“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Saul of Tarsus had been set apart for the work of the ministry of God by His Holy Spirit. He was a vessel unto God chosen to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations. The word he spoke was given to him by the revelation of the Spirit (II Cor. 12:4) without being influenced by man or taught of flesh and blood (Gal.1:16). He preached, from the Law and the prophets, that Jesus, who was born of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and manifestly declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, was Messiah of God. He confirmed that he had received the grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among the nations of the world by the Spirit of the Most High God. He affirmed that neither he nor any of the apostles of Jesus had followed after cunningly devised fables but were eye witnesses to the glory and majesty of God. Nor had he devised a crafty interpretation of the ancient scripture for a new and exciting way to draw off disciples after himself. The word he spoke was the Word of God which was addressed to those called ‘beloved of God’ and ‘most holy’ (saints).
This was not a doctrine that the logic of Adam could decipher or the reasoning of man could conclude because it was by the faith of God. This faith is a mutual faith of all those who have received ‘like precious faith’ in the common deliverance that the salvation of God had completed for His people. This is a simple faith, which cannot be proven by things seen or tangible, which that is based upon the immutable, singularity of God, for there is “one Lord, one faith and one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all and in you all” (Eph.4:5) . It is the same faith of every child of God born from above without derivation from the beginning. It is the gift of God wherein the entire family has access “into the grace wherein they stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rms. 5:2) and the identical hope wherein the sons of God now “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phl. 1:27).
This is not the faith of man for “all men have not faith” (II Thes. 3:2). The Lord taught that if man had faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, he could believe and be healed. He could also perform great deeds in and of himself so much so that nothing should be impossible for man to do (Matt. 17:20). But faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8), the evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and the testimony of things unseen and the substance of the expectations of the children of Zion (Heb. 11:1). It is not inherent to the nature of Adam, it is not a commodity which he may procure and there is nothing which he may do to earn the favour of this gift from God. The gift of faith, which testifies of Emmanuel (Matt.1:23), is because of the eternal love of the Father for His people, whom He foreknew from the beginning.
This is the faith of the Son of God wherein the children of God live (Hab. 2:4), whereby they have been delivered from the wrath of God (Eph. 2:8) and from which they shall be delivered from the bondage of the corruption of the flesh in the manifestation of the sons of God (Rms. 8:24). This is the gospel of Messiah wherein Saul worshiped Yehovah, which he preached to the nations and which was called heresy.
“So much as is in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are in Rome also”
The gospel of Christ does not change from location to location or from hearer to hearer. It is as constant from beginning to end as the glory of the immutable God which it proclaims. Cursed be anyone who is given to presume to have the right to take liberties with the good news of Messiah either in the addition of Adamic wisdom for clarity of understanding and poetic commentary or the deletion of one jot or tittle of the testimony of the sovereign God of the universe. The Word which spoke judgment against the deed of disobedience and forgiveness in the fashioning of the covering of skins in the garden to Adam and Eve is the same yesterday, today and forever, therefore the children of promise are not consumed.
Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ, was obligated and empowered to communicate this same gospel to the Jews, who were seeking a sign, as to the Greeks who desired wisdom (I Cor. 1:22). He was equally in debt to the untamed people of the rough language and harsh life-style which the civilized world could not conquer or control (barbarians), as to the learned, skilled and educated scholars and philosophers who considered the preaching of the cross as foolishness. He was also constrained by the Spirit within to preach the love of God to the ignorant, unlearned people who were either deprived of education or incapable of perception and understanding and he did not change one word. He spoke of the glad tidings of great joy which was unto all people, the Jew first and then the nations, that Messiah had redeemed His people and saved them from their sin. He proclaimed that the types and foreshadows of the law were passed away being fulfilled in all righteousness and that the hand-writing of ordinances were of no effect anymore. The old man was crucified with Christ, old things had passed away and behold, because He was raised again and His people with Him, all things were new. This is the New Jerusalem which John saw adorned as a bride for her Husband (Rev. 21:5).
The gospel is identified first as the power of God (Rms. 1:16). This is the same God who according to the good pleasure of His will, spoke and the worlds came into being. His voice brought forth the light and fashioned the darkness. His purpose separated the light from the darkness and made it so that the darkness could never perceive the light. He manifestly demonstrated the invisible things of God, unto all the world, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead. This power is all inclusive so that nothing was made, in heaven or in the earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, principalities or powers, except by Him, for Him and through Him. Herein He is the head of all and has the preeminence over all for He is before all things and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:16). There is no room for anything created in the gospel of Messiah for it is the salvation of Yehovah for His people.
This gospel is the revelation of the righteousness of God and that from faith to faith. The Law and the Law-giver are just. There is no respect of persons or actions that could influence the judge. There are no mitigating circumstances as every thought, word and deed are according to the good pleasure of His will. Whatsoever comes to pass is according to His perfect will. He has created the waters of the sea and given them their course and strength while establishing the limits that the proud waves should reach and no further (Job. 38:11). He has put His will in the hearts of the inhabitants of this world to give the kingdoms of this world unto the beast (Rev. 17:17) whom He created as His servant and whom He leads about with hooks in his jaw (Job 41:1f). The only case law that can be sighted is that it pleased the Father so to do and His work is honourable and glorious as His righteousness endures forever (Ps. 110:3). He has performed all the intents of His heart (Jer. 30:24) and as He has spoken so it has come to pass (Ez. 24:14). His name is faithful and true (Rev. 19:11) and His people live by His faith, thus, He communicates the righteousness of His ways and His love, which is shed abroad in their hearts, by His faith which dwells exclusively in His people (Gal. 2:20).
This righteousness is also the wrath of God which is manifested against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. This truth which is rejected as foolishness is first revealed in His creation which man has dismissed as myth and conjecture. It is also revealed in His power, whereby we live and move and have our being, but which man proclaims as the fruits of the labours of his own hands. This same truth manifested in the knowledge of good and evil which He gave to Adam and all his progeny in the garden (Gen 3:22). Herein God has revealed Himself to all of Adam’s race but in knowing Him the natural man does not desire to retain Him in his knowledge. Adam does not glorify Him as God neither is he thankful but rather became worthless in his own understanding and professing himself to be wise, he is manifested a fool. Thus God has given man who is born of woman the desire of his flesh, while sending leanness into his soul and his foolish heart is darkened. Truth is deemed irrelevant, faith is dismissed as myth and superstition and hope is called wishful thinking.
Therefore man is without excuse whether he judges another for insurrection against the type and foreshadows of the law or is of a reprobate mind which changes the glory of the uncorruptible God into the image made like to corruptible man or any other of His creation. God has delivered mankind unto the vileness of their uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, thereby being made of a willing heart and mind to change the truth of God into a lie. This conduct of Adam is according to his nature. He cannot understand the things of Gods creation, discover His works, find out God by searching or perceive His glory. Thus no man comes unto the Father except he be drawn by the Father unto Himself (John 16:6)
The glory of the gospel is the glory of God which is the light of the New Jerusalem. This glory is of such purity that it appears as the light of a precious stone, even a ‘polished’ (jasper) stone, as transparent as crystal (Rev. 21:11). There is neither spot nor blemish in this glory, or the precious living stones hewn from that Rock which is Christ, or in the Beloved. She is the glory of her Husband and she has been granted to be adorned in a garment that is clean and white. The aprons of fig leaves of Adam and the covering of skins which God fashioned for them in the garden have been swallowed up in the wedding garments of the Bride, the righteousness of the saints (19:8) which is the imputed righteousness of Christ. This glory is the building of the city of the New Jerusalem whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise (Is. 60:18) and whose builder and maker is God. It is the city built by wisdom set upon the seven pillars she has hewn (Pro. 9:1) whose foundation is the ‘Anointed salvation of Yehovah’ and whose walls are of precious living stones.
This is the tabernacle of Emmanuel with men for they are His people and He is their God. There is no room for a temple made with hands or need of light, candle, sun, moon or stars for the glory of God lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof (Rev.21:23). Adam has no place here for he is a liar (Ps. 116:11) and his desires are of the things of this world. He is an earthen vessel afore prepared of God for His purpose, which has fashioned him to be broken as the glory of Yehovah shines forth (cp. Judges 7:17f). The refiner’s fire of the house of praise and the flame of the house of Joseph has consumed all the residue of Edom/Esau/Adam as the wood, hay and stubble have been consumed (Ob. 17). There is nothing within the tabernacle of Peace that can corrupt, defile or pollute the perfect Holiness of the city of God. No man can set foot there for he is of the earth. No man can sing the praises of His precious name, learn the songs of Zion, number the redeemed of the Lord, stand before His presence, and look upon the book of the Lamb or loosen the seals thereof. Adam is tangible and sensual. He was formed from the dust of the ground and to the dust he shall return for he must die and be poured out like water “spilt upon the ground which cannot be gathered up again” (II Sam. 14:14
God is not a man that He should lie. He is the way, the truth and the life of His body (Jn. 14:6). He teaches His people the truth which has made them free from the bondage of the corruption of the sin of Adam. His Spirit mortifies the deeds of the body and testifies that the sons of God are dead to sin because the seed remains within. They have no confidence in the arm of the flesh nor the strength of man. They loathe themselves for their wicked ways in Adam while they delight after the Law of God after the inward man. Their outward man perishes as the inward man is renewed daily. They have the assurance of the testimony of the Spirit of God as the fullness of the Godhead dwells within them as the anchor of their soul. They have that pure language whereby they speak and call upon the name of Yehovah (Zeph. 3:9) and they walk in the light of the Lord (Rev. 21:24). Nothing can separate them from the eternal love of the Father, no man can pluck them out of His hand and none can make them afraid for He is the Lord God Omnipotent and He reigns over all.
This is the gospel of Messiah. The testimony of His work which He has completed for all His people, is Christ crucified, risen and coming again. This is the comfort and patience of the saints which Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of the church made apostle to the nations by the power of the Holy Spirit, was not ashamed to speak. He was elect from the foundation of the world, separated from his mother Jerusalem’s womb and made partaker of flesh and blood. He was a chosen vessel with a path to walk wherein he excelled in those things which were contrary to the truth of the living God while completely convinced that he was a righteous defender of the truth. But in the fullness of time, God delivered him from this ignorance and reveal Himself in him. The Spirit revealed the gospel of Jesus Christ to him, gave him clarity of thought, discernment of truth and liberty of speech. The Spirit fashioned him so that he was not ashamed of that gospel. Paul knew that his God sets in heaven and rules over the kingdoms of this world; that all the inhabitants of this world are accounted as nothing; that he does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what are you doing? He was confident in the testimony of the hope of glory that this was this God of eternity who worked in him both to will and do His good pleasure and that He which had begun this good work would finish it unto the day of Jesus Christ.
He is God and there is no other (Is. 45:22). His Word stands true and has performed all that He has purposed. He has declared those things which have not yet come to pass as though they already have been saying, “My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure; calling the ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country; yea I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed, I will also do it” (46:10ff). He has done all for His Bride upon whom is all His desire; “For Yehovah most high is terrible, He is the great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2).
The gospel of God is His love for His Beloved Bride. All who are born from above are not ashamed to give an account of what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon them that they should be called the sons of God.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the seas and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 9, 2014