Here is a good example of how we have to grow in our understanding of the deep things of God lest we react like zombies and our minds fail to grasp important details. This principle is especially true with regard to prophetic truths, which are dispensationally understood when the due time comes.
Posts Tagged ‘ sanctified ’
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) Faith is an essential; but we must have crossed the Jordan; we must have been justified; must have partaken of the antitypical passover; must have been sanctified before we could have received of the Lord either a promise of victory over our Jericho, or before we could exercise such a faith as would result in that victory. If in the type faith could bring the fall of the strong walls of a city, how great must be the value of faith in the antitype! “This is the victory which overcometh the world, even your faith,” but only so long as we trust in the Lord and seek to do those things pleasing to him, can we exercise this overcoming faith.
Brethren in the early Church began to go out with a chip on their shoulder. In criticizing the emperor, idol worship, etc., they precipitated persecutions unnecessarily, thinking that was suffering affliction for Christ, but they were producing the suffering by foolish reasoning. Some were even put to death for castigating rulers at a public ceremony. However, that is not the type of suffering the Lord is looking for in His people. The suffering is by grace and must be received with a humble attitude at all times.
This principle is true, for the more one entangles himself with the affairs of this life, the less he can be a warrior of the gospel. Paul was not saying that those who were married should leave their spouses to preach the gospel to other nations. Rather, each Christian was to soberly consider his present status and not further entangle himself in the affairs of this life. Attention was to be focused on the Christian warfare.
Several years ago we suggested that this verse should read, “Thou madest him [man] little, lower than the angels.” When the holy angels witnessed the creation of man and how small he was, they sang for joy (Job 38:7). It is startling how the mind of God can filter through into the mind of these tiny beings so that they can worship Him. Hence we can be happy while the whole world dreads the future, not knowing what will happen. So many questions are answered for us through the Word, yet that Word has been the most published book in existence over the past 400 years or so.
Paul’s questions suggest that the Corinthians were still babes in Christ in spiritual matters. They were inclined to go to worldly courts because they did not trust the judgment of the ecclesia. Suppose, for example, the class was divided into three groups, and each group voted differently. Each of the two parties in the grievance, feeling he was right, feared that the judgment would not come out to his favor. This strife was creating such a problem that the parties wanted to go to an unbiased outside element, and that thinking was logical from a worldly standpoint.
Since the Little Flock will judge angels, then “how much more [Christians should be able to judge] things that pertain to this [present] life.“ If we hope to be judges of the fallen angels and mankind in the future, we cannot go through the present life without thinking about, analyzing, and preparing for this role. We should be keenly observing things in view of the future office. After all, would the Lord put somebody on the throne to judge in matters great and small who does not weigh issues in the present life? To do so would not make much sense.
The Christian is not thoroughly purged from sin in every respect, yet Paul reasoned that the typical Levitical sacrifices were much inferior to the atonement that Christ brought because if they really canceled sin, the worshippers back there would have had no further consciousness of sin. How do we explain this reasoning from the Christian perspective? The sacrifices were repeated in the type, whereas in the antitype, Jesus’ personal sacrifice was “once for all” (Heb. 10:10). The continuity of service back there was not efficacious, but Jesus’ sacrifice is ever efficacious, for those who use the robe of Christ’s righteousness to apply daily for forgiveness of sin are cleansed. Christians are assured from the Lord’s own Word that they get a purging, a cleansing, of their conscience. Thus the antitypical Day of Atonement sacrifice occurs only once; the bullock (Christ) died only once, finishing his course at Calvary, and the goat (the Church class) dies collectively only once over the period of the Gospel Age. When the Lord’s goat sacrifice is finished, it, too, will be “once for all.” Stated another way, the goat is a composite class, whereas the bullock represented just Jesus, the Head, personally. If we think of both offerings (the bull and the Lord’s goat) from a detached and finished standpoint, the Head will have been offered only once, and the body will have been offered only once. Because the one sacrifice of the Church has been stretched out over almost 2,000 years, the Christ class members have not been discerned and are described as a mystery: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).