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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Great Deception, continued
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
Let's take the second problem area, that of goals.
I have been raving for years that the Bible does not present eternal residence in the spirit Paradise as the goal of the Divine salvation. I know that Evangelical theology is based on the assumption that going to Heaven is the goal of salvation. I can't help that. The Bible is the court of last appeal and neither the Old Testament or the New Testament teaches that eternal residence in Paradise is the goal of salvation.
If you are too busy to read your Bible or think, goodbye. Don't waste your time reading any more of my stuff.
I am a systems man. Are you? In developing any system you begin with a careful definition of the objectives. If you don't you end up floundering.
Because we are assuming the wrong goal our theological discussions whirl about like straws in a hurricane. We don't understand where we are going and consequently we don't understand how what we are doing relates to where we are going.
The scriptural goal of redemption is not eternal residence in Paradise but fruit—the fruit God is looking for in the human personality.
The fruit is twofold: change into the moral image of Jesus Christ and untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.
God wants righteousness and praise to be revealed to the nations of the earth through Christ and His Church. God's desire can be realized only as we are changed into the moral image of Jesus Christ and brought into untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.
Going to Heaven will be an enjoyable experience while we are waiting for Christ to come and set up His Kingdom on the earth. But our participation in the Kingdom of God depends on our being changed into the moral image of Christ and brought into untroubled rest in the Father.
Now, let us think about the notion that we are going to be admitted to Heaven by the adoption of the belief we are being saved by grace (forgiveness).
First of all, the new covenant is one of a new creation, not a covenant only or even primarily of forgiveness. God's eternal purposes in Christ and His Church are not accomplished when we are forgiven but only as we are changed.
No steps have been taken to combat the rebellion of the angels because of the mere fact we have been forgiven. The solution to the problem occurs only to the extent we are conformed to the moral image of Christ. Disobedience cannot be dealt with until our obedience has been fulfilled.
Let us speculate further that a believer agrees with our goals of change and union. He then maintains that on the basis of naked belief God will conform us to the image of Christ and bring us into union with Himself.
While this may be an interesting hypothesis it is not at all scriptural. The New Testament teaches plainly that Christ comes to us only as we keep His commandments.
To be continued.