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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Suffering and Rulership, continued
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:20,21—NIV)
Do you see why suffering is necessary? Here is a material creation that at one time was Paradise on earth. Because of sin God withdrew Paradise and separated the material forms of Adam and Eve (and all their descendants) from their inward spiritual nature. All of nature was deprived of the Life of the Spirit of God.
God withdrew spiritual life and permitted corruption to enter His creation in the hope one day the material universe, including the bodies of people, can be liberated from the bondage of decay and futility and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God, the freedom of life in the Spirit.
But if God restores Paradise to the earth, spiritual life to the creation, immortality to the bodies of people, what is to prevent a recurrence of the original tragic rebellion?
The prevention is found in the creation of people who have been transformed by the Substance and Virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ and who are instantly obedient to God at all times. These will serve in future ages as a wall against sin and rebellion.
If the plan of salvation were one of providing grace and mercy to people and carrying them to Heaven when they die, no solution to the problem of rebellion would occur. The saved people, the believers, have been forgiven, they realize they are undeserving sinners and appreciate God's forbearance, and now they are looking forward to living in a mansion and just enjoying their freedom from dread and pain.
This is how salvation is presented in our day. Can you see that rulers of nations and cities are not created in this way? So our talk about "ruling and reigning" (sic) with Christ is totally unrealistic. We are looking for a good time in the spirit realm. We are not truly hoping to begin the work of bringing the creation into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Am I correct in this?
How does God prepare us to govern? By bringing us through a rigorous program of instruction and testing just as He did Joseph; just as He did Paul; just as He did His own Son.
God makes rulers. He bring them through fire and water. He teaches them of His terror, His love, His faithfulness.
There is only so much we can learn from reading words in a book. The rest comes as we follow God through the rigors of discipleship. There is no other way.
We Christians are filled with the love of the world, the passions and appetites of the flesh, and—worst of all—self-will. None of these attributes of character is permitted in one of God's rulers. Every ruler must be delivered from looking to the world for survival and security. Every ruler must be delivered from yielding to the demands of his flesh, from lust, from anger, from covetousness, and from all the other sinful compulsions that drive and tempt us. Every ruler must be delivered from exercising his own will apart from the will of God.
To be continued.