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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Our Christian Pilgrimage, #11
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (II Corinthians 6:1)
Here are two more reasons why Paul's doctrine of grace has been misinterpreted:
We are living in an age when people are persuaded they can obtain (and deserve to obtain) things of value apart from paying the price associated with such value. The concept that all the glory of the Kingdom of God can be ours without any effort on our part (except for raising our hand and stating our assent to certain scriptural facts) is appealing and reasonable to contemporary thinking.
There is not enough pressure being placed on us to cause us to probe the subtleties of Paul's doctrine. The simplistic, superficial interpretation of Paul to mean that it doesn't really matter how we live is enough for busy, "happy" people who trust that their minister has examined the whole counsel of God. The problem is, their minister is as busy and "happy" as they are.
The types of the Old Testament and the exhortations of the New Testament demonstrate beyond doubt that entering immortality is not accomplished by a profession of doctrinal belief. Entering immortality requires a prolonged warfare against the enemies of God and man that at present occupy the territory that has been given to us: namely, our own bodies and then the earth and its nations of people. This is the antitype, the spiritual fulfillment, of the tribes of Israel entering Canaan.
Romans 8:10-13 announces that the believer who continues to live in the appetites and needs of the flesh slays his own resurrection. Christ has placed resurrection life in us. Now we are to sow to that life, to learn to make our decisions and derive our energy from the new, eternal life in us.
Our hopes, our goals, our relationships, our wisdom, our knowledge, our joy, our service, and every other dimension and aspect of our being, thinking, speaking, and doing are all to be in Christ and by Christ. When we die physically our hopes, our goals, the relationships that are eternal, our wisdom, our knowledge, our joy, our service, and every other dimension and aspect of our being, thinking, speaking and doing (with the exception of what is possible only in the adamic, animal body) will continue on an infinitely superior level. This is what it means to live, and the Lord Jesus promised us that if we live and believe in Him we will live forever.
The dimensions and aspects of Christ-filled personality will continue into the next age and beyond because they are of Christ. "He who lives and believes in me shall never die." The part of us that is worthless in that it is not righteous and does not bring peace and joy to us will be left in the grave, provided that in this present world we have brought all of our personality to Christ for judgment.
When the Day of the Lord comes, Jesus will give to each overcomer a body that reflects in itself his transformed character. The Day of the Lord will reveal that which he has become in Christ. It will be a day of revelation, of unveiling.
To be continued.