Tuesday February 26, 2019
EPH 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love
EPH 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
EPH 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Jesus is, always has been, and always will be the origin, meaning, and destiny of your existence. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
We were elected so that we should be holy and blameless. We were elected to be before the foundation of the world and we will be so forever, and so we are commanded to be in time. It is who we are, it is also who Jesus is, and it is what our New Covenant is.
The blameless elect receive a blameless covenant - the New Covenant in His blood.
HEB 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
“faultless” - amemptos (synonym of amomos) = blameless. God found fault with “them” and not the Law itself. The NC is unbreakable.
The sinfulness of man demands an unbreakable covenant or unconditional covenant. So, the Mosaic Law was fulfilled by the death of Christ and the New Covenant in His blood was given to all who were born-again or adopted into God’s family.
The law itself was holy but no person is holy. We all broke it. However, if we are made holy through the blood of Christ, by faith, then we can live under a covenant that is unbreakable, one in which our sins are no longer remembered.
HEB 8:8 For finding fault with them, He says,
"Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
The covenant is the laws of God on their hearts, He will be our God and we will be His people (all are believers and children in the Royal Family), we will all know Him, the Holy Spirit will indwell us, and our sins and iniquities He will remember no more.
I hope we see the beauty of this. A holy covenant, which is the only kind God could make, must be broken by all of us. But if God could justly remove our sins from us, then He can give us a holy covenant that we cannot brake. That covenant, therefore, can only be based on the blood of Christ. In no other way can a man enter into it, and when he does, he remains in it forever since it cannot be broken.
If you think this is for Israel and not for us in the church, on one aspect you are right. The material fulfillment of this covenant is yet future to the nation of Israel at the second coming of Christ. Yet, in another aspect, the spiritual benefits of this covenant are currently in operation in the church.
HEB 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
HEB 10:11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
HEB 10:12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,
HEB 10:13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.
HEB 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
HEB 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
HEB 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart,
And upon their mind I will write them,"
He then says,
HEB 10:17 "And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more."
HEB 10:18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
While it is true that he is writing to Jews, his audience consists of believers, and in the church, there is no Jew or Gentile, but only one new man.
Covenants do not have to be fulfilled all at once. The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant began at the cross of Christ, i.e. all the families of the earth would be blessed.
If sin is not counted, then the law cannot be broken. That fact doesn’t erase the consequences of sin.
If we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption. This is always true.
GAL 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Yet, since our sins are not counted, but rather taken away by the blood of Christ, and we ourselves are cleansed forever, then we can live without condemnation, not letting our failures get us down, but turning from them, and in grace overcoming them.
Under the total forgiveness of the NC, we also fear consequences.
Within the gracious mindset of the New Covenant, we also fear the consequences of stepping outside holiness and blamelessness. We know that God is impartial.
1PE 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.
1PE 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1PE 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1PE 1:16 because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
1PE 1:17 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;
We are not to suffer for doing what is wrong. We are only to suffer for doing what is right.
1PE 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
1PE 3:16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1PE 3:17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
1PE 4:15 By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1PE 4:16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.
1PE 4:17 For it is time for judgment [attacks from the KOD] to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1PE 4:18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved [delivered from trial], what will become of the godless man and the sinner?
1PE 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
So, our New Covenant is blameless. We have been called to be holy and blameless. Our Lord is blameless.
Now, in PHI 2:15, we are to be blameless as lights to the world.
We are to be blameless and holy so as to be lights in the world, PHI 2:15.
God blames the world (crooked and perverse) and calls us to be blameless in the midst of it (not quarantined in a monastery).
Paul writes to the Philippians that whether he is present or absent, that they should conduct themselves as citizens of heaven, which they are. One of the obligations of a citizen of heaven is harmony and unity with fellow saints.
In 2:1-4, Paul then gives four reasons for the existence of that unity.
In 2:5-8 Paul relates this unity as the mind of Christ which resulted from His humility and obedience.
Now, in verse 12, Paul makes it clear that the mind of Christ (humility, self-denial, obedience, and resultant harmony) must be a fact in their own lives.
PHI 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 [bring to its ultimate completion: Christlikeness] your salvation with fear and trembling;
An excellent definition of godly fear is given by Vincent.
"This fear is self-distrust; it is tenderness of conscience; it is vigilance against temptation; it is the fear which inspiration opposes to high-mindedness in the admonition, 'be not high-minded but fear.' It is taking heed lest we fall; it is a constant apprehension of the deceitfulness of the heart, and of the insidiousness and power of inward corruption. It is the caution and circumspection which timidly shrinks from whatever would offend and dishonor God and the Savior" [Vincent]
As we noted when we were here last week, verses 12 and 13 should be read together. Verse 12 is our responsibility and verse 13 is God’s responsibility. Humility, obedience, and unity are our responsibility to desire and hunger for, and if it is, God will satisfy that desire and hunger.
When we move to be humble, obedient, and unified (vs. 12), God within us makes them a reality (vs. 13).
God is not going to force us to be Christlike in time. However, He will make it a reality in our lives when we seek it. Seek and you shall find.