Tag Archives: Salvation

Imputation – How God the Father “credits” our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us.

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Introduction

Imputation is a wonderful principle of the plan of God, and you have been involved with imputation since the day you were saved.

To impute means “to set something to one’s account.”

In the Bible imputation is used as a legal term in several different ways. For example, when Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, he told Philemon that if Onesimus had incurred any debts they were to be put on Paul’s account (Philemon 17,18).

When a groom says to a bride “with all my worldly good I thee endow”, he is talking about imputation, placing to the bride’s account all of his property.

The Greek verb for imputation is logizomai. It is used more than 40 times in the New Testament, ten times in Romans 4 alone, the imputation chapter. In the KJV of Romans 4 it’s translated “counted” in 4:3, 5, “reckoned” in 4:4, 10, and “imputed” in 4:6, 8, 11, 22, 23 and 24.

Three Imputations in the Bible

In the first type of imputation, God imputes to us what actually belongs to us in the first place. Where Romans 5:12 says that “death passed upon (logizomai) all men, for that all have sinned”, death is part of our spiritual heritage from Adam. Death has been reckoned to our account. Adam’s sins was not his alone, but it was placed on every person’s account, on the debit side, you might say.

In the second type of imputation, God the Father imputes to the Lord Jesus Christ that which does not belong to him. 2 Cor. 5:21 says that “He (Christ) was made to be sin for us, even though He knew no sin…”. This is the Bible concept of substitution; Christ died for our sins, not his own. Isaiah 53:4-6. The verse does not say that Christ became a sinner, but that sin was set to his account that was not his.

The third type of imputation occurs when God imputes (credits) to the sinner what is not actually his. Again, 2 Cor. 5:21, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Here, the actual perfect righteousness of God is credited to us. This righteousness, which is placed on the credit side of our ledger, is known as imputed righteousness or justification.

God declares men to be righteous on the basis of faith. Read Romans 4:3. “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him (logizomai) for righteousness”. God makes men righteous on the basis of practice by the Word (John 17:17) and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

logizomai from the Lexicons

A study of various Greek lexicons shows that logizomai has some very interesting uses in the Bible. If you will study each of these verses in the context, it will help you to understand the concept better, and you will find a lot of practical application for this doctrine. Here are three principal meanings for logizomai in the Bible and in other sources of New Testament Greek studies.

To reckon; to calculate

The word means “to count, to take something into account” in 1 Cor. 13:5 (cf. Zech. 8:17); 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 4:8 (cf. Ps. 32:2); and 2 Tim. 4:16.

It is used in Romans 4:4; 4:6; and 4:11 in the sense of “crediting.”

It means “to credit something to someone” in Romans 4:3, 5, 9 and 22; Gal. 3:16; James 2:23 (cf. Romans 4:10, 23 ff; Gen. 15:6; Ps. 106:31).

In the commercial world of New Testament times, logizomai was a technical term “to charge to someone’s account” and was so used in 2 Cor. 12:6. (Other references: Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, edited by Dittenberger, 1903; and Fayum Towns and Their Papyri, by Grenfell, Hunt, et al.)

The idea of calculation is seen in other places in the concepts of “to evaluate, to estimate, to consider, to look upon as, something, as a result of calculation”. You will see this in Acts 19:27 (cf. Isa. 40:17) and Rom. 9:8; 2:26.

The word is used in the sense of “to count” or “to classify”. In Greek Papyri in the British Museum, Kenyon and Bell said of a camel’s colt: “which is now classed among the full grown.” In the Bible, see Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37 (cf. Isa. 53:12).

Still under the idea of reckoning or calculation, logizomai means “to consider; to look upon someone as”, as in 1 Cor. 4:1; 2 Cor. 10:2; Rom. 8:36 (cf. Ps. 44:22); Rom. 6:11.

Think about; ponder; consider; .

This is the word logizomai used in the sense of one’s mental preparation for the act of “reckoning” or “imputing” something to someone’s account or credit. It means “to have in mind, to propose, to purpose”. See Phil. 4:8; John 11:50; Heb. 11:19; 2 Cor. 10:2, 11.

It is used as “to think; to believe; to be of the opinion” in Rom. 2:3; 3:28; 8:18; 14:14; Phil. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:5; and 1 Pet. 5:12.

Words from the Papyri

Oxyrynchus Papyri XII, “the due amounts in money and corn are reckoned (logizomai) here” (107 or 108 AD)

ibid III, “let my revenues be placed on deposit (logizomai) at the storehouse” (2nd or 3rd Century AD)

Florentine Papyri (AD 254), “reckoning (logizomai) the wine to him at sixteen drachmae…”

Source materials for this article: Unger’s Bible Dictionary; Kittel’s NT Greek Lexicon; Chester McCalley’s written notes on imputation; Moulton and Milligan studies in the papyri.

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Regeneration – What does it mean to be born again? A discussion of the words referring to a believer’s new life in Christ.

Regeneration is the theological term for the Christian’s “new” or “second” birth in Christ. By definition, regeneration is the act of God by which He imparts divine life to man upon the single condition of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Several words and phrases in the Bible express the concept of regeneration. The following passages show how frequently the doctrine of regeneration is found in the Bible.

• In John 3:7 the words “born again” express regeneration. • In Eph. 2:5, the words “made alive” refer to regeneration, the new life • In 2 Cor. 5:17, the words “new creation” speak of the new birth • In 1 John 3:1, 2, the expression “children of God” refers to regeneration. • In Titus 3:5, the word “regeneration” itself is used. There are several aspects about regeneration which are important to give attention.

All People Need Regeneration

Our condition demands it. Eph. 2:1 declares us to be “dead” in sins. Death is a condition for which “life” (regeneration) is the only solution. Out family connection demands it. Rom. 5:12 indicates that we are dead because of a family relationship. Therefore, we need a new birth, a new family, a new Father, all of which are provided by regeneration.

The Author of Regeneration: GOD

John 1:13 informs us that we must be “born of God.” The word “of” points to the source and origin of the new life – God is the origin and source of regeneration. John 1:13 eliminates all human aspects of regeneration. The phrase “not of blood” shows that regeneration cannot be inherited. The phrase “not of the will of the flesh” shows that God’s life is not the fruit of a man’s search for God. “Not of the will of man” – man cannot generate eternal life.

The Means of Regeneration – The Word

1 Pet. 1:23 makes it clear that the written word of God is the means of the new birth, because the written word is actually the living Word (see also Heb. 4:12; John 6:63; Acts 7:38). In practice, this means knowledge must precede the new birth. The miracle of the new birth cannot occur where the Word of God is not taught in some form.

The Power of Regeneration – The Resurrection

We are “born again…by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, 1 Pet. 1:3. This shows us the kind of power needed for regeneration. According to Eph. 1:19, 20 the power that raised Christ from the dead is the greatest power ever displayed. This same power is applied in bringing regeneration to us.

The Instrument of Regeneration – Faith

Gal. 3:26 explains that faith is the hand by which we receive the gift of eternal life.

The Basis of Regeneration – Blood

Those who call on the Father, 1 Pet. 1:17­-19, the family concept of regeneration. It is the blood of Christ that makes this possible (v. 19).

The Agent of Regeneration – The Holy Spirit

John 3:5, 6, the necessity of birth through the agency of the Holy Spirit. “Flesh” begets “flesh”, “spirit” begets “spirit”. Divine life requires divine parents. John 1:12 “…to them gave He power to become the children of God

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Union with Christ – Union with Christ (Positional Truth) – Teaching related to all of the benefits and responsibilities of being “in Christ”.

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At the time of his personal salvation, the Christian believer enters into a spiritual union with Jesus Christ and remains in that position forever. “Positional Truth” is the formal title for that wide class of Bible teaching on the subject of the Christian’s position in or union with Jesus Christ.

Union with Christ makes available to the believer a great number of spiritual benefits. These benefits can be used and enjoyed continuously during the believer’s remaining lifetime and will continue into eternity.

The nature of the believer’s position in Christ was foretold by the Lord Jesus Himself: (1) in the Bread of Life discourse, John 6:56; (2) in the Good Shepherd discourse, John 10:16; and (3) in the Upper Room discourse, John 14:20.

The Christian is placed spiritually in Christ through a mechanism known as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. These mechanics are described in 1 Cor. 12:13 and Gal. 3:27,28. (A study of the seven baptisms of the Bible is a prerequisite to an understanding of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.)

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was foretold by Christ in Acts 1:5,8. This occurred for the first time on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1–4 cf. 11:15,16. Therefore, Union with Christ was experienced by believers for the first time on the Day of Pentecost, making it an experience unique to Church Age believers.

Union with Christ is a fact for all believers, spiritual or carnal. 1 Cor. 1:2; cf. 1:11; 3:1–4

The believer’s position in Christ makes him a “new creature” in Christ, 2 Cor. 5:17.

The Christian is “in Christ” and has become a “new creature” in that he has a new birth, a new human spirit, and has the ability now to have fellowship with God. “Old things have passed away”, spiritual death is done away, and “all things are become new”, spiritual life is begun.

Union with Christ has several immediate results for every believer:

Regeneration

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

John 3:5,6**, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

The Indwelling Holy Spirit

1 Cor. 6:19

The Sealing of the Holy Spirit

Eph. 1:13

Eph. 4:30

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

1 Cor. 12:13

Spiritual Gifts

1 Cor. 12:11

The following is a list of the characteristics of the believer’s Union with Christ:

  • Union with Christ is a fact, not an experience. One is united with Christ regardless of how he feels.
  • Union with Christ is not progressive; it cannot be improved upon; we receive it completely at salvation.
  • Union with Christ is not commanded by God; it is given as a gift by God at salvation.
  • This Union is permanent; it will never be taken away; it does not depend upon our faithfulness; it depends on the faithfulness of God.
  • This doctrine can be understood only with a thorough study of the related Bible passages.

Union with the Lord Jesus Christ is a guarantee of eternal security, Rom. 8:35–39; 1 John 5:11,12; Rom. 8:1.

Union with Christ is current in that the believer is identified with Christ in His life and shares with Christ in certain aspects of His life, Eph. 3:1-14.

  • We share in His election, Eph. 1:4.
  • We share in His destiny, Eph. 1:5,11.
  • We share in His son ship, Eph. 1:5; Heb. 2:10; Gal. 3:26.
  • We obtain the Righteousness of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:21.
  • We share in Christ’s inheritance, Rom. 8:16,17; Gal. 4:7.
  • We share in His holiness, 1 Cor. 1:30.
  • We share His priesthood, 1 Pet. 2:5,9.
  • We share in His Kingdom, Col. 1:13; 2 Pet. 1:11.
  • We share in His resurrection, Eph. 2:6.
  • We share in His life, Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13; 1 John 5:11,12.
  • In Him we have redemption and forgiveness of sins, Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14.

Union with Christ makes every believer equal at the point of salvation, Gal. 3:27,28.

Union with Christ makes the believer perfect in the sight of God, Col. 2:9,10.

Bible illustrations of Union with Christ:
  • Vine and Branches, John 15:1-17
  • Head and Body, Eph. 1:22,23
  • Bridegroom and Bride, Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9; Eph. 5:27
  • Shepherd and Flock, John 10:16
  • Chief cornerstone and building, 1 Pet. 2:4,5
  • High Priest and Priesthood, Heb. 4:14; 5:5,6,10, cf. 1 Peter 2:5

Union with Christ is the doctrinal basis for spirituality, Rom. 6:1-14.

Union with Christ is the basis for the spiritual technique of occupation with Christ, Col. 3:1-4.

Union with Christ is illustrated and testified to by water baptism. The believer is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

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Note the declarations of Scripture about the guarantee of our salvation

This is an excerpt from the Grace Notes study of 1 Peter 1:5

Note the declarations of Scripture about the guarantee of our salvation:

John 6:47, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” God gives eternal life, not spasmodic life or intermittent life.
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God keeps our salvation until he comes back again.
II Timothy 4:18, “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” No question, no doubt, no equivocation but absolute assurance that God will preserve us for eternity.
Hebrews 5:9, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” God gives eternal salvation, not temporal.
Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” The finished work of Christ saves us from the penalty of sin but the unfinished work of Christ at the right hand of God is saving us from the power of sin.
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He will complete what he starts.
Jude 1, “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” God preserves us because of our association with Christ.
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Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
Dr. Grant Richison. (n.d.). 1st Epistle of Peter -1.

Adoption – From Eph. 1:5, Gal. 4:5, etc., notes on the believer’s spiritual adoption.

The word adoption in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word huiothesia, which means “the placing of an adult son” and refers to the formal act of recognizing the maturity of an adult son. The word is found in five New Testament passages: Rom. 8:15,23: 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5.

The new-born baby is brephos, as in “the babe (brephos), lying in a manger…“. The word sometimes refers to the fetus, as in”…the babe (brephos) leapt in her womb…”. The believer is also called teknon, a child which is growing up but which is still under parental care. Hence John 1:12, “…to them gave He power to become the sons (teknon) of God.” But the believer is also in union with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is called huios, “an adult son”. So, in union with Him, we are said to be adult sons also, although we may be brephos or teknon by experience.

To the people living in the predominantly Greek and Roman culture of the 1st Century A.D., the word huiothesia would bring to mind the ceremony of toga virilis, in which a 14-year-old boy went through an investiture ceremony with the adult male members of his family. At this ceremony, speeches of challenge to the youth would be made, and offerings would be made to the gods. Then, the boy would stand in the center of the group and take off the child’s garment that he wore. A new adult man’s robe, or toga, would be placed on him. This was the toga virilis, the “robe of a man”.

At this time, the 14-year-old was given adult privileges and responsibilities. He could conduct business in his own name, could buy and sell property, could marry, could vote in the Assembly, and in many other ways could carry on as an adult citizen. Of course, he was not mature enough or wise enough to exercise all of the privileges he had; and he was not experienced enough to live up to all of the responsibilities. But the seriousness of his position as a citizen was impressed on him; and if he was intelligent and hard working, he would grow up to be an adult having integrity and character.

Application

The spiritual use of the word “adoption” signifies the placing of a newborn child, in the spiritual sense, into the position of privilege and responsibility attached to an adult son. The question arises as to why a naturally born child needs to be adopted. Are we not, after all, “born again”? It is here that the true meaning of “adoption” comes in; because in the New Testament, “adoption” refers to a positional advance. The new believer is advanced positionally to his majority, even though at the time of salvation he is spiritually immature, a “babe in Christ”.

Because spiritual adoption takes place at the moment of salvation, there is really no period of childhood experience recognized for believers. The Christian has been placed into the privilege, liberty, and duty of a full-grown adult. Spiritual adoption imposes the same way of life on all children of God. This requirement is reasonable because the Christian life is to be lived in the sustaining and upholding power of the Holy Spirit. And this provision is available as much for one person as for another.

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

Adoption; Sonship[Gk huiothesía]. The Greek term occurs in the Bible only in Paul’s Epistles (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5); for extrabiblical usage see MM, pp. 648f The AV and RV have “adoption” throughout. The RSV has “adoption” in Rom. 8:23; Gal. 4:5, and “sonship” in Rom. 8:15; 9:4; in Eph. 1:5 the RSV reads “to be his sons. ” The NEB in each instance uses a phrase such as “to make us sons” or “to attain the status of sons.”

I. General Legal Idea

The custom prevailed among Greeks, Romans, and other ancient peoples (including the Hurrians; see Abraham III); but it does not appear in Jewish law.

A. In the OT

Three cases of adoption are mentioned: of Moses (Ex. 2:10), Genubath (1 K. 11:20), and Esther (Est. 2:7, 15); but it is remarkable that they all occur outside of Palestine—in Egypt and Persia, where the practice of adoption prevailed. Likewise the idea appears in the NT only in the Epistles of Paul, which were addressed to churches outside Palestine.

The motive and initiative of adoption always lay with the adoptive father, who thus supplied his lack of natural offspring and satisfied the claims of affection and religion, and the desire to exercise paternal authority or to perpetuate his family. The process and conditions of adoption varied with different peoples. Among oriental nations it was extended to slaves (as Moses), who thereby gained their freedom; but in Greece and Rome it was, with rare exceptions, limited to citizens.

B. Greek

In Greece a man might during his lifetime, or by will, to take effect after his death, adopt any male citizen into the privileges of his son, but with the invariable condition that the adopted son accepted the legal obligations and religious duties of a real son.

C. Roman

In Rome the unique nature of paternal authority (patria potestas), by which a son was held in his father’s power, almost as a slave was owned by his master, gave a peculiar character to the process of adoption. For the adoption of a person free from paternal authority (sui juris), the process and effect were practically the same in Rome as in Greece (adrogatio). In a more specific sense, adoption proper (adoptio) was the process by which a person was transferred from his natural father’s power into that of his adoptive father; and it consisted in a fictitious sale of the son, and his surrender by the natural to the adoptive father.

II. Paul’s Doctrine

As a Roman citizen the apostle would naturally know of the Roman custom; but in the cosmopolitan city of Tarsus, and again on his travels, he would become equally familiar with the corresponding customs of other nations. He employed the idea metaphorically much in the manner of Christ’s parables; and, as in their case, there is danger of pressing the analogy too far in its details. It is not clear that he had any specific form of adoption in mind when illustrating his teaching by the general idea. Under this Figure he teaches that God, by the manifestation of His grace in Christ, brings men into the relation of sons to Himself, and communicates to them the experience of sonship.

A. Liberty (Galatians)

In Galatians Paul emphasizes especially the liberty enjoyed by those who live by faith, in contrast to the bondage under which men are held who guide their lives by legal ceremonies and ordinances, as the Galatians were prone to do (5:1). The contrast between law and faith is first set forth on the field of history, as a contrast between both the pre-Christian and the Christian economies (3:23f), although in another passage he carries the idea of adoption back into the covenant relation of God with Israel (Rom. 9:4). But here the historical antithesis is reproduced in the contrast between men who now choose to live under law and those who live by faith.

Here three figures seem to commingle in the description of man’s condition under legal bondage—that of a slave, that of a minor under guardians appointed by his father’s will, and that of a Roman son under the patria potestas (Gal. 4:1–3). The process of liberation is first of all one of redemption or buying out (Gk exagorásē) (4:5). This term in itself applies equally well to the slave who is redeemed from bondage, and the Roman son whose adoptive father buys him out of the authority of his natural father. But in the latter case the condition of the son is not materially altered by the process: he only exchanges one paternal authority for another. If Paul for a moment thought of the process in terms of ordinary Roman adoption, the resulting condition of the son he conceives in terms of the more free and gracious Greek or Jewish family life. Or he may have thought of the rarer case of adoption from conditions of slavery into the status of sonship. The redemption is only a precondition of adoption, which follows upon faith, and is accompanied by the sending of “the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father,” and then all bondage is done away (4:5–7).

B. Deliverance from Debt (Romans)

In Rom. 8:12–17 the idea of obligation or debt is coupled with that of liberty. Man is thought of as at one time under the authority and power of the flesh (8:5), but when the Spirit of Christ comes to dwell in him, he is a debtor no longer to the flesh but to the Spirit (vv 12f), and debt or obligation to the Spirit is itself liberty. As in Galatians, man thus passes from a state of bondage into a state of sonship which is also a state of liberty. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these [and these only] are sons of God” (v 14). The spirit of adoption or sonship stands in diametrical opposition to the spirit of bondage (v 15). And the Spirit to which we are debtors and by which we are led, at once awakens and confirms the experience of sonship within us (v 16). In both places, Paul conveys under this figure the idea of man as passing from a state of alienation from God and of bondage under law and sin, into that relation with God of mutual confidence and love, of unity of thought and will, which should characterize the ideal family, and in which all restraint, compulsion, and fear have passed away.

III. The Christian Experience

As a fact of Christian experience, the adoption is the recognition and affirmation by man of his sonship toward God. It follows upon faith in Christ, by which man becomes so united with Christ that His filial spirit enters into him, and takes possession of his consciousness, so that he knows and greets God as Christ does (cf. Mk. 14:36).

A. In Relation to Justification

It is an aspect of the same experience that Paul describes elsewhere, under another legal metaphor, as justification by faith. According to the latter, God declares the sinner righteous and treats him as such, admits him to the experience of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace (Rom. 5:1). In all this the relation of father and son is undoubtedly involved, but in adoption it is emphatically expressed. It is not only that the prodigal son is welcomed home, glad to confess that he is not worthy to be called a son, and willing to be made as one of the hired servants, but he is embraced and restored to be a son as before. The point of each metaphor is, that justification is the act of a merciful judge setting the prisoner free, but adoption is the act of a generous father, taking a son to his bosom and endowing him with liberty, favor, and a heritage.

B. In Relation to Sanctification

Besides, justification is the beginning of a process which needs for its completion a progressive course of sanctification by the aid of the Holy Spirit, but adoption is coextensive with sanctification. The sons of God are those led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14), and the same Spirit of God gives the experience of sonship. Sanctification describes the process of general cleansing and growth as an abstract process, but adoption includes it as a concrete relation to God, as loyalty, obedience, and fellowship with an ever loving Father.

C. In Relation to Regeneration

Some have identified adoption with regeneration, and therefore many Fathers and Roman Catholic theologians have identified it with baptismal regeneration, thereby excluding the essential fact of conscious sonship. The new birth and adoption are certainly aspects of the same totality of experience; but they belong to different systems of thought, and to identify them is to invite confusion. The new birth defines especially the origin and moral quality of the Christian experience as an abstract fact, but adoption expresses a concrete relation of man to God. Nor does Paul here raise the question of man’s natural and original condition. It is pressing the analogy too far to infer from this doctrine of adoption that man is by nature not God’s son. It would contradict Paul’s teaching elsewhere (e.g., Acts 17:28), and he should not be convicted of inconsistency on the application of a metaphor. He conceives man outside Christ as morally an alien and a stranger from God, and the change wrought by faith in Christ makes him morally a son and conscious of his sonship; but naturally he is always a potential son because God is always a real father.

IV. As God’s Act

Adoption as God’s act is an eternal process of His gracious love, for He “foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5).

A. Divine Fatherhood

The motive and impulse of Fatherhood which result in adoption were eternally real and active in God. In some sense He had bestowed the adoption upon Israel (Rom. 9:4). “Israel is my son, my first-born” (Ex. 4:22; cf. Dt. 14:1; 32:6; Jer. 31:9; Hos. 11:1). God could not reveal Himself at all without revealing something of His Fatherhood, but the whole revelation was as yet partial and prophetic. When “God sent forth his Son” to “redeem them that were under the law,” it became possible for men to receive the adoption; for to those who are willing to receive it, He sent the Spirit of the eternal Son to testify in their hearts that they are sons of God, and to give them confidence and utterance to enable them to call God their Father (Gal. 4:5f; Rom. 8:15).

_B. Its Cosmic Range_

But this experience also is incomplete, and looks forward to a fuller adoption in the response, not only of man’s spirit, but of the whole creation, including man’s body, to the Fatherhood of God (Rom. 8:23). Every filial spirit now groans, because it finds itself imprisoned in a body subjected to vanity, but it awaits a redemption of the body, perhaps in the resurrection, or in some final consummation, when the whole material creation shall be transformed into a fitting environment for the sons of God, the creation itself delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:21). Then will adoption be complete, when man’s whole personality shall be in harmony with the spirit of sonship, and the whole universe favorable to its perseverance in a state of blessedness.


See also: Children of God.

Bibliography.—comms inloc, esp W. Sanday on Romans (ICC, 14th ed 1913) and J. B. Lightfoot on Galatians (1900); RTWB (R. H. Fuller); TDNT, VIII, sv υἱοθεσία (Wülfing von Martitz, Schweizer).

T. Rees

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Blessing – Bible origins of the New Testament word “blessing”, applications.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings:” (Ephesians 1:3)

This is a study of the New Testament word “blessing”. We expect to answer the following questions:

  • What does the word “blessing” mean?
  • How does God bless us? What does He bless us with?
  • What are the blessings that God gives?
  • How do we get these blessings, and how do we make use of them?
  • How can we be a blessing to others?

THE CONCEPT OF BLESSING

There are three New Testament Greek words related directly to the English word “blessing”.

(eulogeitos) is an adjective meaning “well spoken of; praised”

(eulogew) is a verb: “to speak well of; to praise; to call down God’s gracious power”

(eulogia) is the noun form, meaning “praise; fine speaking”

These words show up very seldom in Greek classical writing. The concepts are Hebrew in origin and the idea of blessing permeates the Old Testament. The New Testament Greek words are direct translations from Hebrew. These same Greek words are used more than 400 times in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) to represent the Hebrew concepts of blessing.

The concept among the Old Testament Jews was that God possesses and dispenses all blessing. Adam, Noah, the patriarchs and Moses are all blessed by God.

Moses, in turn pronounces a parting blessing on the twelve tribes (Deut. 33:1 ff).

The idea of “blessing” was also closely related to the question of inheritance, passing blessing from father to son. Jacob blessed Joseph in Gen. 48:15. Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh were blessed in Gen 48:20. Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger.

In the Bible both blessing and cursing are said to be passed down through two or more generations. For example, there is the concept of the four generation curse and divine discipline for a family that is out of fellowship.

In the Christian life, the inheritance that we pass down to our children is spiritual and doctrinal.

DEFINITION

The problem in the definition of the word “blessing” is that it is not a direct translation from the Greek. The word “blessing” is a borrowed word which has attained its present day meaning by reason of long usage, rather than by etymological accuracy.

From the World Book Dictionary:

1a. “to consecrate (a thing) by religious rite, formula, or prayer” e.g., “the bishop blessed the new church”

1b. “to make holy or sacred.” e.g., “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it”, Gen. 2:3

2. “to ask God’s favor for; to commend to God’s favor or protection”, e.g., “God bless mommy…daddy”

3. “to wish good for; to feel grateful to”

4. “to make happy or fortunate”

5. “to praise, to glorify, to call holy”

6. “to guard or protect from evil”, e.g. “God bless this house.”

7. “to make the sign of the cross over; to ward off evil.”

Question: Why was the English word “blessing” chosen to represent (eulogeitos)?

The answer is found in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) which is one of the world’s greatest detective books.

OED: to bless

“1. “to make sacred; to hallow (something).”

“The word “bless” is from the Old Teutonic (German) bletsian, from heathen blood sacrifices. German: das Blut. English: blood.

“The meaning, then, was ‘to mark (or affect in some way) with blood (or a sacrificial animal).”

“The sense development of the word ‘bless’ was greatly influenced by its having been chosen (in the early English church ceremonies) to translate the Latin (benedicere) and the Greek (eulogeitos).”

(End of OED comment)

This concurs very well with the origin of the concept of “blessing” in the Bible In the Old Testament (OT), the Hebrew word (baw-rahk’), meaning “to kneel”, was used one way or another hundreds of times to convey the meaning of respect or adoration. You would kneel before a king in respect or to offer thanks for something. Of course, you would kneel to God in adoration, praise, thanksgiving and supplication.

The Septuagint (LXX) translators chose the Greek (eulogeitos) to represent (baw-rahk’) (more than 400 times). So, among Greek speaking Jews, this was a common word for praise, thanksgiving, respect, etc.

Latin writers used the verb form (benedicere) to translate the Greek, preferring to offer the literal sense of the Greek.

I think they wanted a strictly English word so they could get away from the Catholic Latin expressions.

The word “bless” was not a literal translation, but it had religious overtones, and they used it even though it had come from a heathen source.

So, there was a long and varied series of Jewish, heathen and Christian associations to blend in the English use of the word “bless”.

Therefore,“blessing” is a word which has a position in Christian vocabulary by reason of long standing usage. But it does not directly translate (eulogeitos).

BUT – there is a modern version which does have a direct translation and it is to this version that I pay honor. The version is in Spanish. In Ephesians 1:3 in the Spanish, the word (bendito) is the part participle of the verb (bendecir).

It means, literally, “to say good things or good words.”

There is no doubt to Spanish speaking people what this word means. Decir is one of the most common Spanish words. The translators had no extra baggage from the English, so they translated directly from the Greek (via the Latin).

The English equivalent to bendición is “benediction”, also from the Greek by way of Latin.

So, (eulogeitos) => benedicere => bendición => benediction => “praise”

BLESSING IN THE BIBLE

The word “blessing” recognizes the existence and deity of God. It tells us that we can be aware of His existence and have inner happiness because of who and what He is.

It also tell us, from the Greek, that God was thinking about us in favorable terms, that He had a mental attitude of love, grace and mercy toward us from before the beginning of time.

Praise, or blessing, for anyone comes from a mental attitude of love and appreciation for that person. God makes an initial move toward us because of His mental attitude of love. He provides us His graciousness, His gift of salvation, His spiritual gifts, all of which are manifestations of His love toward us. He thought “good words” toward us.

He has provided all blessings for us as an expression of His love. Our response of blessing or praise toward God, and toward others, is a response from a mental attitude of appreciation.

Eph. 1:3 deals with God’s initiation and our response.

Blessing begins in the mind of God (Love, Grace, “Good Words”, a Frame of Reference influenced by His thinking).Therefore, He gives us “all blessings.”

The Christian learns of these blessings through Bible study and develops a mental attitude of praise and thanks­giving, “good words” with which to express appreciation andwith these “good words” we “bless” God.

These are words of vocabulary, of thinking divine viewpoint. Blessing is not a feeling, but objective thinking based on divine viewpoint, a frame of reference built by knowledge of doctrine.

With edification we build the ability to think about God, which enables us to receive and enjoy blessing and to be a blessing to others.

Heb. 6:7, “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and brings forth herbs for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God.”

The most basic form of evangelism is to talk about God’s blessing which are available to everyone, saved or not.

Homework: From Acts 14:8-18, determine how Paul and Barnabas used the concept of blessing to evangelize people who were completely ignorant of God.

The idea for the hymn entitled Showers of Blessing was taken, with good intentions, from Eze. 34:24 ff. [Read Eze. 34:24 to 31]

These are tremendous verses of promise and blessing from the hand of the Lord. There is no pleading and here no wishful thinking. The blessings are already given to us, either now or in the future when prophecies are fulfilled.

We should plead to be made into showers of blessing, or rather, showers of (eulogeitos), showers of benedicere, showers of bendición, showers of “benediction”, showers of “good speaking.”

Study Eph. 4:29 ff on the concept of speech that ministers grace.

See also, Eph. 5,neither foolishness … but rather giving of thanks.”

1 Pet. 3:9

Why should we not be generous? We have an enormous inheritance from our heavenly Father, enough to share with others.

James 3:10 and John 7:38

We are to be fountains of blessing.

Matt. 25:34; Daniel 4:33,34; (Blessing is not mentioned in Matt. 6:25-34 and Josh. 1:7,8)

Ephesians 1:3 (expanded translation) “Worthy of praise and glorification is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who has provided us benefits and every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ:”

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The Barrier, Reconciliation, Justification

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This paper is a brief study of the Biblical doctrines of reconciliation and propitiation, which are vitally important to a Christian’s understanding of how God has made it possible for any person to have a good relationship with Him. Jesus Christ, by bearing our sins on the cross, fulfilled God’s requirements for a perfect sacrifice; and the effect was to remove all impediments to our receiving eternal life and having fellowship with God.

Reconciliation

The word reconciliation refers to the process of changing something thoroughly and adjusting it to something else that is a standard. For example, when you adjust your watch to a time signal, you are reconciling the watch to a time standard. When you reconcile your checkbook, the standard to which you match it is the bank’s record of your account. On rare occasions the bank must reconcile its accounts to yours.

In the Bible, reconciliation is the word used to refer to the process by which God changes human beings and adjusts them to the standard of His perfect character. Rom. 11:15 refers to the “reconciling of the world”. The Greek word used here is the noun καταλλαγη (katallagei). This word is also used in Rom. 5:11, “…but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation._” Note that man is not active in reconciliation and provides nothing toward reconciliation. Read also 2 Cor. 5:17-21.

Reconciliation also appears in the verb form καταλλασσω (katallasso), meaning “to reconcile”. It is used in the active voice in 2 Cor. 5:18 with the meaning of “reconciling someone to someone else.” In this case, God reconciles us to Himself, through the Lord Jesus Christ. This verb in the passive voice means “to be reconciled” or “to become reconciled”, and it is used in the case of man’s relationship to God in Rom. 5:10 and 2 Cor. 5:20. The passive voice is also used in cases of reconciliation between people, as in 1 Cor. 7:11 and Matt. 5:24.

Another Greek word translated “to reconcile” is ιλασκοµαι (hilaskomai), meaning “to reconcile” in the sense of providing propitiation, as in Luke 18:13. It is used of the activity of the Lord Jesus Christ as High Priest in making reconciliation for His people, Heb. 2:17.

Rom. 5:6-11 points out that the whole world needs to be reconciled to God. Note the adjectives in this passage which stress this need: “ungodly”, “without strength”, “sinners” and “enemies”.

Reconciliation is an important consideration in the study of the doctrine of the barrier. By the death of Christ on the cross, the world is thoroughly changed in its relationship to God, Eph. 2:14-18 and Col. 1:20-22. That is, through the cross of Christ the world is so altered in its position respecting the character and judgment of God that God does not now impute sin to human beings. The world is therefore rendered savable!

Because the position of the world before God is completely changed through the substitutionary atonement of Christ, God’s attitude toward man can no longer be the same. God can now deal with souls in the light of Christ’s work.

Notice that God is never said to be reconciled to man. God is immutable, so He does not change. Reconciliation is only possible in one direction. What sometimes seems to be a change in God is actually an unchanged attitude of God viewing a reconciled man. God, having how accepted Christ’s work, is able to continue to be just toward man. He can now offer salvation.

A person profits from reconciliation by faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once he becomes a believer, a person can partake in all of the blessings which accompany his position in Christ, including the privileges accruing from reconciliation.

The believer, in turn, has the responsibility of becoming a minister of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5:18–19. The truth of reconciliation is one of the key salvation doctrines to be used in witnessing to those without Christ.

Propitiation

Propitiation is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ by which He appeases the wrath of God and conciliates Him who would otherwise be offended by our sin and would demand that we pay the penalty for it.

Propitiation is translated from the Greek ‘ιλαστεριον (hilasterion), meaning “that which expiates or propitiates” or “the gift which procures propitiation”. The word is also used in the New Testament for the place of propitiation, the “mercy seat”. Heb. 9:5. There is frequent similar use of hilasterion in the Septuagint. Ex. 25:18 ff. The mercy seat was sprinkled with atoning blood on the day of atonement (Lev. 16:14), representing that the righteous sentence of the Law had been executed, changing a judgment seat into a mercy seat (Heb. 9:11-15; compare with “throne of grace” in Heb. 4:14-16; place of communion, Ex. 25:21-22).

Another Greek word, ‘ιλασµος (hilasmos), is used for Christ as our propitiation. 1 John 2:2; 4:10, and for “atonement” in the Septuagint (Lev. 25:9). The thought in the Old Testament sacrifices and in the New Testament fulfillment is that Christ completely satisfied the just demands of a holy God for judgment on sin by His death on the cross.

God, foreseeing the cross, is declared righteous in forgiving sins in the Old Testament period as well as in justifying sinners under the new covenant (Rom. 3:25, 26; cf. Ex. 29:33, note). Propitiation is not the placating of a vengeful God but, rather, it is the satisfying the righteousness of a holy God, thereby making it possible for Him to show mercy without compromising His righteousness or justice.

The Hebrew kaphar, means “to propitiate, to atone for sin”.. According to scripture, the sacrifice required by the Law only covered the individual’s sin making the sin offering and secured personal divine forgiveness. The Old Testament sacrifices never removed man’s sin. “It is not possible…”, Heb. 10:4. The Israelite’s offering implied confession of sin in anticipation of Christ’s sacrifice which did, finally, “put away” the sins “done previously in the forbearance of God”. Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15, 26. The word “atonement” does not occur in the New Testament; the word in Rom. 5:11 is “reconciliation”.

The beginning of the subject of propitiation is found far back in the Bible, back to the designing of the tabernacle in the wilderness, the tent which God had the people of Israel set up which would be the center of His presence on earth.

The tabernacle occupies a large portion of Scripture, sixteen chapters in the book of Exodus and the whole book of Leviticus. Every feature of the tabernacle, of the worship carried out there, of the priestly life and duties, of the vestments of the priests, the sacrifices, the feast days–every feature was vitally important and designed by the Lord for eternal purposes. It is very important for the church age believer to have a good working knowledge of the Levitical system in order to appreciate fully the work of Christ and the plan of God as they have been instituted in the world.

There was great stress on the blueprint of the tabernacle.

Exodus 25:8, 9 “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”

The pattern was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, along with the Law. Read Hebrews 8:1–6. The tabernacle was a symbolical expression of spiritual truth. The congregation of the Jews did not go beyond the courtyard of the tabernacle. They made offerings only at the brazen altar; and only the priests were allowed to go anyplace else in the tabernacle. The tabernacle was the dwelling place of God on earth, and God was unapproachable by sinful men. The main lessons being taught had to do with the perfection of God and the sinfulness of man.

The Furniture of the Tabernacle

Brazen Altar – This altar was the beginning of a person’s approach to God. Animal sacrifices made there taught that substitutionary sacrifice is the first step toward fellowship with God. When a person passed outside the gate of the tabernacle, the only thing that he could see was the smoke rising from the burnt offerings, and through the one gate could be seen the altar of sacrifice and the blood being shed. Everything else was hidden from view by the curtain. This was a continuous reminder of “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” The only thing the unbeliever can ever see is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for us.

A description of the brazen altar is found in Ex. 27:1–8 and Ex. 38:1-7.

The Laver– Here the priests cleaned their hands and arms before performing any service or act of worship (Ex. 30:17-21). It was placed between the brazen altar and the tent of worship (the holy place). This cleansing symbolized the spiritual cleansing which is essential to both worship and service.

The Candlesticks– These illustrated the need for illumination, the light of the world. See Ex. 25:31–40; 37:17–24.

The Table of Bread – An illustration of the need for spiritual food. See Ex. 25:23–30; 37:10–16.

The Altar of Incense– From Ex. 30:1–10, this piece of tabernacle furniture illustrated the need for acceptable worship and prayer. No animals were offered on this altar. The offering was an incense offering, indicating that which is pleasing to God, divine good (gold, silver, and precious stones). The fire for the altar of incense came from the brazen altar, indicating that worship can only come after salvation. No strange fire was allowed; and Nadab and Abihu died for disobeying this rule.

The Veil– The veil symbolized the barrier between God and man; only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, and that only once a year on the day of atonement, to offer the blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant.

The Ark of the Covenant – The ark of the covenant was located in the holy of holies of the tabernacle. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Its dimensions were 50 inches long by 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep. The ark was a picture of Christ bearing our sins, the box part representing Christ. The wood illustrated the humanity of Christ, the gold represented His deity.

Inside the ark were three objects representing sin (Num. 17:8, 10; Heb. 9:4). The tables of the Law represented sin in the sense of violation or transgression of God’s order. The pot of manna represented rejection of God’s provision. Aaron’s rod represented revolt against God’s authority.

Over the top of the box was a lid of solid gold, the mercy seat (or throne). Over each end of the mercy seat was a gold cherub, the highest ranking angel. The first cherub represented the absolute righteousness of God, and the second cherub represented the justice of God. Together they represented the holiness of God. The cherubs faced toward each other, wings outstretched towards each other, and looked down at the mercy seat. “Righteousness” looks down and condemns (Rom. 3:23). “Justice” looks down and assesses a penalty.

Once a year, on the day of atonement, the high priest went into the holy of holies twice; once to make atonement for his own sins, and then to do so for the people. He sprinkled blood from the sacrifice on the ark, on the top of the mercy seat, between the cherubs. This was a graphic illustration of God’s grace provision for sin. “Righteousness” looks at the blood of the animal, which represents the spiritual death of Christ on the cross, His substitutionary atonement, and is satisfied. “Justice” looks at the blood and is satisfied that the penalty paid for sin was sufficient, teaching that Christ was judged and paid the penalty for us.

Therefore, the ark speaks of redemption – Christ paid for our sins, paid our ransom, to purchase us from the slave market of sin.

So we have in the ark and the mercy seat a picture of God’s satisfaction with the work of Jesus Christ known as propitiation.

Now, the Hebrew word for mercy seat is kapporeth. The Greek word used in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament is hilasterion. This same Greek word is found in the New Testament in Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:5; 1 John 2:2; and 4:10. and is translated “mercy seat” or “place of propitiation”. So there is a direct relationship between the mercy seat in the tabernacle and the doctrine of propitiation.

Because of propitiation, God is free to love the believer without compromising either His righteousness or justice. The thought in the Old Testament sacrifices and in the New Testament fulfillment is that Christ completely satisfied the just demands of a holy God for judgment of sin.

Propitiation is not the placating of a vengeful God; but it is, rather, the satisfying of the righteousness of a holy God making it possible for Him to show mercy without compromise. Propitiation demonstrates the consistency of God’s character in saving the worst sinners. Propitiation reconciles man to God. This means that sin is no longer the issued between man and God. The only issue, both for the Old Testament and New Testament believers, is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

The Barrier

The word “barrier” has been coined by Bible teachers (it is not a Bible word) to refer to those characteristics of man and of God which cause man to be alienated from God. The barrier, as described in six parts below, represents mankind’s need to be reconciled to God by God’s grace provision.

  • Every person has a retroactive “position” in Adam. Because Adam died spiritually, every person is born spiritually dead. Read 1 Cor. 15:22 and Eph. 2:5, 6.

This problem is solved by God’s offering to us a “position” in Christ, a condition which forms the basis for the doctrines related to positional truth. Read 1 John 5:11, 12; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 1:7.

  • Man’s physical birth places him in a condemned human race: 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:5, 6.

This problem is solved by God’s allowing us to become members of His family through regeneration: John 1:11, 12; 3:3 ff; Gal. 3:26; Titus 3:5.

  • God’s perfect character, His glory, His perfect essence, disallows imperfection of any kind. Example: The Ten Commandments. Read Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22, 23; Ps. 145:17.

But the death of Christ on the cross paid the penalty for our sin. He was our propitiation. Propitiation is “the work of the Lord Jesus Christ by which He appeases the wrath of God and conciliates Him who would otherwise be offended by our sin.” Read 1 John 2:2; Rom. 3:25.

  • Man’s personal righteousness falls short of God’s perfect righteousness: Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:10–12; Rom. 5:6-11.

This problem is solved in two ways. First, by justification, “God’s act of grace by which He pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous on account of the atonement of Christ.” Read Rom. 3:24; 5:1.

Then, by imputation, “the act of God by which He credits human sin to Christ in order that He may in turn credit righteousness to men.” Read Rom. 3:22; 2 Cor. 5:21.

  • Man’s personal sin causes him to fall short on a day by day basis: Rom. 3:23. This problem is solved by redemption, by which man is purchased from the slave market of sin and set free as a citizen of the heavenly kingdom: John 8:31-36; Eph. 1:7.
  • Man stands under the penalty of sin: Rom. 6:23; 5:12.

The penalty for sin was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. This is known as expiation, a blotting out of sin: Col. 2:14.

The barrier is removed and man is free to approach God. God is free to treat man in grace. God’s righteousness and justice are satisfied. The complete penalty has been paid.

There is no double jeopardy for sins committed. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Therefore, the only issue to be faced by any person is whether he believes in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. Read Acts 16:30: John 3:15-17, 36; 5:24.

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Holy Spirit Salvation Ministry

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Introduction.

God the Holy Spirit does seven things for each church age believer when he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. None of these ministries make you feel better or any differently. There is no emotional experience with the Holy Spirit’s activities. All emotional experiences have a human source.

These seven things done for the believer by the Holy Spirit at salvation form the basis for unity among Christian believers.

Efficacious Grace**

Efficacious grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to the believer in Christ, or the work of the Holy Spirit which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ as Savior. It is the Holy Spirit picking up a person’s positive signals of faith in Christ and carrying them to the point of salvation.

When we hear the gospel we are spiritually dead. When we believe in Jesus Christ, it is the faith of a spiritually dead person. How can a dead man hear anything? Furthermore, what good is the faith of a spiritually dead person? Therefore, we were totally helpless to procure eternal salvation in our spiritually dead state.

But God the Holy Spirit in His matchless grace comes to our rescue. First, He makes the gospel clear to us. This is common grace. Then He makes our faith in Christ effectual, giving our faith life, as it were. This is efficacious grace.

In John 10:27-28, Jesus said, “I give unto you eternal life, and you shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck you out of My hand.” It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to make our faith effective so that we can be given eternal life.

Therefore, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in common grace may be regarded as the inhale of the gospel. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace may be regarded as the exhale of faith in Jesus Christ.

When the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit takes that faith and makes it effective for salvation.

The origin of our faith is from a spiritually dead person, and therefore it has no ability in itself. Spiritual death means total inability to do anything by which we can enter into an eternal relationship with God.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s ministry at salvation is one of fantastic grace, both in making the gospel understandable and in making our faith effectual.

So in salvation, the spiritually dead person believes in Jesus Christ, while the Holy Spirit makes that faith effective for salvation.

The positive volition of the spiritually dead person does two non-meritorious things.

When he listens to the gospel; the Holy Spirit makes the gospel message lucid.

When he believes in Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit makes his faith effective.

Being spiritually dead, we cannot understand what we hear as unbelievers. Therefore, without the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace, none of us would have eternal salvation.

Effectual faith means the power to produce the intended effect and purpose, i.e., salvation.

Ephesians 2:8, “For you have been saved by grace_ [efficacious grace] through faith [effectual faith], and this[matter of being saved] _is not from yourselves; it is a gift from God, not from works, lest any man should boast.”

So in our salvation, there are two acts of sovereign grace:

  1. The first is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in making the gospel understandable. Common grace means that, being spiritually dead, we can not begin to understand any spiritual phenomena, including the gospel.
  2. The second is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making our faith effectual, called efficacious grace.

For those who reject the gospel there is no efficacious grace.

Matthew 22:14, “For many are called [the entire human race], but few are chosen [i.e., elected, become believers].”

Efficacious grace is a part of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13-14.

God the Holy Spirit makes your faith effective for salvation and then guarantees it, seals it.

Regeneration

The second ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation is called regeneration. It is taught in Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23.

Regeneration is the technical term for being born again, because that is the way it is described in John 3:1-18, in our Lord’s discussion with Nicodemus.

John 3: 6-7, “-That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say to you: you must be born again. –

Being born again is a result of faith in Jesus Christ and occurs at the instant you personally believe in Jesus Christ.

We are born physically as dichotomous, having a body and soul, but no human spirit. However, at the moment we believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, making us trichotomous.

The moment God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, God the Father imputes eternal life to that human spirit.

Remember that any kind of life must have a place to reside. The human soul is where human physical life resides, imputed at our physical birth. The human spirit is where eternal life resides, imputed at our spiritual birth.

Soul life exists forever. The believer will live forever in heaven; the unbeliever will live forever in the lake of fire.

John 3:36, “For he that believes on the Son has everlasting life. But he that does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

So regeneration means the creation of a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life. The soul is the residence of human life; the human spirit is the residence of eternal life.

The fact that the believer in Jesus Christ is trichotomous is found in 1Thess 5:23; Philemon 25.

Just as the soul is the residence for soul or human life, so the human spirit is the residence for eternal life.

Conception is the origin of the human body; this is biological life. When biological life emerges from the womb, God creates human life and imputes it to the human soul.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Acts 1:5. It is mentioned in principle and mechanics in 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 4:5.

At the moment we believed in Christ, God the Holy Spirit took each one of us and entered us into union with the person of Jesus Christ.

As a result of being in union with Christ, we share what Christ has.

  1. We share His eternal life (1 John 5:11-12), giving us a double portion of eternal life.
  2. We share His righteousness, giving us a double portion.
  3. We share Christ’s destiny under predestination.
  4. We share Christ’s election.
  5. Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, has a third royal title. We share in His royalty as His royal family.
  6. We become a new spiritual species, 2 Cor. 5:17

Once you are put into union with Christ also called positional sanctification, you can never get out. There is no sin or human good or evil you can perform that can disqualify you from being in union with Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for the new spiritual species and the royal family of God. This is a unifying factor in the body of Christ. We have equal privilege and opportunity to execute God’s plan.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

At the moment you believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit indwells your body, 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16.

1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you . . .

The purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to provide a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the shekinah glory. This is necessary because we all have the old sin nature resident in the cell structure of our bodies, with a predilection to sin in certain areas.

In the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple, our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt between the cherubs as the shekinah gory. His presence there was a guarantee of blessing to Israel through their unconditional covenants.

Just as Christ indwelt the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem as a guarantee of blessing to Israel, so He indwells us as a guarantee of our escrow blessings. He lives in your body as a greater guarantee of blessing than the guarantee given to Israel. For Jesus Christ is the escrow officer; He is the one who makes the distribution of our blessings for time and for the eternal state.

The indwelling of Christ says that, if the indwelling of Christ in sacred buildings during the age of Israel was so important, how much more important is it that Jesus Christ now indwells your body. In fact, it is so important that the Holy Spirit preceded Him and made a temple for His indwelling.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit relates to the body of the Christian believer, while the filling of the Holy Spirit relates to the soul of the believer in Christ.

The indwelling of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with your spiritual life experientially. It is the filling of the Holy Spirit that has to do with your spiritual life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is when the believer walks by means of the Spirit, where the Holy Spirit controls his soul, which is distinct from his body.

So the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit are not related; they are separate ministries.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with your personal life, how you act, or how you conduct your life. It is permanent. The filling of the Holy Spirit, however, is affected by our thinking or behavior, because personal sin is a factor, as shown in the next section.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit

The filling of the Holy Spirit is taught in Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16.

We are filled with the Holy Spirit at salvation when God the Holy Spirit takes us and enters us into fellowship with Himself.

Thereafter, the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the same as being under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, and this continues as long as he does not sin.

When we sin, we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit. We grieve the Holy Spirit. We quench the Holy Spirit. But through the use of confession of sin, we can once again become filled with the Holy Spirit.

To recover the filling of the Holy Spirit after sinning, we must use confession, which is described in 1 John 1:9.

The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is found in Eph 1:13-14, 4:30.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is a signature guarantee of:

  1. The Holy Spirit’s ministry in efficacious grace.
  2. Eternal life.
  3. Eternal security in time.
  4. Your assets of divine blessing (Eph. 1:3)

This is His ministry whereby the Holy Spirit signs the guarantee of our salvation, eternal life, eternal security and invisible assets. He puts His signature to our lives that we actually have our blessings.

Both the indwelling of Christ and the sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantee our blessings.

The Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to each Believer

All three members of the trinity are actually involved in the distribution of our spiritual gifts.

God the Father was involved in the distribution of spiritual gifts as a witness to the strategic victory of Jesus Christ after His ascension. This began in the dispensation of the hypostatic union. Heb. 2:4.

God the Son was involved in the initial distribution of spiritual gifts to the first generation of the body of Christ or royal family. This follows the analogy of a Roman triumphal procession. This was a part of the distribution of blessings as a result of the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ which terminated the dispensation of the hypostatic union, in His resurrection, ascension, and session. Eph 4:7-8.

After the first generation of the royal family, God the Holy Spirit is involved in all subsequent distribution of spiritual gifts, 1 Cor. 12:11.

At the very moment you believed in Jesus Christ, you were given a spiritual gift.

The distribution of spiritual gifts at the moment of salvation is the manifestation of team action in the body of Christ. It is the basis for administration and service in the royal family. It is the expression of the modus operandi of the church age believer, both as a royal priest and as a royal ambassador.

The Two Post Salvation Ministries of the Holy Spirit.

After salvation, the Holy Spirit has two post salvation ministries.

The enabling power of the Holy Spirit, for believers who are in fellowship, is called the filling of the Holy Spirit in Eph 5:18, and it is called walking by means of the Holy Spirit in Gal 5:16.

The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit can only occur when a believer is in fellowship. This is the enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit to understand doctrine.

Therefore, the post salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit are related to our understanding of Bible doctrine, John 14:26, 16:12-14; 1 Cor. 2:9-16.

Bibliography (principal sources):

Chafer, Lewis Sperry, “Systematic Theology”

McCalley, Chester, taped sermons and printed materials.

Strong, A. H., “Systematic Theology”

Thieme, R. B. Jr., taped sermons and printed materials.

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Salvation Doctrines

“The Christian who does not understand what God has done in the past, and does not have faith in what God will do in the future, will be overwhelmed by today’s crisis.” Chester McCalley

Your Christian life began the moment you believed the Gospel, putting your complete confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. At that moment, God provided you with a great number of unique and permanent blessings. “…and hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3) These blessings are a part of your inheritance as a Christian; they are the doctrines and promises upon which you may draw during the remainder of your lifetime.

The following is a listing of salvation doctrines, a catalogue of the things God did for you when you accepted Christ. These basic teachings are the underlying principles for the mechanics of Christian living, the techniques such as faith rest and occupation with Christ, and are foundation principles for all other Bible doctrine.

This listing can provide you with hours of quality study and meditation. You may well find other topics that could be added to the list. It is valuable and important that you understand thoroughly your relationship with the Lord; a good knowledge of these doctrines can be of great help to you in solving problems and making decisions according to God’s viewpoint.

You are in the eternal plan of God, sharing the destiny of the Lord Jesus Christ. As such you are:

Foreknown

Acts 2:23. “this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

Romans 8:29. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”

1 Peter 1:2. “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

Elect

Romans 8:33. “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;”

Colossians 3:12. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”

1 Thessalonians 1:4. “knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;”

Titus 1:1. “Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,”

1 Peter 1:1, 2. “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen”

Predestined

Romans 8:29, 30. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that *He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Ephesians 1:5. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will”

Ephesians 1:11. “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”

Chosen in Christ

Matthew 22:14. “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

1 Peter 2:4. “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God”

Called

1 Thessalonians 5:24. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

You have been reconciled

Reconciled by God

2 Corinthians 5:18. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,”

Colossians 1:20. “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

Reconciled to God

Romans 5:10. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

2 Corinthians 5:20. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

Ephesians 2:14-16. “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

You have been redeemed (purchased from the slave market of sin).

Romans 3:24. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

Colossians 1:14. “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

1 Peter 1:18. “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,”

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”

You have been removed from condemnation.**

John 3:18. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 5:24. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Romans 8:1. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

You are under grace and not under judgment (doctrine of propitiation).

Romans 3:24–28. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

1 John 2:2. “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

Your sins have been judged by the spiritual death of Christ on the cross:

Romans 4:25. “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”

1 Peter 2:24. “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

You have been made dead to the old life and alive unto God. You are:
Crucified with Christ

Romans 6:6. “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;”

Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Dead with Christ

Romans 6:8. “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,”

Colossians 3:3. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

1 Peter 2:24. “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

Buried with Christ

Romans 6:4. “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 2:12. “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

Risen with Christ

Romans 6:4. “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 3:1. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

You are free from the law.

Romans 6:14. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Romans 7:4-6. “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”

2 Corinthians 3:11. “For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.”

Galatians 3:25. “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [the Law].”

You have been adopted (placed as an adult heir in the family of God)

Romans 8:15. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!'”

Romans 8:23. “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Ephesians 1:5. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,”

You have been justified (declared righteous).

Romans 3:24. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

Romans 5:1. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Romans 5:9. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

Romans 8:30. “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Titus 3:7. “so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

You have been regenerated (born spiritually into the family of God)

John 13:10. “Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Titus 3:5. “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,”

By regeneration you are:
Born Again

John 3:7. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.”

1 Peter 1:23. “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”

Children of God

Galatians 3:26. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Sons of God

John 1:12. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

2 Corinthians 6:18. “‘And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.”

1 John 3:2. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

New Creations

2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Galatians 6:15. “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

You have been made acceptable to God.

Ephesians 1:6. “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

1 Peter 2:5. “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

To make a believer acceptable to Himself, God sees to it that you have been:
Made righteous

Romans 3:22. “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;”

1 Corinthians 1:30. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,”

2 Corinthians 5:21. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Philippians 3:9. “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”

Sanctified positionally

1 Corinthians 1:30. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,”

1 Corinthians 6:11. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Perfected forever

Hebrews 10:14. “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified._”

Made qualified

Colossians 1:12. “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

You have been forgiven all trespasses or sins

Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

Ephesians 4:32. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Colossians 1:14. “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 2:13. “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,”

Colossians 3:13. “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

You have been made a heavenly citizen based on reconciliation.

Luke 10:20. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Ephesians 2:13,19. “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household”

Philippians 3:20. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

You have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan

Colossians 1:13. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,”

Colossians 2:15. “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”

You have been transferred into God’s kingdom.

Colossians 1:13. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

You have been placed on a secure foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:11. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:4. “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”

Ephesians 2:20. “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,”

You are a gift from God the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24. “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” 6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” 9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.” 11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.” 12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

You have been delivered from the power of the sin nature.

Romans 2:29. “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”

Philippians 3:3. “for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”

Colossians 2:11. “and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;”

You have been appointed as a priest unto God.

1 Peter 2:5,9. “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

Revelation 1:6. “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”

You are under the care of God as a chosen generation and a protected people.

Titus 2:14. “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

1 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

You have been given access to God.

Romans 5:2. “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Ephesians 2:18. “for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.”

Hebrews 4:14,16. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” 16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 10:19,20. “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,”

You are within the much more care of God.
Objects of His love

Ephesians 2:4. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,”

Ephesians 5:2. “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Objects of His grace

For salvation, Ephesians 2:8,9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

For keeping, Romans 5:2. “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

1 Peter 1:5. “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

For service, John 17:18. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

Ephesians 4:7. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

For instruction, Titus 2:12. “instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,”

Objects of His power

Ephesians 1:19. “and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might”

Philippians 2:13. “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Objects of His faithfulness

Philippians 1:6. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 13:5. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’”

Objects of His peace

John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Objects of His consolation

2 Thessalonians 2:16. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,”

Objects of His intercession

Romans 8:34. “who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

Romans 7:25. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

Romans 9:24. “even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”

You are a beneficiary of the inheritance from God (an heir of God and a joint-heir with the Lord Jesus Christ).

Romans 8:17. “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Ephesians 1:14,18. “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” 18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

Colossians 3:24. “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Hebrews 9:15. “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

1 Peter 1:4. “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

You have a new position in Christ.

Ephesians 2:6. “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”

Colossians 3:4. “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

1 Corinthians 1:9. “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 3:9. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

2 Corinthians 3:3,6. “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 6 “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 5:20. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 6:1,4. “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain” 4“but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,”

You are the recipient of eternal life.

John 3:15. “so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

John 10:28. “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

John 20:31. “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

1 John 5:11,12. “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

You are a member of the family of God.

Galatians 6:10. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

Ephesians 2:19. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,”

You are Light in the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8. “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light”

1 Thessalonians 5:4. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;”

You are united with the Father.

1 Thessalonians 1:1. “Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.”

cf Ephesians 4:6. “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

United with Christ

John 14:20. “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

cf. Colossians 1:27. “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

A member of His body

1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

A branch in the vine

John 15:5. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

A stone in the building

Ephesians 2:21,22. “in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

A part of His bride

Ephesians 5:25-27. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”

A priest in His kingdom

1 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

A saint of the new species

2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

United with the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:9‑11. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

You are the recipient of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Born of the spirit

John 3:6. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Baptized by the spirit

1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Indwelt by the spirit

John 7:39. “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Romans 5:5. “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 8:9. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”

1 Corinthians 3:16. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 6:19. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

Galatians 4:6. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'”

1 John 3:24. “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

Sealed by the spirit

2 Corinthians 1:22. “who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”

Ephesians 4:30. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Recipient of spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 12:11. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

1 Corinthians 12:27-31. “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts.”

1 Corinthians 13:1,2. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

You have been glorified in Christ.

Romans 3:20. “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

You have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:10. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;”

You are the possessor of every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

You are the recipient of a human spirit.

Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”

1 Corinthians 2:12. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,”

2 Corinthians 7:13. “For this reason we have been comforted. And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 2:5. “even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”

You have access to all Bible truth through the grace system for Bible understanding and Christian growth

READ Colossians 2 and Ephesians 4.

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Peace of God, and Peace with God

Christian Peace

Peace with God, and the Peace of God

The word peace in the Bible, from the Greek word (EIREINEI), refers to a mental attitude of tranquility based on a relationship with God in the Christian way of life. It is a word which describes the result of a person’s correct response to God’s grace.

The Bible uses peace in two ways. There is personal peace with God which comes when a person accepts Jesus Christ as savior. Then, there is the peace of God which is available on a daily basis as the believer participates in the Christian way of life according to the plan of God.

So, where you find peace mentioned in the Bible it refers either to the reconciliation of a Christian in salvation, as in Ephesians 2:14,17, or to the mental attitude found in the believers described in 2 Timothy 1:7.

Peace with God – Peace in Salvation

Peace with God is never available apart from grace. The cross of Christ is the focal point of grace and is the source of peace. Jesus Christ is our eternal peace.

Romans 5:1Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace removed the barrier and made peace between man and God. So, when the unbeliever responds to grace by faith, the result is peace.

Ephesians 2:14-18 provides a good illustration of how God made it possible for anyone to have peace with God, with special emphasis on the fact that such different people as Jews and Gentiles have a clear opportunity for accepting Christ.

Verse 14 deals with peace as a product of reconciliation. Verse 15 explains that the enmity between God and man, that which we call the barrier, was abolished once and for all. Verses 16 to 18 explain that the enmity has been slain for both Jews and Gentiles so that now those who were near to God, the Jews, and those who were far off, non Jews, have been brought into union with Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Peace in the Christian Way of Life

In our lifetime we can experience peace on a daily basis. When the believer responds by faith to grace, God provides many blessings which can result in great inner happiness.

Isaiah 26:3,4Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

In the Christian way of life, peace comes through fellowship with God followed by daily growth and advancement in spiritual things which brings stability, a relaxed mental attitude, orientation to the plan of God, occupation with Christ and the ability to employ faith rest principles in all areas of life.

Read Philippians 4:6-9

Peace or tranquility, precedes the enjoyment of prosperity. It is part of the preparation for prosperity. One must have peace to have the capacity for prosperity. God may hold prosperity back until there is the capacity to enjoy it.

Acts 9:31Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.

Read Jeremiah 29:1-7

Any loss of peace is followed by adjustment to the plan of God. Confession and restoration to fellowship, faith rest a relaxed mental attitude and peace will appear in the new situation from God’s viewpoint and follower of Christ can choose to accept God’s best plan for you.

The man or woman who receive grace and peace from the Lord is in perfect position for spiritual production and reproduction.

Read James 3:13-18

The peace of God is shown through wisdom. The Christian has to choose to follow God’s wisdom which is first pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits which is unwavering without hypocrisy. The Christian can choose to follow the wisdom of the world which is leads to bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil thing. Choosing God’s wisdom leads to peace in every day decision making. God allows you to make this choice of which source of wisdom to follow every day.

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