the essence of the person that does those things naturally and without debate or inner conflict.
The new creature in Christ is complete. He is forever in union with God, a son of God, righteous and sanctified, and he lacks nothing.
Union with Christ and therefore with God changes everything about life. The old man has been laid aside and the new man has been put on. The question is, "What are the characteristics of the new life?" and this gets at the heart of predestination.
It's a huge question which opens to us many areas of study and deep reflection. One of these areas, which has been thrust on to my heart, is judging. In a nation that has become so polarized and where significant disunities exist, and where issues of race and gender seem to divide and provide the seeds of violence, I have come to ask myself where the Christian should stand in the midst of it all, and God faithfully has provided the answer. But like many of the answers that Christ gave to the Pharisees, it was not a direct answer to my question, but a far higher one and better one, for God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts. It gets right to the heart of predestination - the way, the truth, and the life of every believer in Christ. And it throws a large spotlight on the great change that comes to every person who believes in Christ.
Fallen man knows good and evil and determines for himself which is which. His definition of good may be performed by him with a consistency that impresses everyone, but he is still in disunion with God, incomplete, and a self-appointed judge. Hence, salvation is not of works for no one will be justified by the Law.
His in disunion with God, with himself, and with others. Only in Christ are we members of one another. Fallen man is hopelessly isolated and alone. He falls back on his knowledge of good and evil and through it he constantly judges others, himself, and even God. A judge of God is a self-appointed god.
Fallen man with a knowledge of good and evil is in disunion with God, himself, and others and he is also a judge of all three. His fallen state is synonymous with his judging.
In essence all fallen men are Pharisees. We can use Pharisees as the example because they are so open and brazen about it, making it so easy to see it in them. In them it is not hidden or masked. But all fallen men are Pharisees. They each have a knowledge of good and evil and by it they are judges who judge themselves, others, situations, and God. Society and culture label them as good or bad judges or even indifferent, but they are each judges none the less. The wise, noble, and strong of 1Co 1 are those who are so in man's knowledge and ways of good and evil.
MAT 7:1 "Do not judge lest you be judged."
From the only one who had unity with God, He strikes a blow at the heart of every man. He is not exhorting us to be forbearing and patient in judging others in the area of good or evil. He flat out states that we are not to do it at all.
Man, independent from God, judges on the criteria of himself. But Christ is looking for a completely different way which is the conversion of the entire being, which He is going to provide by His blood. He is here demanding unity with God; far, far above the knowledge of good and evil.
The virtue of the Christian is entirely action and not judgment. The man who judges never acts as action can be done in the life that is Christ (fruit).
Fallen man certainly does a lot of stuff. The Pharisee was very active but everything he did, which was a lot, was never more than judgment, condemnation, reproaches, and accusations against other men. Even the so-called good that man does is always based upon his judgment upon it as being good or evil. It seeks for public approval, even if the only public is the man alone. This human good demands to be seen, again, even if it is just the man himself. But as we will see, the Christian doesn't look at his actions in this way at all.
MAT 23:5 "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men;"
The action of man without Christ has ever been a particular form of expression of his knowledge of good and evil, that is to say, his disunion with God, himself, and others.
When the Son of God united us with Himself, He also united us with one another in Him. This is the body of Christ. This is why the individual believer can act in goodness and produce true fruit and the body of believers can as well. All the action of men without Christ is hypocricy or false action.