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The Public Jesus Christ is now Perfect! --Short Gospel presentation Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Thursday, 18 March 2010

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Hebrews 5:7-9, "In the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him."

 

         Introduction:  My title might seem slightly strange, and it is supposed to.  I am not saying with my title that Jesus Christ was not eternally perfect in love and holiness as the Son of God.  But there is a real sense where Jesus Christ was not perfect as the Son of Man until something happen at a definite point and time.  I hope, by the grace of God, to expose the radiant light and glory of these truths, which seem to stay hidden as in a dusty book left unread on the bottom a bookshelf.  There is much to give Christ our Savior praise and joyful thanksgiving here if only you could see the feast of His delights spread before you in these doctrines.  And so with this objective laid out before me I pray I may serve you well these truths on the gold patter of written words.

            I will hit some weighty subjects so I would highly encourage my readers to go through the footnotes, they are meant to be helpful!  You will have questions; some of them will be answered in the footnotes.

Doctrine:

(1.)  James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

 

            The principle we are to gather from this passage is this:  A soul living in a public physical universe must suffer in order to be perfect before its Creators eyes.

            Before creation, there was the invisible God living in unending infinite energy of love with His Son in the Holy Spirit.  The Son of God is the infinite perfect radiance of His Father in spiritual reality and has been since all eternity.  The only people in this reality, before time was, is God.  The Trinity perfectly sees each other's perfection and enjoys infinite delight beholding each other.  There is no reason to reach perfection when perfection is intrinsic or inherent to ones being.  There is no reason to reach for perfection when perfection is already possessed, exhibited and known perfectly to all who exist: God.

            But in a physical reality displayed before a public physical audience, where perfection is not possessed inherently, exhibited and known perfectly by its beholders, then testing is required.  By testing and suffering both low quality and high quality gold becomes even more pure and perfected.  This is what we need to understand when beginning to dive in to this doctrine.

 

          The scriptures report that all intelligent creatures in the physical world are to be perfect.  The Father is perfect.  This glory belongs to God.  Man is to be perfect for man was made to be God's image.  Intelligent creatures are to image this glory of God; this was the end intended for man: To give God glory and particularly by imaging this in enjoyment of Him from the holy viewpoint of being in Christ.  Matthew 5:48, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

          Man is to be perfect, but as our verse indicates without inherent perfection testing must be involved.  Inherent perfection is an automatic guarantee of its perfection.  But this is not so with objects who do not have inherent perfection.   Testing will show them if their perfection is genuine or not.  This is why both the angels and first man were tested.  The angels who did not follow the Devil, passed the test, and as gold passed through the fire they became more pure and perfect.  The Devils and all fallen angels who followed him failed the test and so their passing through the fire is eternal.  They will remain there, for there is no gold or good thing to purify in them.  They are not gold but wood, and so will be used for fuel in God's furnace as it is with all men and creatures who are God's enemies.  But for those who love God testing is their crown of gold, a crown of life and good.

        James 1:12, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."  Earlier James mentions "various trials", which includes temptations.  Then verse 12 reveals a level deeper in discovering what enduring trails, hardships and temptations does: it approves.  It officially or publically shows to all who see that before them is authentic value and beauty.  This is much like an antique that has been officially approved as authentic by leading authorities.   God, the leading authority, through His testing will either approve or disapprove a person in His public world as His true child or not.

          Ecclesiastes 3:18 demonstrates that God has such ends intended when He tests.  "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals." Man thinks he is the real deal; he thinks very highly of himself.  Man boasts great things about himself.  God is responsible that truth reigns in His kingdom and in this public universe He created.  Man also has an audience who is watching him such as God, angels and other men.  Therefore, man will be tested to see how great he is, to see if he really lives up to the hype he gives himself.  But God, like a master expert knows: man is nothing, is an animal, is worthless and a fraud.  So, as wise men test to expose frauds, God tests with the goal to expose the lie about man.  What this means is that God does not arbitrary test things without reasons or ends intended.  Ultimately, God's intention is to fully expose His own beauty and value.  But, man boast about his beauty and value and so God tests this and finds him a fraud.  Man is an audience to himself.  Therefore, before God, angels, all spiritual creatures and even to himself, man is publically seen as an animal.  Indeed less than an animal.[1] 

        But God has a different intention when testing His beloved Son. God the Father already knowing His Son is perfect has the intention of testing Him in such a way that it would expose His beauty; this is much like a person who already knows a possession is authentic and valuable seeks out ways to prove this publicly.  God tests man to show he is like an animal, but test Christ to show He is the Son of God, real beauty and supreme among all others.  This is much like when someone takes gold taken straight out of the earth and puts it trough the furnace to test how pure it is.  Christ is put in the furnace of humanity as perfect holiness and comes out same, perfect holiness.  As the goldsmith marvels with awe at how pure this gold is that was taken straight from the earth, and yet so pure, so the world marveled at Christ's purity or holiness, for it was as radiant as God; which is what the test was meant to show: He was the Son of God.  The apostles who knew Jesus Christ and saw Him tested had this to say about Him, John 16:30, "Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."  Peter who Him also had this to say: "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."  The disciples were in essence saying: He was pure gold coming into to furnace and pure gold coming out, and by this He proved He was the Christ, the eternal Son of God.  

        Therefore, there is no one like Jesus.  Everyone else is purified after being put through the furnace many times.  Although they eventually come out as purified gold, they did not start out that way, which is why they were put through the furnace many times, for they were very unholy before they were tested.  With respect to Christ the testing did not purify Him as it was the public testimony and guarantee He was truly the Holy One.  This is what the testing did for Him; it showed Him to be supreme among ten thousand.  Whereas with man the testing publically showed man as a fraud and a failure.  And also by the grace of God, through Christ, testing for the elect is used for loving refining and sanctification: for the eternal good of them who love Christ.  

Now I will discuss more particularly what this testing is for man and then for Christ our Lord:

 

(A.)Man failed the test miserably:

       Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Or that mankind was tested and we all missed the mark.  God set the bulls-eye as perfection and every man aimed, shot and missed it miserably.  The word for sin, in the Greek, means to miss the mark, much like trying to aim for the bulls-eye and missing it.  Man was tested and failed!  Likewise the word sin in the Hebrew means to be a failure.  Man was created to glorify God by enjoying Him and man was a complete failure at this, for right now the whole word hates God and sneers at Him as their enemy.  God had the intention through Adam and Eve to expose how perfect or imperfect they were.  You might bark up and say, but if God created them, then the failure exposes His weakness does it not?  This might seem like an innocent question, but it is not oh foolish person. 

          Our problem is that we are too accustomed to thinking from a human or illogical way of perceiving of things.  For example: what is true inherent perfection?  Doubtlessly, one of the main reasons why God tested man was to show God was the only one with true inherent perfection, and that it is impossible for any creature to possess this other than Him who is the self-necessary infinite.  

          So, what is true inherent perfection?  Inherent or intrinsic has degrees of meaning depending on what level you take it.[2]  Seeing that we are dealing with God I am asking in the sense of its ultimate meaning.  Inherent means you own something not as a gift but it is your very existence or being.  By this definition God alone possesses inherent perfect or goodness on any level.  Everything any creature possesses is a gift from God, from its very breath to its skills and knowledge.  There is nothing that we possess which we did not receive from God as a gift.  1 Corinthians 4:7, "Who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (See also)[3]  Lastly consider God's proclamation of mankind's perfection and value: "All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless", Isaiah 40:17.

          Now consider God's intended goal for why He created the world, created mankind and sent His Son Jesus Christ.  "[Christ] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence [or Supremacy]."  See, God's plan from the beginning was to accomplish in the "fullness of the times [to] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth. ... to the praise of the glory of His grace"  God's goal was to expose His glory and perfection as Supreme.   To do this God planned to have mankind exposed as total failures and so have them totally depend on Him for everything.  This would give the public testimony of God's greatness.  God accomplished this by sending His Son wrapped in humanity to die as a substituted for the sins of men.  Marvelous grace is how He accomplished His goal in both displaying His Supremacy and loving man.  Grace showcases God's goodness.  Grace showcases His Supremacy for grace magnifies the inherent perfection of God more than mere gifts of love without cost to the giver.  Also grace causes man to rebound more in the delightful praise of their glorious God, which is the essence of man being an image of God[4].  By grace man is guaranteed of God's love and kindness forever in unwavering unending degrees.

        I have defended this next statement in my book, The Divine Decrees, so I will merely state it here.  God caused Adam and Even to sin, in the sense He orchestrated it or planned it to happen.  God is the metaphysical cause of all things even all sin and evil in the sense of being the sole ultimate orchestrator.  If He is not, then by His own definition for what it means to be God He could not be God; for to God by the bible's definition is to be actually sovereign over all things.[5]  As a quick side note allow me to say this: God made it very easy for me to believe in His total sovereignty over all things and man, therefore, I am slighted disconnected from the reality that for some this doctrine is hard to except.  I pray God will give you the grace to love Him as the totally Sovereign God as He is and as He tells us in His word. 

          God planned for the fall of mankind to show how worthless any so-called perfection is compared to His.  This is very important to understand.  God did this by truly creating Adam and Eve in a type of innocent perfection.  They were not born or created with inherent desires to sin.  They were created absolutely without any type of corrosion or sin.  They were positively created in God's image as far as they could be, while being disconnected from God, in the sense of not having the fullness of His Spirit.  Their physical bodies were so perfect they would never grow old or get sick.  As far as we can tell this meant they had use of their all their brains.  Their soul had no sin or brokenness in it.  They were God's friends.  This is what I call being in God's perfect image on the physical existence.

          Standing on this side of the gospel we suppose wrongly if Adam and Eve were filled with the Holy Spirit as the Church is after Christ's death for her!  After Christ's death we are filled the Spirit because Christ both purchases this gift, but also because we are grafted into the very divine body of Christ!  Adam had access to speak to God on earth in his creation image of God, but he did not have access to the throne of God in heaven to drink in the fullest measure of His Spirit.[6]  Only after Christ, being God, made Himself human and died as one of us and raised in newness of life did any man have accesses for the Holy Spirit to flood their souls.[7]  As saints we have a direct line to the heart of God's presence.  Adam knew God only as a friend.  In Christ we know Him as our husband.  Adam knew God's face, but in Christ we know God's heart, because we are placed in it and He in ours!

          What this shows to us is: even human or creation perfection made in God's image is useless and an utter failure!  It was God's intention to expose this fact.[8]  If God only told us this fact we would doubtlessly appreciated it in limited form.  Both man and angels would have too high opinion of themselves and too little for God, the self-necessary infinite Being.  For consider mankind's test being in Adam.  God only gave one tiny command; not to eat one little fruit!  Yet, for all its worth, man's physical perfect brain, perfect in being without sin of soul and body, and perfect as an image of God in physical form, was without strength to resist this tiniest of tests!  What is going on here!  All this perfection, useless against the smallest test!   All this physical perfection for nothing! 

          We will get into this later, but Jesus full of the Holy Spirit was perfect through every test.  Yet perfect man was a total failure with the smallest of tests. What does it say about man that our even perfection is a failure?  How foolish it is to trust in man when man's perfection is less than nothing.

          Also consider the nature of the test.  It was a test of man's ability, in his perfection of an image of God in physical creation: of how highly he esteemed God and how humbly he esteemed himself.  And clear for all to see mankind failed this test.  God does not need to justify His actions to anyone, but by man's test we see God is very justified for causing all man to fall; for He was always a failure.

          Apparently Just being told God is Supreme is not enough!  Being made perfect as God's image in finite human form is not enough for man to grasp God's Supremacy and his powerlessness.  This is one of those lessons, which according to God's wisdom, needs to be divinely taught though being seen, touched and felt.  In Romans 9 through chapter 11 we are told how God does this, the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.  Romans 11, in context, tell us that God committed all mankind to disobedience so that He might take away their sins by His Son Jesus Christ.[9]   Romans 15:8-9 tells us more particularly how and why.  "Jesus Christ has become a servant that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy."  God fully lavishes His love on man but does so by grace and mercy.  Mercy not only exposes man's worthlessness, but man being at the top of creation, exposes all creation and created things as worthless and without true inherent power or goodness.  Mercy displays God as Supremacy perfect and man as supremely helped by God.  Mercy exposes God's glory and lavishes sinners with oceans of love for all eternity.  Mercy shows how highly God is to be esteemed and how lightly man is to be.

        Before we dive in the nature of Christ and His testing I will go over some more scriptures that broadly touch on God testing man.

 

        Proverbs 17:3, "The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts." Psalm 11:5, "The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates."  God tests mankind to see what they are really made up of.  God already knows; He tests to help us see it!  Also, God testing the wicked is for their ruin.  In a sense their testing from God is like judgment, for God knows they will utterly fall by it.  Their testing reveals to all who see it that they are like filthy beast, meant to be slaughter.  Children of grace see this and with terrified hearts thank Jesus Christ for His grace for without it they would have remained that filthily animal of soul.  

         Furthermore, for the righteous or true believer God's testing is, as said before, for their benefit in two ways.  First, it reveals their dependence for God and God's sufficiency for their needs.  Testing reveals this to them, but at the same time He gives grace to them to cling to Him who is their Perfection.  And secondly, it purifies them, or sanctifies them, by God's wise design in it.  We see this in Jesus Christ Himself as He interacts with His disciples: John 6:6, "He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do."

         2 Corinthians 1:6, "Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."  Whether we suffer, or are in peace in or testing by God's power through Christ's purchased grace all is ultimately for our good and salvation.  This scripture is a basic summary of Romans 8:28, "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

        2 Corinthians 3:18, "Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory." What suffering ultimately does is help remove our sinfulness, our sinful deceptions, our sin distractions so that we can more clearly see God's glory and be changed into His Glory.  See, suffering "in and of itself" does not make you more holy; beholding God's glory in Christ Jesus[10] does.[11]  This is the point we are to learn from this.  Suffering helps to remove the haze which sin and worldliness place over the Christian's eyes of faith.  Suffering helps the heart and mind of the believer to focus harder on God's glory in His word shining through His Son.  Testing and hardships help us to focus on Jesus' glory better.  And the promise of scripture is that if you behold Christ's glory you will be changed into it, no exceptions!  This is why the Christian is not afraid, shaken or disturbed by hardships, although they are hard; the fact they are hard is the very reason they are effective in pointing eyes of faith to the glory of Jesus Christ!

         For all who love Jesus Christ this means the world to them.  But for those who do not love Jesus these things are not enough to count hard testing worth the cost. (See also Romans 5:3-4, 15:4)

        Psalm 11 gives a great depiction concerning the type of testing God our Father tests His beloved saints and the type of testing He gives to the wicked and unbelievers.  (Verse 4-6) "The LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup." God judges from High.  His wisdom and goodness are High.  He has infinitely high reasons to test and judge all.  He has an infinite amount of reasons to Judge.  He is so powerful He tests men with His mere eyelids.  Man is place before His eyes and from here He squeezes down to show what they are made of: His child or the world's.  For the saints His testing purifies them for their eternal holy service in His House.  Zechariah 13:9, "This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God."  Lest we forget, fire is not pleasant when you are placed in it!  God is sovereign over all and directly puts His beloved children in the fire.  Yet, by His same sovereignty His upholds them in the fire and carries them through for His great glory and their joy in Him who is their glory.  David speaks to this reality in Psalm 119:71, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes."  This is how the eyelids of our Father test us and all His saints.  But if you notice back in Psalm 11:6 we are told of the effect that the squeezing eyelids of God have upon the ungodly. See, for the saints God's fire is a "refining" fire, but for the ungodly it is a "burning wind" and fiery "coals".  Psalm 71 tells us that the ungodly will "utterly be consumed with terror" and fall.  Yet for the godly our Father faithfully sees to it that His child does not utterly fall but He "upholds him with His hand",[12] because God "delights in his way."

 

(B.) Jesus Christ passed the test with flying colors:

Matthew 23:19, "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?"

          To start this section we will begin with Jesus' own words which describe why His bodily sacrifice is sanctified.  The Jewish religious leaders had it all wrong.  Jesus cries fool, the modern equivalent to morons, over and over to them here.  But why?  What was Jesus so passionate about here? 

         The temple, gold, lamp stand, alter, sacrifices were all about Him!  The law, tabernacle, and ceremonial services were about how God would sanctify or clean mankind of their sins and bring them to Himself as their Father.  In particularly these things signified how the Son of God would be able to save mankind from their sin and transform them into children of the light.  This is where Jesus' passions arose.  These things were not heavenly knowledge but earthy knowledge about the Heavenly given to the Jews to keep and consider.  By misunderstanding them they will forfeit their ability to understand the heavenly messages and glory to which they point to: Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ corrects their misunderstanding.

        The Jews wrongly thought the sacrifice was more holy than the altar!  Jesus not only corrects this but tells us the reasons why the altar is more holy: it actually sanctifies the sacrifice.  By looking at the actual and not the symbols we will get a clear picture why the altar sanctifies the gift.  The actual is the Person of Jesus Christ and what He did in the gospel.  So the question is what sanctifies the physical body of Jesus Christ to make it holy enough to purchase salvation for millions and millions of souls?

          The only thing with that amount of worth is God, or to be more precise, Christ's Divinity.  Christ as the eternal Son of God has infinite worth and is infinitely Holy.  See, the physical body of Jesus in and of itself does not have infinite value, but the physical body of Jesus laying on the altar of Christ's divinity does!  Christ's divinity, if you would, as an altar raises the body of Jesus Christ to heaven itself to be given as a sacrificial gift to the Father.

           See, Jesus Christ's body was in the "likeness of sinful flesh."[13]  Although Christ was born of a virgin and of the Holy Spirit His physical body would one day get old and died, for He was in "likeness of sinful flesh" in this way.[14]  No physical body dying has any great value of itself.  His physical body did not have "infinite" value in and of itself, His infinite Soul of infinite Holiness did.  We know His divinity has infinite value for the glory of the Person spoken of in Isaiah 6:1-4 is Jesus Christ according to the apostle John in the 12th chapter.

       Adam had an innocent perfect flesh: perfect in the sense of its purity from sin.  In this sense it has a certain strength to it.  Still, man failed the smallest test of not eating one little fruit!  Man is nothing.  We are all failures and worthless.  But Jesus Christ was in imperfect flesh.  Although His flesh was not sinful itself, yet as it was growing old, for it bore the effects of sin.  This weakened flesh was much more opened to giving into sin's call and testing. Still it was not too hard for our Lord.  He passed the test, under this difficult position, and triumphed unto man's salvation and to His Father's glory 

        This then is why the Old Testament sacrifices did not have any true value to them, for a physical alter of rocks or precious metals does not have any real value to God; mostly because God already owns these things.  Secondly they have no intrinsic value of holiness.  But Christ's loving free act to fulfill His Father's wish is not something the Father owns, it was a free gift given to Him from His Son.  This is the second reason why the altar sanctifies the gift.  The true altar is: (1) Christ's divine Nature (2) His free obedience given to the Father, for this is the only true gift which can be given to God.  By this the physical body of Jesus Christ is an infinitely sweet smelling offering[15] to His Father which is able to purchase millions of souls from every nation, tribe and tongue.

 

          Now I will proceed to dive more into this second part of the altar which sanctifies the sacrifice of Christ.  His loving obedience:

        First I want my readers to remember this.  All which I am about to showcase is nothing more than Christ's love given first to His Father and then to you and I!  As I stated earlier Christ is already perfect within His Soul, it is a true inherent perfection.  God's wants to show to a public audience this glory of His and so asks His Son to put on weak sinful flesh and perfectly obey Him in this condition even going to the cross.  We know how the story goes: Christ did all without sin and showcased that His Soul was true perfection and glory.  When Christ earned an infinite reward of love from His Father He already had His Father's infinite love.  What this means is that Christ did not profit in more personal holiness nor did He profit in more love personally given to Him from His Father.  Infinite perfection cannot be added to, for that would be a contradiction.  Infinite love cannot be added to for that would be a contradiction.  Therefore, all that the Person of Jesus Christ did was nothing more than pure Love!  He so loved His Father He was willing to do all it would cost Him to see His Father's glory publically exhibited, even if it meant Him being tested in weak human flesh to the point of death.  He also turned to His church and loved Her so much that He gave His life for her and gave His own infinite reward which He personally earned from the Father and gave it all for her to enjoy forever! Love Never Fails!

 

         I would like to first show why Christ is tested in the ultimate sense.  Although I will hit this more deeply later I need to show scripturally now what this is.  Colossians 1:18, " [Christ] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." Christ was tested to the point of death so that He could be shown as the Supreme, the choicest among ten thousand, the Preeminent or the true Perfect.  Before, we learned man was tested to see that his perfection was worthless, but now Christ is tested to publicly show He is the real deal, the Infinite Existence.

        The greatest thing which could be given to God was love.  Man failed this by loving himself more than God.  Christ loved His Father to the point of that horrible cross with perfect love.  Christ being infinite Himself knows all things.  He, being infinite considered all things and valued His Father infinitely above all.  Being infinite His love is also infinite.  Christ so valued His Father's glory He was not willing to have His Fathers majesty tarnished by man's sin without it being vindicated by His own death.  This is endless love!  Therefore, the choice that the eternal Son of God made to freely fulfill His Father's wish has an infinite value and beauty to it.  This choice was made before the Son of God took on human flesh, when Christ full infinite energy of love was not hidden by flesh.  It was this Divine Holy Nature and love that was the altar, which sanctified the human body of Jesus Christ.

             Here before the world began Christ's infinity is in full flow.  Jesus Christ with infinite energy of love says: Yes I will do all You ask of Me Father.  This love is not a mathematical infinite but the true self-necessarily infinite.

            The Father knowing this is therefore, infinitely pleased with His Son's free[16] obedience. The eternal Son of God perfectly loves His Father, but now He is sent to earth with weak corroded flesh to be tested.  This obedience that Jesus Christ gave to His Father was started in Heaven as the unrestricted Infinite Existence and then finished out on earth more as public show.  There are more doctrines concerning this righteous obedience which I have written about in my book, Love Never Fails.  For example: Jesus gives His church to types of righteousness. One is the true infinite love Christ gave His Father while in Heaven, and as a whole finished on earth on the cross and then finally back in Heaven interceding for His bride. Nothing was more truly His.  Christ earned for Himself an infinite reward for this.  The Father only rewards Christ for this, but then Christ shares it in full with us His bride. The second type of righteousness is strictly the life He lived particularly fulfilling of the law and love to God as a human to be given to all saints as if they lived this life human life.

         But concerning God testing His Son the public life of Jesus Christ was more of a way to publicly prove His love given to Him in heaven is true.  By this both the Father's glory and Christ's are exhibited.  John 14:31, "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here."

         Psalm 40:8, "I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart." This is what our Lord Jesus said to His Father before time began.  God the Father asked His Son to be the sacrifice that He would  fully delight in.  Although it meant leaving His Father's intimate presence and coming as a humbled man to horrifically die in crucifixion, Jesus Christ without hesitation said, Yes I will gladly do so.  In heaven Christ "is" the Infinite Perfection, but now on earth He comes to be tested and proven publicly that this is true.

         God the Father loves to see His Son publicly tested and pass the test and so exhibit to all He is chiefly glorious and wonderful beyond all imagination.

         Here in Isaiah 53:12 we are told in plain English the Father directly is pleased with the Godman Jesus Christ, because He passed the test by perfectly obeying Him in His dying love for sinners: "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors."  Christ's infinitely Holy Soul working through weak flesh still is able to display His perfection.  This obedience is so great and pleasing to the Father that He is rewarding the public Jesus Christ an infinite reward.  Jesus Christ tells us in John 10:17 that His Father loves Him precisely because He passed the test by lovingly and willingly obeying His Father in His dying love for His enemies.  

         Isaiah 7:14-16, "Call His name Immanuel.  "Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.  "The Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good."  Jesus Christ the Godman is tested in every conceivable way any human is tested.  Jesus passes all tests because He is infinite and infinite holiness cannot lose.  Infinity cannot even be tempted to do evil let alone do it.  His Soul being Divine infinite Nature cannot be tempted in the real sense, but His humanity was, for it was the same weak flesh we have.  Thus, the glory of Christ's Soul or Person is shown to be great, for it caused Him to be sinless in every test that His humanity was tempted with.

          Galatians 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law."  Not only was Jesus Christ the Godman tried with every normal temptation, but was tested under the Mosaic Law which no human was able to do without total failure.[17]  The Mosaic Law did not give mankind a moral heart but it revealed outwardly what a moral, God loving, soul looks like if lived out.  Jesus Christ did everything the law commanded and did it with a heart full of the Holy Spirit.  Or that Christ obeyed the law with a heart full of love and trust directed personally to God His Father.

            In the greatest and universal sense Christ's love was given to His Father from the moment He delighted to agree to do His Father's will in Heaven; to His work on earth with the pinnacle of this being His painful death on the cross; to His return to Heaven where he presented His blood to the real mercy seat were He intercedes for His saints forever, but regarding His testing on earth it has a special aspect to it.  For in His love to His Father He turned His face, His heart and His hands toward sinners to love them to the point of death.  His testing by this, in a large sense, was solely for their sakes.  He took His humanity and turned it toward mankind to do all He could to save them.  Therefore, His testing was for their sakes.  His earning righteousness as a fellow human was with the intention to impute it to all His elect.  He very particularly turned the best of His time and love over to mankind to save them, while He was on earth.  The Father gave all the elect to Jesus Christ.  Christ owned them and so loved them as His own.  John 13:1, "Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.Paul when referring to his Lord and Savior says in, Galatians 2:20, "the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

           Christ willingly allowed Himself to be tested as the Godman not for His sake but for His church's sake.  Hebrews 10:14, "For by one offering He had perfected forever those who are being sanctified."  Having past His test and earned infinite love from His Father Christ's wish is that His perfection and perfect record lived as a human be given to all who He died for.  Christ is as an infinite ocean of pure gold and is so pure He is able to have all dive into Him and be made perfect without harm done to Him who is infinite.

 

Lastly we will consider how Jesus Christ was able to past his trials and hardships in perfection.

           Luke 4:1, "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." Adam had a physical perfection but not a spiritual perfection so and he failed.  Jesus Christ had a spiritual perfection, but not a physical perfection; yet He lived on earth in total perfection.  God's intention was to showcase His supremacy and worthlessness of all others.  Christ having a perfect divine Soul was also as the Godman filled with the Holy Spirit, or the energy of God's personal love as an endless fountain pouring over Jesus.  This verse is given right before Jesus is tested by the devil with great temptation.  Although in weak flesh, flesh weakened more by fasting, the superiority of Christ's Person and the fullness of the love of God overcame all such trials, which were infinitely easy for God but very hard for the flesh.  This is why Christ testifies to the words in Isaiah.

           Isaiah 51:6-9, "I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those show plucked out the beard; I did not hide MY face from shame and spitting.  For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore, I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set me face like a flint; And I know that I will not be ashamed.  He is near who justifies Me... . Surely the Lord GOD will help Me."  If Jesus was greatly trusting God then the testing against His flesh was very difficult!  The Father gave the Godman Jesus Christ the fullness of His Spirit or fullness of the energy of His love to sustain Him that is.  Jesus Christ's words then ring loudly to all who follow Him to follow His example displayed to us: Isaiah 51:10, "Who among you fears the LORD?  Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God." Amen

           The last thing to consider when discussing this is considering Jesus' love for His Father and His Father's reward to Him in His testing on earth.  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."

           We end the same way we began this section about Jesus Christ: His love for His Father and His love toward us.  Jesus loved His Father by doing all it took to display His glory.  He loved the church by pouring from His wounds an endless ocean of grace.  The Joy to which Jesus speaks of is having full infinite divinity used to enjoy His Father's infinite love (Holy Spirit) and having the full infinite divinity employed to love His Father back.  While on earth He held back His use of His full divinity, which translates to infinite enjoyment.  May we never forget what our Savior had to deprive Himself of to be born of woman and come to save us.  The Father with infinite energy of love expresses with infinite energy of love to His Son in Personal fellowship and the Son with infinite energy of love expresses with infinite energy of love to His Father.  This infinite energy of love is the Person of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ looked forward with great expectancy to returning to this when He finished His work on earth.[18] Love never fails. 

           Secondly, Jesus Christ as the Godman having finished His worked earned from His Father an infinite reward.  This reward was His church to be given this infinite reward of love He earned.  Christ desired to see what He worked so hard for, to save sinners, and translate them into children of light with Him where He is in Heaven by His Father's side.  For the people He died for out of great loved He wanted them to be with Him forever.  So in the same book of Hebrews it reads: Hebrews 2:13, "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."  And also Jesus Christ personally prays in, John 17:24, "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

           

          So to sum this up Jesus Christ was tested and tried to expose His glory.  James 1:3 says particularly concerning Christians that our trails "produce" for us endurance and perfection, and therefore, by looking through the lens of wisdom we recognize this as a great thing and so count it all joy to suffer.   But for Christ it not so much "produces" as it "exposes" perfection.  Because Jesus Christ in His humanity suffered and was tempted in the truest since He therefore, as this public Person earns several necessary rights, which will be for our text discussion.

 

 

(2.)  Lamb of God worthy of praise, Son of Man worthy to be Judge, our sympathetic High Priest worthy to be the Mediator between God and man at God's right hand:

 

            (A) The Lamb of God worthy of Glory and Honor: "Then ten thousand times ten thousand,  and thousands of thousands, [said with] a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"  Scripture has an objective for putting together glory and honor and praises being given to God's Son as a "Lamb."  We are being told this in the context of a public heaven filled with angels, men and other creatures.  Yet, Jesus Christ as God's Divine Son has always been infinitely worthy of all honor and glory with His Father.  Before the world was created He was honored as infinitely worthy by the angels.  Before angels were, the Father has not only known but has forever been giving His Son infinite glory and honor by giving Him the infinity of His, (although invisible to us), tangible love.

            What we are being told here is in context a public universe in which the invisible Son of God has revealed Himself.  We are told why He now in this context deserves infinite glory and honor and praises.  The mentioning of the "Lamb" tells us why.  As the Lamb of God Jesus Christ willingly took upon Himself the desire of His Father to have a true propitiation for the sins of many and to bring them to dwell with Him in His Heavenly Home.  See, in Psalm 40:5-6 we are given a dim window in the eternity past at a conversation the Infinite Existence had with His Son, Jesus Christ.  Here the Father does not delight in the sacrifices of animals for the sin of mankind, for they are not able to justly be a propitiation for sin. God wants justice authentically[19] to be satisfied and for mercy be given to all whom He pleases.  God's Son then speaks up and says, I "delight to do your will," I will go and be a propitiation for everyone you want to be saved and gladly bring them here to Us. 

            As said before the cross and suffering of Jesus Christ above all things is a grand exhibition of God's love for Himself, or in particularly the Son's love for His Father.  God knowing how infinitely beautiful and valuable He is does infinitely delight in Himself being properly loved.  His Son does so and by coming to earth as the Lamb of God gives the loudest testimony of this for all to behold.  Doubtlessly, the Father infinitely delights in His Son, Jesus Christ, for becoming the Lamb of God. 

            As God delights in Himself being loved He also delights in the idea of His holy love being proactive in the creation He created.  Mankind ruined this and needs to be recovered. God also delights in the idea of His great wisdom and mercy to be proactive in His creation.  God loves His Son for turning His face like flint to wicked sinners and loving them with mercy to the very end!  Jesus Christ by becoming the Lamb of God and fulfilling this role has publically and tangibly displayed His Father's great wisdom, love and mercy in Himself for all to see.  By His sacrifice and purchasing of the Holy Spirit the redeemed now have Christ's own wisdom, love and mercy actively shone in and shone through them.  The earth was a wasteland concerning the active working of holy wisdom, mercy and love of God; mankind was to be the pinnacle of this but lost this ability at the fall when the curse of death separated man from God.  Jesus Christ came as a single wheat grain spring up unto God's glory.  By His death, through His church, He has produced much more grain for the tangible displaying of His Fathers glory.[20]   If you would, God's active Holy love, wisdom and mercy are now springing up all over the world, as the Lamb of God's accomplishments shine through His elect children.  All these things and more were only produced because Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God and was slain!

            Therefore, in the context and in front of a public universe, with a public audience, it is right for this, "Lamb of God" to be clothed with endless honor, glory and praises, for the Father's love to Him is endless on the account that He was slain.  It was not merely the invisible Son of God who accomplished this; it was the invisible Son of God who willingly made Himself the public Lamb of God, born of a woman, suffered under sinful hands who did these things!  Therefore, because the Son of God as a public Person, as the Lamb of God, accomplished and earned from His Father an infinite reward, deserves not an invisible private honoring but a very public and central honoring.  This is why He is on center stage in Heaven's throne room having a sea of faces singing loudly: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing."   This is no accident.  This was the preconceived plan of God the Father to have His Son center stage, so to speak, before a public audience.  It was His plan that this become reality by His Son giving up His life for sinners and so worthy be too exalted as First and Supreme.  Colossians 1:18, "He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."

The doctrine to gather from this is simple: Jesus Christ is worthy in this public world on the account of Him being slain from the foundations of the earth.

             

 (B)  Son of Man worthy to Judge all:

          John 5:27, "[The Father] has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man."  Jesus Christ speaking about Himself testifies the reason why His Father as given judgment of mankind to Him.  The reason given deals with the title, "the Son of Man."  Jesus Christ as the Divine eternal Son of God who created all things and mankind with His Father is worthy to be its judge.  So why does Jesus say He is worthy for another reason? 

           Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." & Hebrews 2:14, "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same."    

           Jesus' human body was the "same" as our.  Although His Soul was Divine, His body was weak flesh as ours that would one day die, for it was the "same" flesh and blood.  Therefore, having the same body, living on the same earth, dealing with the same frustrations and temptations as we all faced He is able to understand and sympathies with us. 

          Still, because His Soul was Divine the trials He underwent in this suffering death were magnified 10,000 times in their intensity!  Having an immeasurable understanding how beautiful and valuable His Father's love is made having His Father turn His back on Him 10,000 times more torturing.  This was why when merely thinking about His suffering His sweat become as tears of blood failing upon this earths unworthy ground.  In fact the physical and particularly the suffering of His Soul was so great it equated to more than what men will experience in hell for eternity.

          Therefore, as a human He has suffered more than all.  Because of this He is indeed able to sympathies with all who hurt and are abused on any level.  He was abused physically: beating, hit, spit on, beard plucked out, stripped vertically naked, slapped and finally crucified in excruciating pain.  He was abused by his friends.  One of them betrayed Him even after all the personal love Judas received from God's Son.  All of them abandoned and left Jesus to face His hardship all alone.  Jesus was verbally abused.  False witnesses spoke lies, they twisted His words and many more mocked Him publically and loudly.  There is none who Jesus does not relate to in such a close manner.  Only arrogant fools would suggest I'm the exception to this.  Even if your hurt or abuse is not exactly like Jesus outwardly, yet inwardly His Soul has indeed experience all levels of abuse and hurt that all men have known, including you dear reader!  Furthermore, His hurts and abuse where literally infinitely greater than the worse thing ever happened to any one, and even the whole world's hurts combined.  For finite hurt added up many times is still finite, but infinite hurt is infinitely greater than finite, which is what Jesus experienced.

           This doctrine encourages us to boldly come to our Lord Jesus Christ with all our sinfulness and brokenness.  He understands and is looking, no, even desiring to heal all who would only but come to receive His precious love and kisses of mercy.  "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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."[21]

           Although this doctrine beautifully glows the warm truths including that for all repentant sinners they will be received by a sympathetic High Priest, yet it also places Jesus into the Judgment set over all men.

          See, although God being our sovereign creator gives Him the right to judge us at any time, yet, because Jesus Christ was a human like us and passed all our tests, this gives Him even more rights and suitableness to judge the human race.  This is why the Father is pleased to promote His Son to the place of judging the world.

          For the saints Jesus passed the test as a human so that He has the right to judge them blameless and even holy.[22]   Yet the opposite rings for unrepentant sinners.  For them He passed the test as a human so that when He condemns them they should look exceedingly guilty.[23]  

           What will a sinful man say to the Lamb of God in heaven, looking as if He was slain with blood spattered on Him?  Will he bark up and say, you don't know my pain?  You don't know what it was to be in my shoes?  A devil may have a better placement in hell than the soul who would bark such things to the Son of Man on judgment day.  As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ is worthy to be Judge over: all men, in all times, from all nations, from all circumstances, from all cultures, from all families, from all economic circumstances and everyone from whatever amount of pleasure or pain they had in their short lives.   

"[The Father] has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man."

 

  (C) As High Priest between God and man Jesus is worthy to be exalted at God's right hand:

            Hebrews 8:1, "Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty .... He obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is Mediator of a better covenant." &

            Philippians 2:8-11, "He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

            Being High Priest is nothing more than being a mediator in a particularly way.  A mediator acts as a bridge to bring two opposing parties together to work out a solution.  A high priest does just that but instead of being the bridge of two humans his is the bridge between Divine God and lowly man.  Jesus Christ was the only one suited to be this Mediator.  On this account He appears most glorious in the eyes of all who love Him.   Indeed, the Father greatly loves His Son on this account.

            Hebrews 2:17, "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."  Although in one true sense God the Father had great anger toward all sinners including the elect (Eph. 2:3), He also has great passion to save and have mercy on His elect.[24]  All mankind after the fall had great hostility toward God (Romans 8:7).   Because God the Father desired to save many people He is very pleased with His Son who actually brought this desire into reality as He stepped down from Heaven as the Eternal Son of God as the humbled High Priest mediating peace between God and man by His own great suffering.  Being a wrath bearing propitiation and gift of imputed righteousness He saves and brings sinners very close to God indeed!  The distance was great between the Infinite Existence and guilty criminals; but Christ's infinite value, love and wisdom was put to its full use in His role of High Priest.  The impossible gap of enmity between Judge and sinner is now by Christ's spectacular mediation: Father and children.

             This is why our verse says, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him."  That is to say, for the preceding reasons God has exalted Jesus Christ.  As Jesus was worthy of honor for being the Lamb of God so Jesus is worthy of exaltation for being our perfect High Priest.  These two things do have some overlap, yet there are some distinctions to be made.  See, whereas Jesus is worthy in general or ultimate honor and glory in this public reality as the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ is worthy of pinnacle or central glory as High Priest.

            The very nature of being a mediator means you are placed in the center.  Both parties have their eyes fixed on the mediator.  This is very similar with Jesus Christ as our High Priest.  God the Father looks through Jesus Christ as He looks on His saints.  Likewise the saints look to Jesus Christ as they look to the Father.  By this Christ is particularly placed on center stage before all.  "Every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ."

Because Jesus Christ has passed His tests and trails as High Priest and has at a definite place and at a definite time acquired peace between God and man, God is please to give His Son Preeminence in this public creation and His Saints are pleased to give Him praise on this account.  Hebrews 7:26, "For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself."

          Indeed, from since before the beginning of time all of creation was intended by the Father as a gift to His Son.  Because Jesus Christ is God's perfect infinite outshining, He is always before His Father in plain view.  Whatever the Father sees He sees it only after He sees He Son.  As light shines from the sun, so to Jesus is always shining out of His Father as His perfect image or radiance.  If you were standing from the viewpoint of the sun you would only see anything as you see it thought your own light.  So to the Father only sees anything as He sees it through His Son, who is His radiant outshining.  As the Father considers creating or a plan He considers this as His Son stands in front of Him, if you would.  The Son is always presented before the Father in this manner.  As God always sees Himself reflected before Himself in His Son, God necessarily plans or creates everything for Himself.  Because His infinitely beautify Image is repeated or presented before Him in all His decisions this necessarily means He Himself always becomes His end goal.  Or more especially God's Son Jesus Christ being this Image before Him is His end.  Therefore, from the very beginning of God's deepest inclinations concerning all creation and intelligent souls were made as a loving gift for Jesus Christ His Son as its end.

           This standing true, the fact that the Son of God, became the Godman, to mediate between God and man, makes creation even more indebted to be His gift, or for His glory.  This is one reason why after man's redemption by Jesus Christ, we particularly become the image of Christ.[25]  From the beginning we were designed to be Christ's glory, but Christ is God's glory.  This is why Ephesians says all things in creation, physical or spiritual will be summed up or gathered into Christ, and Christ is in His Father.[26] 

            See, because Jesus past His test in being a sinless perfect mediator between God and man He is worthy of special central attention before a public audience.  He is worthy to be exalted to God's right hand.   He is worthy to have preeminence in the new creation.  Even in the new creation Christ still intercedes for His Saints, for He always intercedes for them.  By this Christ is worthy to be central in the New Jerusalem.  The Father loves the saints for we are a His Son's bride.  The Father is invisible still in Heaven, yet the Saints see the Father by looking at Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is Heaven's central light as Revelation 19 says.  He indeed is our bright and morning star!  Heaven has their eyes fixed on Jesus Christ the Lord, the one who brought together the Infinite Existence and sinners; the One who made mercy and justice kiss on His cross although it cost Him so much; and all for His Father's glory and our benefit.  For this selfless act of Love to His Father and pity for sinners our High Priest has truly been lifted High, higher than the heaven's themselves so that all my marvel and behold with great joy and praises!

 

 

(3.) The Curse of Death Conquered through Perfection: 

           Why did Jesus need to conquer death?  Death is the curse of God given to Adam and Eve and all mankind as the punishment for sin.  God says in, Genesis 2:17, "for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."  See also, Ezekiel 18:4, "The soul who sins shall die."  Adam and Eve were alive to God and His goodness toward them.  They had perfect physical bodies and a perfect creation as a good gift from their Creator for their enjoyment and God's praise.  Also, they had God's personal fellowship and the great enjoyment which that brought to them.  What death was designed to do by God's wisdom was to separate a sinful man as punishment far away from Himself and the pleasure of beholding His beauty. This is ultimately what the curse of "death" is.  There are two stages of death, or levels of death.  The first poisonous bite of death's fangs is mostly a spiritual death and partly a physical death.  At the fall of Adam the heavenly spiritual side of man's soul completely died!  This is what is meant for example in Ephesians 2:1 were it says were we "dead in sins."  This is what is meant when Jesus says we need to be born again by the Spirit, because spiritually we have died and desperately need a new life.  This is what Jesus Christ meant when He said to sinners that they were: "blind"[27] and were like "graves"[28] and are like people walking in "darkness"[29].  Particularly in John chapter 3 our Lord makes the severe consequence for being spiritual dead: "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  To be spiritual dead means you cannot even see or spiritually sense God, let alone know, believe or enjoy Him.  God is "Spirit" and therefore, spiritually dead people have no way of knowing or enjoying Him!  Also the first level of the death is partly physical.  This cursed creation is swelling with corrosions and is falling apart; our physical bodies grow old and decays.

            The second level of death is a complete separating of man from God and all the pleasures of His glory.  See, although we are spiritual dead as sinners we still enjoy the pleasure of many of God's beauties such as in His creation, food, sleep, friendships, work, rewards, medicines, beautiful skies, sex and the glory of His Son shinning through the church.  But the second bite of death's fangs totally separates sinners from even these small beauties of Yahweh.  This second death is called Hell!  In hell there is no more remnant of God's goodness or beauty left; only wrath unmixed from mercy, only fire unmixed from cool spring water.  Revelation 21:8 "The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."  Here the curse of Death is in full bloom and fulfills its purpose.  Those who reject God get their wish and are fully removed from all God's glory and goodness!  They wanted to be separate from God and so God does just that: absolute separation from infinity beauty.   

         But dear readers do not dismiss yourself from the scrutiny of applying this to you.   Only if you want to be close to God in the way He has termed out for us in His Son Jesus Christ will He accept your pronouncement that you do not want to separate from Him but close.  He has given us His precious Son Jesus Christ, and has said: My Son is My radiant image and thus, I will know if you love Me if you Love Him as: the Way, the Truth and the Life!  All other ways, religions and systems of thought to God are nothing more than a public statement to Him that although you say with your mouth you want to be close to God that in fact you are actually saying you want to be separate, and so He will grant your evil wish in the form of Hell's embrace.[30]

         This is the death that our Lord Jesus Christ had to conquer and be victorious over in order to save us.  Therefore, consider my readers the gravity and deaths of hell our Lord was dragged through because He took on our death in our place for us; for our salvation! As a man is tied up and dragged behind a horse, so Christ willing allowed Himself to be bound to the black horse of death to drag Him into the vast waste lands of its curse, being separated from His Father.  He indeed tasted, "death for everyone", for whom the Convent of Grace was termed out for.

         But Jesus was perfected through His testing of death.  This was the particular and principle testing of His suffering, which did not make Him Perfect per-say, but exposed Him to be Perfect.  Therefore, in this sense it is proper to say He has been perfected.  Hebrews 5:7-9, "Having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." 

But how can the curse of death be experienced by Him who is perfect, for this curse was only for those who are not perfect, for sinners?

           2 Corinthians 5:21, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  This is why Jesus came to earth, to endure the curse of death in our place!  We properly, with our own sins, earned the punishment of death.  Therefore, if Jesus was to save us from this death He had to endure it in our place so that this curse of Death is satisfied in accordance to justice.  The crime was committed.  God is justice itself and loves justice; and therefore, to be true to His own Divine Nature must punish all offenders!  This is why Jesus was willingly made sin for us out of necessity and out of love, for God is also love itself.  We must realize that the transfer of our sin onto Him was no mere symbol, but He became our sin.  On the cross the great exchange happened. Our sin was exchanged for His righteousness.  In that moment on the cross Jesus was the most ugly, hideous sinner the world has ever seen, having all our sins imputed on Him!  Hebrews 2:9, "We see Jesus for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone."  May we never lose sight of the Glory of Jesus Christ dying for sinners and making them saints by tasting death for us!  As great as this is, may our thanksgiving and praise be just as great for His honor forever!

           We ultimately see the curse of death in Jesus Christ's howling cries to His Father: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"[31]  Our Lord cried this out because He was tasting death by being separated from His God.  He was covered with our sin and therefore, the Father had to turn His back to His Son, for God is too pure to look at sin. This was the first and only time Jesus Christ was separated from the smiling face of His Father's infinite energy of love.  This shows that both Him becoming our sin and tasting death were no mere symbols, but tangible horrible reality, and all for our benefit.  Look at the cross and see that Christ did in fact make a true end of them there!

           But also John 10:17 "My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again."  Here Jesus Christ proclaims that His Father loves Him precisely because He willingly gives up His life to be slaughtered in order to save many sinners alive.  The Father greatly loves this as it is love personally given to Him in obedience; and as the Father delights in mercy so delights in His Son giving real mercy to so many sinners.  Because of this perfection of obedience and holiness the Father gives His Son the right to claim His life from the grave and death.  Make no mistake, Jesus Christ died a horrifically painful death in His physical body, but His Soul, because it was perfect was supported by God's Spirit, giving His Son the Power to conquer death at His discretion.  1 Peter 3:18, "Christ suffered once for sins [by] being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit."

         John 12:24, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain."  Like a seed, which is protected by a shell, so Christ's Soul was protected by the power of the Holy Spirit; for on the account of His perfection He earned this.  While He was burned up in God's wrath His Soul was preserved and after it germinated into the Divine rose of Sharron, the beautiful lily of Heaven for all to admire.  Not only did He arise from death, but pushing through the dirt of death He flowered and displayed His Father's beauty in Himself; and for all who He died for their sinful bodies were likewise burned up with Him, but their souls were protected by the Spirit so that at given places and times they would receive new birth, blossoming their petals of faith and love to God's honor.  Today, heaven and earth are filled with the lilies of God's love.  Like a great valley filled with endless flowers so to heaven will be populated with 10,000 times 10,000 lilies and trophies of God's marvelous grace, because the Rose of Sharon first took the blow, but His seed having beaten death pushing through its grip brought with Him untold numbers of children.  Now the question is: how did this exactly happen?

           I dare say what I am about to cover is one of my favorite doctrines, yet one of more misunderstood.  It is the doctrine of the baptism of Christ and His saints with Him.  In the ordinance of baptism a person is taken below the water and then raisin out of the water.  It is a public announcement of a believer's faith and love in what Jesus Christ did at Calvary is their reality!  But theologically what it says is very deep and profoundly glorious!  Romans 6:9, "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him." Romans 6:4, "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

           Many, when reading such things find them wonderful, but can miss the profound reality spoken.  The realities being spoken here are no mere symbol or story, or nice parable about reality; it is reality concerning the saints in Christ's death and resurrection. How many times must I say this, yet it bears repeating: symbols cannot save, symbols cannot pay debts, symbols cannot wipe away sin.  When our passage tells us that all saints we "buried with Him through baptism into death" this is not a figure of speech.  Remember when God the Father who has Infinite love for His Son turned His Face from Him and Jesus Christ cried out "Why have you Forsaken Me!"  The only reason why infinite love would forsake its love is that the Father had no other choice!  It means Christ being imputed with our sin was reality!  This means our sins being imputed to Jesus Christ had a level of reality that although could not be seen with our naked eye, yet it was there and the Father saw it.  Christ became our sin and for this reason the Father had to forsake Him!  The same is true of this doctrine.  In a real tangible sense every person Jesus suffered for was with Him in a Divine reality during that dark day.  This can partly be understood by knowing what kind of power God is.

          God does not have a physical body to express His desires of wisdom, holiness and happiness.  As humans we need the attribute of power.  We need a physical body to express our love for example.  God does not properly have an attribute of power per-say. The Holy Scriptures say: "Not by Power but by My Spirit says the LORD of Host." His Spirit is the infinity of energetic Love given between the Father and the Son. The Spirit is all action, if you would. Also Yahweh means infinite being or existence in constant motion.  God thoughts, desires and moral goodness being "infinite" are His Power itself!  Infinite desire is necessarily infinite energy and power.  Infinite wisdom and holy pleasure is necessarily infinite energy and power itself.  God's holy desire being infinite reaches out with infinite energy and causes reality to happen.  God's mere pleasurable thought of having the elect united to Christ in His death and resurrection caused them to all be there with Christ![32]  Take for example Ephesians 2:4-5, "Because of His great love with which He loved us.... made us alive together with Christ."  We might not remember it, but all believers were tangibly there sustained in the infinite power of God's holy pleasure, which is the cause of all reality itself.  Because we were united to Christ's mystical body in an invisible divine way, God the Father therefore, making good on His promise to His Son in covenant, sends the Holy Spirit who actually or publicly applies these indescribable benefits of Christ's gospel to His saints.  These include being born again, faith in Christ, love to Christ, sanctification and finally glorification in eternal life with Christ.

         Jesus Christ's Soul like a seed covered by a shell was covered by the Holy Spirit and by God's causality every elect soul being united to Christ was with Christ protected from the fire there, with Christ at that place and time.  Their bodies of sin were crucified there with Christ under God's wrath, but their souls were safe behind the firewall of Christ's perfection, for they were united to this perfection because Jesus agreed to have us united to Him and the Father's infinite pleasure of energy makes it so.

           Why do I say all of this?  God has spoken to us concerning these profound realities so that every believer may fully rest all their love, faith and hope in the salvation He painfully worked for them on the cross!  At a definite time and a definite place there was made an end of our sins.  We being united to Christ have already died with Him and being still united to Him when our physical bodies die, just like Him, our souls have victory over the grave and the Father will give to us a new body!  This doctrine also shows why faith is a byproduct of new birth and not the other way around.[33]  Considering that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is not a symbol, but a tangible act of salvation, it becomes easy for faith to wrap its feeble arms around such a glorious Person.  The picture becomes so clear and tangible that it strengthens even the weakest heart to leap and grab a hold of the Lamb of God.  When God united our sins to Christ's body 2000 years ago it was real: He died for our sin and we with Him.  When God united us to Christ Perfection it was real: He lives and so do we!  These are actual realities not parables about reality!  2 Timothy 1:10, Christ brought life and immortality into this public world, which was cursed with death.  He did this not for Himself, but for all His elect children by beating death through being perfect and having us united to His perfection.

         Therefore, in this sense Perfection overcame death.  Christ's Perfection not only gave Him the strength to defeat death for Himself but also for countless myriads of sinners made into sons of light.  How great is He from whom this perfection has beamed and gloriously shone forth!  How great should be the praises of them who see Him as their Perfect Savior; whose grace perfectly wipes away every sin and supplies a room for them in the House of God.  Those who have the eye's of faith and see such grand realities gladly proclaim that He has the Supremacy!  Colossians 1:18, "He is... the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."  Indeed, He was born from the dead by His Perfection so that He could have all the Preeminence.  We earned death by being sinners.  Christ earned life in abundance by being gloriously perfect.

 

 

(4.) The Public Radiance of God:

           (A) From the very beginning it was God's design to wonderfully and famously radiant His Holy Perfection.  The world and all beings in heaven and earth were created for this one singular purpose.  Nothing or no one escapes this purpose, which has its nose hooked by God's mighty hand and driven by the reins of infinite power of delight, wisdom and holiness.  Depending on their design they were either to be an image of God's glory or a beholder of it enjoying God in it.  Mankind was God's top design in both shinning out His glory in an image and beholding it in admiration.  But as it was demonstrated man created in his original form was not engineered to fulfill this, but his creation was only the first stepping stone for him to become this through Christ Jesus.  In their journey to this many covenants were made and many antitypes shone out, but all had this in common: they centered on Christ.  But why?  Concerning God's glory Jesus Christ as the Son of God is the perfect "outshining of His glory, the true image of His substance."[34]  "He is the image of the invisible God."[35]  

         The Father is invisible reality, for He "is Spirit."  But His creation is public and visible!  If His goal is to display "His" glory then there needs to be some sort of major intervention.  This intervention has a Name: Jesus Christ!  A son is the image of their father.  Jesus Christ is not merely a good image but a perfect image of His Father.  Jesus Christ is the shinning forth of His Father's glory as light is the public expression of the Sun's glory. 

         Because God is Spirit if man is to be God's image then man needs to be a "spiritual" image of God.[36]  Not only this, but man needs to be this in a public world.  As demonstrated before, mankind was created in a perfect physical world, in perfect physical creation, with a holy and innocent soul.  We also learned man did not have the fullness of God's Spirit indwelling in his soul.  This communicated to us that true perfection is God, and there is no inherent lasting perfection found in any other place.  This sovereignty of God in these designs did not remove man's responsibility, for we with our "own" souls, desires, thoughts and knowledge turned from God.  So the question is how is man going to be a true "spiritual" image of God and be a public expression of God's glory?  Christ!

         The final answer to this question concerns man desperately needing to be united to God in a very special manner.  The angels have a strong spiritual indwelling of God's Spirit, but many of them still failed the test when Satan sinned and many followed.  What is needed is a, much more than, a deep endless fountain of God's Spirit.[37] Furthermore, Christ is the answer to man's dilemma, for consider that there are many types and shades of God's image which a finite man or angel is not able to communicate.  Therefore, what was most needed is a true infinite expression and example of God's glory to shine forth, setting the stage, if you would, for God's glory to dance upon and for all to marvel.                         

           Jesus Christ answers, fulfills and accomplishes all these questions and many more.  First, mankind after the fall needed rescuing.  This was the first priority: the recovering of God's children who made themselves guilty criminals and filthy sinners.  Jesus Christ humbly comes as a man to be a wrath bearing propitiation and a sin cleansing expiation for the sins of all for whom He died for.  The second was for God's true image to shine forth; Christ does this in a most brilliant glow.  Third, was to provide the special uniting for man in God so that they could be a true spiritual image of God; Christ out of great love and compassion united the elect into Himself in His suffering death and shinning resurrection.  Forth, is for a renewed creation fit for Christ and His united believer's to image the glory of God in a grand public display: Christ's suffering and righteousness purchased the right for a new creation suited for this purpose.

         1 Corinthians 15:49, "As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man."  Jesus Christ having become a man and yet still possessing His Divinity is able to be both: the example for all His united brethren to follow and unit them to Himself.   Being clothed in human flesh makes the uniting of all saints in Christ fitting.  Indeed, it becomes suitable for them to be like their brother.  Christ being infinite God is, able from this position of being our human companion, to pour rivers of His Spirit into all who have been mystically united into Him by His death and resurrection.  Also Christ's great love for His saints properly unites them together.

         We are able see this, for example, in our daily sanctification, 2 Corinthians 3:18, "We are being transformed into [Christ's] image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord", and this by "beholding" Him in the "gospel."  Jesus is the supreme perfection of God displayed in such a way to us, in the gospel, that we are able take in its radiant beams.  Although infinite brightness is too strong for any creature to behold, although the burning luster of God's glory is so searing, yet Christ being clothed in humanity and acting the way He did in the gospel customizes this luminary to be gazed upon with eyes wide open for His beloved saints.  It is such light that is changes all into its image if only viewed.

            Shinning in the gospel of Jesus Christ is, Jesus Christ.  There, for all who are willing to look is Christ shinning in His perfection of mercy and justice.  But not merely in and of themselves, but perfection of both meeting together, as in a kiss of enemies who have reconciled and agreed to labor together.  Psalm 85:10, "Mercy and truth have met together; [justice] and peace have kissed." & Romans 3:25-26, "God set forth [Jesus] as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

         Furthermore, Christ Jesus is the Perfection of God and man harmonized on in one glorious Person.  Fully God yet clothed in the flesh of man, infinity and finite in concert, Jesus is the Divinity expressed through humanity.  So much human that He knows our pain and sympathies with our weakness, yet so much Divine He never sinned.  He is infinite value being Divine and thus, able to pay an infinite price for man's sin, yet lowly human value and so able to die as one of us in our place.  This beautiful synergy is summed up in the glorious Person of Jesus Christ!  The Father is very pleases with His beloved Son on this account; for He was the perfect Person for the job to express His glory, namely, publicly and also to redeem mankind at the same time in the same Person!  Jesus perfectly delighted to fulfill His Father's pleasure concerning Him.

         Additionally, Jesus was Perfection in His fighting sin.  He was the spotless Lamb taken to the slaughter without blemish or spot.  He was tempted in every way as we, yet without sin.  Indeed, the Devil personally tempted Him with great evil delicacies, which many men fall prey to with little to no persuasion, still He passed flawlessly.

           Yes, our Lord is Perfection in shining out the fullness of God's glory.  Man even if he never sinned has great limitations to how much of an image they can be of infinity.  A finite creature has immense limitations in how much He is able to image God's glory by: (1) being His Holiness expressed and (2) seeing His expressed Holiness and enjoying it.  Jesus has no bounds!  His limits are without boundaries.  He is the Divine Nature itself in infinity, which is what the Divine Nature is, infinite holiness, affection and wisdom.  Although clothed in time and space with human flesh, yet He has infinite wisdom, moral beauty and holy pleasure at His disposal to find the way in this environment to shine His Father's glory -add extra- or in overflowing abundance.  To all beholding eyes it is infinite, although not as infinite as He is, who is infinity itself.  Jesus Christ the public person shines an infinite, as a mathematical infinite.  He shows up in space and time and radiantly glows infinite glory from that starting point, whereas with God Himself being infinity itself has no starting point concerning His Divine Nature.  Jesus Christ is called the radiance of God and His fullness,[38] because He is these things, but also being this public Jesus Christ He has shown forth a true perceivable and suitable full image of God, a fullness of extra; He is the Divine Nature on grand display.  Jesus was the only one fitted for such a principle and wonderful task.  

           Christ produced a Perfection of man's salvation.  He accomplished a Perfection of uniting Himself to His saints and them to Himself.  He left no stone unturned in regards to what was both needed to save man and what was precious in lavished gifts of grace.  Christ sought out every turn and dotted every (i), which was required.  He fulfilled the Mosaic Law, for man's salvation and benefit, not His.  He was born of a woman as a human in such a lowly state to unite Himself to man, for their benefit and not His.  You often hear Him in His gospel's quoting the scriptures to fulfill them, for the fulfillment of man's salvation.  Jesus Christ took on "the god of this age" and gained full victory over that ancient enemy of man, the Devil.  Christ as a Lamb allowed Himself to be placed in the jaws of the Devil, that roaring loin.  But in His resurrection, although in the claws of Satan, Jesus turned on him and defeated in humiliation.  Even as a Lamb God is mightier than Devil at His best!  Furthermore He, after His death in His ascension to Heaven, presented His blood to His Father as the final act of purchasing the church.  And even after this He still always intercedes for His bride that all the benefits He purchased would be actually bestowed and given to His beloved!  Christ is a perfect and complete savior of man.  He has given man all reason to have perfect faith and joyful trust in Him, for their redemption and satisfaction of soul. 

           This is what I call the pure form of that old phrase, Calvinism.  See, reformed theology (Calvinism) is theology that demonstrates that all was accomplished by Christ, and is true to this in the application.  Reformed theology shows because Jesus sovereignly saved us on the cross at a definite time and place that His sovereignty in applying His salvation is true in its application to His saints.  Because Christ's salvation is so perfect, all that is left for man to do is enjoy and worship their God, which is what being an image of God is.  Even, our conversation, faith and new birth are all gifts caused by God in us!  Even after we are saved our holiness is still not properly credited to us but to the Spirit, for this is called the "fruit of the Spirit."  Let honor be given to whom it belongs, and in this case it is God!  Also to us, the joy in giving it to Him, who is our honor, our pleasure!  

          Jesus with His work on earth was a perfection shining out the image of God's Soul in: infinite wisdom, infinite holiness[39], and infinite happiness.  The LORD told Moses that His image or glory was His infinite sovereignty, graciousness, truth and Justice, which God summed up as goodness. (Exodus 33:19, 34:6-8)  Jesus Christ is this glory expresses forth in His public Person and work in the gospel. (John 1:5,14,18 (truth and graciousness); John 5:27(sovereignty and justice); John 10:14 (goodness); see also 2 Corinthians 4:6, and Romans 3:25-26).

Christ showed a Perfection of loving God first and secondly loving man to the end.  The Law stated that loving God is first importance and then man secondly.  This was mans original failure in the garden.  He loved himself first and not His awesome God when he was tempted by the Devil.  Even in the good parts of the church it seems many have a problem by flipping the First and Second greatest commandments.  Yet, Jesus Christ did not have this problem: Philippians 2:8, for "he humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."  This was no mere obedience, but endless "delight" from Christ's part.[40]  John 10:18 and 12:27-28 makes it clear the cross was above all things, even above love to man, love given to His Father for His glory and fame. 

           Jesus Christ being of the Divine Nature is infinite love, and so, there is love enough to go around.  The saints were given to Christ by His Father.[41]  So Christ gave His hands over to them be their savior.  He gave His brow over to wear a crown of thorns to be their King.  He turned His heart to them to be their Divine Husband with boundless compassion and tender affection. He would not even break a reed that was already bruised.  Even the most hideous leopard was not marred enough for Christ to touch and love.   Who is able to question such love who, "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."[42]  To us and the whole world who turned our backs to Him, He turned His check toward us.  Jesus the "Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me."[43]

            Christ was a Perfect mediator and High Priest.  He shed innocent and infinitely valuable blood, which was His own.[44]  He was driven outside of the camp, for He bore their sins as the escape goat bearing the curse we deserved.[45] After His resurrection He entered into heaven to appear before our God presenting and sprinkling His blood on the true mercy seat, interceding for all whom He died for. 

           By this Jesus has given faith a perfect place to rest in.  This is why He says the Holy Spirit will "convince" the world of "righteousness"; John 16:10, "because I go to My Father."  But what does this act of Himself going to His Father have to do with "righteousness" that it's so important for the Holy Spirit to convince the world of it?  Christ's sufferings of themselves would not have made the saints righteous.  Do not be surprised by this!  Many foolishly forget Christ is a High Priest so that not until He goes to God and presents His blood and intercedes there is no forgiveness or righteous benefits.  Hebrews 9:12, "With His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."  &  Hebrews 9:24, "Christ has entered the holy places... to appear in the presence of God FOR us." 

          These are not my symbols but reality.  Christ Jesus in His human form went to Heaven and presented His blood and interceded for us!  He was giving His blood as a payment, similar to legal tender or money.  God the Father gladly received it and gave Christ His reward; His public right hand at His throne.  Only upon receiving His own reward and public authority was Christ able to send to all His saints their inheritance: giving the saints His righteousness and the reward of His own righteousness.  Jesus sitting at God's right hand has full power and authority to do so; and so He does.  Christ sends the Spirit.  Only from the position of His exalted stated does Christ actually bestow and cause His saints to posses His righteous in actual experience. At Calvary the saints were imputed with Christ's righteousness in a mystical divine sense, upon Christ's exaltation they receive it actually and publically.  The Spirit giving new birth and giving us a new body in heaven is the tangible experience of receiving the benefit for being clothed in Christ's righteousness. This is why Christ says the Holy Spirit will convince, particularly the saints, of Christ's righteousness earned for them and given to them, so that they have the perfect place to rest their faith in conversion and everyday thereafter.  Peter 1:21, "God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."  Having lived out perfection even in suffering and having received His perfection of all authority in Heaven He is loved by all who see Him as their perfect savior.  Hebrews 5:9, "Having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation.

 

(B) Romans 8: "to the image of His Son."

           Christ is the perfect shining forth or image of the Father!  This, among many other things, shows the Supremacy of the Father, as He is the Original, the head of the Trinity.  But the Father, as stated before, made the world for His Son.  Now we will discuss in what particular manner the Father made the world for His Son. 

         He made the world to be an image of His Son, as His Son is and image of the Father.  This is Christ's gift from the Father.  As Jesus is of the Father (of infinite, spiritual, invisible reality), so the church is the holy image of Christ in public reality.  His gift for His Son is to have all things summed up in Christ and for Him to have the Preeminence, particularly by the church being the image of Christ's glory and victory.  The Father loves His Son and so desired for Him to have the enjoyment of having an image as He does; the Father has His beloved Son as His radiant beautiful image, and the Son His church.  This also gives us a brief insight in to profound realities concerning the essence of God's infinite existence.  He is an endless fountain that is inclined to constantly flow out infinite goodness and constantly expressing Himself in every good and possible way.  Since God is the standard of infinite goodness itself, then imaging is the proper way to accomplish this holy inclination of the Divine Being.

           Christ and His image, displays the public idea of the infinite, spiritual and invisible union of the Father and His Son as the perfect image within the Trinity.  So that the union of Christ and the church is a displaying of not merely God, but the glory of the Trinity itself.  Oh the joy that the church will experience!  It will be like of the Father's love to the Son and the Son's to the Father!  Christ will rejoice in His church being the reflected beauty of His glory as the Father rejoices in His Son being the perfect image of Himself.  This is just one of the many types of and levels of love the church will partake of in their heavenly union in Christ.  They will enjoy the pleasure of Christ's heart that they are the Father's gift to Him. 

            This why our verse in Romans 8 says the saints are the image of the Son of God, not just God.  What this tells us is that Jesus Christ so Perfectly is the image of God in this public world that it is proper and suitable for Him to have His own image, for it would be nothing more than an image of God the Father.  Christ is so perfectly His Father's image that whoever is an image of Christ is an image of the Father.  This is Christ's glory; or the fame of His perfection.  This is why He is so central in this public world.  Ephesians 1:10 speaks to this reality as it says all things will be summed up in Christ in the public existence, but Christ is summed up in the Father.  For the Father's goal for the creating the world in the first place was that: "in the [conclusion] of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him [the Father that is]."  Christ's public perfection shone forth in brilliant light in the gospel accomplished this goal!  Therefore, Christ is worthy to be the public image of God, whereby the whole creation and the redeemed are patterned after, thereby giving Him the Preeminence and Supremacy.  Amen!

 

 

Implications:

           

We shall consider a few points of implications concerning these beautiful truths.

 

I.                  We must arm ourselves for suffering.

II.                 Our maturity in understanding God's ways are exposed by this doctrine.

III.                Worship, our most practical and important action and its relation to the gospel.

 

1. Christ's soul or spirit was perfect, for it was Divine, but His flesh was "as sinful flesh."  His flesh was not perfect but mortal; it was corrupted being ready to grow old and die one day because it was affected with the same weakness as our own bodies are.  But we possess both a sinful flesh and a sinful soul!  Our flesh wants to sin and also our souls.

            Therefore, if Christ whose soul was already perfect had to learn obedience through suffering, how much more do we, who are not perfect, but are far from it?  Therefore, settle it in your heart that you will suffer.  Arm yourself to fight on this battle field!  Prepare your soul for this suffering by reminding yourself that if you are truly saved then God is your Father.  All suffering is by His sovereignty.   All is worked for your good in Christ.  All hardship is either refining your spiritual sight in order to see and understand your Savior better, or it is discipline which also produces the same end result.  Your corrections, which proceed from your Father's part, streams purely from a heart of love and of the most tender mercies.  Therefore, receive it was such and be encouraged.  If you do not have the faith to receive such truths then Christianity has nothing for such a person, for if you do not believe and love in Christ and His word then Christianity offers you nothing.  Do you believe, really?

            Unbelievers have no guarantee that even one suffering or hardship will turn out for any good, even temporally.  Even if it was for some so-called good, still this life will end and they will have to give account to God.  Then is so-called good will be used as judgment, for all good any unbeliever receives is given by God; and thus, is to lead them to acknowledge and love His Son.  Indeed, the next hardship could be their last.  The next suffering around the corner could very well unravel their souls, undue their fortunes and strip their physical health away.  They would have nothing to show for it but sorrow and judgment.

           The Christian, by the grace of Jesus Christ, is not inundated with such fears.  But, for us who are called by God and who love their Savior, these have the guarantee of soul that the next hardship will not undue their souls, but strengthen it to behold the rays of Christ glory better.  After the Christian's suffering and trial they do not have sorrow to show for it, but endurance, a strengthened character, a more mature faith, a closer love to Christ, a more pleasurable praise upon their lips and a deeper happiness imbedded at the core of their minds.  They have depreciation for this world, but a fonder and more expectant one to see their Lord face to face.

            If Christ is truly your portion, your best thought, your supreme and daily treasure, then do what the Lord's brother instructs us to do by counting it all joy to endure hardships, which are nothing but for your eternal good, joy and happiness!  For those who do not possess Christ as their highest treasure, for those who love not Jesus Christ above this world and their own lives, will doubtlessly endure hardships with much sorrow of face and torment of soul.  To these, because Christ is not their highest treasure, will therefore, find Christ as the reward for enduring hardship as a grievous burdened.  They will be like those in the parable of the Sower.  The cares of life will chock them; the troubles and worries of life beating on them like the sun will dry out their so-called love of Christ.  They will dry up and return to the ground; they return to the miry clay and to this world for they have always loved the world more than Christ.

         Jesus Christ delighted to obey His Father, to glorify His Name at the expense of His flesh being torn and His Soul being abandoned.  By this Jesus proves He is the legitimate eternal Son of God.  Therefore, if we are to prove that we too have become sons of God by Christ's death for us, then we to must also delight to obey God and have His name magnified at the expense of our bodies, health, families, entertainments, goal, jobs, and hobbies.  This doctrine, of Christ becoming perfect though suffering, reveals if you authentically love God or not.  Do you live to give God glory out of love through suffering like our Lord Jesus Christ?  Are you contented and delighted with God's wisdom which has decided that through suffering you will be sanctified and shine for His Glory?  Suffering will not be worth the cost for the individual who does not have this settled in their heart.  But the true child of God will be proven to be so, because Christ is their highest treasure and position and so for them the cost of suffering is not even worthy to be compared to the glory of knowing Him who will be revealed in us. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." 

Do you hear the drum roll; God is calling to finish your work.  He is calling you to join His Son outside the gate and play with Him by suffering with Him.   So, play hard, don't be quiet, but suffer well, fulfill your calling until there is no more breath left in you!  Let the passion to play in the gospel strengthen your bones and refreshen your heart and make your hands strong yet again.  Do you realize these words I speak over you that God is speaking all time to you, so unstop your ears and hear yet again your Lord's voice: find Christ in the playground of the gospel outside the gate and suffer together with Him, and so be glorified together as well!

   

 

2.  By these truths we are able to see how mature we are in understanding God's ways and love Him therein.  Maturity in truth as application, how can this be you might say?  Is it not more important to grow in maturity of deeds than truth?  Is not truth for doctrine and deeds for application?  No, this is foolish reasoning!  This is human reasoning.  Growing in truth is regarded by the bible as important and on the same footing as growing in deeds in relation to application of our lives.  Consider, 1 John 3:18, where it says for us to love "in deed and in truth."  &  Colossians 3:17, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."  &  1 Timothy 4:16, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them."[46] Thus, I conclude with the God that growing in truth and deeds as equals is the goal set before you and I to pursue together in love.  Thus, let us test our maturity on this subject together.  

         Dear reader, consider the book and story of Job.  What would your conclusion of this book be in a one sentence summary?  If you were to put a thesis statement on the book of Job what would you say?  I say this often, but will say it again: the bible interrupts itself.  This is a great way to see if you have grown in your maturity in seeing things from a biblical light; or to see things the way God sees them: find the passage(s) that interrupts other passage(s) and see if your conclusion was the same as God's. 

          James, the brother of Jesus, gives one such conclusion of Job when he says: "You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord -- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful."[47]  Is this what you concluded?  God is wisdom itself, but wisdom is very concerned with the end result, which is why Ecclesiastes says, "The end of the thing is better than its beginning." God has a goal and will see to it that it is accomplished.  His intention with Job from the beginning was to showcase how compassionate and merciful He is!  James recognizes this and so makes a true inference of the book of Job.  God's intention is the ultimate thesis of story.  This is how God sees reality.  Do you dear reader?  What is the intention of our life dear saint of God, if indeed you truly are a partaker of the Divine intention in Christ?

         1 Peter 4:13, "Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."  Your Father's intention is your eternal gladness and exceeding joy in your marriage to His Son Jesus Christ, which is to His praise!  Think heavenly not earthly about such things, this is our instruction from Peter here.  Dear reader, have you enjoyed playing in the free gospel of Christ for your salvation to the point that you actually rejoice to partake in Christ's suffering for His glory and your joy in Him? Christ displayed His Father's glory with a public loving passion.  If you are truly apart of Christ body with His Spirit alive in you, should you not have this same passionate love to glorify your Father through your suffering together with Christ?  If not, then His Spirit is not in you.  If you do have this passion, but your flesh is weak, then ask for strength and He will be compassionate and gladly to supply you His strength, for He cares for you.  Christ suffered greatly to publically glorify His Father, but He was also greatly and publically give honor, power, and glory forever.  Join yourself in full with His mission to love His Father at all expense to yourself.  Look steadfast on the glory of Christ's suffering love for you on the cross, where His pain was your forgiveness, His thorns your bread, His blood of torment your wine of joy.  Look here, and ask for the Spirit to shine His face in your heart.  In this find your own heart filled with such trust and love for Christ that you will find it all joy to suffer for Your King of Grace, your Heavenly Husband, your Lamb of God slain for you!  Suffer for Him publically[48] and you to will find Him rewarding you publically in the Kingdom of the Father's love for His Son and us through Him!

 

           Furthermore, we also looked at Ecclesiastes where we learned that God tests man to help them recognize they are like animals.  We are here one moment and then gone the next, just like animals.  The Psalmist echoed this same sentiment of wisdom.  "Teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom."  If our days are numbered like the animals, then it is wise to actually view and live our short lives in light of that; it would be unwise to do otherwise.  So God helps us in this matter by testing us with hardships that open our eyes to this reality.  But why? 

           The person who sees themselves in this light is to be like the Psalmist and trust God!  The Psalmist saw himself in the proper light: small, sinful, vain and blown like a leaf in the wind.  Therefore, he called and turned to his God for strength and salvation.  His praise is in His God who alone is his joy, salvation and ever present help, and not himself.  Do you honestly recognize this about your hardships that they are to (1) help you see yourself like an animal so that (2) you might cling on God for your salvation?  Or are you evil and see yourself like zeus and so rely on yourself to save yourself while mocking the cross and love of Jesus Christ's power; or, do you use the accuse that when you rightly recognize you are like an animal that you start acting like one being filthy and vile?  Christ has called us sinful creatures to shine like the sun in His kingdom by His death for us.  He has not called us to play in with the mud of this world like brute beast.  Where do you stand today dear reader?  Will you cling desperately to Him who has strength in His hand and power in His feet and whose heart beats with compassion to save all who come to Him!

           Oh how modern man thinks so highly of himself, yet God does not share such sentiments.  His sentiments are quite opposite!  We look back a few years ago seeing our fathers riding on horses and beasts of the field and then to ourselves riding the clouds in our airplanes and stupidly think that we have arrived!  To where, I do not know!  God laughs at such things and so tests modern man reminding him of his proper place.  Even the ass knows his proper place, but modern man appears to be more of a moron than brute beasts![49] 

             In the Old Testament God sent an earthquake[50], which appears to have killed thousands being buried under the houses of power that Israel built.  In their time they looked upon themselves as the modern man.  They saw their cites of power and said, we do not need the LORD to save us, we can save ourselves.  God then, under His earthquake, caused them and their princes to be crushed under the dirt and rubble just as the dumb animals were!  God crushed and buried them under the very things they placed their trust in, showing them that they are nothing and have no reason to trust in anyone but the LORD for their salvation and pleasure.  God does the same today; He sends His earthquakes, sickness, troubles and disasters to show today's modern man he is less than nothing.  Therefore, Jeremiah 13:11 says, "For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,' says the LORD, 'that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear."  Dear reader: will you hear, will you cling, and will you rise above modern man and brute beasts?

 

            Lastly, do we understand that while God's test us the Spirit of Jesus is in us to strengthen us; we are not alone, so take courage!  Unbelievers are often alone, but we have an ever present help.[51]  

          Philippians 2:12, "Therefore, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."   Working out our salvation is filled with many difficult trials, hardships and testings.  Yet, God is working in our souls to cause us to actually will and do things for His good pleasure, which if you are Christ's then this is good pleasure is your salvation and joy in His Son forever.  But how?  Proverbs 21:1 ,  "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." God actually places His Spirit in our soul and moves it to choose what He wants it to!  And for the Christian He moves it toward righteousness, toward His beloved Son crucified, and toward the narrow path leading to His heavenly House.  This power is called His hand in this passage, but this power has a more direct name: The Holy Spirit.

             The precious Holy Spirit teaches our very minds and hearts about the things Christ Jesus and Him being crucified for us.  John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."  Indeed, every Christian who has ever lived was born of the Spirit as Christ says in John 3:3.  There He says the Spirit, without our asking, caused us to have spiritual life and see the Kingdom of God.  In fact, Jesus says this miracle of grace being in its fullness was one of His goals for dying on the cross:  Hebrews 10:16, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them."  His Spirit will so live in our hearts that our souls are recreated and then still directed by the sweet Spirit of God.  Yes, the Spirit's influence is so great over the Christian's soul that the deeds of the Christian are not even credited to the choice of their wills but to the Spirit: Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."  We are bathed and moved, 1 Peter 1:2, "in sanctification of the Spirit."  But Holy Spirit is also in essence the, "Spirit of Christ."[52]  Christ's Spirit is with all His Children!  Not by symbols, but in tangible love He is dwells in them.  He knocks on the door of their souls and comes in to live as their King, Savior and Divine Spouse.  This is why in Philemon 1:25, it says: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen," for He indeed is with their Spirit.  How is this good grace of Christ with our spirit, you might say?  By the communion of Spirit, for the Spirit is living waters streaming from Christ's throne, which runs the grace of Christ into our very souls.  2 Corinthians 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all."  

         Christ has promised to be with us and He makes good on His promise of love and grace!  Therefore, in the comfort of knowing He is with us every step of or life let us step away from this world and step toward heaven where He, with His divine human face and eyes full of fiery love, waiting for us!  So again I say, while God's test us the Spirit of His Son is in us to strengthen us; we are not alone, so take courage!  Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

            Therefore, do we entirely depend upon God, seeing we are failures and He is infinite perfection; and not only infinite perfection but through Jesus Christ's suffering for us makes His perfection accessible for us to possess in Christ?  He might test us with hardships showing that we are like animals, but the Spirit of His Son is with us to cause us to cling to Him.  In light of such things we need to be reminded to follow in repentance, true repentance for acting not just like animals but like mad animals.  Even beast can be trained and know their proper place in their master's crib, but do we consider our place?  In our Master's crib a place has indeed been marked out for us.  Our place is bowed down before the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and like beggars to stretch out our dirty hands for His mercy, for there at that place He is more than willing!  Are you in your proper place dear reader?

 

 

 3.  The most practical thing any creature can do is worship God!  Whatever you do in word or deed do it to the glory of God (a.k.a. worship).  When something is done to God's glory from us, it is worship.  This is our living sacrifice or worship to Him.  Particularly how pure or holy your worship is, is determined by how much you trust and love Christ in it, whether in truth or deed.  The three greatest are: hope, faith and love.  Depending on how your soul is vibrant in these depends how beautiful to God your words and deed are in His eyes.  God sees all and He perceives our souls and knows if we are truly hoping, trusting and enjoying His wonderful Son in our words and actions, or if we are playing the harlot with world!

            Take for example the gospel.  What is its ultimate purpose?  Is it God's grace or His praise?  Revelation 14:6, "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."  For this angel summing up the everlasting gospel was simple: a calling for all to fear, worship and give God glory through the triumph of the Lamb.  God's amazing grace, is to God's holy praise.  The mercy of God, is to lead us to the enjoying of God.  Being cleaned by God's blood, is to lead us in God's love.   Jesus Christ bringing us near, is to lead us to a godly fear.  Christ enduring God's almighty whip, has the goal to lead the us in God's worship.

            I thought the gospel in its best central statement is: Christ's death and resurrection to save sinners and not the worship of God?  We must remember that the New Testament writers wrote many quick summaries concerning what the core gospel is.  These are not necessarily complete summaries of what the gospel is. 

           The reading of the four gospels gives us understanding for what the whole gospel is.  Furthermore, the books of Romans and Hebrews are close to full length preaching of what the gospel is; and such books as Ephesians, Acts and Colossians give chapter length summaries for what the gospel is.  Lastly, there many quick summaries in the New Testament for that the gospel is and centrally is, so that taking one quick summary by itself without consideration of all the above can lead some to give over stated statements about what the gospel centrally is and as a whole is.  It is this writers goal to avoid this error.

            For example, in the book of Acts summing up the gospel it gives these following statements as though they are equal: "The gospel[good news] of the grace of God, kingdom of God, whole counsel of God, salvation of God, Word of the Lord, the Lord and the word of grace, preaching Jesus Christ- He is Lord of all, we preached Christ is the  Son of God, showing this Man is preached to you for the forgiveness of sin, to preach that it is He who was ordained by God to be the Judge of all and witness that whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins, God has exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince of Peace - to give repentance, know God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ so repent in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, the one whom you worship without knowing I proclaim that God as command all men to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained- He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." 

           Here, the core message that God has commanded us to preach or the core gospel included truths as: God is the Creator - the One true infinite God, Jesus Christ is His Son, God has sent His Son as man to be Savior of sinners, He is a compete Savior in His death and resurrection, God therefore, commands all to repent, Christ will be judge -condemnation for some and reward for those who repent, Christ is Lord of all and God wants this to lead to His exclusive worship (etc.).  The point is that the core gospel has much in it. 

           It might be true that Christ and Him crucified is of first importance in the gospel, but without the other parts of the good news of God or whole counsel God (a.k.a gospel) this first importance is without meaning or weight!  Some miss this point.  Christ crucified might be first importance, but likewise God's glory and worship is the gospel's ending importance. Indeed, Hebrews 9:28 calls His second coming and our glorification and eternal enjoyment of Christ as "salvation."   Christ's death cannot stand central without God's passion for His glory standing beside it on center stage.  Because God and His glory is the ending of the gospel it is actually the center of the center.  Christ crucified is central but even this center has a center: God!  It has always been about Almighty God and His beloved Son; and Christ crucified puts God on center stage.  The gospel is not more important than God Himself!  Christ crucified might be first importance, but God Himself and His displayed supremacy is greatest importance.  Yet, this is the very reason why the gospel is so important; it is the greatest "public" display of God's glory.  And since we are public creatures we, therefore, look most centrally at Almighty God's Son in His bringing forgiveness for sin and endless righteous merit given to sinners by His suffering love.

         Ephesians 1:10, shows that Christ's suffering which brings in grace for sinners has one last cosmic end: God.  God's final end of all ends is Himself and for this public world in particular: His Preeminence or Supremacy or Glory[53] being displayed as both the beginning and last importance.  This is why the gospel is so important, for it is the height of God's wisdom and plan that accomplishes the goal to publically display His Supremacy.  Because God's ending importance is forever, therefore, the first which makes the end reality possible will always be dancing on center stage forever.

          Colossians 1:8 says the same thing as Ephesians 1:10, but makes the point a little more obvious: "He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."  The phrase "first born of the dead" is the gospel.  Then it tells us implicitly that this gospel is not an end of itself, but serves the purpose "that" He might have "preeminence."  Meaning, His glory (His Son Jesus Christ that is) being displayed as Supreme is God's greatest passion and love for this public world.  The wisdom of God made it so that God's "grace" by Christ's suffering is the height and pinnacle way to showcase His Son's Supremacy. 

         The principle is this: Love shows to creatures God is the fountain of all good, but grace at the cost of great suffering much more shows to creatures that God is fountain of all good and supremacy.  This is God passion, this is God's design, this is God's way for us (particularly sinners) to know who He really is and how supreme He really is.  This is why Ephesians says in one place in chapter 1 "to the praise of the glory of His grace" as if it is the most supreme, but then later says in verse 10 God Himself is the most supreme.  See, the glory of God's grace is so grand at being the pinnacle way to display His total fame and supremacy that these two goals are almost the same thing in a sense, that is what we are to learn from these truths.

         So with this in mind do we look to the gospel of Jesus Christ so that we might be caught up into magnifying His supremacy and preeminence?  We make the gospel central so that we might ultimately make the infinitely glorious Person behind the gospel Supreme and central in this public universe.  Are you apart of this in acknowledgement or in actual reality of hope, faith and active love to Christ our Lord?  To minimize the centrality of the gospel is to minimize the Supremacy of the Person behind the gospel, since this is the gospel's goal!

           Before I drive the particular implication of this I wish to shine a little more light on what the gospel of God is, so that we will not minimize it but keep it in its proper significance, so that Christ's Supremacy is exalted as greatest importance of this public universe.  Earlier I showed that just in the book of Acts the gospel is summed up in many ways with many doctrines.  Therefore, how can we find a true focus to what is the God's good news?  Before I go there I will add more confusion by showing more scripture which defines what the gospel is.  I want to demonstrate that it takes true effort in order to have and maintain a pure gospel!  Considering that even in heaven Jesus Christ looks like a Lamb that was slain it goes to show we will never outgrow knowing God through the gospel, thus, from hearing of God's grace the first time to hundred of thousand years from now in heaven the gospel is forefront, making God forefront. Hence, we need to know what this good news of Almighty God is.

           Romans 10:9-10, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." John 6:29, "Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." John 3:18, "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." From these verses alone it is clear unless you believe that (1) Christ Jesus is the "Lord" and is the real "only begotten Son of God", (2) that He was "crucified" and "raised" from the "dead by God the Father", (3) that "God" is the one who "sent" Christ to earth to die for our sins bringing us justification and imputed righteousness, then you will not be saved!  At this point some might say: "you limit salvation by saying such things; the way you say it only a few are being saved.  How can everyone know these large sweeping truths of Jesus?"  My response: Matthew 7:14, "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

           Furthermore, consider Matthew 13:11 where Jesus referring to the parables about salvation (Matt.13:18-52) says these are mysteries of the "Kingdom of Heaven."  So that, Jesus Christ directly substitutes the gospel with "kingdom of Heaven."  But the Kingdom of Heaven includes many sweeping truths.  How can we define the gospel in light of that?  I have taken the time in a forthcoming book to explain that Jesus and the New Testament writes when speaking often of the kingdom of Heaven refer to it in context of the "part" which has now entered on earth, for not all of God's Kingdom has come.  The full kingdom of God will not be on earth until the King of the Kingdom comes.  Christ did not come as a King in His visit on earth, but its Savior!  Thus, the only part of God's Kingdom that has come is salvation of man from the punishment of their sins and being brought back into close friendship and enjoyment of God, through faith.  In the future when the King comes, faith is no more required, and our close fellowship will be face to face.  The part of the God's kingdom which has actually arrived on earth is also called by Jesus Christ the "gospel."  Now we are back at the same question: what is the gospel, what is included in this part of God's Kingdom which has brought salvation and defeated the devil?

         Gospel and its effects:  The last point I bring up is this.  There is a grave differences between the gospel and effects of the gospel!  "The gospel" is what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross to actually bring salvation of sinful men at that definite time and definite place.  The "effects of the gospel" are the consequences that happen as a result of man already being saved by Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection.

        The only two things that are part of the gospel, which might appear more like effects of the gospel, are the elects faith and love in Jesus Christ.  Because the elect, in Divine mystical sense, were actually there at Calvary in Christ's death and resurrection their faith and love which connects them to that past event is, in part, part of the gospel.  Yet, in some ways their faith and love are effects of the gospel.  Christ was a propitiation on the cross and so God the Father poured out all His wrath there.  At this point God is at peace with the elect through Christ's death forever.  This is the gospel!  An effect of the gospel is Holy Spirit shining this truth of God's peace in our hearts and causing us to live in holy peace with God in our actual inclinations and actions. 

         Worship is made more pure when we thank God properly for what the gospel is, and thank Him for the effects of the gospel working in our lives.  My modern peers focus too much on the effects of the gospel and spend too little thanking for what is the good news itself.  It is irrational to thank God for working His sanctification in your life without properly thanking Him for the reason He is working His sanctification in your life: Christ's substitutionary death for the sins you committed and covering you with His righteousness!

         Now we are at the place I will define what the gospel is.  Revelation 5:8, "The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."  Here, before us is Jesus Christ seen as the Lamb of God and the song being sung is the prayers of the saints; and then lastly in the song the "Lamb" is told why He is worthy.  This is important to note: This song is not merely song to the eternal Son of God, but to the Lamb of God who was slain.  This song is a song about the gospel!  It is a gospel summary put into a song sung to the crucified Christ.  The Lamb is worthy for what He did on earth. Therefore, this is a very good summary of what the gospel is, so look carefully. It shows to us that the good and grace which Jesus accomplished by being slain is the gospel.  All the good and grace accomplished in Christ's death and resurrection, at that particular place and definite time, is the gospel.  What is this good and grace: what do you meant by accomplished?

           Christ is worthy for (1)being slain, (2)redeeming sinners to God from the whole earth, and (3)making them kings and priest forever before Almighty God.  Also, this is in context of Christ being worship as Almighty God and the Judge who opens the scroll to bring the plagues upon earth.  Lastly, keep in mind what we learned about the Holy Spirit and how He has come to convince the world concerning Christ and His righteousness, because He goes to His Father.  In this Revelation passage, where Christ is our "redemption" and makes us priests of God, is doctrinally, the same thing as Christ's righteousness being imputed to us.[54]  This is huge, for many seem to leave this out of the core gospel, whereas the bible, the best saints, angels and the twenty four elders of heaven do not.  In this passage sinners are not merely forgiven but are clothed with the righteousness of Christ; they own Christ's personal merits so deeply as their own that they all have exclusive rights to the front row seats in Heaven sitting before the Infinite Existence and the Lamb.  They are priests and kings before Him!  This is good news indeed.  It is good news, which was accomplished by Christ suffering love for His saints.  Their personal sins were given to Him (forgiveness) and His personal righteousness was given to them to own as their own (redeemed to the point to being made priest and kings before God).  This is the core gospel message.  Christ righteousness is divinely given to the saints at Calvary, but in heaven Christ prays that the benefits for them having His righteousness becomes their total reality.  Because of Christ's statements concerning what the Spirit convinces people of for their conversion and the manner in which songs of Christ's gospel are song in Heaven, I conclude Christ's imputed righteousness and what this means for believers is include in what is labeled as the basic gospel message.

         Therefore, the gospel is: That this good news is really the way to life and to an eternal peace with Almighty God.  That God certainly did send His only Son Jesus Christ to earth be its Savior.  That for sinners, Jesus Christ's suffering love, His bleeding to death and being raised from the grace to bring justice for the sins they committed, does in fact bring forgiveness between them and Almighty God.  That the personal righteousness of Jesus Christ's is imputed to them making them more than acceptable in God's presence forever.  That God brings men into the intensity of His love and beauty for Christ's sake that they may consummate this in holy affections and enjoyment of Christ.  That all of this is to the eternal praise of His wonderful Name!

           This is indeed the basic gospel.  Why do I say the basic or core gospel?  I say basic gospel in reference what is deemed by scripture as first importance for (1) evangelism and first importance for how we (2) daily approach Almighty God.  It is not first important for me come to God every day in prayer and faith knowing that He causes the grass to grow (which He marvelously does every second), but that He sent His beloved Son to died for my sins to bring me eternal forgiveness and that by His imputed righteousness I have a holy standing to ask anything at His almighty throne of grace: particularly daily forgiveness, and then daily help, and finally the right to the pleasure of worshiping Him!  This is what is meant by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 by saying he made known to them what was of first importance.  All of our dealing with Almighty God starts with, because Jesus died for my sins and rose to make me righteous.  

           If you are not constantly starting here every day in all your dealings with God, then you have totally missed the point of Christianity!  You have missed it, because by starting wrong you are and will end wrong.

           Yet, do not assume too much here.  In the core gospel is the doctrine of "God"; for example, without God, (well, being a true infinite or Sovereign God), there would be no need for man to be accountable for their sins.  Without sovereignty there is no responsibility or accountability!  Because God exists, and is the Infinite Existence of wisdom, moral beauty and happiness in Himself, He therefore, requires this standard of Himself to be imaged in the creation that He created.  He created it to be suited His plans.  The God of the bible has no rival or equal.  Whatever He says the standard is, it is; for who is able to content with a true infinite, an infinite power, an infinite passion to exalt His Son in this public world?  Who?  The doctrine of man being sinners cannot be assumed, for if man is not a sinner then why does he need Christ's death?  What's the rush to be saved?  Also the doctrine of God's glory or beauty cannot be assumed in the core gospel, but taught, for if God has no true infinite glory and beauty why is it good news to be brought to Him forever?  All what I just said is practically implicit in all the gospel summaries of the New Testament.

 

         But if this is the core gospel, then what is the full gospel?  How important is it to be established in the full gospel?  To answer the first question: in Christ Jesus coming to earth being both the invisible, eternal Son of God and the public man He displayed the full spectrum of His and His Father's perfections or glory.  His patience, His Sovereignty, His wisdom, and many others were displayed in His gospel lived out on this earth.  Take for example the doctrines of predestination and election; they happened and were accomplished on the cross; therefore, they are not merely add-ons to the gospel, or doctrines of grace per-say, but "are" the gospel!  God predestined the good news and pre-organized the future to make the gospel reality.  God before time elected who He would show mercy by His Son's blood.  On the cross this choice of God became reality or became actual, therefore, this is why I say election and predestination is part of the gospel, in this sense.  Election does means more than just being realized on the cross, but because it does, it accordingly becomes what gospel is by definition.  Anything which, at least, was accomplished at Calvary by Christ's death, is by definition part of the full gospel.  Beware, unwise people will twist and have a hard time distinguishing between the effects of the gospel and what is the full gospel.   

         Some people put such doctrines as election as only as "doctrines of grace,"[55] which is taught as second after the gospel.  But this is mistake!  It is a failure to understand what the gospel is (the good that Jesus Christ "accomplished" in His death and resurrection at that definite place and time).  This is also why Christ judging the world, for example, is stated by Scripture as part of the gospel.  It is good news for believers that Christ is their Judge, or rewarded that is.  See, in Christ's death and resurrection He judged the Devil, at that place and time!  It was there He delivered the elect from the Devil.[56]  Not all people were in the Eternal Covenant of Grace and so in Christ's death on the cross He judged them forever as sinners.  This is why Christ as Judge is stated as part of the gospel, for He judged in His death.  Christ will finish His judgment in the public arena of Heaven; this is partly an effect of His accomplished on the cross, yet it is also because He started His judged at in His death.   People error in trying to overly protect what is the core gospel that the full gospel is sadly dropped and forgotten.  See, when Paul said the "whole counsel of God" I believe he meant it in the broadest sense, but there is also, if you would, a whole counsel of the gospel.  

           The "whole counsel of God" is God's revelation on everything that He has, well, revealed.  Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever."  See, although the creation of the earth back in Genesis 1 is wrapped up God's plan of the gospel and His Supremacy shining though the gospel, yet, the creation of the earth was not accomplished by Christ's death.  Therefore, the doctrine of the God creating the earth is not the gospel by definition, although connected.  This is how it is with basically everything in the bible and the doctrines contained.  Thus, we have learned what is: the basic gospel, the full gospel, the effects of the gospel and the whole counsel of God.

          One other word about the gospel: its doctrines, depending on the person and culture can be emphasized in different degrees within boundaries.  Paul, for example, in Romans 15 said he emphasized certain doctrines more than usual so that their offering of faith and love to Christ would be well pleasing to God.  The Roman Christians, who might not have had the opportunity of being raised in a tradition Jewish home, might have a very weak and small notion of what is a true God.  Their culture was filled with all kinds of idea's of what god or gods are like.  But one thing they had in common in their notions was their god was not a true Infinite and a true Sovereign.  Paul wanted to make sure this culture was plucked out of them so that they could better understand what the Gospel is.  Thus, Paul although focusing particularly on God's election, predestination and wisdom,[57] was showing how Infinite and Sovereign the true God is.  Because God is this sovereign His hell is real, and His demands of justice will be meet either by you or Jesus on the cross; the place where God displayed that He is both just and the justifier!  Because the true God is this wise, sovereign, and therefore valuable, Christ is truly able to purchases salvation for all who run to Him in faith.  Paul is saying: Almighty God and His justice is the real deal, but so too is Christ's marvelous redemption at Calvary!  Therefore, run to the cross; run to Him with your arms wide open, for it is there His arms are still open for any and all.

           What this means is 2 things.  First, depending on who you preach to that certain gospel truths must be emphasized a little more so that a pure basic or full gospel is accomplished!  The second is that certain non-direct, but connected gospel truths need to be included in your basic gospel or else it might not be so pure or effective.  It does not mean you leave any gospel truths out, but at times, within definite boundaries, there needs to be certain emphasis given.[58] This takes a humble heart informed strongly from the whole scripture, whole gospel and the basic gospel.  It also takes a person filled and lead by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Are you this person dear reader? 

           Now to answering the second question regarding how much do we pursue the basic gospel compared to the full gospel?   Earlier I said Christ's death and resurrection for our justification and righteousness is the gospel's first importance, but its ending importance is God's displayed glory[59] and how they both dance on center stage together.  You can view the basic gospel and full gospel, in part, as these two things.  "Everyday" when you approach God in prayer, for help or for anything you must do so on the grounds of the first importance: Christ and Him crucified for your forgiveness of sin and imputed righteousness.  But Christ is a Person!  When He died on the cross He united you to Himself and so being part of Him you are filled with love "for God."[60]  On the cross Jesus brought you to God through Himself.  Therefore, in your understanding of the full gospel with such things as election, predestination and all the little aspects of Christ's accomplishments in His death, you will fulfill the ending importance of the gospel: being a true worshiper of God our Father, which is a displaying of His Glory through Christ.  "Everyday" when entering into fellowship with God on the first importance of the gospel you are also called by God to finish as a worshiper and lover of God by viewing Christ's glory in the whole gospel.  As these two dance together (the first and ending importance of the gospel) on center stage a pure gospel is proclaimed for the sure faith of the church and the displaying of Christ's fame.  If either is neglected then this dancing duet on center stage will look off balance to the destruction of the church's sure faith in Christ and a diminishing of Christ's fame!  May God never accuse me of such!

          Ephesians 2:4, "God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)."  Paul teaches us that God is rich in mercy because of His great "love."  The idea to get here is that mercy streams from love.  Two verses later Paul says that God saved us and united us to Christ, "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."  What this shows us is that even in Heaven God's love touches us as grace.  But why you might ask?  A hundred million years from now our being united to Christ Jesus is still a reality because He died for us and was raised from the dead for us.  We never leave this reality!  Christ is shown to be the "Lamb of God" in Heaven.  Christ's death for us is an infinite act of mercy.  Therefore, who is able to find and end of infinity?  Christ's death is an infinitely valuable act in the Fathers' eyes and so deserves and infinite reward of our gratitude and love.   It cannot be said that a time will come in the future when we can receive any goodness from God that is not a result of Christ suffering love for us.

           The doctrine of this is simple.  From God's part (His heart) its love, but as this love touches us is does so through His Son's purchased grace.  His heart beats as pure love for us, but this love only touches us in kisses of grace.  This why the cross of Jesus Christ is so central to the Christian!  Grace is the only way the love of God can touch us(sinners), whether now or ages from now.  As God's love touches us in grace so to our love touches God in a particular way.  Our love touches God "only" through Christ in holy worship, gratitude, holy thankfulness and praises.  This goes to show the profoundness of Christ's death in that it eternally effects (1) how God and sinners are able to love one another and (2) in what manner their love touches the other: both flow through the Lamb of God in particular ways. 

           This is why Christians make such a big deal of the grace of God; it means everything!  Every benefit of good we receive is by grace that flowed from Christ's suffering on our behalf.  God designed that our love to Him and every form of fellowshipping with Him is by Christ crucified for us.  It was this design which magnifies the Supremacy of Christ: of God.  And now we have learned God's personal love only touches us in kisses of grace.  Therefore, how central should Jesus Christ and Him crucified for us be!  We need to have enough love for God that our goal is to glorify His Supremacy, for this is His goal!  Yet, we learned how we do that.  To the praise of the glory of His Grace!

           So the question of implication is simple.  Are our lives truly to the praise of His grace or our self merits?  Do we pridefully believe our faith saved us, or magnify God's grace by believing what faith actually believes: Jesus saved us by being a propitiation for us?  Is our love centered on Jesus' grace given to us at the cross, or is our love magnifying this world by loving its fleeting entertainments more?  Do we daily, hourly see Christ being our justification and righteousness so much so that we confidently come to our Father for peace of forgiveness, and help?  Or do we approach God in the pride of our self merits?  Do we come to God in fear, because we know our self merits are not good enough?  Has the cross so effected us that we forgive others as Christ forgave us?  Or do we magnify our worth by not forgiving?   Are we truly living to showcase God's grace that came at the cost of Christ being our propitiation and righteousness, so that we might showcase His Supremacy?  I mean really?  Do we live bowed down at the foot of the cross, or do we live trying to stand on our own two feet?

 

First, for the sinner:

God acquires all men to be perfect and so He acquires this from you.  Either Christ can be your glorious savior by being your perfection or you will go to God the Judge empty handed.  What will you say then, when God offered His perfect Son to be your Savior?

           The doctrine of Christ's perfection through this obedience rebukes those who would try to earn their own perfection or righteousness in order to appease God and make Him favorable toward them, when God has provide this in His Son.  Many foolishly consider God's attributes of love and mercy and think God owes them favor if they at least try to be perfect and righteous, notwithstanding that God has provided for them a radiant perfection through His Son.  They who live in this error put the Father, Jesus Christ and the sweet Holy Spirit to shame, in that this whole plan of redemption was un-necessary, because they are able to appease God themselves.  Their self-righteous actions make as if God is a sadistic Father who murdered His Son for no reason at all.  They belittle the justice and holiness of God; they even belittle the mercy of and love of God as sallow and unnecessary.  They mock Christ's horrific suffering as no more than a nice gesture, and diminish the make the power of the Spirit to convince and animate the soul as a little thing.  Do not be numbered among such on judgment day. 

           Have you already sinned dear reader.  Then earning perfection, forgiveness or positive righteousness is an infinite height above you, because God's value which you dishonored is infinite.  There is no hope in your efforts, even if you had eternity to work at it.  Your perfection has already be lost and so with it any peace with Almighty God.  But this is why Jesus came to earth, because we really needed to be saved.  Christ was our perfection for us.  He is able to translate the unrighteous into God's righteousness by His gift of perfection lived out on this earth for them!

        See, your goal to find favor in God's eyes is hopeless in your sinful hands, but more than hopeful in the nail scarred hands of Christ our Lord.  Be a true image and worshipper of God by hoping, trusting and loving Jesus Christ at the foot of the cross.

 

Second, for the saint:

The greatest way God can love a created creature is how close He designs them to be an image of Himself, who is infinite goodness and happiness itself.  The degree you are less than God's image is the degree you are farther from God, and thus, farther from pleasure.  By this we see how great a manner God has loved the church through Christ, by making us Christ's image!

           How are we an image of Christ you might say?  Jesus Christ "trusted" His Father.  Jesus Christ before He came to earth when speaking of His future engagement of being our Passover Lamb said this:  "The Lord GOD will help Me."[61]  We are the image of Christ when we likewise trust God is our Father just as He promised He would be through His Son's death.  Jesus Christ "loves" His Father and made it His mission to prove this.  Christ referring to the cross said: "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do."  Jesus loved His Father, so much so, He went to the cross in obedience to Him although He was His equal.  We must take this aim as ours, by loving our Father and obeying Him, through His Son Jesus Christ.  Publicly showcasing our love to our Lord Jesus Christ must be our aim and greatest passion.  By this we become true images and worshipers of God.  God the Father loves His Son Jesus Christ and calls His Saints into this wonderful action of eternally loving His Son.  

 

"In this love to Jesus Christ is God's original love: "For God is love," 1 John 4:8.  This is the fountain and prototype of all love, for it is eternal and necessary.  All other acts of love in God are only displays of this love, and effects of it."[62]

 

Lastly:

Is God our goal, or more specifically, is beholding and having holy affections for Jesus Christ our goal?  If so, suffering although hard, is no obstacle.  If not, then suffering will not be worth the cost.  I ask this question not so much if you technically adhere to it, but if in your soul you experience it.  As you consider the horizon of your life in the future, if the Lord wills, and the suffering that will come with it, are you saddened by it?  If so, then Christ as your ending goal is not the total goal of our soul's affection.  For if Christ and Him crucified, who is infinite beauty, was thoroughly the goal of your heart and mind then suffering is to be laughed at; it is not even to be counted worthy to be compared with your goal: Christ and His glory displayed for you, for all of His saints.   

           Today is the day for sincere repentance.  Today is the day to view afresh the glories of the Son of God, who died to cleans your heart and purify your mind.  Today is the day to see the glory of Christ's perfection, worked out with such sorrow for your forgiveness and bliss-ness.  Today is the day to see Jesus Christ crowned with thrones to provide you mercy and grace without end.  Today is the day to behold Him seated in the Heavens interceding, out of love, for your behalf.  Today is the day to throw self-righteousness aside as you behold Christ's free gift of His righteous deeds clothed over you like a robe. Today is the day to give this forgiveness and kindness to your neighbor. Today is the day to give thanksgivings to our Lord Jesus Christ for His suffering love.  Give admiration to our Father for giving His Son for you that you might behold His glory in His grace forever! Christ's perfection is an endless ocean before us.  Therefore, behold and see your imperfections swallowed up in His Perfections.

         Can't you see, even now He is testing you?  Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and on the behalf of Christ's finished salvation on the cross, He will exalt you; for He gives more grace!

 

 

Yours together in our labor of love for our Lord Jesus Christ: Oshea Davis

 

Footnotes:

[1] see Isaiah 1:3, Romans 1:23, "like creeping-things."

[2] Relative to from man to man and to creation we possess things inherently when we are born.  Animals are said to inherently know from birth knowledge and skills.  There is nothing wrong about speaking in this way as long as it is acknowledged that only God in the ultimate sense has inherent perfection of every kind.  For it was God who gave the animals and mankind there so-called inherent abilities, therefore, because it was a gift from God they are not ultimately inherent.

[3] 2 Corinthians 3:5, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God." 

Acts 17:25, "Nor is [God] worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things."

[4] What I mean by this is that man being an image of God requires two main things, and although other things are involved I will mention just these two.  First, man needs to behold of Glory of God in the way that the Sun shines its light upon the surface of the moon, so that the moon beholds the Sun's Glory by seeing it and being touched by it, so that beholding the Sun the moon itself is beautified by it.  Second the moon reflects this same glory of the Sun in two ways.  One, the moon needs to reflect the Sun's light before the eyes of other public eyes, so that others see the beauty and admire the Sun through the moon; secondly, to reflect the glory of the Sun back to the Sun, the source.  By this, communication and re-communication is accomplished of the glory of the Sun.  By this the Sun is displayed as supreme while the moon enjoys the pleasure of having supreme glory shone upon it and returning it back in the most delighted praises.  Man needs Christ to shine His light upon them so that they behold His glory and are beautified by it in His Holiness.  Then man needs to reflect this glory back in holy affections and praises to other public eyes and back to God as the Supreme source.

[5]  Psalm 135:6, "Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places." Here Yahweh claims to be the true God, because whatever is His desire He actually does it.  By this definition sovereignty is defined not by what you could do, but what you actually do. Therefore, if God desires for evil to never enter into existence then it would not have actually happened, because God by this definition is the self-necessary cause of all things.  This is what the Psalmist tells us.  In the proceeding verse we read God both "causes" and "makes" physical reality in all creation to be what it is every moment.  Then it mentions Pharaoh, in which God "hardened" his heart causing Pharaoh to sin so that in His mighty sign God could be seen as Famous.  By this Yahweh shows He actually does what He pleases with all thing in physical matter and with the choices of men.  What this Psalm gives to us is the doctrine that to be God you must be the metaphysical cause of all things or else your not God.  Because Yahweh is this He claims to be the true and only God.

[6] You might think it was wrong of God not to give the fullest measure of His Spirit to Adam and Eve knowing they would fall to sin, but God does not arbitrarily give this privilege without great cost.  Christ death was not only to pay for sin but to buy the privilege (by His obedience to His Father and connecting to us as a human) so that we might be connected to God's Divine nature in Christ's body.  God was perfectly good to Adam and Eve creating them in the best goodness He could properly give them in love.

-Think of like this.  Basic friendship and love, although grace from the givers position, is given to all without being earned or purchased or won over.  But marital intimacy and its close connection of hearts is not given on a whim.  This love is won over by trust and beauty and etc.  This type of love is not cheap.  Trust must be slowly earned and hearts are one over by beauty and kindness.  But God's intimate love is of infinite value!  How can infinite trust be one over?  Just as it is improper for marital sexual intimacy and close friendship to be given without cost and worthy grounds of commitment so it is improper for God to give away the fullest level of His Spirit and presence without proper infinite cost, for that is its price.  Christ is of infinite worth.  His willingness to obey His Father by coming to the cross is of infinite delight to His Father, deserving and infinite reward.  By this Christ earned for His bride, the privilege to have the closest friendship and experience the fullest pleasure of God's Spirit flooding their souls.  Even if God gave Adam the chance to earn a deeper love, it would have never equated to infinite.  Therefore, do not be so quick to point fingers, for God was as good to Adam, or mankind, as was proper, righteous, and exceedingly wonderful.

[7] This flooding of our souls by the Holy Spirit in and after our new birth does not mean we lose what it means to possess our own souls.  (James 1:26, "own heart") What it means is that God has places so much His own light and Spirit over ours that we in actual practice behave like true children of God.

[8]  This does not mean Adam or mankind is not responsible for their actions.  I have said this before: responsibility is Not dependent on freedom; so many trips up on this point (Romans 8:7).  Yet, mankind unaware of God's secret plans chooses with his own soul (Jeremiah 9:14  "their own hearts"), out of his own desires and knowledge and so by this it greatly adds to his guilt.  Adam choose to disobey God even though God poured so much goodness, perfection and His own blessed image on him; he, or we have no excuse either then or now!

[9] Romans 11:27,33:  "For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all."

[10] See 2 Corinthians 4:4 and 4:6 where we are told it is the particular glory of Jesus Christ in the gospel which changes us when we behold it.  For it is His image we are to be conformed to, Romans 8:29.  Jesus prays for this in His prayer in, John 17:4.  See also Isaiah 60:5

[11] See also 4:17

[12] Psalm 37:23-24

[13] Romans 8:3

[14] Adam and Eve before the curse of sin touch their physical bodies were eternal and did not age.   If Jesus had this type of perfect flesh it would have been noticed by everyone around Him early on.  But the book of Hebrews tells us He was tempted in every way as we were yet without sin.  In order to have this true Jesus, although born sinless in Soul, yet to be just like we were was born with the likeness of sinful flesh which born the curse of death.

[15] Exodus 29:25, "You shall burn them on the altar as a burnt offering, as a sweet aroma before the LORD. It is an offering made by fire to the LORD."  This was the symbol pointing us to what Jesus Christ was in His sacrifice to His Father.  His body laying on the altar of His divinity and loving obedience was an infinite sweet aroma that earned for Him an infinite reward of love from His Father, which by His kindness this reward He passes on down to His Church.  Ephesians 5:2, "Christ also hath loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."

[16] What I mean by free is that the Father did not demand His Son to go, but asked as a father would for his son to do something.  By this Christ had a choice in a sense, and so it was a free gift on these grounds.

[17]  Jesus Christ Himself tells us that the people in His day did not keep the law, "None of you keeps the law." John 7:19.

[18] John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."

[19] Psalm 33:5, "He loves justice."

[20] Jesus speaking about Himself says this in ,John 12:24, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain."

[21] Hebrews 4:15-16

[22] Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:4

[23] Romans 2:5

[24] As humans we often experience complicated emotions.  God being an infinite Soul is able to experience this infinitely greater.  For example: He both does not delight in the death of wicked people on the account of seeing a creature created in His image wasted and thrown to the wind. (Ezekiel 18:23)  But God, who is Justice itself and thus loving true justice, does also delight in the death of wicked people. (Psalm 37:28 and Deuteronomy 28:63)

[25] Romans 8:29

[26] Ephesians 1:10, "In the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him."

[27] John 9:39

[28] Luke 11:44, & Luke 9:60

[29] John 12:46

[30] God often grants the evil and wicked desires of our hearts, but to their fullest extent, to our own destruction as a form of mockery to us.  See Isaiah 30:16 and Jeremiah 8:2.

[31] Matthew 27:46

[32] Take for example Ephesians 2:4-5, "Because of His great love with which He loved us.... made us alive together with Christ."  God's love here is responsible for a couple things and one of those is how His love caused or "made" all His saints alive with Christ in His Son's resurrection.  As a result of this God sends His Spirit in time and space to makes us to experience the public effect of Christ's accomplishment in our new birth or conversation. God's infinite love is His power and causes and makes reality happen on all invisible, spiritual, physical and every metaphysical level that is possible.

[33]  Faith does not "activate" Christ bloodshed and forgiveness for us, as I have heard it said.  Christ's resurrection, because we were united to Him there, activates our faith because we have already received life there with Him.  At God's disposed times, as He so wishes, He sends His preached gospel and Holy Spirit, and like the valley of dry bones, without your asking, gives new birth, which is the ground from which faith springs up.  This is what some call monergism (www.monergism.com). There is no such thing as real faith without being born again first (John 3:3), because faith is a Spiritual act and function, but before new birth there is no spiritual life in man.  God's Kingdom cannot even be seen until your "born again" according to Jesus in John 3:3.  See, God's kingdom (including His kingdom decree of the gospel) are spiritual things and so forget about faith, without being born again you cannot even see God's gospel let alone believe in it.  This is why Jesus says you must be born again!

[34] BBE Hebrews 1:3

[35] Colossians 1:15

[36] John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  See, this is referencing the image man is to be as he enjoys (worships) God.  Loving, worshiping or enjoying God is an image in that it is a re-communication of God's glory.  The only way for this to happen is if man being filled with God's Spirit is able to behold in true spiritual understanding God's beauty;  and then also being filled with God's Spirit is able with true spiritual abilities of joy communicate this back in adoration and love.

[37] John 7:38, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." The saints, being united to Christ, the Infinite Fountain, do not merely have the Holy Spirit or "living waters" in them but endless rivers.  This is to signify a constant overflowing in grand abundance, so much so our finite existence cannot contain all of it.  

[38]  John 1:6, Colossians 2:9

[39] i.e. moral beauty

[40]  Psalm 40:8                                                                               

[41] Hebrews 2:13.

[42] John 13:1

[43] Galatians 2:20

[44] Hebrews 1:3, "He had by Himself purged our sins"

[45] Hebrews 13:13, "outside the camp bearing His reproach." Leviticus 16:22, "The goat [Jesus that is] shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and the goat [shall be released] in the wilderness."

[46] See also Ephesians 4:15 & 2 Peter 1:2-4

[47] James 5:11

[48] Publically: all that we suffer for Christ on earth is a public suffering relative to God's point of view, whether it was in your house, on the open street or in a dark prison cell, for indeed He sits on High watching all on His stage called earth.  

[49] KJV Isaiah 1:3, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."

[50]  For the earthquake see, Amos chapter 1.   How Israel trusted in her cites see, Jeremiah 4:5-7 and Hosea 8:14.   Even today excavating in the region of Israel and north if it there is visible evidence of the earthquake that took place during Amos's time.

[51] Psalm 46:1

[52] Romans 8:9

[53]  These three words: glory, supremacy, and preeminence are somewhat interchangeable having the same basic meaning.

[54] Being forgiven does not make us kings and priest of God, only forgiven; but being imputed with Jesus Christ's righteousness does.  See, the term "redemption" has a broad meaning in this way.  It means not only to be at peace again, but to reinstate a person back into valuable service.  Christ redeems us to His Father by being both our propitiation and imputed righteousness.

[55] There is some legitimacy to this.  There is nothing wrong with the label of the "Doctrines of Grace" as long as the doctrines which are properly part of the gospel are stated and restated as so.  Election is, in a sense, part of the gospel, being accomplished there; but election is also a Doctrine of Grace in that is started before Christ was on earth in actual gospel and priestly ministry. This is missed by many, but I do not wish you to miss this.  Yes, this is a little complicated or multilayered, but it is truth and so meant to be understood and enjoyed by His Children.  View the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ from every angle for your fullest pleasure and worship!

[56] John 16:11, they are wrong about, "judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."

[57] Chapters 9-11

[58] I wished I had the time to go more into this but this is for another project down the road, Lord willing.

[59] And out joy in it.

[60] See, the complication comes from the fact you loving God is both something that happened in divine sense on the cross in our being united to Christ there, and also an effect of the gospel in the public or physical sense, in it being worked in us today by the Holy Spirit. Christ glorifying His Father is both accomplished on the cross and is an effect of the cross.  Therefore, these things are truly the ending importance of the gospel for they are included in it by the cross; also these(God glory and our love to Him) were designed by God to be the gospel and its end and also to be ending importance of the effects of the gospel as well.  

[61] Isaiah 50:7

[62] John Owen page 144, Works of John Own volume One, Banner of Truth Trust, 2000. Edited by Oshea Davis

 
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