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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Our Christian Pilgrimage, #5
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Paul's epistles contain many stern warnings to Christian people that if they continue in sin they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. These warnings are rendered invalid by the current Christian doctrine that we gain eternal life by "grace" apart from any change in our behavior.
It requires love and mercy on God's part to forgive us sinners. But it requires much more love and mercy for God to come down among us and pour out His own holy Nature and virtue until we are worthy of life.
We cannot eat of the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God until the Life of Christ in us has enabled us to overcome the world, sin, and our own self-will and self-centeredness.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
Divine mercy suspends the Kingdom principle of sowing and reaping until we are able to "go and sin no more." The suspension required that God Himself suffer the consequences of our rebellion and sin.
The grace of God in Christ enables us to escape from the person and works of Satan so God can have fellowship with us. That fellowship is eternal life.
The blood of Christ provides a suspending of our spiritual death until we are able, through God's grace, to do the will of the Lord. This does not mean, however, that there are not consequences in this life of sinful behavior!
Jesus does not "give" us eternal life. Rather, He Himself, who is eternal Life, enters us and is Life in us. This Life, which is Christ, begins to cast death out of us if we are cooperative. We must allow Christ to remove from us the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of self-will.
As we die and Christ lives in our personality, we enter our land of promise, into eternal life. We enter our inheritance, our rest, as the inhabitants of the "land" of our personality are cast out. Entering eternal life is an invasion of territory presently occupied by unclean spirits on whom the judgment of God has fallen.
God knows in advance who will be filled with eternal life. He knows those whom He will glorify. This predestination is based on Divine foreknowledge. It is a prophetic vision referring to things that will come to pass.
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (John 17:2)
Eternal life has nothing to do with location. When we are filled with eternal life we are dwelling in the Person of God whether we are located in Paradise, on the earth, or in Hell—should we be sent there on Divine assignment for some reason.
To be continued.