“For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.”
The presumed ability of man to think, reason and function is a stumbling stone and rock of offense to the natural mind of Adam. This is the strong delusion that God has given to Adam to believe the lie that he is knowledgeable of the Law of God, capable of measuring up to that standard and, empowered by the arm of the flesh, equipped to hit that mark of excellence. This was first expressed in the garden when Adam could not obey the word of God and when his eyes were opened, knowing good and evil, he hid himself from the presence of God. Then he appeared before God wearing his apron of fig leaves and, making accusations against God and excuses for himself, thinking this would be acceptable in His sight.
It is not natural for a person to conclude that they are of no worth (vanity) and incapable of performing the necessary tasks of life. He strives to stand upright and say, ‘Come see my zeal for the Lord’. For this reason, the mind of Adam rebels against the notion of the completed works by the hand of God, the absolute sovereign command and control of all things and his irresistible subservience to the perfect will of God. He cannot comprehend the intricate interweaving of all things together by the Lord and Master, according to the good pleasure of His eternal will, whereby creation exists and the universe and time continue. These things are of the mind and intent of God, who will not share His glory with another, therefore man is delusional to think himself capable to provide for himself, qualified to reason and judge and independent of the need of intercession on his behalf. Thus the wise and prudent of this world conclude that religion is an opiate for the masses and security for the weak-minded and infirmed.
Saul of Tarsus was neither weak, ignorant nor infirmed. He had met, seen and spoken with Messiah on the Damascin road. He had been slain by the commandments of the Law of God and schooled for fourteen years in the wilderness by the Spirit of Yehovah through revelation. He was taught that the cumulative wisdom of this world was foolishness before the throne of God and the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ confounded the wise. He knew by experience that he was carnal, sold under sin and in the bondage to the corruption of the flesh for when he desired to do good, evil was present. And so, the education of the Pharisees in the customs and traditions of the fathers, the delusion of the reasoning of the mind which concluded that the law could be kept and the prosperity and prestige that accompanied this life-style were all equated with the refuse of the sacrifices before God (Ex. 29:14). This left him devoid of any confidence in his ability in the flesh to do anything, least of all measure up to the perfect standard of the Holiness of God. He had the testimony of the finished work of The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah which precluded any works of righteousness which man could conjure up and perform.
“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1)
The Lord God Almighty needs no assistance from anyone or anything to perform the great wonders of His works. He purposed, designed and created all things by the power of the Word of His mouth, for, by and through Himself (Col. 1:16). It is only the arrogance of the creature that concludes that God has devised a ‘plan of salvation’, an ‘opportunity’ for the deliverance from sin or an ‘offer’ of eternal life to those who have the mind and heart to ask for and accept His magnanimous generosity. He purposed in Himself, for there is no other God, before the foundation of the world, to deliver His people from the bondage of the corruption of the flesh, which was in Adam. He alone was mindful of the need for this salvation for He had ordained that sin would enter the world through the disobedience of His creation, Adam. He also predetermined that His people, that incorruptible seed, would be born from above in an appointed time and be made partakers of the same flesh and blood. These earthen vessels being separated from Him in rebellion and sin would be without strength and unacceptable in His sight for He is of purer eyes than to give attention to or consider evil (Hab. 1:13). Thus before Adam was yet formed from the dust of the earth, the Lamb of God stood as He had been slain, the purpose of God stood according to election whereby the shed blood of the Lamb of God adjudicated the just demands of the Law and covered those earthen vessels which were “afore prepared unto glory” (Rms. 9:23). He, the Lamb, was delivered up for the offenses of His people in Adam who had not yet been born, neither having done any good or any evil.
This work was accomplished because of His faithfulness to Himself, His Word and His covenant. Since there is no other god and therefore none greater than He, He swore by Himself. His counsel and His promise are confirmed by an oath, which is according to His nature immutable, that His people, who have fled unto Him, might have strong consolation, laying hold to the hope set before them (Heb.6:17f). Since He cannot deny Himself nor violate His Word (for He is not a man that He should lie Num. 23:19) or His promise, being commensurate to His being, His Beloved has peace with God by His faith.
He is the “everlasting Father” (Is. 9:6). His seed is eternal and they are one in Him (I Cor. 12:12) and, like Him, they are incorruptible (I Pt. 1:23). They are heirs of that incorruptible inheritance which is reserved for them in heaven and cannot fade away. They are seated in Him in the heavenlies yet they are manifested in time as the seed of Adam. Not that the seed is made known, for the seed is spiritual born from above, but that the existence in Adam is revealed as the seed is made subject to the vanity of the flesh. Then, in the appropriate time, the Father reveals Himself to His sons, that He dwells within them and that He loves them. This act of revelation does not make one a child of the King, it is for the children of the kingdom. It does not justify anyone for only those who have been justified by the cleansing of the shed blood have been made fit to be the tabernacle of the seed and it does not save anyone, for only those who have been delivered from wrath may have peace with God.
Thus, when in the performance of time, the children became partakers of flesh and blood, they stood as enemies of God for they walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). They were separated from God in the rebellion and sin of Adam and their conduct and way of life reflected that depravity. None of the seed of Adam sought after righteousness in the flesh nor reverenced God in His Holiness, because they were without understanding, strength or hope. They were enemies with God because their carnal mind was enmity against God. They were sinners because they strove continually to hit the mark and prove their righteousness and they were without reverence because God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rms. 5:8).
There is an appointed time span of the existence in Adam wherein the child, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, appears ignorant of the presence of God. During this time period, they ‘kick against the pricks’ (Acts 9:5), as the Spirit leads and draws them unto the revelation of truth. This is not an act of obedience wherein favour is obtained from God and rewarded with a gift of merit. It is the manifestation of a dormant period when the seed, sown from above and planted in the corruptible earthen vessel, which has been afore prepared unto this glory, awaits the time appointed of the Father when the life within is revealed.
For some this time period is short and they are enlightened by His grace at an early time of their lives. Others spend an entire lifetime searching the wisdom of the world with all its theologies and philosophies but the course that they all walk is the same. It leads them out of the darkness and into the manifestation of the light. This is because God has commended His love toward His elect according to grace. This commending is an act whereby two are placed together as one and inseparably bound together. This is an act which God alone has the right and the power to perform because Adam is without strength. It is an holy righteous work of God, for “the works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure” (Ps. 111:7), which is enacted because of His love. This love is eternal and nothing can influence or alter it in any way. If His love could be procured by merit then would it change from act to act and be dispensed by the degree of the conduct of the worker. If His love could not be dispensed until an act was performed then it is not an eternal love but rather a respecter of persons and if the demonstration of His love were according to works, then it may be diminished when those deeds fall short of the mark of perfection. Such is not the immutable love of a never changing God.
“Yehovah has appeared unto me of old saying; Truly I have loved you with and eternal love, therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you” (Jer. 31:3). This love of God was not without an object as it awaited the creation of the universe and man. His love, which is upon His Beloved was in the beginning, before the foundation of the world and the demonstration of that love was that the Lamb stood as He had been slain. Thus God demonstrated His love for His bride before she became partaker of flesh and blood, delivering her from all unrighteousness before sin had entered into the world. Then in the fullness or at the capacity of time, God manifested this wonder as He became made in the likeness of sinful man to deliver His people from the wrath to come. As that prophet foretold by Moses, His Word was spoken and did not return unto Him void but accomplished all that He sent Him forth to perform. “I Yehovah have spoken, it shall come to pass and I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent, according to thy ways and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith Yehovah God” (Ez. 24:14).
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of Yehovah, which He will shew to you today:” (Ex. 14:13).
The hand of Yehovah God delivered the nation of Israel from the house of bondage by the power of His right hand. This poor and afflicted people were without hope and without strength as they languished in the house of that man which was stronger that they (Jer. 31:11). Yet this deliverance was not a one time event in the progress of time. God delivered the people from being assimilated into the Egyptian society by making them a threat to the welfare of the state (Ex. 1:8). He had made them an abomination to the Egyptian people in that they were herdsman (Gen. 46:34) and delivered them into the preferred land of Goshen (drawing near). In this land they drew nigh unto Egypt but, being in Egypt they were not of Egypt. They drew nigh unto God as He isolated them from the indigenous inhabitants of the land and preserved Himself a people. When the Lord sent Moses to deliver His people from the hand of Pharaoh, He delivered them from the plagues of judgment (Gen. 8:22). When the fullness of time was come and the death messenger was sent forth into the land, the blood was struck on the door posts of the house to cover the chosen of Yehovah and deliver them from the wrath to come (Ex. 12). This was because God had delivered this people from a severe drought four hundred years earlier and removed them from the land of Canaan. These same people were delivered from house of the Syrian Laban (Gen. 30:22), delivered from the anger of Esau (27:41), delivered from the house of the Chaldean (12:1), delivered from the wrath of the deluge (6:8) and delivered from the judgment of God in the garden (3:24). The deliverance of Yehovah God for His people has been continually manifested throughout the annals of time because His love supersedes time. His love is an eternal love without beginning or end and the object of that love is as equally eternal. Yet in the fullness of time God sent forth His son, born of a woman and made under the law that He might make manifest the fact that His love is ‘standing together’ with His people. Therefore He can never leave nor forsake His Beloved.
Does this make them two distinct entities? No not at all. Adam was created in the image of God, male and female created He them. They were one from the beginning as Christ and His Bride are one. She is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, therefore as she became partaker of the sinful flesh of man so He made Himself after the likeness of sinful man. She was not polluted by the corruption of the flesh (cp. Hag. 2:12-14) because He had washed it from all unrighteousness in His blood, which was shed before Adam was created. When He who knew no sin, became the sin of His people, He took the cup of the wrath of God and drank all there was. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Him. He endured the judgment, despised the shame and for the joy set before Him, delivered His people from their sin. This He finished before the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3) yet it is still being made manifest today.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Rms 5:11).
Joshua stood before the throne of God bearing the sin of His people (Zech. 3:3). He was the only one who could be clothed in those filthy garments because He knew no sin. When the Righteous Judge saw the travail of His soul, in that He suffered as He endured the contradiction of sin against Himself, He was well pleased. The perfect law of righteousness was satisfied and there was given to Joshua a change of garments. He rebuked Satan on behalf of His people, for those filthy garments were their sins of His people in Adam, and He gloriously manifested the beauty of His Holiness. His blood was accepted as the sacrifice for sin and the iniquity of His people was removed, never to be called into account again (Ps. 103:12). His blood was also the covering for His people which had not yet been born, in Adam, neither had done any good or any evil. This covering identifies them as the house of the Israel of our God, protected and preserved in Christ Jesus. It is the seal upon the forehead of the servants of God (Rev. 7:2) and it delivers them from the ever present and effectual wrath of God.
If these things were not complete before man’s disobedience then should man have died in his sin without hope. But God joined His eternal love for His elect people in an inseparable union in that not only can nothing severe this bond but therein do the children of the King have hope. The Spirit within groans, while in the body of this habitation, in earnest expectation awaiting the deliverance and bears witness Himself, that we are the children of God. They have been delivered from the corruption of the earthen vessel by His blood, they have been delivered from the just wrath of God by His finished work and they shall be delivered from the body of this death when the time of their habitation is over.
Until that time comes to pass or to be more precise, when this time has been fulfilled and shall be no more, the children have the hope or expectation of glory within. This is the indwelling presence of the fullness of the Godhead which tabernacles in His people. It is the reminder of Jerusalem, the home of their heritage. It is the songs of Zion and praise unto her God and it is that peace that surpasses all understanding. It is that hope that cannot be seen with the eyes of Adam, the song that cannot be heard and the glad tidings of great joy which man calls foolishness;
“And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (5:5).
The circle is complete. He redeemed His people by His blood before the foundation of the world because of His eternal love. That love is bound together with His people. His Spirit dwells within the chosen vessels and gives a constant testimony that they are the Beloved of God. This causes them to wait patiently in expectation of deliverance and manifestation and it this hope by which they are delivered (8:24). This hope of glory, which is Christ in you, is because of the eternal love shed abroad in the hearts of the children of God.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
March 16, 2014