|The Gospel of Genesis||Exodus to the Unknown||Exodus, a Walk of Faith||Leviticus, Serving God||Numbering God's Warriors|
|The Pilgrim way||Love and Obey God||Our Fathers Faith, Review||The Barrier has been Removed||For He is our Peace.|
|The R's of God's Redemptive Plan||The R's Continued|
"In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom
of God unless he is born again."  "How can a man be born
when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his
mother's womb to be born!"  Jesus answered, "I tell you the
truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the
Spirit." John 3:3-5, NIV
God's Righteousness: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Cor. 5:21, NIV
Christ's Resurrection: "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Cor. 15:22
Reconciliation: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" Romans 5:10
Redemption: "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:14
The term God's Plan of Salvation is such a simple one and yet was difficult for me to define so that I could understand it. The doctrine that best helped me the most to explain salvation is that of redemption. Redemption is the keystone truth in both the Old and the New Testament. Within the doctrine of redemption are connections to the rest of Soteriology that helps us understand such truths as forgiveness of sins [Eph 1:7; Col 1:14], God possessing us, His people and sealing us to that end by the Holy Spirit [Eph 1:13, 14], Jesus Christ, our mediator [Heb 9:15], the efficacy of the shedding of the blood of Christ [Heb 9:12 - 14], our deliverance from sin's bondage [Hos 3, 13:14; Rom 7:14 ], we are justified by faith through his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ [3:24], our unique position in Christ (called positional truth) [1 Cor 1:30], our adoption as the sons of God [Gal 4:5]. There are many more passages I could bring to the front that show my point that redemption is a keystone doctrine but we do not have the time here.
Salvation, to me, is this: once I was totally depraved - lost - without hope, condemned by God because of my unbelief - in my sin, completely enslaved in sin with a destiny in hell. The condition of being "Saved" is deliverance from all of that! This is why I place a note centrality on the doctrine of redemption. Not that the other facets of God's plan are not just as necessary (remember my illustration of the precision watch?) - No! Every detail of God's Plan must be in place and functional for this wonderful deliverance to affect us. All this was accomplished by the finished work of Christ on the cross.
The problem with temporal life is that it is confined to this life - it does not extend to eternity. Random house defines temporal in this way;
|temporal1 (tempr l, temprl) adj.1. of or pertaining to time. 2. pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly: temporal joys. 3. enduring for a time only; temporary; transitory (opposed to eternal )...|
Let's see how God's Word defines it:
|"For since by a man came death,..." 1 Cor. 15:21a|
The problem with temporal life is it ends - all men die. The original in Hebrews 9:7 says that everyone of us have an appointment with death. Living under this condition of temporal life completely renders us unable to have an eternal relationship with the Lord. But the temporal nature of our life is not our only problem. We are literally rotting as temporal beings. Some "sage" said that human birth is a terminal condition - that is 100 % of everyone who experiences human birth - dies. An unusual way to look at our existence but non-the-less true. This is a good definition of God's statement in Genesis 1:17 "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." The original for "surely die" literally says "..dying you shall die..." (heb = mooth tamooth, a statement of the absolute). Adam and Eve did not keel over and die on the spot when they ate the forbidden fruit. They did die spiritually and they did become dying creatures. Job referred to himself as a rotten garment full of moth holes, a flower that withers and a shadow. So the first thing we must face about temporal life is that we have a rotting, fading body - this certainly does not qualify us for eternal bliss with our Lord. This is truly a barrier that stands in the way. Paul paints the picture of the rotting of a seed in 1 Cor. 15:42. The picture without Christ is that of the farmer who plants a crop with seed that he fully expects to germinate but it does not. Something happened to the seed and it just rotted in the ground. That is the picture of man in his temporal life.
So, our temporal life is terminal, and we live in a rotting, dying body.
|"... by man came also the resurrection of the dead." 1 Cor.
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." Job 19:25-27
Notice the contrast between the end of temporal life and the gift that comes from the resurrection of our redeeming Christ - wonderful passages we have from Paul and Job. The central message of the early church was that Christ died and was raised from the dead - it was the daily theme of the church - not a once a year event. The message for the those living just for this life is dramatic. We do not have to look forward to an existence full of trouble only to face the rotting grave. No. In Christ there is the resurrection unto eternal life. This is the barrier that would steel men from an eternal relationship with Him. "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22). The wonderful message of the church is that human birth is not a terminal condition. But it goes even farther than that. After the resurrection we will have a new body.
|"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." 1 Cor. 15:42-44|
Oh! This is exciting! Let's take a look at the Greek usage for the word used in the original for corruption as found in our text. Classical Greek used the word to describe the condition of dying, death. Literally, it refers to the decaying process both in and before the grave. One classical Greek writer refers a man whose body "decomposed" while he was living, a curious comment but very illustrative of our present condition in Adam. New Testament usage refers to a process of deterioration and decay which is applied to the physical world which is in bondage to decay. Let's go back the illustration of the farmer. If our farmer were to plant the seed every year only to have it rot, he would be looking for another occupation. Fortunately, that is not the rule for planting seed - the rule is that it germinates. Paul refers to this wonderful process in 43 of our verse: "it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:". We have, in Christ, a most wonderful hope - the hope that after the grave, or upon the return of Christ, we will have a new body! This body is "incorruptible" - it never decays! What a wonderful hope and this is another wonderful facet of God's provision of removing the barrier of temporal life - we have life eternal and we have a body that never perishes - rots.
ROM 1:18-31; 5:10A; EPH 2:12, 13
|For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10|
Man's war with God. Paul uses an illustration from the Jewish Temple of the day to teach an important Biblical truth that the enmity the break in fellowship between man and God has been resolved. There was fixed a partition a barrier, if you please, to divide the Jews from the Gentiles during Temple worship. This barrier is used in this passage to teach an important truth about the relationship between man and God. The fact is that man is at war with God. Romans 5:10 says that while we were enemies we were reconciled to God. The original for our word peace as used in our passage depicts the cessation of war between these two parties. While that war wages there cannot be a coming together of God and man for man considers God to be his enemy. The wonderful application of God's Redemptive plan is that man, when he responds the call of the Gospel, is reconciled to God (not the other way not God reconciled to man man to God). This barrier probably most graphically describes the barrier that stands in the way of our have fellowship with God. In war there is no relationship with the other party, except for that of hostility, aggression and hate. Let's look at the removal of this most formidable barrier.
|And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled Col. 1:20-21|
Two words must be considered and then we look at our reconciliation with God. First, "alienated." The original means to be estranged from God. Second, "enemies" means to be an adversary with God. Now let's look at our reconciliation with God. First of all, it is accomplished by the blood of Christ. The ultimate expression of our enmity with God, the shedding of Christ's blood on the cross resulted in our reconciliation - what an irony!
Actually two words describe our happy resolution to this war. Peace and reconciliation.
Word study of Peace. Actually, this is a compound word from eirene [peace] and poieo [to make in the sense to manufacture or to craft].
poieo, to make. I will comment on the word eirene in a bit but first I want to take some time with poieo. In total we are looking at our Lord Jesus who made peace. Remember our study of the Trinity? Our Father Expressed the plan of salvation, Our Lord, Jesus, Executed, the plan of salvation, and the Holy Spirit Enables the plan . Here is a direct reference to Jesus Christ being the Executor of God's plan. He made peace in the sense that He crafted it.
eirene, peace, harmony, health. The classical Greek treats this word mainly in the sense of cessation from war. At time progressed, the term came to refer to an attitude of peace in contrast to a hostile attitude. It has been used in the classical to denote national health in the sense of personal welfare and well-being. The LXX used this word to translate passages that used the Hebrew word "Shalom" - a broader term referring to national peace - dwelling in the land safely, but also to include wholeness, health and general well-being. New Testament usage: the angles sang at the birth of Jesus that He would be the means of peace on earth. The Gospel message is termed the Gospel of peace (Acts 10:36; Eph 2:17; 6:15). God is the God of peace (Rom 15:33; 16:20; Philip 4:9; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20). We should not overlook the little word "of" - ablative of source or origination. Peace comes only from God who is the mastermind of any peace. By way of application to the present world situation - efforts apart from a recognition that He is the only source of peace makes any peace initiative fruitless because the efforts are based on man's war-like sin nature and the operation of compromise. No. Only a nation that honors God as the originator of peace can succeed in any peace initiative - but I digress.
eireneopoieo, to make peace. This word happens only here in Colossians 1:20, but speaks volumes about this barrier that has been removed by the finished work of Christ on the cross. It was the plan of God that was expressed by a loving Heavenly Father - it was a loving, compassionate Son who was willing to leave His place in Glory and make, execute this peace, it is an all-powerful Holy Spirit that enables all men to understand this wonderful work of peace that has been crafted by Jesus and to come to the Father in total reconciliation - peace.
Reconciliation... "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." a compound word apo + katallasso. Lit. To reconcile, and bring each party face to face with each other. This is strictly a Pauline - in fact it appears that Paul coined this very word in order to teach it important message. It has a very strong emphasis on the result of peace - reconciliation which, in my view, is typical of Paul - himself very much at war with God and His children in the earliest of times. So much so that Paul, then Saul, sought to kill Jesus' followers. Now reconciled with the Lord, Paul is also at peace with all believers. Again, I digress. Classical usage used katallasso to describe the repair of a broken marriage. The LXX used this term in the apocryphal 2 Maccabees where man is reconciled to God. In the NT katallasso is used, again by Paul, describe the reconciliation of a troubled marriage (1 Cor 7:11). Reconciliation of man to God is always God's initiative (2 Cor 5:18). Paul doesn't tell men to reconcile themselves to God. No. It's in the passive be reconciled. In Romans 5:11 we have received the atonement [kattallage].
I wish we had more time to explore this removal of the barrier between man and God - I offer for your edification the original worksheet from which I did this miniseries for download. This will give you an overall view of the series and forms a good review.
The bottom of the worksheet says this:
|THIS SIDE OF THE LEDGER HAS BEEN RESOLVED BY CHRIST'S FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS. ONLY FAITH IN CHRIST STANDS IN THE WAY||THE ONLY BARRIER BETWEEN MAN AND GOD IS HIS LACK OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. JOHN 3:17; 18, 36|
I think this says it all. God bless.
|1. "And as it is appointed unto men once
to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27
2. "While I am decaying like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten. [14:1] "Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil.  "Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain." Job 13:28-14:2, NAS
3. "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Romans 8:21-23 Job 19:25-27
4. "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:21-23
5. The Holy Spirit enables the plan of God in the sense that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that all men are evangelized and enabled to be the sons of God.