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God loves you and He has a definite unique individual present and eternal
plan for your life regardless of how old or young you are. Eternity is forever
and so whether you are five or a hundred-and-two it is never too late to enter
into Godís eternal plan for your life at present.
The way we come to know Godís love and plan for our lives is through
literally entering into relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said in the Gospel
of John, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (Jn 17:3).
When the Word "know" or "Knowing" is used in the Bible
between a man and a woman, it is referring to sexual intercourse. In the Old
Testament it states that Adam "knew Eve his wife and she conceived
and bore Cain." (Gen 4:1). In the New Testament it states that Joseph
"knew not her [Mary] until she bore a son [Jesus]." That is he
kept her a virgin until Jesus was born. The Apostle Paul in the Epistle of
Ephesians uses the marriage relationship as a comparison of Jesusí
relationship to the church (Ephesians 5). Jesus literally wants to have
spiritual intercourse with us.
Sexual intercourse is the strongest way for a man and a woman to come
together and the closest possible way for them to know each other intimately. In
the same romantic way Jesus wants to be completely intimate with us spiritually,
knowing Him and Him knowing us. He loves us and He wants us to love Him. He is
gentle and humble of heart. Jesus states in Matthew,
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load
is light." (Matt 11:28-30).
It is out of love relationship with Jesus that He leads us into His will and
plan for our lives and transforms us into His image.
JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO OUR NEEDS
Jesus is the answer to our needs in Salvation, Sanctification, Righteousness,
and in Wisdom and Understanding. Paul the Apostle writes in 1 Corinthians 1:30,
"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom8
from God, and righteousness9 and sanctification10, and
If we cannot save ourselves, neither can we sanctify ourselves. Just as
salvation can only come about through looking to Jesus through the cross, so
also sanctification can only come about as we look to Jesus to sanctify us
through His power.
That is what this section in this book is all about: learning how to draw
upon and apply practically the sanctifying work of Jesus in our lives
individually and to see how this applies to principles of discernment in our
relationship with God and man. Before we can understand though how Jesus
sanctifies us, we first need to understand what the believerís relationship to
the law is.
THE BELIEVERíS RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAW
What does the Law of the Old Testament represent? It represents man trying to
gain Godís forgiveness for sins confessed and repented of through religious
works and ceremony. Unlike all other religions of the world, a Christian is not
forgiven of his sins and accepted by God through his religious works or
sacrifices but through accepting by faith Godís atonement and sacrifice for
his sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross. The Apostle Paul
writes in Ephesians 2:13-16,
"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought
near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both
groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by
abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained
in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man,
thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in
one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."
Before Jesus Christ died on the cross for manís sin there were two kinds of
people in the world: those who lived under the Mosaic Law and those who did not.
Those who did were called Jews and those who did not were called Gentiles. The
Jews were very proud because they were not like the sinners among the Gentiles.
They strove to live according to the law perfectly and looked down on the those
who did not and would not have anything to do with those who did not. Jesus
described this graphically in the Gospel of Luke in which He tells a parable
about a self-righteous Pharisee:
"And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves
that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ĎTwo men went up
into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee
stood and was praying thus to himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like
other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I
fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get"í" (Luke 18:9).
Because of the self-righteous snobbery of the Jews, the Gentiles hated them
and did not want anything to do with them either. The end result was enmity
between the Jews and the Gentiles. The enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles
was the Law of the Old Testament.
Paul the Apostle states, though, in Ephesians Chapter 2 that through Jesusí
death on the cross the Law of the Old Testament, which caused this enmity
between Jews and Gentiles, was abolished so that it is no longer the means by
which we gain Godís forgiveness for our sins and have peace with God. Paul
says in verse thirteen that no longer are we forgiven of our sins repented of
through obedience to the ritualistic ceremonies of the Old Testament but through
the blood of Jesus Christ. Because both Jew and Gentile alike are forgiven of
their sins through the blood of Jesus there is now peace between each group
because their unity is no longer based on how well they live by the Law. Their
commonness and unity is now in their faith in Godís work of atonement for
their sins through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Neither Gentile nor
Jew gets into heaven based on their works for the forgiveness of their sins, but
now only on the work of God through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross.
Concerning the work of God for the forgiveness of our sins, Paul states,
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all
things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and
may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law,
but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes
from God on the basis of faith." (Phil 3:8-9).
This is why Paul can say in Romans, "For Christ is the end of the Law
for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Rom 10:4).
THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS
If we are not under the Law of the Old Testament then what are we under? We
are under the Lordship of Jesus.
Jesus states in the Gospel of John, "And this is eternal life, that they
may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (Jn
If eternal life is knowing Jesus, then what does knowing Jesus mean? The
Apostle Paul gives us the answer in the book of Romans,
"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your
heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart
man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses,
resulting in Salvation." (Rom 10:9- 10).
Paul tells us in this passage that knowing Jesus means two things: Confessing
Jesus as Lord and believing that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead.
What does it mean to believe that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead?
There are many accounts of resurrections in the Scriptures. Jesus raised Lazarus
from the dead, for example, in the Gospel of John chapter 11. Why are we not
saved by believing on Lazarusí resurrection? What is the significance of Jesusí
resurrection? Paul again gives us this answer in the book of Romans. He states,
"He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was
raised because of our justification." (Rom 4:25).
Paul states two things in this passage of Scripture: he tells us that Jesus
died for our transgressions, that is our sins and that God the Father raising
Jesus from the dead is His way of letting us know that He does accepts Jesusí
death in our place for our sins. To not believe in the resurrection of Jesus
Christ is to deny the Fatherís acceptance of Jesusí death for our sins.
Paul tells us in the first half of Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is
death. . ." This is why doing religious things does not take away your sin.
Only spiritual death takes away your sin and the shedding of blood. The Apostle
Paul tells us and the writer of Hebrews tells us, "And these will pay the
penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the
glory of His power." ". . and without the shedding of blood there is
no forgiveness." (2 Thess 1:9, Heb 9:22).
Continued on Pages
Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters