Thursday December 13, 2018
3g. The elect are royal priests in the kingdom of God.
As we closed last time, we noted that Jesus came into the world to give us life, and that life was the light of the world. The darkness does not comprehend it, but those who believe in Him become children of light and do comprehend it. The life that we had before salvation, the life of fallen man, was a perversion and irregular life separate from the Creator, and therefore it is not characterized by God as life.
Yet now, the believer priest, royalty and in union with the great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, whose priesthood and Tabernacle are in heaven, is gifted by grace with the life of Christ. The entreaty throughout the New Testament is that we live that life alone and exactly as God wills, and not with any alterations from ourselves.
We continue to look at the cleanliness of the royal priest, which is of course concerning his thinking and conduct in holiness, to which he was called.
In the fight against the corruption that sin and evil can cause in our soul, it is important to know the source of sin and evil. It is always important to know your enemy.
Sin is a result of the fall of Adam. Every person is born into this world in Adam, stained with Adam’s original sin, and separated from God. He is a sinner and life is of a fallen nature.
Fallen man can do some good because of the grace of God. He can behave at a certain level of morality, but always his actions are at some level stained. He will do good, but only so much and only to certain people. A limited goodness is a stained one. He will forgive and be kind in the same limited way. And, put in the right circumstance, his love and kindness will grow ice cold and all he will think of is his own survival. In essence, the fallen life is a perverted life.
Yet the life of Christ in the believer is life indeed.
1TI 6:17 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.
1TI 6:18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
1TI 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Wealth is good, but the wrong method of achieving it or handling it is what is sinful and evil, and a part of the Adamic nature.
“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Christ poses the question, “Is it worth it to hold on to the old, perverted, irregular, fallen life and reject My life?”
You can be good for the mere sake of goodness: you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness.
You can do good when you do not feel like it, when it is a struggle, when it gives you no personal pleasure, and do so for the sole reason that it is the right thing to do. No one ever did a bad thing because it was bad; they were always in pursuit of some pleasure.
Only the fallen creature can do things based solely on his own pleasure. Fallen man can pursue things that are useful for him and pleasing to him without any other thought at all. You might say, “Wait a minute, God does things for His own pleasure.” And you would be right, but God always does righteously. He is the only One whose good pleasure is perfectly good. Fallen man is a different thing altogether.
Can you see why it is so imperative that you live the life that was given to you be grace? It was given to you by the One person who brought that life into the world by humiliating Himself and taking on a human nature. The life of God came to earth in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and that life became the light of the world, and every believer becomes a child of light.
Sin is the breath of human life gone wrong, perverted, and irregular, which God has allowed to go on for a time. God crucified it in the believer and gave him Jesus’ life.
To live in sin is to go back to the perverted life, which isn’t actually life at all, it is only a distortion and irregularity of life that God allowed to go on living for a time. There will be a time when it will no longer be allowed to live on. Until that time, the believers in Christ in this world have the life in them, they have been elected to it, and no matter who sees it or what God chooses to do with it, that life must be lived in our choices, in our wills, in our intellects, in our consciences.
If a believer learns the truth about the old life and the new life, he would be filled with joy with his intent to live the new life, loving that life and glorying in all that God does in his life to guide him in the path of that life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Also, and more simply, to be bad, one must exist and have intelligence and will. But existence, intelligence, and will are all good things. And since we are not self-existent, we had to receive existence, intelligence, and will from a righteous, good God. Badness or sin can only be a perversion of that which God gave to us. It is a perversion.
You cannot see what is good from the perversion (sin). You can see the perversion from the good.
And you cannot tell the good from the perversion. If all I ever saw was human love, of the kind that is attracted to and infatuated with another person, but also lashes out in vicious anger when it is not reciprocated or appreciated, then I would never be able to tell that there existed a divine love that never seeks its own. However, if I knew divine love, I would easily see human love as a perversion in its limitation and sudden selfishness.
This tells us something extremely important. I can tell sin from the good, but I can never arrive at the good from sin. Sin is a perversion, and before our regeneration, we had no other choice, in other words, we were hopeless to see God. But God became one of us and showed us, and we who believed now we have Christ’s life. The perversion is no longer our option.
We are elect believer priests who have the Son of God as our High Priest. We must think and live and breath as only that.
And so, from that truth, we turn to the practical aspect of overcoming the trends of sin in our lives through God’s wisdom and power.