Angelic Conflict part 293: Reigning in life – Rom 5:12-21; 8:1-11; 1Jo 3:17-24; Psa 103:13-14; Gen 15:1-6.
length: 64:33 - taught on Apr, 10 2014
We have been looking at the self-condemnation that we wrongly apply when we look to ourselves for the truth, we find evil present. Yet after this, when we look to the truth as declared by God, we find that God is greater than our condemnation and our position in Christ restores our peace.
1JO 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
1JO 3:18 Little children, let us not love [agape] with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1JO 3:19 We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure [to prevail over, to win over, to persuade] our heart before Him,
1JO 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
We often self condemn and sometimes wrongly. Whether rightly or wrongly are often very harsh on ourselves, but God is greater than our heart and knows every thought in that heart, and His word penetrates the heart and reveals its errors.
In grace our self-condemnation is turned to peace as we claim the finished work and repent [change of mind] of wrong thinking concerning ourselves.
If I have not loved in deed and truth, the biblical explanation is simply that it was because my mind was set on the things of the flesh. I ignored the guidance and power of the Spirit (I quenched Him) and/or I sinned (I grieved Him) and it was to my dead flesh that I turned again. If this brings self-condemnation to our hearts we will find out that God is stronger than our hearts and that He knows all things when He intercedes for us and we come to again look at our position in Him.
My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [intercessor, comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
He intercedes with His word in reminding us of who we are and He intercedes for us with prayer to the Father from the right hand of God. This He did for Peter after one of the most intense self-condemnations in history as we noted. He came to Peter with words of restoration and comfort and He prayed for Peter and Peter fully recovered in even more confidence than he ever had prior.
When we self-condemn we must look to the mind of Christ, the word of God, and interpret truth through Him and not through our failures or flaws.
If Christ condemned the flesh in crucifixion in Himself on the cross then when we set our minds on the things of the flesh we are not condemned, for that occurred in full on Cavalry. We interpret truths just like this from the word of God and not our experience and we find our peace restored and our minds on the things of the Spirit and of Christ because His gentleness, His grace, His finished work, His love leads us to repentance. This with continued growth, yielding to His will, and separating yourself from the flesh and the world are going to make you reign in life through Him.
God knows our love, our reverence for Him, and He knows our frame.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
This gaining over of the heart to peace is not so advanced experience as having confidence toward God, which flows from a heart condemning us not. We can could say that persuading our hearts that we are in the Way, the Truth, and the Light occurs many, many times as we develop more and more confidence. The more often we see the deeds and truths of agape love in our hearts the more often will we be persuaded that we are in the way and, even though at times our hearts condemn us, our restoration through Christ's intervention of word and Spirit, will persuade us again and over time, tremendous confidence in Him is developed.
1JO 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us [and it won't when we look to our position, restore peace and love], we have confidence before God;
This would not be sinlessness but the ability to recover or turn again to the things of the Spirit and of Christ as Peter did - "I don't know the damn man," that's fear. "You know all things and you know that I love you," that is confidence.
1JO 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
1JO 3:23 And this is His commandment [singular], that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
Interestingly the word commandment is in the singular and two commands are given. It is likely that this reveals that faith in the name of Christ goes hand in hand with loving one another with agape love. It is also likely that God expects all those who are saved to love one another with agape love, hence this is why it is a command from Him. He expects it from all His children.
1JO 3:24 And the one who keeps [watch over, preserve, or to keep watch] His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Greek verb tereo means to keep watch over, to guard, or preserve. It means to have a mind set on obeying the commands but it does not mean to be faultless. We all know within ourselves whether we have a mind set on keeping God's commands or if we're playing games, just like we know that we love with word and tongue or in deed and truth. If we have the mind of preserving the commands in ourselves then the promise is that we are in partnership with Christ in being about our Father's business.
"abides" - me,nw[meno] = to stay in a place, to remain in a sphere, to stand still. Meno refers to indwelling as well as fellowship, partnership, or communion with Christ.
ROM 8:10 And if Christ is in you [first class condition - "and He is"], though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
The body is dead because of sin. This is a harsh certainty that we are bankrupt before God in our flesh.
All must acknowledge this if there is going to be any triumph in Christ.
And it's not that we are at zero in bankruptcy but that we owe a tremendous debt.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ paid the debt.
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Being no longer bankrupt but alive in the spirit through His free gift we should have an attitude of graciousness and forgiveness towards all others.
'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me. 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?'
[Barnhouse's commentary on this verse]
When the Christian understands this, his whole outlook on life and death, time and eternity is changed. He no longer looks upon men according to what he sees in them, but tries to look upon them as God sees them. For all who still cling to the filthy rags of their own righteousness, he has the profoundest and tenderest pity. For all who have bowed before God and come to him through Christ, he has the most exulting joy.
We have been made alive in Christ, and our spirits, our human spirits, are life because of that divine righteousness.
It is the understanding of this truth that lays the foundation for all that follows. The Holy Spirit is about to tell us that we are no longer debtors to the flesh, but we must live after the Spirit. Our lives must show forth the praise that springs from the heart of one who has seen this glorious truth. God's desire for us is that we shall begin to live the life of eternity while we are still in time. This is the true meaning of eternal life. It is God's life. It is to be lived in me forever, and it must begin to have its way now. [end quote]
ROM 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
ROM 8:11 is one of the many texts which contain all three persons of the Godhead in a single sentence. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are so inextricably bound together here that it is impossible to attempt any separation of functions or being in them. All of the Godhead was at work in our redemption and all of the Godhead is concerned in the triumph of our living the Christian life.
The reason for this concentration of divine forces is that the problem within our mortal bodies is none other than the great need of bringing life out of death.
Belief in the fact that God is able to bring life out of death is the essential element of faith.
It was when Abraham believed that God was able to bring life out of his body which he knew to be sterile that the Lord counted faith unto him for righteousness.
We often forget what it was exactly that Abraham believed in this passage.
GEN 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."
GEN 15:2 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?"
If Abraham and Sarah were able to have children they would have, as would any married couple at this time in the east, especially a man who had the wealth and power of Abraham, therefore one of them or both of them are sterile.
GEN 15:3 And Abram said, "Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir."
GEN 15:4 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." [life out of sexual death]
Our heirship is also a miracle of life from death:
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!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ
GEN 15:5 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."
GEN 15:6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Abraham believed that the Lord was able to bring life out of death, and in particular his own death; his own sexual death.
The exhibition of God's power in this respect is shown throughout all His dealings. He brought life out of the chaos of the first judgment upon the earth. Above all he brought resurrection life out of the grave of Christ. When we were born again it was the manifestation of this same power; out of the death of our sin came the life of the new creation in Christ Jesus.
Again we have a first class condition so this is not an "if" of doubt but of certainty.
Giving life to this dead mortal body is nothing less than a miracle, wrought by Christ on Cavalry - resurrection life.
This is nothing short of the believer's triumph in living moment by moment in the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus Christ.