“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, for the law of the Spirit hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
These words are the summation of the point made by the Apostle concerning the kingdom of God, which is righteousness. The Spirit testifies that the faith of God was put to the account of Abraham who is the father of the faithful. This faith was not earned as a reward for the successful completion of a task or the fulfillment of a commission. If such were true then Abraham had somewhat wherein to boast before God for he indeed was blessed of God. This blessing was not contingent upon any conditions of the children of Adam for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This blessing could not have been according to the conduct, demeanor or attitudes of the children of the dust because God is not a respecter of persons and this blessing from God could not be placed upon any who are dead in trespasses and sin for then that which is considered Holy would become unclean by reason of its habitation (Hag. 2:12f). The blessing imputed (put to the account) was not rendered provisionally or with any conditions save that the recipient be born from above; “and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness”. Since then, the kingdom of God be righteousness, then Abraham was of that kingdom.
Now this was not written for his sake alone, that it was put to his account for righteousness, but for us also, to whom it is imputed who have confidence on Him that raised up the ‘Salvation of Yehovah’ our Lord from the dead. This ‘putting to the account’ must needs be performed by one who is in absolute control of this faith, must have supreme authority over the imputation and must have a purpose for the transaction. He indeed is the Sovereign of the universe who has dealt to every member of His body a measure of this faith commensurate to His purpose. These having been born from above have been justified by the faith of the Son of God whose name is Faithful and True. He came forth in the fullness of time to manifest the works which were finished before the foundation of the world; to save His people from their sin, raise up all that the Father had given to Him (being chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world) and to declare His generation. These and these alone have peace with God through the finished work of the one anointed by the Spirit to fulfill the law in all righteousness.
And so that the type might stand in Adam, who was a figure of He that should come, the entire race of Adam was condemned in him, separated from God by his act and by that one act of one man, death reigned over all the seed of Adam. So also by the one act (salvation) of one man (Messiah – found in the likeness of sinful man) justification by faith, righteousness through grace and eternal life is upon all His seed though they inhabit the earthen vessel. Death by sin is upon all the house of the ‘terrestrial captivity’ (Heldai) who are held captive in the ‘confusion by mixing’ (Babylon) in Adam. But unto and upon those who are ‘known of Yehovah’ (Jedaiah) resides the ‘bounty and goodness of Yehovah’ (Tobijah) in the house of ‘those whom Yehovah has healed’ (Josiah) son of the ‘treasure of Yehovah’ (Zephaniah). These have been crowned with brilliance and worth (gold and silver) upon their head, Joshua (the salvation of Yehovah) the son of the High Priest ‘the righteous Yehovah’ (Josedech) (Zec. 6:10f).
This righteousness is of none other save the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the Law in all righteousness. It is the same righteousness yesterday, today and forever. It cannot change for it is the righteousness of the immutable God and it is as holy as He is Holy. It is the wedding garment of fine linen clean and white, that His Bride has been granted to be adorned in and as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through His righteousness unto eternal life. This is why there is now no condemnation to them that are in Him and there never shall be. His righteousness cannot be earned, it is not a reward for good behavior and nothing committed or omitted by Adam, can tarnish or diminish its perfection. The only condition placed upon His righteousness is that it is exclusively for the children of the Kingdom of God, for His kingdom is righteousness. These then are they which “are in Christ Jesus”.
Because this justification through His faith and the peace with God was finished from the foundation of the world, nothing that came after could supersede the finished work. Adam did not hold the ‘fate’ of the human race in his hands as he made his ‘choice’ in the garden as he hearkened unto the voice of his wife and did eat. He was ordained to fulfill the purpose of the event which being eternally ordained was that sin might enter into the world and death by sin. The proof of this is found in the two witnesses. The first is the Word of God who declared that “in the day that you eat thereof, ye shall surely die” and the second, which indeed is the first, is that the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, who was slain and risen from the foundation of the world. As God has spoken all things come to pass and as the Lamb stood victorious over all things from the beginning so all His enemies were under His footstool as He reigns King of King and Lord of Lords.
“...who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit...”
This is certainly not an addendum to the clause of those who are in Christ Jesus but indeed an identifier of their conversation. The testimony cannot be contradicted by first stating that “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” and then imposing the condition upon those who are in Christ Jesus to walk after the Spirit. The identifying characteristic of those participants in the New Covenant is that of cause and effect. He removed the heart of stone, which is the condition of the natural heart of Adam even with the long suffering and patience of Yehovah God, and has given His people an heart of flesh. This cannot be an heart of flesh after the flesh and blood of Adam for flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. The heart of man is the heart wherewith God has, from the beginning, demonstrated His power, majesty and might over all things yet, “they have made their hearts an adamant stone, lest they should hear the Law and the Word which Yehovah of hosts has sent in His Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore came a great wrath from Yehovah of hosts” (Zech. 7:12). His New Covenant, which is not like the first which stood in rituals, ceremonies and observances, is not by the might of man, nor by the strength of the arm of the flesh or through the power of the will. He has written His law upon the hearts of His chosen race and His indwelling Spirit causes them to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit as they keep the commandments of God.
How then is this walk performed, by the natural man? Is this walk then encouraged by the words of man as he judges the conduct of his fellow man and disciplines Adam to conform to the image of the one who is Anointed of God? God forbid! We know that whatsoever is not of faith is sin and that without faith it is impossible to please God. If then this walk be not of faith, then it must be of sin and if of sin which can thwart the will of God and change the course which He has decreed, then sin must be greater than the power of the Almighty. God forbid! They which have the gift of God unto salvation are they which have been chosen in Messiah from the foundation of the world, born of Jerusalem from above, which is the mother of the elect, and have been made partakers of flesh and blood in time. These having the Spirit within, have the testimony of that Spirit, who bears witness with their Spirit that they are the sons of God. Therefore as children of the King, born of that incorruptible seed which cannot sin, they walk by faith by the power of the Spirit keeping the statutes of God not as conditions for obedience but as the manifest witness of the life within.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law are a law unto themselves, which shew the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness and their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one another” (Rms. 2:14).
The national (Zionistic) attitude of the people of Israel is that there are children of Jacob and then there are ‘goy’. This group encompasses everyone who is not of the natural prodigy of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but the testimony does not support this position. Rebekah was concerned about the children as they struggled in her womb and she inquired of the Lord as to why it was so with her. His Word to her was that there were two (‘goy’) nations in her womb and two manner of people which had been separated from the beginning. This separation was not a result of things which she or Isaac had done and it certainly was of no recourse against those who had not yet been born, neither having done any good or any evil. The two groups of people stood as the testimony of God of His election according to grace of His people according to His love and the reprobation of the remainder according to His wrath. The testimony of the men as they grew and developed into manhood was no indication of any goodness in the ‘heal holding supplanter’ (Jacob) or any wickedness in the ‘red hairy one’, Esau. On the contrary the more resourceful one and well loved of his father was indeed Esau for he was a man of the field and a cunning hunter.
These two men in Adam do not represent the nature and conduct of the group of people spoken of here but rather speak to the fact that there is a group of people that are under consideration. This group of people is not a select little band of seekers who in some remote location have built a Tabernacle and were/are conducting daily animal sacrifices for their sins. They have not developed feast days, dietary rituals, various washings and tribal designations to mimic the law given unto Moses in Mt. Sinai. That law is the ministration of death which stands not in faith but in handwriting of ordinances. Anyone who is actively, be it mental or physical, engaged in the observance of this, whether they be of the house of Jacob or not, is walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit. If they walk not after the Spirit then they are none of His and the testimony of the Spirit is not upon them. This group of people does not fall under the stereotypical designation of Jew and Gentile for in Christ there is no such designation. And so when a group of people, which have been delivered and are no longer under the bondage and tutelage of the schoolmaster, do by nature those things contained in the law, these must be those of the New Covenant.
This nature that this group operates under is not the nature of Adam for; “as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God; they are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no not one” (Rms. 3:10, Ecc. 7:20). The world is caught in an argument between nature and nurture. Adam has concluded that the outcome of an individual is dictated by the training and education which that one receives in an environment conducive to success and free from social-economical prejudice or cultural bias. Adam cannot conceive how a person could enter this world with their habitation expressly fore-ordained, with every step appointed, every thought, word and deed so meticulously ordered so that all comes to pass in complete harmony with the sovereign will of the Almighty God. Adam calls this cruel and unfair but this group of people apart from the law, act according to their nature, being born by the Spirit, are not taught of man neither came this understanding to them by the words of man nor the discernment of their Adamic senses.
“For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death”
How came this liberty from the law of sin and death, by works? If so then man has somewhat wherein to boast, but not before God. How then is it maintained? By regimented obedience to imposed conditions for the procurement of blessings and the granting of carnal boons before God or the daily evaluations of man who can only see that which is temporal and is fading away? Where then is the hope, the testimony and the assurance? Paul said he was alive once when he, under the delusion given him by God for a season, believed himself righteous in the law. But when the true commandments came, that which he found to be life unto him was revealed to be death. He was deceived by the law and slain by the commandments when the Spirit within testified that he was carnal, sold under sin. In this there can be no joy as the outward man perishes daily yet herein is the righteousness of the law revealed in the children of grace. The demands of the law, manifested in the handwriting of ordinances given in the mount, are complete and absolute perfection. Since Adam could not adhere to this principle but rather demonstrated how that all flesh falls short of this perfection, so all men are concluded under sin “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. When the light of the glory of God is manifested to a child of the kingdom of light, then those things wherein they had confidence and the assurance of righteousness become as filthy blood soaked rags in relation to the beauty of His Holiness; only then is this liberty revealed.
As the child grows in the grace and knowledge of His will the light of His presence shines brighter and brighter, then they see the bondage of the corruption of the vanity of the flesh. He has not dealt to babes a full measure of faith nor has His light blinded them, yet as the light is revealed brighter and brighter so is the manifestation of the sin that dwells within them. Then can they say “O wretched man that I am” as the flesh of Adam is understood by the perfection of His righteousness. This proclamation does not come once and then departs for as the path which the pilgrim treads leads him into the valley of the shadow of death he experiences the reality of the body of this death. It is a great comfort to know that in this valley of the shadow of death there could be no shadow if there were no light and so as the children of light walk in this waste howling wilderness, they indeed are ordained to walk in the light of the Lord into places which have been purposed, according to the love of the Father, to reveal the wickedness of Adam in the weakness and infirmities of the flesh.
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free Spirit” (Ps. 51:2).
The joy of the Holy Ghost is in the salvation of Yehovah. If one has not experienced the just demands of the Law and the utter despair of the condemned; “Lord be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13) then they have no understanding of the joy of thy salvation. David had to walk in the path of adultery, murder and deceit before Nathan came unto him and revealed his sin. This was given (Nathan) to the beloved (David) as the revelation of the bondage of his corruption, his inability to keep the commandments of God and his guilt before the Law of God. He could do nothing to prevent this from happening, he could do nothing to rectify the mater and he could do nothing to restore himself unto that joy. The joy of the Holy Ghost is the daily teaching of the Spirit of the condition of the nature of Adam, the power and majesty of the King and the work He has made from the beginning. Man knows nothing of these things and though he attempts to commend himself before God by works of righteousness which he has done, he simply continues to demonstrate his frailty. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The Law shows forth our sin in Adam. The Law is written in the heart of flesh and the Spirit causes His children to keep His commandments. The conditions were that he finish His work of the salvation of His people from their sin,
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, ‘IT IS FINISHED’ and He bowed His head and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).
Therefore now there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 3, 2014