The Daily Word of Righteousness

Salvation Through Judgment and Suffering, continued

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11,12)

There is no profit for us when we experience God's wrath. His wrath is for the lost, for the objects of Divine wrath who have been prepared for destruction.

But there is very great profit in tribulation. To experience tribulation means God is dealing with us as with children, judging and removing by fiery trials our worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our stubbornness and self-will.

Are you a candidate for this kind of purifying process?

Every person who hopes to be like Jesus when He appears purifies himself. This we do with the guidance of the Spirit, the Lord helping and taking a hand once in a while with areas of our personality we are unaware of.

But if we as a believer do not examine ourselves, putting away all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, we are in for a baptism of fire.

When we think about Paradise, about the Kingdom of God, about the new Jerusalem, we know somehow there will be no sin there. We know that people will not be untransformed adamic natures who are without sin by imputation, whom God sees only through Christ. We expect the inhabitants to be all righteous and not by forgiveness alone. They will be new creatures because God has redeemed them from worldliness, from lust, and from self-will. I suppose all of us would agree with this if we thought enough about it.

Who would want to go to a new Jerusalem full of people like we see in the churches today, gossiping, slandering, envying, practicing immorality and so forth.

The question before the house is, where, when, and how do we get from here to there? There is no scriptural support for the idea that physical death changes us. There is no scriptural support for the idea that the coming of Christ will change us. Rather the coming of Christ will result in our receiving the rewards of our behavior, not a transformation of our personality.

Where, when, and how the Christian Church will be made righteous, holy, and obedient to God in actual personality and behavior rather than by imputation needs to be looked at squarely and scriptural answers given.

Your present writer is maintaining, based on passages in First Peter, Hebrews, First Corinthians, and Second Thessalonians:

The transformation occurs partly on earth and partly in the spirit realm.

The transformation occurs whenever God comes to judge us as an individual (for it is obvious that God deals with each of us differently).

The transformation is accomplished by many Divine graces including the born-again experience, the forming of Christ in us, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, by the experiences we have in life, by suffering, and by whatever processes take place in the spirit realm.

To be continued.