Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 5 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
Title: Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 5 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
Announcements / opening prayer:
In Rom 8:29-30, the glorious story of the saved is told in five words, "foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified."
God knew all who would believe before they were created, before the foundation of the world. The Alpha and Omega knows the end from the beginning. To these believers, before the formation of the world, God fixed a boundary. God set limits upon them in conformity with goodness and light. This limit is a position and all the rights and blessings that go along with that position. They were designated to the position of a saved person.
Foreknowledge: Before the foundation of the world God knew all who would believe and He designated them to the position of a saved person.
During this age, the church age, the believer has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. We have not been called to be better men, more moral men, or nicer men. We have been called to something far higher - the image of Christ.
This election is not for angels but for men.
Heb 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
In order to see this verse in its wonderful context, we will study the second chapter of Hebrews in light of the topic of predestination.
Heb 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it [passive: drift by us].
Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience [failing to hear] received a just recompense,
Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect [attitude of indifference] so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
NT believers are predestined as sons with a divine purpose and this message comes directly from the Lord and it was confirmed by those apostles who received it from Him. This message is the mystery of the NT doctrine. The revelation that came through the Son carries heavier obligations and a heavier recompense, which is the loss in time of the life that He has graciously given us.
In the NT the great recompense is the loss of living in the plan of God for your life in which there is no surpassing greatness of power or abundance of grace, and there is no fruit of the Spirit and blessing to another's life. Instead, what is held on to is arrogance and selfishness, living for self and taking from others, boredom instead of joy, hate instead of love, anxiety instead of peace.
The neglect or indifference is revealed by the many other things in life that the believer prioritizes above God, which things, when fully contemplated, are always for self over and above God.
In verse 3, salvation would refer to all that was done to the believer and given to the believer at salvation. It refers to the believer who is indifferent to all that was freely given to him in Christ. We know the recompense to the unbeliever. There is also a great loss in life for the believer who is a careless listener to the so great salvation he has received.
These are people who have salvation; salvation is in their possession, but they are neglecting it. They are becoming indifferent to it. Historically, at this time, the Jews who were attending Christian assemblies were being severely persecuted and they were abandoning the assemblies, cutting themselves off from the teachings of Christ and His apostles. The author is reminding these Jews of those whom they have known, like Nadab and Abihu, who disobeyed the Mosaic Law by burning incense improperly; the three rebels, Korah, Dathan, and Abirum, who led a revolt against the supremacy of Aaron as high priest; Achin, who took something that was put under the ban; Saul, who also took something under the ban, and so many others who all, to the person, received just recompense. They all received death from the Lord, and according to Heb 12:5-11, intense discipline will be meted out to us as well. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord.”
Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
Heb 2:4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Do not neglect [be indifferent, have no concern for] your predestination.
The subject of temptation is illustrated, not only by abstract statements in the scripture, but also by the record of the temptations of Adam and of our Lord. It is expressly laid down as a trial and the word of God tells us that it is essential to man. Our trials, as we have indicated in our introduction of this doctrine, are ordained by God for each believer and sent to him by God just as He did to Abraham.
Temptation is trial and is ordained by God or allowed by God for our growth:
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham
Man's nature is progressive; his faculties, which exist at first only in capacity, must be brought out to exist in actual efficiency by free exercise.
In other words, we must freely choose the plan of God with joy rather than finding that we see ourselves forced to do things by a tyrant.
Man's appetites and passions tend to their objects, simply and unreservedly, without respect to the rightness or wrongness of their obtaining them; they need to be checked by reason with God's word and conscience with God's standard. This need or conflict constitutes a trial in which, if the divine conscience prevail, the spirit of the believer receives strength and growth; if the conscience be overcome by the flesh, the lower nature tends to predominate, and the man has fallen away.
The self-will delights in independence of action and sees it as its high privilege. Over it is divine reason and conscience.
Besides this, the will itself delights in independence of action. Such independence of physical compulsion it sees as its high privilege; but there is over it the moral power of God's law, which, by the very fact of its truth and goodness, acknowledged as they are by the mind of Christ in the reason and the conscience, should regulate the human will.
The need of giving up the individual will, freely and by conviction, so as to be in harmony with the will of God, is a still severer trial than momentary temptation.
This trial of life carries with it the reward of still greater spiritual progress if we sustain it, or the punishment of a subtler and more dangerous fall, and therefore loss of the Christ life, if we succumb. In its struggle the spirit of man can only gain and sustain its authority by that constant grace of God, given through communion of the filling of the Holy Spirit, Who is the breath of spiritual life.